Prep QB Clark: "I'm Golden"

“I'm golden, baby,” were the words that echoed from the mouth of Daryll Clark. The last few months have been a test of his will, and it nearly got the best of the standout athlete from Youngstown. But he didn't quit, and in the end he passed with flying colors.

Former Youngstown (Ohio) Ursuline (and most recently Kiski Prep) quarterback Daryll Clark has surpassed the required standard for admission to Penn State and he will be beginning school soon.

“I actually got one point higher then I needed,” Clark said. “I needed a 21 [on the ACT] and I got a 22. I'll start classes at Penn State June 27.”

As you may have guessed, Clark's odyssey was difficult. He initially signed with the Nittany Lions in February off 2004, but went to Kiski because he did not achieve the required qualifying score on the ACT. He signed again with PSU this year, but still had to meet the ACT standard to be eligible as a freshman in 2005.

“I'm so relieved, it was getting really frustrating,” Clark said. “I kept thinking, man I got this, and I kept coming up short. But I didn't give up. I kept studying and kept working.”

Not only was Clark excited, but so was the coach who has been there since the beginning of his recruitment: Jay Paterno.

“I called Coach Jay Paterno and I could hardly talk when I got on the phone,” Clark said. “He was very excited for me and he congratulated me.”

The whole experience taught Clark something about himself as a person and as an athlete.

“As a player, I think I became more complete and learned how to work with the team,” Clark said. “It really tested me. I had to keep telling myself 'I can do this.' I made the honor roll every semester [at Kiski]. I really learned to improve my study habits and spend my time wiser. That will help me succeed in college.”

Don't get the idea that Clark has lost his hunger or desire to compete. He is heading to Penn State with every intention of proving himself and competing for playing time even though the Lions are deep at quarterback.

“I expect to go there and do what I'm told and let the chips fall where they may and my ability will prevail,” Clark said. “I'll give 110 percent on and off the field, and try and earn the respect of my teammates and coaches.”

Clark is unsure of his summer class schedule or course load.

“Coach [Jay] Paterno said he'd call me on Monday he when he gets back in town, and we'd go over that stuff,” Clark said.

LICHTENFELS' ANALYSIS: During our interview, Clark was quick to point out that he now checks in at 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds. … As a journalist, you always try not to get caught up in the story you're writing, but after speaking to Daryll and his family over the last year you could really feel the elation in the young man's voice over finally achieving what he has worked so hard for. After talking to him, I would never count this kid out of anything.

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