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How Douglass' Deondre Clark grew from a 3-pound, 7-ounce baby to a prized defensive end recruit

SUPER 30 — LSU commitment Deondre Clark started life two months premature and weighing only three pounds, seven ounces. Now, he's a 6-foot-3, 240-pound defensive end known for his incredible athletic ability in a big body.
by Scott Wright Published: July 25, 2013
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photo - Deondre Clark of Douglass poses for a photo in Oklahoma City Monday, Dec. 17, 2012. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
Deondre Clark of Douglass poses for a photo in Oklahoma City Monday, Dec. 17, 2012. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

Three pounds, seven ounces.

Douglass defensive end Deondre Clark will probably sweat off that much weight during a football practice on a 100-degree August day a few weeks from now.

Clark became a prized recruit because of his incredible athletic ability in a big body — 6-foot-3, 240 pounds, with long arms, quick feet and the strength to power past any offensive tackle that gets in his way.

Three pounds, seven ounces.

That's what Clark weighed at birth. He was two months premature and spent the first several weeks of his dangerously tiny life in the hospital.

The youngest of four brothers, he's now the biggest of the four. Brother Stephen, who will be an incoming freshman on the basketball team at Oklahoma State in the fall, made a name for himself on the court despite fighting off criticism that at 5-foot-10, he might not be tall enough to be a major Division I player.

Despite his diminutive start to life, size hasn't really been an issue for Deondre Clark over the last decade.

By second grade, he had caught up to, and began to pass, most of his classmates in size.

“Before that, I was always small,” he said. “But around second grade, I started getting weight on me and I got real big. I got fat. I got into football and got my weight right.”

By fifth grade, he was one of the biggest kids in his class, and bigger than Stephen, too.

“I started getting bigger than him my fifth grade year,” Deondre said. “He didn't like it but I thought it was fun.”

While he jokes about his size, particularly in comparison to his brothers, Clark knows he was lucky to survive such a premature birth.

“It's a blessing to know that I could come from being so small — to know you maybe weren't even supposed to be born or be alive — to becoming what I am now. It's a blessing from God,” Clark said. “I think about it all the time, how thankful I am.”

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by Scott Wright
Reporter
A lifelong resident of the Oklahoma City metro area, Scott Wright has been on The Oklahoman staff since 2005, covering a little bit of everything on the state's sports scene. He has been a beat writer for football and basketball at Oklahoma and...
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