Clark Enjoying His Week In Oregon

Due to his athleticism and tremendous frame, Wichita (KS) Wichita Collegiate School three-star defensive lineman Trace Clark could conceivably play defensive tackle or defensive end at the collegiate level. In fact, this versatility has turned Oregon on to Clark, who's brother Zac enjoyed outstanding success in Eugene before graduating this past season.

Do you currently have an offer from Oregon?

"Yes sir."

What kind of contact have you had with Oregon since the recruiting process started for you?

"Actually, I'm in Oregon right now. I'm at their four-day football camp, full pads, and I got an offer early in the spring and I've communicated on the phone with coach (Jerry) Azzinaro. We've talked a couple of times and I came out for my brother's (Zac Clark) graduation on the 13th of June and then took a tour and now I'm still here for the camp, so that's about it."

How often would you say that you're in contact with coach Azzinaro?

"Once every week or so, every other week."

What is your overall interest in Oregon at this point?

"I'm very interested in Oregon. I like what I've seen up here and I like the Oregon coaches here at this camp, so yes I'm very interested."

Is there anything that particularly captures your interest when you consider Oregon as an option?

"Definitely the facilities; they're top in the country and of course, with Nike and Phil Knight being (in Oregon), all the gear you get. Also, the educational aspect. I talked with a professor from the sports business program and they have the number one sports business program in the country and that was intriguing to me."

Your brother Zac was a former player at Oregon. Is that going to have any impact on you when you go to make your decision?

"All that really did was let me know what the defensive line scheme was before I got here and I got to talk to coach Azzinaro. Other places I've gone, I've had to sit down and talk with the defensive line coach and we've been going over some film to see what they were doing. That's the only advantage that (Oregon) has had."

Has coach Azzinaro and the staff specified to you which position along the defensive line they would like you at if you were to commit?

"Not specifically. They said they could use me for matchups and which matchup they like the best. They don't know how I'm gonna grow and get bigger over the next year and get to wherever I'm going. So, they don't really know yet."

How would you describe yourself as a player?

"As a player, I think I have a good first step off the ball, pretty good feet and hips -- I can flip my hips and run -- and I need to work a bit on my hands. That's what I've been doing this summer. I've been going to some of these camps so I can get work against the best in the country. I also keep the motor going and keeping pursuing the play at all times."

Is there a guy at the collegiate or professional level that you try to pattern your game after?

"I'm not gonna make any comparisons. I just take the coaching from my dad who's the defensive line coach (at my high school) and my brother helps out a lot too. I'm getting good coaching and that's what's really helping me."

What are you looking for in a program?

"First off, I'm looking for academics, because good academics will be key. I'm a 4.0 student and I know if football's not there, then I'll have that degree to fall back on. Next, I'm looking for a good visit to the football program with coaches and players. Those are the people that are going to be important because that's where I'm gonna be spending the next four or five years, so a good relationship with the coaches and players and how I fit in to the defensive scheme that they will be running."

Is sports business something that you're focused in on when it comes to your major in college?

"That's a possibility along with mechanical engineering and business finance. Those are the three that I'm looking at right now."

What are some of the offers that you currently hold from other schools?

"I have Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa, Iowa State, Oklahoma State, Northwestern, Oregon, Stanford, Indiana, Purdue, Rutgers, Tulsa, Baylor and Vanderbilt."

Do you have a top five or a list of favorites at this point?

"No, not yet. I have visited Oregon and Stanford on this trip that I'm in the process of right now and that will be (trip) number 10. I'm going to Purdue, Indiana and Baylor all next week, so I'll have made it to 13 out of the 14 (schools that have offered). We're looking at a trip to Rutgers and hopefully we'll be able to get there, but I wanted to use these trips to give these schools a chance, see the campuses and talk to the coaches and then I can start narrowing it down as the summer progresses."

Trace Clark profile

Follow Chris Courtney on Twitter at eDuckCCourtney


eDuck Top Stories