The Prototype 2.0: Danny Clark Upgrades His Game

By Jeremy Birmingham on August 12, 2014 at 2:45p
58 Comments

It's been a busy summer for Danny Clark. Ohio State's 2017 quarterback, Clark could've rested on his laurels, but he didn't. No, the 6-foot-4, 218-pound left-hander from Massillon Washington High School went to work on getting better. Clark stayed as close to the football field — and to his future coaching staff — as possible.

"It's been really beneficial for me, obviously," Clark told Eleven Warriors about the chance to camp with Ohio State this summer. "Getting to work with Coach (Tom) Herman and (Urban) Meyer has been a great opportunity and a real blessing. Don't even get me started on how great those two guys are, just as men and leaders."

Clark took the time to camp not once, not twice, but three separate times at Ohio State, although the Buckeyes' coaching staff was not present at each occasion. He worked with the Ohio State offensive coordinator and quarterback coach directly during the Buckeyes' two-day positional camp and once more during Friday Night Lights. Of course, as he prepares to start his sophomore season at his fabled high school, Clark's not focusing only on his future in Columbus.

"(This summer) I've also put in a lot of time and work with Badre Bardawil, our offensive coordinator at Massillon," he added. "I think the combination of things has us ready to win a state championship this season, I guarantee that we're working hard."

On Monday, 247Sports.com released their first rankings for 2017, releasing a "Top 100" for soon-to-be-sophomores and Clark, as expected, is highly-ranked. He's the second-ranked pro-style quarterback and No. 43 overall prospect.  It's an honor for sure, but not something Clark can control therefore not something he worries about.

"I know that I am very blessed and I appreciate the ranking," he said of the release. "But my head and my focus is on my team and winning a state championship. I know that as long I keep working hard and stay determined the rest of the stuff will fall into place. I really believe we’re going to win a state championship this year, and I won’t go so far as guaranteeing it, but it’s what I expect from our team. I know that without the other ten guys on my offense and the guys on defense, it doesn't matter how many stars I have or what I am ranked. I'm waiting for week one and that's all."

Clark's physical prowess, his arm strength and pocket presence are what got him noticed and offered by Ohio State as a high school freshman, but it's his attitude and humility that will keep him successful when the lights go out. That's when the real work takes place.

"I've been preparing so much for this season," Clark said. "There's been a ton of film watching to learn better coverage recognition and drill work to get my feet better in the pocket. I'm also working on getting faster when I am outside of the pocket, too. I feel like there's been a lot of growth, personally, and I'm realizing that I have all the tools to accomplish my goals. I know I am going to have a target on my back as a Buckeye commit, but when it comes to football I don't really get nervous or feel pressure. I feel completely "synced" with the moment and my head is focused on the goal: winning championships. But, if I get three state championship rings, I bet that ranking will change a bit (laughs)."

As recruiting changes and the role of commitments turns to fellow-recruiters, Clark continues to take the realms and assist the coaching staff in whatever way he can. He has no desire to play with anyone but the country's best players and he's got a few guys at the top of his list. Getting them to Columbus with him is a priority.

"I'll definitely be at Ohio State a lot this fall, and a couple practices soon," the Buckeyes' future quarterback added. "I'm talking to as many guys as I can in my class, letting them know how special it is to be a Buckeye. I spend a lot of time talking with Josh Myers, Trevon Grimes and Richard LeCounte. It's very important that I lead the class in that way, and I try to talk to them about this is their second family, and that the people at Ohio State care about us as much as their own blood does. I think our class of 2017 will be the top class in the country. We're going after elite players." 

58 Comments

Comments

mh277907's picture

I think our class of 2017 will be the top class in the country. We're going after elite players.

I have a funny suspicion that if we don't knock Alabama off as the number one overall class in 2016, we will certainly do it in 2017.

buckeyebobcat

+8 HS
brunstar's picture

Not until oversigning is banned.  We have to follow scholarship number regulations in the B1G.

+1 HS
InTressITrust's picture

This is said almost every year but I think this 2017 class is going to be special. A pocket QB committed early. The kid is 100% a Buckeye from birth so little to non chance of flipping. Is see him building a great receiving core by his recruiting efforts.

