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."