April 20, 2008

Clarke impressed with the Bucks

The Ohio State spring game is in the books and players are returning to various parts of the state and of the country after a wet game at the Horseshoe. One player that made his first visit to Columbus (Ohio) was Frederick (Md.) cornerback Dominic Clarke. The 5-foot-10, 177-pounder enjoyed his brief visit to town and is looking forward to making a return trip.

"It was nice," Clarke said. "Ohio State is definitely the truth."

Clarke not only excels on the football field but is also an honors student at his high school. The senior to be just received his last report card and got a 4.0 on it to go along with a 3.75 overall GPA. Not bad for a student who is taking advanced placement classes along with balancing a busy schedule with football.

Rainy weather in Columbus didn't dampen Clarke's outlook of how things went during the spring game and was impressed with everything that he saw during the controlled scrimmage during his first trip to Ohio Stadium.

"Yeah it was my first time in Columbus," Clarke said. "The stadium was the biggest thing I have seen I have ever seen and it's wild that it seats a hundred thousand-plus people."

While there might be a debate among many who were at the spring game if there truly were 76-thousand fans in attendance it was enough to make a strong impression on Clarke.

"They had a lot of people even though it was a spring game," Clarke said. "They still had a big crowd. I was surprised how many people they had for (it)."

Clarke also had a chance to look around the Ohio State campus but came away equally impressed with what he saw on a quick tour.

"I have a friend who goes to school there and he showed me around campus and everything," Clarke said. "It was great and it was bigger than I thought. The size and the environment… I like a big school."

Clarke had a chance to spend some time with fellow Maryland product Darrell Givens and enjoyed spending time talking with the newest Ohio State commit. With the recent signing of Lamaar Thomas Clarke joked that Maryland football is making a mark on the Ohio State map.

The invitation to the spring game came as a little bit of a shock to Clarke who didn't even know that the Buckeyes were really even looking at him.

"I didn't even know they knew about me," Clarke said. "But coach Darrell Hazell showed up at my school and I didn't even know he was coming."

Clarke came on to the scene at the Army All-America combine in San Antonio (Texas) where he earned first team defense honors. What does Clarke think are the strengths to his game?

"I think my strengths are my speed and definitely my technique," Clarke said. "Even if I am (defending) someone that is faster than my speed my technique can help me make up for it."

The speedy Maryland corner had a chance to have breakfast with coach Hazell and then got to talk with Jim Tressel which meant a lot to him. With so many players in attendance the time of the Ohio State head coach was limited and Clarke felt honored to get some personal attention from coach Tressel. What did the Ohio State coaches say to Clarke during his visit?

"They want me to come back in May and want to start watching more film on me on Monday," Clarke said. "Then at the end of May they are going to let me know."

Clarke currently doesn't have any offers but has a lot of interest from several programs and it shouldn't be long before Clarke starts to see the offers roll in.

At a recent trip to the weight room Clarke maxed out on the bench press at 300 pounds and squatted 430 pounds. As a junior Clarke had 38 tackles to go with three interceptions and five passes defended.

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