Guntersville (Ala.) Brindlee Mountaint defensive tackle Steven Clark has committed to Syracuse after taking an official visit this past weekend. He left the trip declaring the Orange as his leader, and decided to pull the trigger after having time to sleep on the weekend’s events.
Ultimately, he knew that Syracuse was the right fit, and decided to pull the trigger for a variety of reasons.
”It was the coaches,” Clark said. “The coaches were a big deal. They’re great. The players were amazing. They took me under their wing and really showed me around. They treated me like family, which was amazing. And the school. The school is one of the best in the nation.
”That was a big deal, but it was more about relating to the coaches and I connected with the coaches a lot. Coach Daoust is just like my position coach in high school. They’re very similar so that was a big deal.”
Syracuse got involved late with Clark, who was committed to South Alabama when they offered. But despite a short period of time with which to build a bond, there was instant chemistry between the 6-foot-3 defensive tackle and his future position coach Tim Daoust.
”It’s a big deal because if I can’t relate to the coaches, I can’t play well,” Clark said. “If I can’t play well, I’m not going to get any snaps. I’m all about playing snaps. I want to hit people and I want to get after it. I can’t do any of that if I’m not playing well. The relationship was built quick and it was very important.
”Coach Daoust is a great man. He treated me like one of his own players. He didn’t lie or anything like that. He knows that there’s only a certain number of spots. He said that if I come in and bust my butt, I could play a little bit my freshman year.”
While Clark was interested in Syracuse even before seeing the program in person, he wanted to make sure it was the right fit during the official visit. An important way he could tell whether or not S.U. was the place for him was how things went with his parents during the visit.
”My family loved it,” Clark said. “My family loved the coaches. They loved the students. All of the students, when we were walking up and down the street, they were all saying ‘what’s up?’ They were saying they hope I chose Syracuse.
”Everyone treated my family real well. That was very important.”
As with most recruits, Clark wanted to be wanted. The Syracuse coaches showed him a lot of attention and made sure he knew that he became a big priority once he jumped onto their radar.
”It was awesome knowing they wanted me over all of the other guys,” Clark said. “It means that my hard work is paying off and they like what they see. Playing time is important. I want to accomplish a lot. I want to be All-ACC. I want to be an all-conference kind of guy and an Academic All-American.
”If I do pro, that’s always a plus. But I also want to get my degree. My main goal when I get up here is playing time and all-conference and of course getting a great degree. Syracuse can really help with getting a job with all of the connections we have.”