"I'm not going to lie. We're anxious to be a part of a matchup like that. It's two states that love the game of football." -Jim Tressel

+4 HS
305Buck's picture

Trevon Grimes and Donovan Peoples-Jones are both stud WRs and have Ohio State as their leader. Judson is another stud who may end up switching to WR or RB at the next level, and have Ohio State as his leader.

Murph32's picture

Don't forget about Danny Davis. 

mh277907's picture

Does Peoples-Jones actually have us as his leader or does it only seem that way because we have already offered and UM hasn't? I believe he is a UM legacy so I would imagine it will be an uphill battle.

buckeyebobcat

FROMTHE18's picture

Keep developing young man. Looking forward to seeing how his career unfolds. 

Oakland Buckeye's picture

Man this kid could really be special - love how he thrives on competition & wants to be ready day one for Urbz. I expect prolly an early enrollee too?

+1 HS
ITWASME's picture

Who is the #1 pro style QB in that class?

+1 HS
FitzBuck's picture

Clark.....Oh you were asking who 247 has listed at #1.  No idea because they are wrong and this mistake will be short lived.  

Fitzbuck | Toledo - Ohio's right armpit | "A troll by any other name is still a troll".

+17 HS
ITWASME's picture

Yeah I was basically asking how you could rate someone ahead of him

+3 HS
SnooBucki's picture

This kid gets it and at an early age. Can't wait to see what he's going to transform into after being so good already.

kyo's picture

As Zorak would say, "Goooood goood"

+13 HS
shadybuck's picture

I wish i could give this more than one buckeye, great reference application

+2 HS
Gametime's picture

Space Ghost Coast to Coast was gold late nights on the Midnight Run!

Between goals and achievement is discipline and consistency. That fire you have inside to do whatever you love is placed there by God. Now go claim it. ~ Denzel Washington

SafetyGuy's picture

This kid seems to have more maturity as an incoming high school Sophomore than most "NFL-ready" Juniors and Seniors have.  It sounds as if Urban and Herman have a great base to work from with this kid.

O-H-

+4 HS
Tater_Schroeder's picture

I'd say he has more maturity than some NFL players.

How Firm Thy Friendship

+5 HS
TUNBUCK89's picture

I do appreciate your optimism thinking Herman would be working with this kid.

+3 HS
Nutty's picture

Wow, he looks more like a college sophomore than a high school sophomore.

+1 HS
German Buckeye's picture

We need to get Josh Meyers - Ohio kid and #3 overall?  Must get a left tackle to protect our stud QB.

+3 HS
WezBuck28's picture

He is left handed, so we would need a stud right tackle..

+6 HS
thevman19's picture

My son is very good friends with Josh. They have been school buddies for years. This is gonna be a tough battle to land Josh.

The road to nowhere leads to me...

nrbuckguy's picture

Any ideas then on who else Josh finds intriguing, just kind of wondering if he grew up a buckeye fan or not

In Urban We Trust

305Buck's picture

From what I have read Josh did not grow up a Buckeye fan. His dad played at Kentucky and his brother is currently there, but I've read multiple places that its a slight change he ends up there. I also read that he favors the SEC, growing up watching Bama, LSU and such, also likes FSU and of course Notre Dame is always in on elite Ohio players.

+1 HS
thevman19's picture

Huge Bama fan. Not saying he won't be a Buckeye or will go to Bama. He is an Ohio kid with no real connection to OSU. Going to be a slug fest to get him in Scarlet & Grey. My son is on the case though...

The road to nowhere leads to me...

+1 HS
Jeremy Birmingham's picture

Thanks for the input. I know the Buckeyes feel very good about where they stand with Myers right now.

thevman19's picture

I'm sure they do & rightfully so.

The road to nowhere leads to me...

Buckeye Rocket Sci's picture

This kid is better composed and has more class than some grown men that I know. Such a shame we have to wait so long for him! Best of luck to him as he moves forward!

"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence" - Calvin Coolidge

apack614's picture

He is a good kid with a great family! You all know the Borens???? Next trio is going to be the Clarks check out his brother Caden! @rico_suave330 on instagram!

EDIT: @wallstreetclark on twitter

"If we worked half as hard as our band, we'd be champions." - Woody Hayes

Tater_Schroeder's picture

...and with the Clarks, we won't have a temporary Michigan hiccup!

