Tech Aims for Strong, Humble Rockbridge LT Austin Clark

Former Rockbridge County High School football coach Jason White wasted no time pointing out his exception to the recruiting process.

After all, who could lose sight of 6-foot-6, 295-pound junior Austin Clark?

"You almost have to work your tail off to get kids looks," the nine-year head coach said. "With Austin, it's never been a problem of that.

"He got his first offer from UVa. the spring of his sophomore year, which is about a year ahead of schedule."

Clark holds offers from 15 Division I schools. The polite Lexington, Va.-native politely explained which way he leans.

"I really don't have any favorites," Clark said. "In the next couple months I'll narrow down which ones I'd like to take a look at . . . . probably five or six."

If the masses are worried about his lean off the field, it's partially because they know it won't be an issue between the sidelines.

White, who stepped down after last season to pursue his master's degree, cited his former star player's footwork and balance among his strengths.

"Once he gets his hands on you, you're done," White said.

Clark mostly played left tackle last season. The junior behemoth also spent time at right tackle when needed.

His coach guessed his heavy zone-rush attack followed Clark "about 75-percent of the time."

The soft-spoken lineman described his strongest attribute as "overall strength." White said college recruiters agree.

"Several coaches have been in to see him and they see him lift weights and they literally cannot believe he's 295 pounds," White said. "He's obviously long and rangy. . . . And he's got a lot of upside to him.

"He's definitely not a kid who's going to waste that body."

Virginia Tech's new offensive line coach Stacy Searels impressed Clark on his Feb. 8 trip to Blacksburg for junior day.

"From a coaching perspective he definitely knows what he's doing," Clark said. "He sat in and I got a chance to talk to him. He broke down some film and he definitely knows his stuff."

Clark said his junior day trip was the first time he had a chance to see the campus after a few trips to Tech. The teenager hopes to major in business management in college.

While Searels and Tech's staff have recruited Clark, a current Hokie hasn't hurt the situation.

Guard Caleb Farris played at Rockbridge. When Farris returned to his alma mater throughout the year, he gave an honest sales pitch.

"I know Caleb and he comes back to talk to us sometimes; he's a really cool guy," Clark said. "He's been trying to recruit me a little, but no matter what it's nice to talk to him and learn about playing college football."

Farris joined White and his front line last July for the team's annual offensive lineman challenge.

"Caleb's been active from the moment Tech started getting interested in Austin," White explained. "He spoke to the kids during the challenge and really gravitated to Austin but he's not pushy. That influence means a lot to Caleb whether Austin goes to Tech or not."

The challenge features a tractor push, tire flips and different weight tests.

"For 2-to-3 hours, we try to wear those guys out," White said.

Clark squats 520 pounds. He benches and power cleans 300.

Guess who took first place?

"Obviously, Austin won it going away," White said.

White played guard at Emory and Henry and can tell his blue-chip recruit has what it takes to play at the next level.

He lauded Clark's ability to analyze the game from and intellectual perspective.

The junior exuded humility throughout our conversation.

"You can always improve on everything," Clark said. "Virginia Tech is a school I like a lot and always have liked. . . .It's hard to say. It's going to come down to lot of factors but if I had to pick one over the rest it would be the opportunity to compete for playing time."

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Comments

Can't give legs for articles so, thanks.

Danny caught that ball.

Friends don't let 5 star friends commit to UVA.

I have inside info. - Whit

Thanks for the article, I love reading bios on the guys we're recruiting. Someone we definitely want: polite, humble, and strong as hell. He does say he wants to compete for early playing time, and McLaughlin should have that LT locked down for the next few years, but if he can play I'm sure we can find a spot for him.

If I could offer one small criticism, it's a little awkward to read that with every sentence on a separate line.

I have faith in your ability to adjust.

Not going to downvote. But, oh please no.

"That move was slicker than a peeled onion in a bowl of snot." -Mike Burnop

Are you trying to ruin Mark's post?

I'm DV this in the hopes it gets to neg 10, and I never have to see it again.

Twas just joking. There isn't even any wood involved.

Enjoy that pun.

I thumbed you up here. Feel free to dv my post. I'm more than willing to take that hit. I just hate that show, hate those mothers and hate TLC for perpetuating what I see as child abuse.

I don't watch that crap either. A buddy at work sent me that gif and the chopping motion made me laugh and gave me an idea. I dont care about the downvotes...

I think this should be considered child abuse...but that's just me

"I like to hit a home run early" ~ Whit "knows how to create a Buzz" Babcock

One hot mama [sarcastica]

True Hokies STICK IT IN!!!

STICK IT IN Army of Virginia Tech

Fosterball

Since White played at E&H, need to get French in his ear before Newsome has a chance to cause trouble

Not sure what kind of trouble Newsome could cause, this kid isn't going anywhere near a D3 school.

Word is that Newsome had been talking shit about VT to anyone who would listen after he got canned. Not sure how he could be surprised about being fired after he collected a pretty good pay check for doing jack shit at VT besides recruiting Tyrod.

"Give me a fucking beer", Anonymous Genius

He shouldn't be surprised considering his replacement made such drastic improvements to the line in a single year that he was offered a job at LSU. If that doesn't solidify his horrible coaching, then idk what will

"Go Hokies!" - Thomas Jefferson
@HaydenDubya

Newsome is the Bleacher Report of OL coaching.

“When life knocks you down plan to land on your back, because if you can look up, you can get up, if you fall flat on your face it can kill your spirit” - David Wilson

"We are better than we think, but not quite what we want to be" - Nikki Giovanni

Newsome is to OL coaching what France is to Strategic Warfare.

That's a horrible insult to French warfare. At least they have some tradition, going back a few centuries. Although watching the RAB a couple years ago, the offensive line did bear a startling resemblance to the defense of Paris.

Newsome is to OL coaching as UVA is to college football.

“When life knocks you down plan to land on your back, because if you can look up, you can get up, if you fall flat on your face it can kill your spirit” - David Wilson

"We are better than we think, but not quite what we want to be" - Nikki Giovanni

Ha! Jason was a teammate of mine. He started my sophomore and junior year at right guard. Good football player and a good dude.

Viva El Guapo

Call him up!

What's Important Now?
The Lunchpail. The Hammer. BeamerBall.
Deal some damage boys

That poor little #3 at 1:24. It reminds of A Christmas Story: "Randy lay there like a slug. It was his only defense."

These remain my chopping wood gifs of choice:
efficiencymotorizedMoorehead

I'm already going to Hell. At this point it's pretty much "Go big or go home."

I can't stop watching, but now there's a challenge between which one gets the most attention, the first or second one...

in Fuller we trust

Good to see E&H getting some love today. Coach White was a good player as was French. Newsome has a long road ahead at the Ole Alma Mater.

To the place where Louie dwells.

This kid could open up a pancake shop and run IHOP out of business.