Whenever Will Muschamp lands a commitment, the South Carolina coach drops a #SpursUp on Twitter. Come to SEC Country for the latest news, notes and observations in South Carolina recruiting. For previous editions of SpursUp Surveillance, check out the link.
C.J. Clark introduced himself as a wedge-buster.
“That gets your attention,” North Stanly High School (New London, N.C.) coach Scott Crisco told SEC Country.
Clark isn’t your average high school kickoff team contributor. The 6-foot-3, 303-pound defensive tackle is a 4-star recruit with plenty of ACC and SEC offers to his name. And he wears plenty of different hats for North Stanly.
“We run him at fullback some, in our Power-I. We can put him at offensive line. Wherever we need him, he wants to go and he’ll play,” Crisco said. “He’s a hard worker. He just started getting the weights last year, phenomenal work ethic.”
As a sophomore, his first season on North Stanly’s kickoff team, Clark led the unit in tackles. On occasion, however, instincts take over.
“He’ll get messed up sometimes and he’ll forget to hit somebody and just want to get the ball,” Crisco said.
That “nose for the football,” Crisco said, helps make Clark a good defensive tackle, too.
“Just a combination of size, speed and aggressiveness,” Crisco said. “He’s got all of the tangibles for a D-lineman. He just moves like a cat, for as big as he is.”
Five in mind
Clark, who plans to graduate in December, is approaching the end of life as a non-committed 4-star defensive tackle. Earlier this week, he released his top 5, in no particular order: South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina and North Carolina State.
“Those are the schools that stood out to me the most and they’ve really let me know the opportunities I would have there,” Clark said.
A commitment could be made before the end of summer.
South Carolina offered when he attended camp as a sophomore. Defensive line coach Lance Thompson serves as the primary recruiter.
“Coach Thompson, he’s a great person. South Carolina is a good school, great fan base, just a good all-around school,” Clark said.
Last month, while Clark was in town for the Garnet and Black spring game, Muschamp spoke with him about the opportunity at South Carolina.
“[Muschamp], he’s a great person, really. He’s a good guy. He lets you know things, how I can change and help his school,” Clark said.
His relationship with Georgia defensive line coach Tray Scott dates back to when Clark was an eighth grader attending North Carolina’s camp. Scott was an assistant coach for the Tar Heels then.
“He was a good person, talked to me. I wasn’t that good, only in eighth grade. He worked me hard,” Clark said.
The Dawgs hosted him for his first visit about a month ago.
“I liked it. It was a nice place,” Clark said. “Talked to Coach Kirby Smart. He just sat me down and told me about the opportunity I have to play there, to play at Georgia. It’s crazy. It was a good trip.”
Clark has been to Tennessee only once for a camp, a couple of years before Jeremy Pruitt was hired as coach.
“They’ve been hitting me up a lot and I’m working as hard as I can to let them know that I’m interested in them,” Clark said. “It isn’t far away, but it’s a good little minute away and it is kind of hard to get up and down there. But they’re a school I’m definitely interested in, and I want to get up there and see them more often.”
Interest in the ACC finalists is detailed below.
- North Carolina: “I’ve been knowing them for a real long time, too, so when you know somebody for a while, it’s like when you see them, it’s not even about football. … It’s just kind of like a personal thing. By that being that way, that’s the way I look at things. Me knowing them for a while and knowing they’re not going to tell me anything wrong, that makes it easier for me to have them as one of my top schools.”
- N.C. State: “It’s a great school, too, the fans and all that. My cousin played there, B.J. Hill. Him being there and Coach [Kevin] Patrick, me knowing Coach Patrick and being my first offer, that definitely puts them in my top 5, because of that. It’s a good school. And coach [Dave] Doeren is a good person and he lets me know all kinds of things about the school and how I could change things and how he could develop me and stuff.”
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