How Firm Thy Friendship

apack614's picture

That is a definate! No chance at all of one of these kids going to Michigan!

"If we worked half as hard as our band, we'd be champions." - Woody Hayes

Mortc15's picture

The present and future looks bright in Columbus! Helps that Meyer is locked in to staying for at least the next 4 years! 

Buck-I4Life

buckeyedude's picture

Is there any way we can get this young man to enroll early? Like about two years early, for 2015? High school is overrated.

 

 

+3 HS
Myc24's picture

I don't want to be "that guy," but isn't projecting a high school freshman-soon-to-be-sophomore to be a college stud the same thing as projecting a freshmen college player to be a star in the NFL?  I hope the kid is great, and I trust the coaches - but he's what? 15 or 16? He seems to have all the qualities you want, but it's a little early to be assembling the welcome parade, no? 

"Because I couldn't go for three!"  - Wayne Woodrow Hayes

+6 HS
Maestro's picture

I really hope the kid has a very strong support system around him.  I cannot imagine being 16 and having the kind of exposure and pressure that has already been placed on this young man.

vacuuming sucks

+3 HS
CuseGirl's picture

20 comments down the page and somebody finally pumps the brakes.

Also, his highlight tape doesn't show if he can run and Meyer's offense needs the QB to be relatively mobile. I'm glad he appears to be accurate from the pocket and hits the deep ball but I didn't see the read option or designed runs for him. So I'll reserve my enthusiasm until his junior year is complete.

And you know THIS....man!

Maestro's picture

Gotta lose that visor though.

vacuuming sucks

+2 HS
whiskeyjuice's picture

But this kid sounds like he is determined t be a winner and seems very determined to do what t takes to prepare himself to win out the starting QB job at OSU. We all know that star performers have the ability to set fashion trends. RGIII could rock the socks because he was a winner and a performer. Those socks wouldn't have the same "pizazz" with a Zwick or Stanley Jackson. If this kid can perform as well as he articulates at his young age, then it's quite possible that he could make visors fashionable.

"Championships are not won on Saturdays in November. Championships are won on Tuesdays in August." -- Kerry Combs

+3 HS
buckeyedude's picture

If this kid can perform as well as he articulates at his young age, then it's quite possible that he could make visors fashionable.

Steve Spurrier approves this message.

 

 

+3 HS
Jbucks's picture

this kid is getting all this hype purely on his ability already as a HS sophmore to be,his body growth and his cannon. Hes getting all this hype purely for potential and tge way weve seen him continue to work and learn and grow this kid is already special its purely speculation what this kid will be able to do. with that said IF HE ISNT #1 QB BY HIS SENIOR YEAR AND TOP 5 PLAYER NATIONALLY I WILL START RIOTS!!!!!!! haha GOBUCKEYES

Light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it-John 1:5 SEC meet Ohio State, Ohio State meet SEC

Mortc15's picture

Agree with your points. Every player gets rated purely on potential, whether it's recruiting or getting drafted. Until the player gets into a new place with a new team and faces around them, you can't possibly know how well they'll handle the change. That's why top recruits and draft picks fizzle and low rated players shine: you just never know. 

Buck-I4Life

dubjayfootball90's picture

Wow. This kid is wise and humble way beyond his years. This is something I expect to hear/read from a player who has been in the program 1-2 years, not a freaking Sophomore-to-be. He is going to be special. Very special

You can feed a bobcat all the chili it wants. That don't mean it's going to crap out diamonds.

+1 HS
iball's picture

I remember another cant miss QB from that school....didnt pan out too well

“There’s one thing I have learned through all my adventures and conquests - it’s that some people are just wired for success. I had no choice when it came to being great - I just am great.” – Kenny Powers

+2 HS
Knarcisi's picture

Mechanics were never right with Zwick. Problems with setting his feet and threw wobblers. I saw it in a high school all star game in Columbus. 

+1 HS
OldColumbusTown's picture

Exactly.

Zwick was a big name/hot commodity mostly because of his production beginning with his time at Orrville, and then after transferring.  He was a big, athletic kid who played well at a young age, but he did not have the pure and necessary QB skills needed to thrive at the next level.

