Syracuse and tight end transfer Chris Clark have parted ways one week after Clark committed to the Orange as his transfer destination, sources informed CuseNation.com on Thursday. Syracuse was the first school to offer Clark back in the summer of 2013, but his recruitment exploded and he looked towards other options.
After committing to North Carolina and then Michigan before ultimately signing with UCLA, Clark decided to transfer from the Bruins after participating in training camp and appearing in their season opener. Clark cited homesickness as a major reason for his decision.
Clark seemed to come full circle, visiting Syracuse a few weekends ago before committing to the Orange two days prior to their matchup with Virginia. Clark described his relationship with players and coaches as a major reason for picking Syracuse.
After originally deciding Syracuse was the best fit, both sides decided that was not the case over the last week.
Syracuse head coach Scott Shafer has routinely cited looking for a complete fit in recruiting, going beyond just the talent on the field. Players do the same thing, trying to find the best fit not only regarding on the field but also within the program, culture, coaches, etc.
Yes five-star talents are what you want within your program. Not having Clark obviously takes away potential talent from the roster. But finding the right fit on all fronts is critical. If either side, or both, decide that there is not a fit outside of the talent, it is best for them to move on. That is what happened here.
The numbers are also something to consider. Syracuse wants immediate depth at the tight end position. Clark is not likely to see the field until the 2017 season. A waiver that could be filed with the NCAA to get him on the field next season does not have a strong possibility of being granted.
From Clark's perspective, he should still have plenty of suitors. Pittsburgh is likely still in play, the other finalist along with Syracuse upon receiving his release from UCLA. He could look at other programs as potential landing spots as well. There will not be a shortage of schools looking into his availability.
Syracuse is expected to take at least one tight end prospect in the 2016 class. Sam Letton and Brett Shepherd are their top targets at this point as premium members have known for several weeks. Letton says he will take an official visit "sometime in January."