The state of Florida is known to produce talented receivers, and over the last two years one of the more productive players has been Sebring's standout Devin Clarke, who's broken the 1,000 yard receiving bench mark the last two seasons, and has chance to make it three for his senior campaign..
Clark (5'11,155 pounds) put his name on the recruiting map with an excellent sophomore season, finishing with 72 catches for 1,121 yards and 9 touchdowns, adding five more touchdowns by way of one kick return, two punt returns and two interceptions all for scores. Clarke then went on to have standout performances at various camps over the summer, including one at the USF Sling and Shoot, where he was a top performer while leading his team to the final four.
"My strengths are my speed, my soft hands, and ability to make plays in the open field," said Clark. "I practice hard. If you practice hard and give it 100 percent, than that's how you'll play, and on game day I turn the light on."
As a junior, Clarke continued to be electric, hauling in 51 passes for 1,131 yards and 14 touchdown receptions, while adding 462 on the ground on 52 carries with 6 scores and also threw a TD, while making a major impact on special teams. Now he has a chance to have 3-consecutive 1,1,00 yard seasons.
"This year I want to break 1,200 yards. I've just been working on running routes, catching the football, and lifting weights." said Clark. "I got a lot stronger, and I'm benching 270 pounds."
At the recent National Underclassman Combine held at Jefferson HS, Clark had a 31 inch vertical, 9'0 broad jump, ran great routes, displayed tremendous hands and put on a clinic during 1-on-1's. Clarke was awarded the Overall MVP.
On the recruiting front Clark has 6 offers from some of the top programs, including Texas Tech, Tennessee, North Carolina, Ole Miss, Louisville, and one from USF. Plus teams like Florida, Rutgers, Nebraska, Iowa State, and Miami are all showing interest.
"Things are going great on the recruiting front, I got 6 offers now, and have been getting a lot of interest" said Clark. I haven't seen coaches at practice, but they've been coming by the school asking for info and video."
The University of South Florida was one of the first programs to extend an offer to Clark, who visited a USF practice this spring, and he likes what he's seen from the Bulls.
"I went to a USF practice this spring and it was great," said Clark. "They got on it during practice, and they work. I like that because that's what I do. I always work hard and give it my all."
"What I saw of the campus, I loved," said Clark. "We saw the facilities, the cafeterias, and stuff like that. It was all real nice, and I had a good time."
"I like both Coaches Scott, and McGeoghan a lot, and we have a good relationship with both," said Clark. "They both seem like good people, good coaches and that they care. We talk all the time, not just about football, but about life situations."
It's early in the recruiting process and Clark says he doesn't have a leader, but does have a few teams that are standing out, and are among his favorites.
"I don't have a leader, and I'm just opened minded right now as I'm learning more and more about the programs showing interest in me."
"After talking with the coaches USF is in my top five," said Clark. "I'm not sure who else is in the top five, but I know USF and Louisville are in there. I'm opened minded, but talk to those two schools the most."
Clark talks about what puts USF in his top five.
"I talk to them a lot, probably twice a week, and just like the program," said Clark. "They're close to home, but not to close. I like the coaching staff, and they're not just worried about what you'll do on the field, but about your future, and being a better person."
The electric receiver does know what he's looking for to help him make his college choice.
"Number one is playing time, I want to play early," said Clark. "I look at depth charts, but they're not a big thing. If you go in and work, then you're going to play."
"I'm also looking for a place with a good staff and where I can get help and get coached up," said Clark. "Relationship with coaches is very important to me, and I think that may be one of the most important things in making a choice."
Clark said he doesn't have a time table as to when he'll make his choice.
"No sir I don't have a time frame," said Clark. "Sometimes I think about it and say I'll just wait until signing day, but you never know, I my make a decision before then."
So far Clarke has been on unofficial visits to Florida, USF, and Miami, and says he may try and go to several team camps.
"I'm going to try and make a few camps this summer, but not sure where yet," said Clark. "I know we'll be going as a team to the 7-on-7 Sling & Shoot at USF again. We made the final four, losing by a touchdown. I've also talked to the USF coaches about their Super Bull camp also."
In the classroom Clark carries a 2.4 core GPA, and took the SAT, but hasn't gotten his score back yet. He hasn't decided on a major yet, but is considering Business, drafting design, and sports medicine.
Stay tuned with USFNation.com, as we keep you updated on Devin Clark's summer schedule, and the rest of the 2011 recruiting class.Click here for more info or to share your thoughts with other USF Insiders and get the insider scoop!