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Oklahoma State football recruiting: Cowboys signee Trace Clark comes from family of athletes

Oklahoma State defensive end signee Trace Clark is a two-sport star, having helped Wichita Collegiate to football and basketball state titles.
BY MIKE BALDWIN, Staff Writer, Modified: February 1, 2012 at 2:34 pm •  Published: February 1, 2012

“He's a team player,” said his father. “He'll play wherever they need him to play. A lot of coaches felt he'd make a great D-1 tight end. He has nice, soft hands. Right now he's ready to be taught by a great teacher in (OSU defensive coordinator) Bill Young.”

A straight-A student who has posted a 93 grade or higher in every class at an academics oriented high school, Clark will be an engineering major, one reason he chose OSU.

“Through this process he got a taste of engineering,” said his father. “Right now he's leaning towards mechanical engineering but also has an interest in chemical engineering. His first two years are base courses which will help him decide which branch of the engineering tree he will go.”

On the field, Messamore said Clark plays every down as if it's last. One play that stands out is when Clark blocked a defender 30 yards downfield.

“And we were up 30 points at the time,” Messamore said. “He's that kind of kid. He's all-out effort all the time. I don't think anyone will out-work him in the weight room or the classroom.”

Regardless of how quickly he plays, his family's background has given him an example of what's necessary to excel in college academically and athletically.

“That's been a definite advantage,” Clark said. “It took a lot of stress out of the process and let me see the whole big picture which helped me make an educated decision. I want to play my freshman year. It all depends on how I work this off-season. I just have to work for it, go earn it.”

His father said two-a-days practices this fall will determine whether his son redshirts.

“If he's talented enough to get on the field his first year he'll get on the field,” Steve said. “Does he have expectations to be on the field his first year? Only if he's talented enough. If he needs to redshirt he can spend that year getting bigger, stronger, faster.

“He's an extremely patient kid, very cerebral. He's a leader but can also be a follower and he listens to authority. He knows what to do. Trace really is the total package.”

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