Five-star tight end hosts USC in-home

Avon (Conn.) five-star tight end Chris Clark hosted USC tight ends coach Marques Tuiasosopo and USC offensive coordinator Clay Helton in-home Tuesday and subsequently de-committed from Michingan later in the day.

Tuesday afternoon Michigan head coach Brady Hoke was fired, creating a major shakeup on the recruiting trail. Soon after the news broke, Avon (Conn.) Old Farms five-star tight end Chris Clark announced on his Twitter account that he was de-committing from Michigan.

"Due to the unfortunate change in coaching at Michigan and the unknown of who will take over the program I am no longer committed to Michigan," Clark said in his statement.

Later in the day over the phone, Clark explained how everything went down.

"Yeah, today has been a pretty crazy day," he said. "I actually had two of the Michigan coaches at my school this morning, tight ends coach Dan Ferrigno and offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier. It was kind of weird, they were not quite sure what was going to happen and then obviously the news came out a little while ago that coach Hoke got fired. It's been a little crazy."

The Wolverine assistant coaches spent the entire morning with Clark despite the uncertainty surrounding the future of the head coach.

"I had no idea and neither did they to be honest," Clark said. "They said they were just going to keep recruiting, that is all they can do. Now who knows what is going to happen. We'll see."

Clark and his family knew that a coaching shakeup was a distinct possibility and they were ready to open up the recruiting process if that did occur.

"It was something we kind of knew would happen if coach ended up getting fired. Not just coach Hoke but coach Ferrigno too," Clark said. "He had almost been like a father figure to me, someone that was a great mentor. I just really trust him to show me how to be a good man and football player. I am just really upset because it doesn't look like he will have a place on the next staff, so that's kind of why I did what I did today. To make the best decision, I really think that de-committing is probably the best thing to do. I won't have a label next to my name and I can take my official visits and be open minded and see what the other schools have to offer."

Speaking of official visits, that was a major topic of discussion when USC tight end coach Marques Tuiasosopo and offensive coordinator Clay Helton stopped by later on Tuesday to visit with Clark.

"That is why it was good to have coach Tuiasosopo and coach Helton here today," he said. "They really want me to come down and take the official visit on January 17 because that is when a lot of the in-state guys will be there. I know Sam Darnold will be there, the quarterback, so I think I am going to head down there then and go to Texas on January 24."

The assistant coaches also talked about some of the opportunities at USC with only one or two returning scholarship tight ends on the roster.

"We just talked about how they have need at the tight end position," he said. "They wouldn't be coming across the country to Connecticut if they didn't think that I was the best option that could come in and have an opportunity to play right away. And just like all the great things that USC has to offer, the degree and football obviously.

"I am actually really high on USC to be honest, it is really weird to think that when the recruiting process started I would be considering West Coast schools, but I really like USC and UCLA. It is kind of weird how it all worked out. I am just really eager to get on campus with my parents and see what the school has to offer.

"Regardless I know I am going to have to compete anywhere I go. Definitely just in terms of the opportunity, it is a great opportunity at USC for a tight end right now to try and have an impact early."

Clark has yet to take any of his official visits yet and there is still a chance he uses one of his five trips to go to Ann Arbor.

"It kind of just depends if they get a new head coach and if it is someone that I think that I would want to play for, then yeah, I would definitely consider taking an official. In no way is Michigan completely out of it."

Five-star tight ends are fairly rare, but Clark brings a lot to the table to justify the hype.

"I think the thing with me that makes me a highly ranked recruit is just my versatility," he said. "I can stretch the field vertically but I can also put my hand in the dirt and block, so I think I have the ability to be a complete tight end. I am about 250 pounds right now so I already kind of have the weight behind me and I run about a 4.69 in the 40 so I've got the speed to stretch the field."

Clark's recruitment is open again, but he isn't in any kind of hurry to make a decision.

"To be honest, I just don't know. I am just going to kind of let it play out."

Last month Clark tore his MCL playing basketball so he will not be taking part in the Under Armour All-American Bowl. He said he will still go to Orlando, but the doctors don't want him to push it and play.

Clark said he was lucky as far as the injury goes, his knee will heal on its own and not require surgery. He expects to be back out there by late January or early February.

Stay tuned to for more updates on Chris Clark and the USC recruiting class of 2015.

Ryan Abraham has been the publisher of since 1996. You can follow him on Twitter at @InsideTroy or email him at . Top Stories