Danny Clark seems to be a kid who is aware of the hype around him, but who does not let it affect him negatively.  Instead, he seems determined to prove the hype is justified, or that he can be even better than the hype.  Either way, his maturity and work ethic at this age points to a first-class leader who any team can rally around.  Gladly, OSU will be that team in a few short years.

ibuck's picture

Zwick might not have had great mechanics, but he was a leader and an enthusiastic Buckeye. As I recall, he led the Buckeyes to some big wins when he got his chances.

Our honor defend, we will fight to the end !

If you can't win your conference, just quietly accept your non-playoff bowl game.

Knarcisi's picture

Feels like Clark has played here 2 years already. 

+1 HS
BeatTTUN's picture

So we are set at QB through 2020

excellent

Go Buckeyes Beat Michigan

+2 HS
Dread's picture

Maybe all the way through 2024. This could be Bosa 2.0. 

Kid is 6' 185 before the 7th grade. I think this is a family of clones. 

Loving the family pipelines.

+1 HS
Buckloving's picture

I love this kid and can't wait for us to get a pro style QB.............that's when the top recievers are going to seriously consider us

bobbyd

DCNick's picture

I don't know what to make out of the fact that he is a pro-style QB. I thought that a dual threat QB was a core part of Urban's offensive vision. However, I think that by 2017 we will have plenty of the athletes that Urban loves. A big QB who can distribute the rock will be welcomed by fans like me who freak out at some of the missed throws from Braxton. But how does losing the QB running ability affect everything else?

cinserious's picture

I feel ya' but, dude! It's Danny freaking Clark! Urban's gonna make it work and like Clark said, he's going to work on his out-of-pocket foot speed. Ever since Troy Smith, there has been a fundamental shift at OSU to recruit, develop, and gameplan for 'mobile' Qbs.

Notable exceptions (in recruiting at least): Rob Schoenhoft from ST. X  (transferred to like Rhode Island) and that Buckeye legacy from Chicago who transferred to Hawaii (sorry, can't remember his name).  

Editor's note: If I were to transfer to a lame team because I'm a pro-style qb who committed to a dual-threat school, I'd much rather end up in Hawaiiiii!

Life's daily struggle is choosing between saying F--ck-it, or soldiering on with your responsibilities.  

BroJim's picture

This kid. . . Watch out

I season my simple food with hunger

Jbucks's picture

yeah a pro style QB is a change of pace but with all the speed and talent were gathering we wont need to have a 4.40 speed guy behind Center. Also with a good offensiveline if a play breaks down he wont scamper for 30 yards but still will be good enough for 10 plus he has alot of time to work on his speed, he wont be a 4.40 guy but let him run with the woody bands for a few years he could become a 4.7-4.9 guy which isnt anything to scoff at when your his size.

Light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it-John 1:5 SEC meet Ohio State, Ohio State meet SEC

nburns18's picture

I'm gonna have to try and make it to one of his games this year. If he works out like I think he will, he could be the best QB we've had at Ohio State under Meyer, including Braxton. Troy Smith level guy

"You win with people." -Woody Hayes

osu_killernuts's picture

I watched Danny Clark play in the first high school varsity game last year.  He came in to start the 3rd quarter due to an injury with their starting QB.  As a freshman, playing his first varsity game, you could tell he was special.  He throws a pretty deep ball and can zip it in there on short and intermediate routes.  He is not Justin Zwick.  Danny has three years to hone in his skills on the high school level and still has at least 3 years at OSU.  I know it's the hype machine and I hate the hype machine, but this young man has the potential and upside to be something very special.

Heck, 6'3 and 210+ as an incoming sophomore high school QB....he may turn into a 6'5 250 beast at QB by the time 2017 comes around.  I'm thankful he is 100% buckeye....

Note: I absolutely hate the Massillon Tiger high school football program, but I have to give credit where credit is due.  

Hate is a strong word.  I hate ESecPN almost as much as I hate the whole SEC conference which is a close second to TTUN.

HoopHal's picture

The only way we will beat Alabama and Satan in recruiting is if they ban over  signing and we provide recruits girl friends and family members with jobs. I thought the the NCAA several years ago ruled that a school could only sign a maximum of 25 recruits per year.