March 30, 2010
Clark boosts DL depth as late signee
Tennessee fans know a little about Northside High School in Warner-Robins, Ga. Two of it’s alumnus are former Vols in linebacker Anthony Sessions and offensive lineman Jason Respert. A third is on his way to Knoxville in surprise signee Greg Clark.
The defensive tackle inked with the Vols on Tuesday. Clark has heard plenty about Tennessee from Sessions and from Respert, who was on the Northside coaching staff Clark’s freshman and sophomore years. But the 6-foot-4, 290-pound tackle has never seen his future school. Something he will do on Thursday.
"It seems like a dream. Who doesn’t want to play in the SEC?" Clark asked. "I got the papers this morning around 9:45 a.m., signed them immediately. I really liked the way the coaches talk to me. It seemed like a great decision. It’s all kind of crazy. It just all happened so fast."
Last summer Clark was hearing from schools like Tennessee, Auburn, Ole Miss and Southern Miss, but concerns over his ability to qualify academically curtailed the phone calls and the offers never came.
Clark retook the ACT a month or so ago and after receiving his score, the opportunity to go to a Division I school resurfaced and Tennessee came calling.
"I was probably going to go to Valdosta State," Clark explained. "After my ACT score, Tennessee contacted my coach and I have been talking to coach (Lance) Thompson and a couple of the other coaches for the last couple of weeks. I knew they were interested, but I was a little surprised that the offered this morning [Tuesday]."
Clark said Tennessee made it clear how much help it needs at defensive tackle and the opportunity he has if he works to take advantage of it.
"The coaches tell me that they like my size and the fact that I play with some nastiness on the field," said Clark, who had 34 solo tackles and 9 tackles for minus yards as a senior. "I am just an intense player. I just have a can’t-quit attitude. My plan is to get to Tennessee this summer and to work hard so that I can try and help the team in some way."
Clark’s position coach feels that Tennessee is getting a quality player and in turn his pupil is getting a great chance.
"He’s a really talented kid," Northside defensive line coach Ryan Crawford said. "He’s not a fast guy, obviously at 300 pounds, but he’s such a strong kid. This is a great opportunity for Greg."
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