Red Raiders land JUCO safety

Navarro College FS Ryan Clark, who is 6'1", 195 lbs. and reports a 4.45-40, has decided that Texas Tech is the school for him. RaiderPower.com spoke with Clark and with safeties Coach Kevin Curtis to find out about the Red Raiders' newest commit.

Ryan Clark came out of high school as a cornerback and started the first three games of last season in that position, but the Navarro coaches saw potential in him to be a great safety. After the move, Clark exploded on the junior college scene, making seven interceptions and garnering 1st team all-conference honors as a true freshman.

Coach Curtis explains, "He was all-conference and all-American last season. He makes lots of plays on the ball and is really good at reading the quarterback. He's also really good at catching the ball."

Ryan added, "My strengths are just the energy that I bring to the field and that I can make a play on the ball. I have nice speed and can make big time plays. I was fifth in the nation last season in interceptions."

After the season, recruiting really began to pick up for the talented safety, who held offers from Missouri and Kansas State out of high school.

Clark noted, "TCU, U of H, Wisconsin and Tulsa were all talking to me." Ultimately, though, Texas Tech was the offer he had been waiting for.

When asked what made him pull the trigger and commit to the Red Raiders, Clark saw a window of opportunity.

"Because they were losing six safeties, I knew I was going to have a chance to play. Right now it's the best thing for me, and I didn't want to miss the opportunity."

One aspect that set the Red Raiders apart from the other schools interested in him was how he felt he will fit into the system. "I love how they throw the ball a lot, and that I'll be getting a lot of practice defending the pass."

As far as Ryan's future plans, Coach Curtis said, "Next year will be his last season to play for Navarro. He's on track to graduate in December, and then he'll move to Lubbock in time for spring ball. With the safety situation at Tech, he should be able to compete for a starting job immediately."

Clark is being recruited as a free safety by safeties coach Carlos Mainord and cornerbacks coach Brian Mitchell.

Clark has not taken an official visit yet, but explained that he's been to Lubbock before and that he plans on taking in the Red Raiders' college game day atmosphere next season.

"Whenever we have a bi next season, I'm planning on taking an official visit to Lubbock to watch one of the games."

At this time, Ryan doesn't have plans to visit any other colleges.

As far as what Clark is working on to improve his game, Coach Curtis has been helping him make the transition to his new position.

"Since he played corner, he is working on taking better angles. The angles for safeties and cornerbacks are different, and we're working with him a lot of that. He's also working on being in the right position to make the tackle and making good open field tackles."

Curtis continued, "It's a good deal for Tech to get him early, because it's still early and after next season, he will be getting interest from a lot of different schools."



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