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|Hometown/School:||Youngstown, OH (Ursuline HS)|
When Lion News last talked to the always personable Daryll Clark back in February, he was in a wait-and-see mode. If Daryll qualified academically, he would attend Penn State. If not, he would be off to Kiski Prep and his college enrollment would be delayed for a year. We talked to Daryll recently to determine if his future had gotten any clearer. Darryl filled us in on the latest regarding his academics situation as well as relaying some interesting information regarding his health.
So what's going on with Daryll?
"Not much" he told us. "Just trying to take care of this school work and put some weight back on and get strong in the weight room. Taking care of the essential stuff right now."
Daryll needs a few more points on the ACT to be able to qualify for Penn State under NCAA rules. We asked him how the academics are coming.
"I'm doing fine in my classes at Ursuline. I took the (ACT) test and scored a 19 last time, which is progress. It went from 17 to 18 to 19. I took it (the ACT) yesterday. Hopefully it will be either 20 or 21. If I get 20 or 21 I should be in pretty good shape. If not, Kiski is the word."
It will take four to seven weeks to get his most recent test score. If he doesn't improve to 20 or 21 will he have any more chances to take the test? "There's one more shot in June." Is he tired of taking the test? "Oh my goodness," Daryll chuckled. "I'm really getting tired of it. Having to sit down for four hours. I get real restless sitting down so long."
We asked Clark if he had visited Kiski yet. "Not yet", he replied. "They're going to schedule me to go out there for an interview sometime in April."
If Daryll does end up at Kiski his letter of intent to play at Penn State will no longer be binding. Will he start looking at other schools? "If the situation was where it was right now, if I was playing football at Kiski and the recruiting business started all over again I would probably stay with Penn State."
Daryll told us that his current weight was nearly ten pounds less than his listed playing weight. We knew that Daryll had an adenoid and tonsil problem that required surgery during the recruiting season, but he told us about another health problem that plagued him during the 2003 season.
"In the summer I had gotten sick with something. I don't know what it was but I couldn't kick it. I was playing most of the season with it. Something was bothering my stomach and it messed up my appetite. I went into the season at least 195. As the season went on it started to get a little worse. I tried to fight it off and not let everyone know that something was really bothering me. I was trying to stuff food but I really couldn't eat because I wasn't feeling well.
Daryll continued, "I'd probably say this lasted until maybe week seven. Then I was able to start eating like I usually eat again to hold the weight I had. Then after the season it started to get a little bit better. Then I had some breathing problems, so I had to have that surgery. I tried to eat something, but it hurt my throat so bad that I didn't want to eat. I think I got a little bit below the 180's. After the surgery and before I was able to start eating again and my throat stopped bothering me so much, I might have been at 178, 179. But I put a little bit back on."
"It's easy to lose it, but it's so hard to put it back on. I've been able to get myself back together. I'm lifting and eating as much as I can. Trying to take care of the school and everything. It's starting to come back. It's only a matter of time before I get myself back together."
Finally, we asked Clark if he was keeping in touch with any of the other Penn State incoming recruits.
"I speak to Wyatt Bowman. I talk to Mark Rubin. I talk to Jed Hill, he's only across town from me. I talk to him once in awhile. My uncle is a barber and my uncle cuts Tony's (Davis) hair and Tony tells my uncle to tell me to say what's up. I speak to him every now and then."