Even as a sophomore, Coastal Carolina defensive tackle, Jerrod Clark, has had a bit of draft buzz. Pinned as a “violent wall”, sitting in the middle of the defense, wrecking shop. The 6-4 335 lb., the prospect has been a fun player to watch, over the season. But I wasn’t sitting down with the Massachusetts product to talk to about the draft. As far as he’s concerned it isn’t even a thought right now.
“I don’t think about those things yet really. I keep my head in the game and stay focused on the things in front of me. I am not ready to start talking NFL draft yet. Right now I spend my days trying to better as a player, and as a person. I think I have a chance to be great, but I have to work to get to that.”
While his game film has been a sight to see, it was his presence outside the locker room that we spoke about.
“Man, really I am a simple guy. I like to have fun and relax. So I am not the guy that is going to go out looking for crazy stuff. You know where I am from you see some things happen, so you know you have to stay around folks you trust. For me that is family. Family man, that is what you could say I am. Even my jersey number, 15, is for my brother. You know, he was a cool guy, a guy that I wanted to surprise. He loved the number 15 so I wanted to come out wearing it and surprise him. So now that number means a lot to me. It is all family to me. That is what I love about this team. It feels like a family. Coaches and teammates, we all take care of each other, look out for each other. Like a family does.”
While Clark, hasn’t had a huge impact stat-wise, he has done all the things that help his team win. What stands out is his stubborn play against the run. He has been a complete wall while shutting down opposing offenses and the run game. He is stout at the point of attack and has a nasty edge to his play. I asked Clark, what he felt was his biggest strength?
“As far as the player I am on the field, I guess you could say I am the run stopper. I know I do that really well. The one thing that really helped me growing up was that I was always playing a sport. So that helps me now I think. Helps me play with fast feet, and athletically. I can move around well, because of my upbringing. On the field, I want to help set the tone. You know we have tons of talent on this team. Guys that are real leaders, and I follow the lead. But I know it will fall on me and I have to just follow the standard they set. As far as my biggest strength? I would have to say my initial pinch at the point of contact. I think my first hit when I engage with an offensive line, that stands out. I also think I am very good against the run. That is simple for me. I need to work on my pass rush, and consistently attack the quarterback. I think I could work on everything, but my pass rush being better, will make me better. “
I end every one of these interview articles the same way. I ask you to look at the film. Coastal Carolina is expected to face a very good Liberty team this week but could end up playing BYU. Watch that game on ESPN’s Gameday and decide for yourself. Jerrod Clark is getting some well deserves draft buzz, but before any of that matters. He is a guy that is only worried about being better. That is something you can get behind.