EDMOND — Central Oklahoma should have the ability to score a lot of points this football season.
The Bronchos return all-conference running back Joshua Birmingham. Leading receiver Christian Hood is back. They're complemented by returning quarterback Adrian Nelson.
The key player in the mix, however, will be newcomer Marquez Clark. The 5-foot-11, 190-pound receiver, says UCO coach Nick Bobeck, “is an explosive kid who we expect big things from. We'll be able to stretch the field with him out there. And with Christian Hood on the field and Josh Birmingham out there — it could be a nightmare for some teams.”
Clark committed to Kansas State after a record-setting career at Navarro Junior College. But academic issues prevented Clark from playing for the Wildcats, and then at UCO, where he decided to play for Bobeck, his coach at Navarro. Now, with those issues taken care of, Clark figures to add immediate fire to an offense that often wheezed against Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association defenses.
What's more, Nelson was his quarterback at Navarro. The chemistry is already established.
“They're pretty dynamic,” Bobeck said.
Clark was an All-American and the Southwest Junior College Football Conference Player of the Year as a sophomore. He caught 98 passes for a national junior college single-season-record 1,639 yards. Clark added 14 touchdowns for a 10-2 team.
“With Marquez on the field, everyone else on the team is going to have the opportunity to be great,” said Birmingham, who is 1,156 yards shy of becoming Central Oklahoma's career rushing leader. “And he has the ability to make people realize that they have to watch him, too. He's fun to watch.”