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High school notebook: Douglass' Deondre Clark commits to LSU

Douglass star chooses Tigers over Notre Dame, Southern Cal, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. Also, Broken Arrow quarterback Coleman Key commits to Colorado State
Oklahoman Published: June 24, 2013

Douglass' Deondre Clark commits to LSU

There's nothing better than having options — and Deondre Clark had plenty.

Douglass' 6-foot-3, 240-pound defensive end ultimately found himself choosing between two college football programs that have won half of the BCS national championships over the last decade, LSU and Alabama.

And on Monday night, Clark picked LSU, calling the coaching staff to give them his verbal commitment, as first reported by

“I wanted to commit on my visit to their spring game,” Clark said. “But I had to come back home and talk to my mom about it. I took my time, but it felt like the right school for me.

“It feels like home when I'm down there. I really wanted to play in the SEC, because it's all about football down there, and that's what I love.”

Clark, rated No. 2 on The Oklahoman's Super 30 recruit rankings for 2014, had 99 tackles and a school-record 22 quarterback sacks as a junior. He had offers from virtually every major program in the country. Others on the list included Notre Dame, Southern Cal, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and several more.

“He was going back and forth between LSU and Alabama,” Clark's mother, Dorshell Clark, said. “He wanted to get it done before the season got too close.

“Alabama hadn't made as much contact with him, and he just decided that's what he wanted to do.”

Deondre Clark is the younger brother of Stephen Clark, an incoming freshman on the basketball team at Oklahoma State and one of the most prolific scorers in state history. Stephen Clark scored over 3,000 points and won four state championships at Douglass.

Deondre Clark is the second Douglass football player to commit to a Division I program, along with offensive lineman Mildren Montgomery, who committed to Texas Tech earlier this month.

Clark is the 18th Oklahoma prospect committed to a D-I program in the 2014 class, which is proving to be one of the state's deepest recruiting classes in years.

“I'm glad to get this done now,” Clark said. “I feel like I can focus on the season and get our young guys ready to have a good year.”

Merritt working fast as

new Norman North coach

Bryan Merritt made 79 phone calls in his first two days on the job at Norman North.

For a boys basketball coach being hired in the first week of June — right when summer leagues and camps are picking up — Merritt had to work quickly.

“I started calling players and parents, trying to get everybody organized,” said Merritt, who previously served as the head coach at Chickasha. “We started off a little behind, but it's been good. We've been having about 35-40 people at weightlifting.

“We're going to the (Oklahoma Baptist) team camp this weekend. I don't know how organized we'll be from a basketball standpoint, since we can't have any official practices, but everything else has gone great.”

Merritt led his alma mater, Chickasha, to the Class 5A state tournament in March, the Chicks' first appearance since 2004. He replaces Butch Roberts, who stepped down after the season.

Merritt takes over a young team that had two freshmen in the starting lineup.

“I really like the players, not only how they play, but how they go about conducting themselves,” Merritt said. “I'm really excited about it, and really appreciate getting the opportunity.”

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