Ohio State got an early commitment from one of the top players in the 2017 recruiting class when quarterback Danny Clark gave his verbal pledge to the Buckeyes on Dec. 13 last winter. The 6'4, 216-pound quarterback is still growing and many experts have high expectations for him down the road and are surprised the Buckeyes took him on so early. Clark has set his expectations just as high, and believes the combined efforts between he and head coach Urban Meyer will have Buckeye fans excited for the future.
"I mean, being such a young guy, I still have a lot of growing to do, whether it's speed, strength, or height," said Clark, who cited his work ethic as a big reason why Meyer recruited him. "He knows how good I'm going to be, and I'm not dogging on myself now saying I'm not good now, but he knows what it's going to be like in 2017. He knows what kind of person I am. We have a great connection and we're going to do great things in the future."
This visit was Clark's second time being a part of Friday Night Lights, but when he was in Columbus last year, he was still just another recruit trying to show the coaching staff something. This year, he comes in with a different mindset.
"It's definitely a different feeling because I remember last year going to camp I had to come in here and make a name for myself," said Clark. "Now, coming in here with my status, it's special because I know all of the coaches. It also helps because people know you and want you to do well and expect you to be at a certain level."
Ohio State clearly means a lot to the Massillon quarterback who famously won the starting job at the storied football program as a freshman.
"At Ohio State, it feels like you're at home," Clark explained. "It's special. It's a blessing, and that's what I think about every day when I wake up because it can all just be taken away just like that. So I always want to know how blessed I am to be in this situation and keep working hard and do well for everyone that's watching."
Of course, it would be wrong not to mention another high-profile recruit in '15 QB Torrance Gibson, who has been on a roller coaster of a relationship with Ohio State and his recruitment. Most recently, Gibson has the Buckeyes on top. The Florida-native visited for Friday Night Lights, drawing plenty of eyes from other recruits in attendance -- Clark included.
"He's definitely an enthusiastic guy. I know what type of quarterback he is, he's an athletic quarterback, but I think he's a cool guy," said Clark. "I didn't really get to take down a lot of contact information to stay in touch, but I talked to him a little bit and know we were both out there competing to see who could throw the ball better. I know people were watching that."
Since the two both play quarterback, there was plenty of competition on just about every rep, as Urban Meyer matched up the best wide receivers and best defensive backs against each other with Clark and Gibson rotating with other quarterbacks. Clark felt he performed just as well as anyone else he was stacked up against, though.
"I don't think I was way behind (Gibson) or way under. I mean, I don't run a 4.4 40-yard dash, but I think I threw the ball as best as anyone else out there."