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The Cardinal Countdown: 92 Days Until Kickoff

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#92 Malik Clark

Class: RS Sophomore

Ht/Wt: 6-2/272

Position: Defensive Line

Hometown: Milledgeville, GA

Twitter: @malikclark_3

Thoughts: On top of the poor record and disappointing display of effort, another byproduct of inadequate coaching is the lack of player development. Two seasons ago I was excited about what I thought the defensive staff could do with Malik Clark. After coming off a redshirt (where he added a little bulk to aid in his transition from a high school linebacker to playing on the defensive line), I thought Malik would be a part time contributor on a good line and then be prepared to see game action every week in 2019. I was partially right, I guess. Malik appeared in seven games last season but was nearly nonexistent when it came to filling up a stat sheet and likely should have seen the field more often as the defensive line last year struggled often. I remember seeing Malik get pushed around on the edge more often than you’d like, but it was hard to distinguish if his lack of push was part of the game plan (zone) or just an inability to get pressure. I pulled a play below that I thought was a good microcosm of Clark’s year and a brief peek into the defense overall.

1. He comes running in after a big play, used only in specific formations (mass confusion from others)

2. He plays up on the line but does not get into a three point stance (2nd down from top)

3. He lets a low block from the TE push him backwards two yards

4. Fights off block, keeps his up head, locates the ball carrier and makes the tackle for a loss.

A single play where you see some things you don’t love, but also a play where you see a part of his fight and desire to get to the ball. I think Coach Ivey and Coach Brown will help Malik with his progression, along with the rest of the play on the defensive line. If we can avoid 37 “12 men on the field” penalties that will be a good start. The good news is that Malik still has three seasons of eligibility remaining and could still be a really special player. Don’t be surprised one bit if he becomes a well known player on that side of the ball in 2019 and beyond.

Sweet Tweet:

The Cards are looking for a big transformation from what we saw last season, and often times that requires ‘chipping away’ at the physical, mental, and emotional baggage that piled up the last 12-18 months. Diamonds start as jagged and rough, unappealing to the eye, the statue of David started out as an unattractive block of marble, and that ballpark hot dog I demolished last night probably wasn’t quite as appetizing on the factory floor. Let’s all agree to give it some time. Satt will get it rolling but if this season we look more like the “before” picture three games into the year instead of that juicy frankfurter in the “after”, let’s try and keep it together.