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June 24, 2013

Clark gets nod from Tech

When Tyler (Texas) Chapel Hill's Joseph Clark took the phone call from RedRaiderSports.com he had to laugh.

News travels fast and the latest news on Texas Tech's recruiting front is the 5-foot-9, 180-pound safety and running back with a state championship already under his belt is now an official target with an offer in hand.

About an hour after receiving his first Big 12 offer, Clark was still riding an emotional high. That obviously bodes well for the Red Raiders.

"My coach called me and told me to call Trey Haverty," Clark, who is being recruited as a defensive back, said. "I called him and he was excited. He was just like, 'I've been waiting to do this for a long time. We'd love to have you. All the coaches here love you. I don't care if you're 5-foot-9, you're a player. We want you here.'

"I'm telling you, I'm excited. I'm excited."

Haverty established contact with Clark when he was a coach at TCU. Consequently, Clark was expecting an offer from the Horned Frogs and has watched them closely.

Things change though. Tech's stock is soaring and TCU's value took a hit when Haverty left to become the safeties coach in Lubbock.

"Still, I don't know that much about Texas Tech," Clark said. "I've known Coach Haverty for a couple of years now since he was at TCU. I really like him and all the coaches at TCU. I really wanted to go to TCU. Now that he's at Tech, I've gotten to know the coaches there.

"Kliff Kingsbury is real cool. Coach Kevin Curtis. I like them all and now I'm planning a visit. Coach Haverty was my strongest link at TCU until he rolled to Texas Tech and then TCU just dropped me. He really started recruiting me there and got the coaches around me."

The Chapel Hill prospect had a great camp in Longview two weeks ago. He demonstrated elite agility, speed and good hands.

He left expecting an offer from the Red Raiders in the following days after Kingsbury singled him out toward the end of the camp for a compliment.

"I'm excited about my day," he said back then. "I met Coach Kingsbury for the first time today and he was real cool. He told me to keep getting at it. They told me to stay in touch. Kingsbury said he'd tell me straight up if it was a no."

Clark has a lot of experience. He got called up to varsity as a freshman at cornerback, and then played safety and running back his sophomore and junior years. He helped Chapel Hill win the 2011 3A Division I State Championship and then anchored the team as one of two returning starters in 2012.

There's no doubt Tech has some advantages to his other offers; Air Force, Texas State, McNeese State and Incarnate Word.

"I can't even explain," Clark, still in the comprehension phase, said. "I've been waiting since I was little to have these offers to come in. It's a childhood dream to play in the Big 12. That's big football right there. I'm excited.

"I'm excited."

The ship has arrived. Will Clark board it?

The athlete says he wants to make a decision in the near future, before the high school football season begins.

"I'm ready to commit somewhere," Clark said. "I'm thinking I'll wait and talk it over with my family and wait until probably like when football season starts. Then I'll commit."


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