Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports
Part 12 of Go Joe Bruin’s recruiting profile series goes back to the defensive side of the ball to focus in on defensive tackle Kenneth Clark.
There have already been a number of elite defenders profiled (like Priest Willis), but don’t be fooled by Clark’s placement in the middle of the pack—this kid’s a beast.
The 4-star out of Rialto is the No. 22 DT in the nation, as well as the No. 33 overall prospect from California, according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings.
UCLA was lucky to land his commitment, especially considering how many schools were fighting for his services. Clark had offers from seven other Pac-12 schools, as well as Nebraska, Miami (FL) and Boise State, among others. For Jim Mora to lock up such a highly sought after lineman is impressive, and it’s a rousing victory in the local recruiting scene.
At 6’2″, 280 pounds, Clark is slightly undersized compared to the current UCLA DTs, but he more than makes up for it in tenacity and grit. Clark is a textbook bull rusher, exploding off the snap and plowing through the center of the offensive line. His ability to drive back the opposition compliments the Bruins’ frequent edge blitzes well, and should find good use in Westwood.
However, Clark will probably have to wait a year to put his skills on display. With three returners at tackle, including senior starter Seali’i Epenesa and 2012 recruiting gem Ellis McCarthy, it seems like Clark is destined to redshirt and preserve some eligibility. With a full year of physical training under S&C coach Sal Alosi, Clark could develop into the next great wrecking ball on the Bruins D-Line.
If Mora and Co. continue to recruit defensive talent akin to Clark, the nasty UCLA defenses of lore could make a comeback quickly, and that’s reason for excitement. What’s better than seeing a QB get creamed by a bunch of baby blue Bruins anyway?