T.C. Williams junior lineman Jeremiah Clarke plans to make his college decision by late May, which would end a whirlwind recruitment period that did not begin in earnest until early this year.
“It came real fast, real quick,” said the 6-foot-4, 276-pound Clarke, who has 16 offers, most recently from Miami and Connecticut last week and Tennessee early Monday afternoon. He said Sunday night that he expects a visit Monday from Penn State assistant Larry Johnson (a former head coach at T.C.) and also expects Virginia Tech assistant Bud Foster to drop by this week.
Clarke is being recruited both for offense and for defense, although more the latter after recording 11.5 sacks last season. He is taking a whatever-it-takes-to-get-on-the-field approach. T.C. Coach Dennis Randolph said that Clarke can play any line position on either side of the ball and that he even filled in at center one game last season.
Clarke has made several trips, including to Penn State, Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina State (the first school to offer him) and plans to visit North Carolina this weekend and Miami later in the month.
“Once his film got out and once he received his first major offer, it’s just kind of taken off,” said Clarke’s father, James, a 1985 T.C. Williams graduate who coaches freshman boys’ basketball at the school.
Clarke’s emergence as a big-time recruit has benefited other Titans. Junior linebacker Malik Carney holds offers from Toledo and Western Michigan, and several other rising seniors likely will get long looks based in part off the attention paid to Clarke.
“I tell all my teammates that a coach could come in one day looking at me and leave with you in their mind,” said Clarke, who is considering majoring in engineering. “Go as hard as you can in the weight room, come in during the offseason. You never know who might come and look at you.”
“Jeremiah getting a lot of exposure brought exposure to me,” said the 6-foot-3, 215-pound Carney, who plans to attend an N.C. State camp in June.
Carney made 79 tackles and had five quarterback hurries last season.