Looking To Make His Mark

There has been a long list of Jaguars wide receivers who have impressed during mini-camps, OTA's and training camps alike. Names like Chad Owens, Cortez Hankton, D'Juan Woods, John Broussard and Nate Hughes highlighted many of the team's offseason workouts and training camp practices, but their list of in-game accomplishments are few and far between.

Local Jacksonville native Clarence Denmark is looking to make an impact on the team he grew up watching by not just becoming another one of the "boys of summer," but actually sticking on the roster.

"Clarence is a neat story. A local kid," Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio said. "He came in last year really as a roster spot, you know, camp spot. Of course anybody that gets here, anybody that comes into our camp we give a legitimate look to and he did well enough."

The Jaguars may be the best team in the league to try to catch on as a young wide receiver as there is just one semi-established guy in Mike Sims-Walker, and a host of young players who are yet to make their mark. That was likely a major reason why the 5'11", 185-pound Denmark decided to sign with the team as an undrafted rookie last season.

"That's a group that we're going to work and let them determine their roles and roster spot," Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio said of his group of young wideouts. "Troy (Williamson) is in the mix. Clarence Denmark is in the mix. Nate (Hughes) is in the mix. All those guys are in the mix. We need somebody to emerge."

Denmark arrived in Jaguars camp on August 2nd, last year and survived on the roster until the September 1st cuts. After spending much of the fall watching football, he was then signed to Jacksonville's practice squad in December, where he earned a few paychecks while learning the game from pros such as Mike Sims-Walker and the now departed Torry Holt.

"He was fast and tough and showed he could learn and so we had him around for the practice squad a little bit later in the year and coming out of the season we thought he'd be worth bringing back and investing more time in him," Del Rio explained.

It's early in Clarence Denmark's career and he has as many NFL receptions as most of the people reading this story. That said, the 24-year old former Arkansas-Monticello Weevil is turning some heads and he's in the mix for a much coveted roster spot.

"He's really made, I think, significant improvement and put himself in position to legitimately contend for a roster spot and so I think he's done a nice job," Del Rio added.

Will Clarence Denmark make his mark as a valuable contributor to the team this season or will he be just another one of the "boys of summer?" It's impossible to tell in May, but he's off to an excellent start.

Charlie Bernstein is the Editor-in-Chief of JagNation.com, a member of the Pro Football Writers of America, and also the co-host of CB Sports Radio on ESPN 1420 in St. Augustine, FL. You can contact him at charlie@jagnation.com or follow him on twitter @nflcharlie


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