UCLA defensive tackle Kenneth Clark had a great three-year run for the Bruins and shouldn't last past the 2nd round of Thursday's NFL Draft.
In looking back at his recruitment, UCLA definitely benefited by the sanctions and scholarship reductions going on at USC or there is a very good chance Clark would have been a Trojan.
Early on in his recruitment, Clark made no secret that USC was his dream school and childhood favorite. He attended the Trojans' Junior Day hoping for an offer but was told he would need to camp over the summer so the coaches could get a closer look at him.
At the time, USC was in the middle of serving a three-year scholarship reduction where they had 30 scholarships taken away and could only offer 15 per year. Maryland defensive tackle Kenny Bigelow was a big USC lean at the time and was regarded by many as a can't-miss prospect, rated the No. 15 overall player in the nation from Scout.
Both players attended the USC Rising Stars camp and, although the media was barred from attended the camp, we heard from several onlookers that Clark was clearly the top defensive lineman in attendance and had a dominant performance. When Clark left the camp without an offer, he turned his attention to crosstown rival UCLA, who had made Clark a top priority.
Clark's game plan was to go through the process, take all of his visits and then decide closer to Signing Day. After taking a few summer unofficial visits, Clark decided he wanted to stay close to home, play in from of his family, and committed to the Bruins in the summer before his senior year and never looked back. He started as a true freshman for UCLA, out-playing his more heralded 5-star teammate Eddie Vanderdoes and earned All Pac-12 honors following his sophomore and junior seasons.