Penn State QB Darryl Clark: Interview/Profile

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By Paul M. Banks

In recent years, Penn State deity/head coach Joe Paterno and company have gotten away from the traditional I-formation sets in their base offense and today rely on the “Spread HD.” PSU quarterbacks today are more often mobile, dual threats (Zack Mills, Michael Robinson) instead of the classic drop back passers of yesteryear (Kerry Collins, Todd Blackledge). Like President Barack Obama said, “it’s not enough to change the players, you have to change the game.” All-Big Ten quarterback Darryl Clark is the latest in the line of total offense generating machines being produced in Beaver Stadium.

Darryl Lawrence Clark is a 6-2 233 pound senior from Youngstown, Ohio. He was quite loquacious at Big Ten Media Day, which should serve him well as he works towards his second college degree in journalism- he finished his first degree in telecommunications last December. When asked who might win the Big Ten, if Penn State does not, Clark responded: “I don’t even want to answer that because I want to win the Big Ten. The conference is so unpredictable; you never know who the sleeper teams are, who’s going to creep up. Not to sound cocky or nothing like that, but we were predicted {in ‘08} what 5th? 6th? And we won it, so you just never know.” This season most experts are predicting PSU to finish 2nd.

Last year, he did sort of come out of nowhere to accomplish A LOT. He became just the second QB in Nittany Lion history to become an All-Conference first team quarterback as he threw for 2,592 yards (third highest in school history) while tossing just 6 interceptions against 19 TDs, leading Nittany Nation to a 11-2 record, the aforementioned confernce championship and a Rose Bowl appearance. He was among the best passers in the nation, but also ran for 9 TDs on the ground and 282 yards. The 29 touchdowns he accounted for was a school record. If there were fantasy leagues for college players, Clark would no doubt be a first round pick.

Of course, last year Clark benefited from having a great supporting cast and a stellar offensive line. In 2009, questions on the O-Line surface from JoePa and football experts alike. “I’ve been fortunate enough to have a great offensive line coach at every level, so I’ve never worried about one player not coming to play,” Clark said. Aside from Center Steven Wisniewski and Tackle Dennis Landolt, the big boys up front this year are highly uncertain and far from intimidating.

Clark expressed no concern. “You just to have to trust in your guys that they’ll make the plays for you., they’ll step up for you, they make that block for you in tough situations like 3rd & 1. Our O-Line has to make that push for our running backs,” he said. He’ll need his hogs in front of him to step up if he hopes to duplicate (or perhaps build upon and grow) 2008’s success. Last year, Clark was a semifinalist for the Davey O’Brien and Maxwell awards. He’ll no doubt be on the watch list for those awards, as well as All-American, Unitas Award and the Silver Football. He currently projects as a 6th-7th rounder in the NFL Draft.

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Comments

  1. paulmbanks says

    I still think Juice Williams is much better, but then again people say I have a man-crush on Juice

  2. Melissa W. says

    I am positive you have a man crush on Juice, Mr. Banks, however, Darryl Clark seems poised to grow on you. Of course, that won’t happen if the O-line comes out looking more like a bunch of Hello Kitty figurines instead of fierce Lions.

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