An LSU Tigers recruiting class that could rank among the all-time greats by the end of the process finally added a defensive lineman to the mix on Monday with the long-awaited pledge of Oklahoma City (Okla.) Douglass defensive end Deondre Clark.
Three months ago, Clark said he wanted to play in the SEC, all but ending his recruitment by the home-state Oklahoma Sooners, who so far have yet to land a defensive end in the 2014 class approaching Clark's quality. Then Clark named the Tigers his leader in April and though he visited Texas A&M shortly after, all the 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions over the months since picked LSU as his eventual destination.
A consensus four-star prospect, Clark sits just outside the nation's top 100 players in the 247Sports composite rankings at no. 125. He's also the no. 10 strongside defensive end in the country and the second-best player in Oklahoma, according to those rankings. Prior to his commitment, Clark held at least 17 offers from some of the top national programs, including Alabama, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, and USC.
Here are thoughts on Clark from SB Nation Recruiting's scouting report on the four-star defensive end:
Against the run, Clark can at times get displacement against his opponent simply due to his leverage off the ball and shooting his hands into the chest of the offensive lineman. On other plays, he can stack and then separate to make plays, as well as pursue plays down the line of scrimmage, showing off his motor.
As a pass-rusher, Clark makes plays from inside the tackle by slicing through gaps to attack the quarterback and also has some skill as a bull-rusher, though he mostly displaces and then separates reasonably quickly in those situations rather than pushing a tackle all the way back into the quarterback.
Aside from something of a swim move when penetrating from a five-tech position, Clark doesn't show a lot of moves in his pass-rushing arsenal during the season, so he may need some time develop them in college. However, he can also get off so fast as an edge rusher that opposing tackles have a difficult time getting their hands on him.
Clark is now the 11th pledge in the LSU class that currently ranks 12th nationally, but is expected to move up considerably when head coach Les Miles and company receive pledges from players like Leonard Fournette, Speedy Noil, Malachi Dupre, Brandon Harris, and a handful of others including a couple of talented strongside defensive ends in Davon Godchaux and Gerald Willis. Industry consensus says that all of those players are heavily favored to end up purple and gold, with many Crystal Ball predictions unanimous or extremely close to it.
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