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July 28, 2010

Maryland lands Fla. safety Undray Clark

Two years ago, Matt Dixon landed the head football coaching job at Felix Varela High in Miami, took one look at his team and knew he had an athletic prospect with potential in defensive back Undray Clark.

“I knew he was a good athlete, but I didn’t know what he could do on the football field,” Dixon said. “After the first couple of games, I knew he was a special football player. He’s fast, he’s real good at reading defenses and he’s a very aggressive tackler. But he plays that way on both sides of the football. He caught passes for touchdowns, he returned kicks and blocked punts. He’s just an overall athlete.”

The Maryland coaching staff discovered Clark, a 5-foot-11, 185-pound safety, shortly after the new year and offered him a scholarship in February. Clark also considered scholarship offers from Duke, Louisville and Minnesota, but last week offered his commitment to the Terps. The Maryland staff accepted that pledge Wednesday.

“They were my first offer, so from the get-go, I liked them,” Clark said. “ … [The Maryland coaches] just told me that they were happy [I committed] and excited for me.”

Dixon has used Clark’s talents on the football field in almost every way imaginable. Clark, who runs a 4.5 40, is a defensive back, wide receiver and valuable special teams performer for the Vipers. That versatility, Dixon said, might have stood out to Terps coaches more than anything else.

“They liked the fact that he could pretty much do everything,” Dixon said. “You can put him at safety, but if you need a corner, you can put him there, too. And he can do special teams. He can also play receiver. He can pretty much do everything.”

Said Clark: “It’s a rare occurrence [when I leave the field]. I get taken off when I’m tired, but that’s it.”

Looking back, Clark said his visit to College Park clinched his commitment to the Terps. He liked his future teammates, bonded with defensive coordinator Don Brown, learned he could have an opportunity to play right away and was wowed by the university’s business program.

With a chance to end the recruiting process before his senior year began, Clark jumped at the opportunity to play for Maryland -- and focus on what he does best.

“I didn’t want to play the season thinking about recruiting,” Clark said. “We’ve got practice next week for the fall season.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 7:49 PM | | Comments (2)
        

Comments

Matt,

Thanks for the update. I read somewhere that in addition to losing one of their better RBs in Porzel, that two other key players are transferring out of Maryland, Javarie Johnson, the most highly touted member of last year's class, and starting Junior guard Lamar Young. Is this right? If so, what's going on?

CA Terp Fan -- You've got it right: Porzel, Johnson and Young are all gone. I'm not positive on Young, but the other two were related to academics.

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About Matt Bracken

Matt Bracken was a lightly recruited football and tennis prospect out of East Lansing (Mich.) High School in 2001, but spurned all (nonexistent) scholarship offers to attend the University of Michigan. Matt graduated from UM in 2005, earned a master's degree in new media journalism from Northwestern University in 2006, and spent the first 11 months of his career as an online producer / videographer / blogger at the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson. He has worked at The Baltimore Sun since July 2007, where he currently serves as the deputy sports editor for digital.

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