For most college football recruiters, the continued pursuit of quarterback Danny Clark these past few years would’ve seemed like a major waste of time.
Vince Marrow, as UK fans have come to know, is not like most recruiters.
Clark — a 6-foot-4 prospect from Columbus, Ohio — committed to Ohio State following his freshman season and was so solid in that pledge that he got a massive Buckeyes-themed tattoo on his throwing arm.
It seemed unthinkable that he would waver in his commitment to OSU, and it appeared futile for any college coach to try and sway him from his home-state school.
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Marrow, who first met Clark when the QB was in middle school, stayed in touch anyway. So, when Ohio State took another highly touted quarterback in its 2017 class and it became clear that the Buckeyes’ offensive philosophy had shifted away from Clark’s pro-style skill set, he re-opened his recruitment.
Marrow had been waiting.
“In Ohio, being a Youngstown guy, he’s a household name,” Clark said of UK’s ace recruiter. “He’s a great person. And when a player can relate to someone and knows they’re not out to try and trick them, sneak them in here, get them to sign — it means a lot. And you can have another level of trust and say, ‘OK, this guy wants me.’”
Clark was in the middle of his senior season at Archbishop Hoban in Akron when he backed out of his commitment to Ohio State, and he knew he didn’t want Part II of his recruitment to distract from a run at a second straight state title.
Looking to find another home quickly, Clark focused first on Kentucky and the recruiter who had continued to build a relationship with him and his family even when it appeared that the effort wouldn’t end in a commitment.
Marrow’s persistence paid off, and Clark committed to the Cats three weeks later. A couple of months after that, he led his team to that second state championship.
Last Friday, Clark stood alongside his fellow midseason enrollees from the 2017 class and said he was “ecstatic” to be at Kentucky.
“We had a great team last year,” Clark said. “These guys coming in are only going to make it better. We have a lot of good, wholesome, hard-working kids. We’re just trying to push ourselves and show that we want to work, and build trust with some of the older guys and try to be part of the team.
“It’s great. I’m so excited, and I’m glad I’m one of them.”