The Rice Owls landed another talented wide receiver prospect this week when Derek Clark, 6-3 179 4.56, from Arlington Bowie (TX) gave his verbal commitment to the Owls. Clark joins teammate Roddy Maginot in becoming the Owl's 2nd Bowie commit for the 2008 Class. Another teammate, Chris Jones is a freshman safety at Rice. Arlington Bowie is having a tremendous season (12-1) behind the efforts of several Division I players. They take on Euless Trinity (12-1) Saturday at Texas Stadium in a 5A Division I Regional Playoff Game.
I asked Derek about his commitment and he confirmed by saying,"Yeah, I committed to Rice last Thursday. I was offered a couple of weeks ago by Coach Beaty (Rice Receivers Coach). Rice has been recruiting since early last spring though, Coach Eliot is my area recruiter. I first talked to them after the Keller Combine and they've been staying in touch all along. They invited me to camp and liked what they saw. They were the first school to contact me and I'm excited about playing in their offense. They told me to be ready to play next year."
Clark is a talented receiver with a big upside. He has 23 catches for 309 yards and 4 TDs on the season. He sports a 36" vertical, measured at a recent combine in Duncanville and describes himself as a "complete receiver". Clark had this to say about his game," I think I run really good routes and can always find the openings in a defense. I think I block pretty well too – which is important for sweeps and the running game." Two of his biggest games this year came against Arlington Lamar and Hurst L.D. Bell; where he racked up numbers of 3 catches for 100 yards and a score, and 7 catches for 74 yards against Bell. Clark also competes in the Triple Jump in track with a personal best of 46 feet.
I asked Derek why he chose Rice and he had this to say. "Rice recruited me the hardest from the beginning. Coach Bailiff and the rest of the staff treated us like family. When I went down to their camp we all went and Coach Bailiff made sure my little sister was taken care of while my Dad and I were at the camp. That meant a lot to us. My dad is real big on academics too so obviously he's happy that Rice offered. An education from Rice is worth a lot after football." Clark has already qualified academically and will graduate from high school early, with 12 college hours to his credit. However, he will report to campus in June.
I asked him if he had talked to Roddy Maginot about his commitment and he said, "Yeah we've talked about it just about every day. We talk about what it's going to be like down there and the offense and things like that. We want to make a difference in the program. When we were freshmen at Bowie the program here didn't win many games. We had a chance to impact the program and make this team a winner. We hope to have the chance to be part of a championship team at Rice too."