L.C. Bird (Chesterfield, VA) head coach David Bedwell has known Deon Clarke since Clarke’s days as a ball-boy for the Skyhawks. Clarke, who arrived at Bird almost three years ago as a “baby fat kid that played aggressive,” has developed into one of the state’s best linebacker prospects in the 2012 class.
“Physically, Deon has really changed over the years,” Bedwell said. “He has slimmed down, gotten stronger, and he sees things really well. He can dissect plays. He makes a lot of plays behind the line of scrimmage, which is what a lot of college coaches like to see.”
Clarke, who stands at 6-3 and weighs around 215 pounds, could play any of the three linebacker positions in a 4-3 defensive set, his coach says. Louisville, Virginia and Virginia Tech have offered, but Bedwell believes more could be on the way soon.
“North Carolina is pretty close [to offering],” Bedwell said. “Tennessee is interested. Kentucky, Rutgers, Temple, Penn State…a lot of schools are showing interest. Some of the schools showing interest were worried that he didn’t have a SAT score, so they wanted to find out. He just got the score back and did really well. For him, I think it’s big, because now college coaches know he’s going to be a qualifier.”
2011 class prospect Anthony Harris committed to the University of Virginia the summer before his senior season. Clarke, though, is likely to commit after his senior season.
“I think he really is interested in the two in-state schools,” Bedwell said. “That’s not to say he won’t end up anywhere else. I don’t want to put words in his mouth. He’s going to hold off and wait and take visits. He’s going to enjoy the recruiting process. Of course that may change, but in talking with him the last couple of weeks, that’s what he wants to do.”
Bird’s big-time linebacker grew up rooting for one in-state FBS program, while interest in the other has increased over the course of the past year.
“I’ve known him for a long time. He has always been a Virginia Tech fan, but also with Anthony going to Virginia he has been there with him a lot. He likes that place, too. So, being that Virginia Tech was his...
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