Tennessee a 'home away from home' for Clark

InsideTennessee keeps you in the loop on all the latest recruiting news. Scroll down to read about an offensive tackle who simply "loves" the Vols.

When Austin Clark is asked why he keeps coming back to Tennessee, he answers without hesitation.

"It's just the fact that when I come here I feel like it's a home away from home," Clark fires back immediately. "I just feel wanted here by the coaches. Not that I don't get that other places, but Tennessee feels like a special place for me."

The Scout three-star offensive tackle feels he's seen just about "everything" Tennessee has to offer after making trip No. 4 to Knoxville, but he was far from bored by his latest visit.

"Each time I come here I have a great time," he said.

The 6-foot-6, 280-pounder has seen the facilities, Neyland Stadium, academic support buildings and knows "all" the coaches, so the lone difference in his most recent visit was the company of his mother.

"This was the first visit my mom has ever been on," Clark told InsideTennessee. "She got to see everything Tennessee has to offer and what it's like for me if I'm going to be going here. …She said she had a great old time."

The visit also gave Clark another chance to chat with Tennessee coaches in person.

"They just said take my time and go ahead and go on the rest of my visits," Clark said of talks with Vols coaches. "They said they know Tennessee will stack up with anybody and they just want me to be sure I know where I want to go."

Clark plans to take that advice. He hopes to travel to West Virginia in the "near future," drop by Virginia on March 1 and South Carolina on March 29.

While the nation's No. 35 offensive tackle doesn't have a list of favorites, his goal is to come out with a top "four or five" this summer. He says Tennessee, Clemson, Penn State, Virginia Tech and Virginia are recruiting him "hardest."

On those future visits, the Rockbridge County (Va.) High School standout will be examining the academic side of things and getting a feel for how quickly he could see the field.

"Academics are important to me, but I'll look at, you know, not only can I play football here but can I learn here and feel at home," Clark told IT. "Another big thing for me is the opportunity for playing time. I'll be looking at those things."

Clark said he hopes to head back to Knoxville to watch a spring practice. The specific date has not been set.

"As long as they'll keep having me back, I'll keep coming for visits," Clark told IT.

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