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June 23, 2013

Is Clark the next big thing?

Follow Noon | Givler | Axelrod

Massillon (Ohio) Washington quarterback Danny Clark is yet to take a varsity snap, throw a varsity pass, or even put on a varsity football uniform. That's because Clark is a class of 2017 prospect that won't start his freshman football season until August. Still, there is already so much buzz around Clark from the eighth grade YouTube videos to the impressive college camp performances that there is already a feeling that he could be the next big thing in the state of Ohio.

The 6-foot-3, 205-pound prospect was recently in Columbus (Ohio) taking part in the two-day Ohio State camp, a camp in which he was easily among the top handful of performers.

"My overall impressions is that this was a great camp, it's the best camp I've been to," said Clark. "I love working with coach Tom Herman, he's a great quarterback coach and I had a lot of fun too so that's always good. I felt like I came away with some great coaching."

For two straight days, Clark threw under Herman's watchful eye and says he took a lot away from working with the Ohio State offensive coordinator.

"He's very energized and he's a very insightful coach," Clark said. "He'd tell me one thing and I'd implement that and I'd throw it perfect, just way better than I did before."

Clark didn't need much pushing to go to the Ohio State camp but his time there made his fondness for the Ohio State football program grow even more.

"I grew up loving Ohio State so Ohio State is definitely my main school, I bleed Scarlet and Gray," Clark said. "Just from (the two-day camp) being able to get hands on coaching from Tom Herman made me love it even more because he's just a great coach. The tradition and how our coach Paul Brown, what he did here and his accomplishments at Ohio State, I just love it."

With college camps nearly in the books, it will soon be back to reality for Clark. The reality is that with all of the hype, he still has not won the starting quarterback position at Massillon, that battle will be decided in August. In the mean time, he's doing everything he can to prepare him for that challenge.

"There's definitely a lot of expectations for what I need to do this year, especially with playing at Massillon," he said. "I don't really feel any pressure; I just know what I have to do. It would mean everything (to win the starting job). I'd be the first player at Massillon to ever start varsity (as a freshman) at a position other than kicker. I think about it every day and I work every day to try to get there, it would be amazing."

Givler's Ohio State Camp Breakdown:

At the risk of bestowing too much hype and unfair pressure on a kid that is just entering his freshman season, there is still a long way for Clark to go. He has four years to develop his physical gifts into a big-time college football prospect.

With that being said, it was pretty special what he was doing out there on the practice fields at Ohio State this past week. Physically, Clark is built like a rising senior, it is hard to believe he is only entering his freshman season. The lefty throws a crisp, tight spiral with excellent velocity, especially for a player so young. Clark also showed nice touch on the deep ball during his time at camp.

Athletically, Clark is also a well above average athlete for a freshman. As he develops even more physically he should turn himself into a pretty good threat with his legs and his size and strength will make him a load for defenders to try and bring down in the open field.

Clark occasionally drops his arm slot a little bit so being a little more consistent with his release point is something that he can fine tune over the next few years and he does have a tendency to over throw a little bit on the intermediate stuff instead of taking a little bit off and delivering a more accurate throw. All of these things are easily correctable and when you are trying to nit-pick on a kid with four years of high school football left, you know you are looking at a potentially special prospect.

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