Looking Toward the Future

It's been a busy few months for Will Clarke since he played his final game in a West Virginia uniform.

And after plenty of preparations through the Senior Bowl, the NFL Scouting Combine and Pro Day Friday morning in Morgantown, there has been plenty that the Pittsburgh, Pa., native has learned about his potential fate at the next level.

The 6-foot-6, 271-pound defensive end is projected to go somewhere between the third and fourth rounds of the NFL draft this season.

But while his past experience at West Virginia has come on the defensive line, he understands that he has to be willing to showcase his versatility in order for teams to feel good about selecting him with a pick in this year's draft.

His length and athleticism make him an interesting case as a player who could potentially play on the defensive line or at outside linebacker, depending on the defensive scheme he gets drafted into.

"Some teams are showing more interest than others, but there are so many teams you talk to throughout this process that it's tough to pinpoint anyone because I'd end up naming the whole NFL," Clarke said. "They'll show me people and tell me this is how they would have me play in their scheme."

In order to help him prepare to be ready for anything when he gets to the NFL, Clarke has been spending much of his time working out and preparing for the draft by going through a lot of drills at a variety of different positions. And he's been lucky enough to be able to have some of his former WVU teammates with him to be able to help Clarke with everything.

He went through Pro Day Friday at the Mountaineers' practice facility with defensive linemen Shaq Rowell and Dozie Ezemma, as well as linebacker Doug Rigg.

"You just have to prepare yourself for everything," Clarke said. "A lot of teams like my size and how well I move for a guy my size."

Clarke said he's been compared to Jason Pierre-Paul by teams he's talked to, as well as New England Patriot defensive end Chandler Jones.

Now that Pro Day is wrapped up and Clarke is ready to set his focus solely on the draft, there's still plenty of work left to be done.

"Now I'll just start like the normal offseason workout," he said. "I'm going to start building my body back up more and get back into football shape."

Going through this process is something Clarke has been waiting for since he started playing football, and now that the NFL is within his grasp he admits it's a little hard to believe. But throughout it all, he's trying to stay focused and worry about the things he can control - something he was told by Bruce Irvin as he was preparing for the Combine, and the same thing he told his teammates before Pro Day.

"You have to relax. These are just normal drills, you've been doing these drills all of your life," Clarke said. "You just relax and go do it."

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