A lot of people thought that LSU may be getting a commitment from a defensive end on Monday. Plaquemine's Davon Godchaux was on campus for an unofficial visit after receiving an offer from LSU last week. But he didn't commit.
Instead, Oklahoma's Deondre Clark called up Les Miles on Monday night and pulled the trigger.
This is a big-time pick-up for LSU. Clark is a very highly thought of pass rusher that looks like a perfect fit in LSU's defensive scheme. He stands around 6'3" 235 pounds but looks like he'll fill out and play at around 250 to 260 at the next level. He has long arms which let him play a little bit bigger than he actually is.
Clark's biggest asset is his speed and quickness, which enable him to blow past offensive tackles and pressure the quarterback. He also uses that quickness to his advantage in defending the run, avoiding offensive linemen and shooting gaps to make plays.
Clark has been incredibly productive at the high school level. As a sophomore, Clark racked up 75 tackles, including 18 sacks. He topped that as a junior, notching 90 tackles, 30 tackles for loss and 22 sacks.
Some other defensive line prospects that seem likely to join Clark at LSU include Gerald Willis and Davon Godchaux. Both are defensive ends but have the potential to eventually grow into defensive tackles. However, Clark is sure to stick at defensive end.
Here is an excellent breakdown of Clark's game from the main SB Nation Recruiting page.
As for his recruitment, Clark's offer list reads like a who's who of college football. Oklahoma, Alabama, USC, Florida, Georgia, Notre Dame, Texas A&M and Tennessee are just some of his offers. He took a visit to LSU's summer camp last summer with his mother in tow, and both were blown away by the LSU experience. The Tigers were among his leaders ever since that trip. Another visit by Clark this April seemed to essentially seal the deal for LSU. Most assumed he would pull the trigger at LSU's camp in July, but he went ahead and got it done Monday night.
Here is how the recruiting services rank Clark:
247: #11 Strongside DE, #171 overall, 4 stars
Rivals: #6 Strongside DE, #54 overall, 4 stars
Scout: #15 DE, #111 overall, 4 stars
ESPN: #29 DE, 4 stars
LSU signed a slew of top notch defensive ends last year, including Frank Herron, Tashawn Bower, MJ Patterson and Lewis Neal. They also signed linebackers Kendell Beckwith and Melvin Jones, and many speculate that one of those guys could ultimately end up playing on the line, too. So it seems like Clark will be joining a crowded mix at defensive end. However, Herron could end up playing inside at tackle with Beckwith and Jones staying at linebacker. Then, suddenly things aren't quite as crowded. If will be interesting to see where everyone lines up this fall and especially next spring. Regardless, Clark is good enough to compete with any of those guys for playing time, and I suspect he'll be in the playing rotation for his entire career.
I unfortunately couldn't track down any video highlights to embed, but here is a link to Clark's highlights on Hudl.