Nov 30, 2013; Charlottesville, VA, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies head coach Frank Beamer talks on the sidelines against the Virginia Cavaliers in the second quarter at Scott Stadium. The Hokies won 16-6. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
The Virginia Tech Hokies have five commits so far in their Class of 2015 which are led by 4-star cornerback Mook Reynolds, 3-star cornerback DuWayne Johnson, and 3-star defensive lineman Harry Lewis. Harry Lewis is also the only Hokie commit from the state of Virginia and after losing 4-star DE Clelin Ferrell to Clemson, Virginia Tech will be looking to keep many of Virginia’s top players in-state and headed to Blacksburg. Austin Clark is a four-star offensive tackle from Rockbridge County High School in Rockbridge, Virginia and the Hokies are one of four finalist for him along with Ohio State, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Clark would be a big addition to the Hokies’ Class of 2015 as Rivals, ESPN, and 247 Sports all have him as a four-star prospect. Clark is ranked as the 25th best OT by the 247 Composite, 16th by 247’s traditional rankings, 32nd by ESPN, and 9th by Rivals. Clark would be a big time pickup for the Hokies and a guy who definitely could contend for playing time early on. The bigger news is the fact that Clark will make his decision on June 12th. Austin Clark has been timed in the 40 yard dash with a time of 5.10 on Hudl and 5.51 by ESPN so there is a big gape but Clark has shown some speed which can be a sign of an offensive tackle’s athleticism. Clark’s tape does back up the fact that he is a solid athlete who can get down field and help open up holes for the running back or be able to prevent a speed rusher from doing any damage. On tape, Austin Clark absolutely dominates opponents and is an extremely powerful offensive tackle that will make sure his guy is out of the play. Clark ends up overpowering opposing defenders so much on a lot of plays that those players end up on the ground within a second or 5 to 10 yards down the field. One thing that Clark does need some work on is his footwork as it does seem heavy but Clark has the talent to be a very good left tackle at the collegiate level. Of the four teams that are still in the hunt for Austin Clark, Ohio State is the obvious longshot here as the Buckeyes are the only one of the four remaining finalists that Clark has not taken an unofficial visit to recently. The Buckeyes obviously bring a lot of prestige but it seems likely that Clark will not be headed to the Big 10 and will end up with the Hokies or in the SEC.
Oct 12, 2013; Dallas, TX, USA; Texas Longhorns assistant head coach Stacy Searels on the sidelines during the game against the Oklahoma Sooners for the Red River Rivalry. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
For a while, Tennessee has been the frontrunner and were the recipient of Clark’s final visit but there are some signs that both South Carolina and Virginia Tech have made it a three-way tie or changed the situation completely. South Carolina received the first of Clark’s three recent unofficial visits and the Gamecocks are one of two programs that are seen as having warmer interest from Clark with the other being the Hokies. However, the Gamecocks have zero predictions in their favor for Clark on 247 Sports’ Crystal Ball and they seem like the third choice. The Hokies have been making a big surge for Austin Clark and had their unofficial visit with Clark on June 3rd, one day before Clark made his visit to Knoxville. Clark’s visit to Blacksburg seemed to go very well and the four latest predictions on Clark for 247 Sports’ Crystal Ball have him choosing the Hokies. Here are some interesting comments from Clark that he recently made to Thekeyplay.com about Virginia Tech OL Coach Stacy Searels.
"“Coach Searels is a great guy and a great coach,” Clark said. “He tells you how it is and he knows his stuff. “I’m really happy with the visit. . . .He definitely made it clear they need tackles.”"
Stacy Searels has been the main recruiter for Austin Clark and it seems like it might just pay off big for the Hokies as they have gained a lot of momentum in their pursuit of the Virginian offensive tackle. The Hokies have been surging in their pursuit of Austin Clark and they know that Clark could be a very important addition to their Class of 2015. Currently, it seems wide open between the Hokies, Tennessee, and South Carolina for Clark but the Hokies seem to be like they are the slight favorite. Follow us on Twitter @GobblerFighting and sign up for our newsletter for the latest news and analysis on the Hokies.