Chris Clarke, a 6-foot-6, 190-pound small forward from Cape Henry Collegiate in Virginia Beach, went public for the Vols earlier today, choosing them over UConn, Creighton, Virginia Tech, Florida and Cincinnati. He was recruited by Tyndall and assistant Adam Howard.
Rated a four-star recruit and No. 14 among Class of 2015 small forwards by Scout, Clarke was the leading vote-getter in a recent survey asking 106 college coaches and assistants to pick the most competitive player in high school hoops. The survey was conducted by Scout recruiting analyst Evan Daniels, who calls Clarke “active on both ends of the floor and relentless on the glass.”
Here’s what a couple of college coaches responding to Daniels’ survey had to say about Clarke, who got 14 first-place votes in the most-competitive survey:
“Chris is a ferocious defender, always playing with a relentless motor,” one high-major coach said. “He impacts the game in so many ways. He is a team guy who just cares about winning and plays with a blue collar mentality each and every possession."
Another coach contributed the following comment: “I loved Chris Clarke's competitiveness because he seemed to be shot out of a cannon compared to the rest of the players. I saw him at a 9 a.m. game at Peach Jam and you could just tell that everyone else was sleep-walking but it mattered to him. He was a beast. The coaches never had to run one play for him and he was the best player on the court on both ends.”
At last summer’s Peach Jam, one of America’s premier talent-showcase events, Clarke did a little bit of everything – averaging 15 points, 7.6 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.6 steals a game.
Scout’s national recruiting analysts certainly have a high regard for Clarke and what he could mean to Tyndall’s high-octane system in the years to come:
“Chris Clarke would be the perfect player for an uptempo system,” Brian Snow told InsideTennessee. “Clarke is an absolute athletic freak who has as high a motor as any player in the country. He is the type of kid who doesn't really fit into a traditional position, but he is someone you absolutely want on the court playing for your team.
“He will rebound, score around the rim off of drives, and play tremendous defense while bringing a toughness and energy at all times.”
Daniels gave InsideTennessee a similar scouting report, noting:
“Chris Clarke plays with great energy and effort every time he steps on the floor. He's one of the most competitive, tough and physical players in the 2015 class. Clark impacts the game with his energy, rebounding and overall activity. He gets after it on both ends, attacks the basket and uses his athleticism to get on the glass.”
Clarke is the third public commitment for Tennessee’s 2015 signing class. Previously committed were Admiral Schofield, a 6-foot-6, 220-pound forward from Benton High in Zion, Illinois, and Shembari Phillips, a 6-foot-4, 185-pound shooting guard from Wheeler High in Marietta, Georgia.
Scholfield and Phillips are considered sleepers, since neither showed up in Scout’s national prospect database at the time of his commitment. Conversely, Clarke is rated a top-100 prospect by Scout, checking in at No. 71.