Well there’s some damn fine news, right? A decision wasn’t expected to be made until after next week’s Syracuse/Pitt game in the Carrier Dome, but former 5-star tight end Chris Clark, ranked as the top player at his position in the class of 2015, has decided to transfer from UCLA to join the Syracuse University football team. The news came out tonight via Clark, a 6-foot-6, 247 pound playmaker from New Jersey by way of Avon, Connecticut.
Clark originally committed to North Carolina early in his recruiting process, and then switched to Michigan, but flipped to UCLA after Brady Hoke was fired by the Wolverines. But after appearing in just one game for the Bruins, in a season opener against Syracuse’s opponent this week, Virginia, homesickness hit the star tight end and he left the program.
Clark had offers from basically everyone in America, but the very first offer he ever received was from Syracuse. He also has several friends on the Orange roster, most notably freshman defensive end Jake Pickard and defensive tackle Anthony Giudice. He visited Syracuse last weekend, and just took a trip to Pittsburgh this past weekend, as his other finalist.
The 6-foot-6 Clark brings an entirely new dynamic to the Syracuse offense (when he becomes eligible), and his combination of size and athleticism is reminiscent of Rob Gronkowski (whose dad, by the way, played at Syracuse). The potential of an offense featuring Clark, Eric Dungey, Jordan Fredericks, Steve Ishmael, Erv Philips, Dontae Strickland, and Moe Neal (among others) is enough to get any Syracuse fan excited.
That brings us to when Clark will be eligible. Since he played in a game this season, the clock started ticking on his eligibility. Barring an NCAA appeal, he’ll still have to sit out a full year, meaning he won’t be able to take the field for the Orange until 2017 at this point. Still, he’s the kind of talent who will be well worth the wait. As a 5-star prospect, he immediately becomes one of the most high profile “gets” that Syracuse has brought in over the last quarter century.
This is an enormous win for Syracuse. Welcome to the Hill, Chris Clark.