Fifth-Year Senior QB’s: Al Clark

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Today is our final look at the r-senior quarterbacks of the Beamer Bowl Era.  Al Clark is our focus.


Al Clark

Al Clark had big shoes to fill when he took over as Tech’s starting quarterback in 1997.  He was replacing Jim Druckenmiller, a first round pick and the man who led the Hokies to two consecutive Alliance bowls.  Tech had been to four consecutive bowls, and the fanbase was getting used to having success.

Clark was up against it from day one.  Most of the 1996 offensive line graduated, Bryan Jennings was gone, Brian Edmonds used his eligibility, and Shawn Scales and Michael Steuwe were banged up for most of the 1997 season.  Clark himself also spent part of the 1997 season banged up.

Despite all that, he had a pretty solid year.  He only threw for 1,447 yards, but he completed 57.3% of his passes and threw 10 touchdowns to just three interceptions.  He didn’t possess the physical attributes of Jim Druckenmiller, and he certainly didn’t have as many good players around him either.  However, he had a pretty solid season as a first year starter.

There weren’t great expectations for Clark heading into his r-senior season.  Everyone understood his limitations.  He wasn’t all that big, he wasn’t all that accurate, and he didn’t have the cannon that Druck possessed.  There were also no proven backs heading into 1998, the offensive line was going to be subpar, and the receivers were young.  That last sentence sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

The Clemson Game

It’s tough to break down Al Clark ‘s senior season into segments, as I was able to do with Maurice DeShazo and Jim Druckenmiller.  Instead, we’ll focus on some specific games.  Tech whipped East Carolina 38-3 to open the season, and Clark