Chris Clark (Avon, Connecticut), 2015's top tight end prospect, revealed Saturday morning that the final two schools in the running for him are UCLA and Michigan according to Tom Loy of 247Sports.
At 6-6, 247 pounds, Clark is one of the most coveted offensive prospects in the country.
Here's what he told Loy where the two schools stack up as of right now:
“I got UCLA as my leader,” said Clark. “The last couple of days, I’ve been talking a lot to [head] Coach [Jim] Mora and I just have a really good feeling about coach, his staff and UCLA. I just need to get out there for a visit. And with Michigan, I don’t know too much about [head] Coach [Jim] Harbaugh. I need to meet him in person to get a good feel about him. There’s a part of me that feels UCLA is going to be the place for me, but I need to take both visits and see what happens. It’ll definitely come down to just these two. I’m not 100 percent sure on the dates, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be at UCLA Jan. 16 and then Michigan on Jan. 23.”
Jim Harbaugh made sure Clark was one of the first recruit phone calls he made. He also spoke about how that conversation went.
“During the initial conversation with Coach Harbaugh, he was just telling me that Michigan was going to turn into ‘Tight End U,” said Clark. “He thinks that he will do a good job of incorporating the tight end into the offense and making me a key factor in the offense. He said he did that with Stanford and did the same with the [San Francisco] 49ers. He said that I could be the first big commit, the face and leader of the class. He thinks that he and I could do big things together.”
Based on the quotes above, UCLA appears to be in the driver's seat. With that being said, this looks like Michigan's recruiting battle to lose for a few reasons.
The first is the fit that Clark would be in Harbaugh's offensive system. Throughout his coaching career, Harbaugh has implemented an offense that relies heavily on good tight ends. When he says that he will do a good job of incorporating the tight end into his system, he means it. Think Andrew Luck-to-Coby Fleener at Stanford.
Clark also has not officially met Harbaugh yet, but plans on being on campus later this month to meet when the staff is finalized and things settle down. I believe these two factors alone will favor the Wolverines here, but there is one more scenario that could work out in their favor.
Coach Mora at UCLA is being linked to a few of the job openings in the NFL. It's long been rumored that the former Seattle Seahawks and Atlanta Falcons head coach has been itching to get a chance to get back into professional coaching, so if he was to leave the college game, Clark-to-Michigan seems like a near lock.
All things considered, it seems likely that Harbaugh, his coaching staff and the current commits will be able to convince Clark to recommit to the Wolverines. We are going to find out sooner rather than later.