Nose tackle Kenny Clark is one true freshman who could see an uptick in reps at Stanford. Given the Cardinals’ use of jumbo offensive line sets, UCLA will likely want to plug the middle of its defense with a 6-foot-2, 305-pound former wrestler.
My story this week detailed how the former CIF champion has transferred his wrestling background into football. It certainly didn’t hurt his recruitment, drawing the attention of Bruins defensive line coach Angus McClure:
“The techniques I teach, especially with nose guards having their weight on their in-step, being flat-footed, playing with great leverage — he learned a lot of that in wrestling.
“When I was recruiting him, that was the most impressive thing. Going out and watching him wrestle. Just to see how powerful he was and how low he could be and stay flat-footed.”
The defensive line coach talked a bit more later about what he looks for in multi-sport athletes: “I like wrestling or basketball. Some of our guys have a basketball background, like Eddie Vanderdoes. I like guys that are good, well-rounded athletes because of the versatility of our defense. …
“(Watching basketball,) it’s the footwork, it’s the mobility, it’s able to turn your hips. It’s able to watch them jump.”
With college football wrapped up, he can also watch live basketball games much more often than he can live football games. Scouting an athlete live in other sports gives him a chance to observe how they carry themselves during breaks, how they interact with teammates — things that don’t show up just from film study.