UK Football

Quarterback Danny Clark — once an Ohio State pledge — now committed to Kentucky

Danny Clark is the No. 18 pro-style quarterback in the class of 2017, according to the 247Sports composite rankings.
Danny Clark is the No. 18 pro-style quarterback in the class of 2017, according to the 247Sports composite rankings. AP

En route to Lexington on Saturday morning, high school quarterback Danny Clark went ahead and announced what everyone knew was coming.

“I am blessed and proud to say I’m 100% committed to the University of Kentucky Wildcats!” Clark revealed on Twitter. “Thank you so much to the entire state of Kentucky for making me feel at home! #BBN is for real! Go Cats!”

Clark — a 6-foot-4, 230-pound prospect from Akron, Ohio — had been committed to Ohio State, his dream school growing up, for nearly three years before backing out of that pledge late last month. The Buckeyes still wanted Clark as part of their 2017 recruiting class, but they had taken a commitment from Tate Martell — the top dual-threat QB in the country — earlier this summer, and Clark decided that his pro-style skill set might be a better fit at a different school.

That school turned out to be Kentucky, which extended a scholarship offer to Clark during his sophomore season and stayed in touch with him even while he was committed to Ohio State.

UK recruiting coordinator Vince Marrow was Clark’s primary contact with the program, and the Wildcats emerged as a clear frontrunner following the quarterback’s decommitment. Within two weeks, Clark was already on UK’s campus, where he and his family attended the recent home victory over Vanderbilt.

Following that trip, Clark praised Marrow and UK quarterbacks coach Darin Hinshaw in social media posts. He later said that he would be announcing a commitment Saturday, and — with no other visits planned — it was clear UK would be his choice, especially when news broke that he planned to attend the Cats’ game against Mississippi State on Saturday night.

Landing a quality quarterback at this stage in the recruiting cycle is a major victory for UK, which lost a commitment from four-star QB Mac Jones earlier this summer. The Cats also have a pledge from Lafayette quarterback Walker Wood, a dual-threat QB who could play other positions in college.

Clark was the top uncommitted, pro-style quarterback in the country, according to the 247Sports composite rankings, which peg him No. 18 nationally at that position.

“He’s always been known for being a big quarterback with a big arm,” Rivals.com’s Josh Helmholdt recently told the Herald-Leader. “He can hit all points on the field. And he has one of the biggest arms in this entire 2017 recruiting class. His issue has been reigning it in and putting the ball where he intends it to go.

“We’ve already seen him make strides in his consistency and his accuracy. He had a big, wind-up delivery, and shortening that delivery has given him greater consistency and he hasn’t lost hardly any arm strength. So, absolutely he can work through (that).”

Clark has the ability to make things happen with his feet, but he’s more at home in the pocket as a drop-back passer.

He could also be a top-notch recruiter for the Wildcats.

Clark was OSU’s most vocal recruiter — among the 2017 commitments — until he reopened his recruitment, and UK’s coaches likely will count on him to help land some of their top remaining targets in this class, including four-star prospects and Ohio natives Lynn Bowden and Danny Davis, who have both visited Lexington in recent months.

“He’s always been a very outgoing kid,” Helmholdt said of Clark. “He has that combination of the charisma and confidence that makes you successful at the quarterback position. … He is certainly mature beyond his years.”

Clark is UK’s 14th commitment for the class of 2017.

UK commitments for the class of 2017

Player

Pos

Ht

Wt

Hometown

Rivals

Scout

ESPN

247

Tyrell Ajian

DB

6-1

185

Mansfield, Ohio

****

***

****

****

Josh Ali

WR

6-0

175

Hollywood, Fla.

***

***

***

***

Quinton Bohanna

DT

6-4

300

Cordova, Tenn.

***

***

***

***

Danny Clark

QB

6-4

230

Akron, Ohio

***

****

****

***

Jamin Davis

LB

6-2

190

Ludwici, Ga.

***

***

***

***

Cedrick Dort

CB

6-1

165

Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

**

***

***

***

Austin Dotson

OL

6-6

290

Belfry, Ky.

**

**

***

***

Phil Hoskins

DL

6-5

275

Toldeo, Ohio

***

***

***

Alex King

LB

6-3

225

Mason, Ohio

***

***

***

***

Bryant Koback

RB

5-11

190

Holland, Ohio

***

***

***

***

Michael Nesbitt

DB

6-0

175

Lauderdale Lakes, Fla.

***

***

***

***

JaVonte Richardson

WR

6-4

210

Maple Heights, Ohio

****

****

****

****

Clevan Thomas

WR

6-0

190

Pembroke Pines, Fla.

***

***

***

***

Walker Wood

ATH

6-0

190

Lexington, Ky.

***

***

***

***

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