Posted by Bryan Fischer
Oklahoma State has been a school known mostly for their offense under head coach Mike Gundy. That doesn't mean he can't recruit good defensive players however, as this year's opportunistic defense can attest to. Wichita (Kan.) defensive end Trace Clark was identified early as a priority by the coaching staff and their hard work in selling him on the program paid off Thursday with a commitment.
"Just the feeling that I got when I was down at my official visit," Clark told OStateIllustrated.com of what all factored into his decision. "I liked the place, I liked the coaches, and I liked the players also and so I just had a good feeling from that trip. I came home and sat down with my parents and talked about each and every one of the schools and what I liked about each of them and how they were different. Then on Sunday about a week after my visit we just really looked at it hard and decided that Oklahoma State would be the best place for me and was the best option out of all of those schools."
The 6-foot-5, 245-pound end had offers from across the country but had narrowed his focus on Purdue, Stanford, Iowa and, of course, Oklahoma State. The Cowboys staff recruited Clark heavily throughout the process and was a key factor in him deciding to commit.
"From a football perspective I think the coaching really played a big part because I was comfortable with Coach Gundy and I really like Coach Young the position coach," he said. He's been calling me each week and we talk and I really think that I could play well under him and he could get me where I need to be. He said that the possibility for playing time my first year is there but they're not going to give anything to me so it'll be mine to work and fight for and I thought that could also be good for me."
Clark becomes the 16th commitment for Oklahoma State's class of 2012 and fourth defensive end headed to Stillwater. He posted 106 tackles and six sacks as a senior this season.
"Not yet a dominating player but shows that kind of potential," analyst Tom Lemming said. "He possesses good lateral quickness, is excellent in pursuit, is a sure tackler, can disengage quickly, and shows a big-time closing burst. Not super fast but very, very quick."