Quote Le’Raven, Nevermore TIGER TRACKS—

Preferring to let his actions on the field speak for him, reserved Clark signs with Texas Tech
BY BILL MARTIN/
Reporter Sports Editor


NATIONAL SIGNING DAY 2011 NATIONAL SIGNING DAY 2011 Okay, the first thing we have to know—what’s the story behind the name? According to Clark’s mother Anjelina Alcorn, she is no follower of Edgar Allan Poe, she was just fond of the name Raven. However, when she discovered she had a baby boy on her hands, she felt it was more well suited for a girl, so she added the prefix Le to Raven with the accent mark for a little flair.

Le’Raven Deonata Clark made a life decision Wednesday morning, signing up to play football for the Texas Tech Red Raiders.

Though he committed to Texas Tech last summer, the 6-foot-6, 275-pound lineman with the 7-foot-1 wing span has been pursued up to the bitter end. Clark has been a topic of frequent discussion on various message boards over the past month.

As late as last Monday, the University of Texas tried to get him to change his mind.

When top offensive tackle Christian Westerman switched his pledge from Texas to Auburn last Friday, the Longhorns looked to fill his spot in the class. They initiated communication with Clark and rumors began to swirl that he could make the switch to Texas.


Le’Raven Clark has been a standout on both sides of the ball for the past three seasons for the Tigers, but will concentrate on offense at Texas Tech. 
Reporter/Ken Esten Cooke Le’Raven Clark has been a standout on both sides of the ball for the past three seasons for the Tigers, but will concentrate on offense at Texas Tech. Reporter/Ken Esten Cooke He was visited by new Longhorn offensive line coach Stacy Searels last Monday.

Despite his soft-spoken and shy demeanor, Clark made his intentions loud and clear to the new Texas coach. “(Texas) asked me if I was interested and things like that because they lost their commit or whatever,” Clark said. “I told them I was committed to Texas Tech.”

Searels told Clark’s coach Jeff Miller that if he had been at Texas all along, he would have called Clark first.

“He (Clark) was like, where were you guys last year. Why haven’t you called all along?” Miller said.

“They don’t understand that Le’Raven doesn’t care about who you are, how many championships you’ve won or where you’re located. He’s going where he feels like he belongs.”

The Longhorns have turned their attention to Cedar Park lineman Spencer Drango—a Baylor pledge.

Thursday, Red Raider head coach Tommy Tuberville traveled to Rockdale and had lunch with Clark, Miller and Clark’s father Melvin at The Ranch.

Wednesday morning at 9 a.m., Clark officially became at Red Raider.

He becomes the first Rockdale player to sign with Texas Tech since Donny Brooks in 1986.

Former Tiger star Logan David (currently playing at Blinn) and current standout Derek David are scheduled to join Clark in Lubbock.

Besides his former teammates, Clark says he felt an instant bond with the other Texas Tech pledges.

“I just felt a connection with the other recruits, “ he said. “It was just a feeling.

“I liked the people and the coaches at Tech better than anywhere I went.”

“There were several schools he was interested in,” Miller said, “He was just certain that’s where he wanted to go.”

San Antonio MacArthur tight end Jace Amaro (6-5, 240) is considered the Red Raiders’ top recruit and their 2011 class puts them in the top 20 nation-wise.

Including Clark, Texas Tech signed four offensive linemen.

The Red Raiders were 8-5 last season in Tuberville’s first season and picked up a win in the Ticket City Bowl over Northwestern.

Despite a dozen or so recruiting trips—official or not—Clark never wavered in his loyalty to Texas Tech.

Clark will leave Rockdale as one of the most decorated linemen in its history.

He is a two-time, two-way all-district selection, the only player in the district to be selected on both sides of the ball the past two seasons.

He has been named All-State for the past two seasons and played in the Under Armour All-America All-Star game two weeks ago.

He also bagged a bronze medal at the state track meet in the discus with a career-best 164-3 toss.

While he towers over most players, the Red Raiders plan on adding bulk to his 275-pound frame.

“I don’t have a problem with that,” said Clark who has added 25 by himself since the start of football.

Especially someone who started out his football life on the B team and once stood 6- foot-4 and tipped the scales at 200 pounds.

“This is quite a story that has developed over the last six years,” Miller said. “There is no doubt in the mind of anyone that knows Le’Raven that he has an unbelievable future ahead of him.

“He is a very talented athlete for sure, but he has so many other intangibles that will make him great. Work ethic, desire, competitive just to name a few. He is also a very humble young man that appreciates the ability that God has given him.

“The one thing that I can say for certain is that as good of an athlete as he is, he is an even a better person.”

LE’RAVEN FILE

Dimensions— 6-foot- 6, 275-pounds
Incidentals—Has a 7-foot-1 wing
span. Runs the 40 in 4.9. Bench
presses 295.
Projected position—Left tackle.
Ranking—Rated 32nd best player
in the state and 18th best offensive lineman in the nation by
Rivals.com.
Honors—Two-time All-State pick.
Two-time, two-way first-team all-district selection. First-team All- Central
Texas. First-team All-Brazos Valley.
Played in the Under Armour All-
America High School All-Star game.
Accomplished— Placed third in the
discus at the state track meet with
a personal best of 164-3.
Offers—Texas, Oklahoma State,
Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska,
Colorado, UCLA, Kansas, Utah,
Baylor, Houston, TCU, SMU, Louisville, Louisiana Tech, Memphis,
New Mexico, Louisiana Tech, Coloradso St.
Trips—Texas Tech, Texas, Texas
A&M, Baylor, Oklahoma, Oklahoma
St., Missouri, TCU.






















WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY ABOUT LE’RAVEN

Clark plays both tackle and defensive end showing very good production on both sides of the ball however we feel his size and athleticism are best suited for the offensive tackle position at the major level of competition. This guy is a very athletic and active DE; flashes good playing strength with quick hands and the ability to run and pursue the football. It is not out of the question that he could get a good look on defense depending upon a teams needs. Regardless we see the need to add bulk to his frame over time. Shows very good flexibility, balance and agility; plays out of a two and three point stance; comes off the ball low and hard with good explosion, initial fit and pad level. His blocking base and leg drive allow him to get movement and knock defenders off the line; can reach and gain leverage on shaded defenders with the balance to chip off on linebackers. This prospect has the quickness and agility to pull and trap along with the ability to get a hat on active first and second level defenders. On the ground occasionally as he tries to deliver a knock out block. His nimble feet and long arms will be assets in pass protection; can quick set, bend, slide and play flat footed; upper body playing strength will need to improve as it relates to overall hand use. This guy displays the aggressive tough finishing attitude we like to see in offensive linemen. Clark may not be an immediate starter as it may take some time to add bulk to his frame however we see a long and productive career for this player at the major level of competition.— Under Armour

Texas A&M Coach Mike Sherman visited with Jeff Miller early this week concerning Derek David and Daniel Brooks. While David has already pledged to Texas Tech, there has been some speculation that he may be wavering since former Texas assistant Will Muschamp became head coach at Florida. Internet reports have stated that David was Muschamp’s “No. 1 priority”. Plus, Texas Tech defensive coordinator James Willis was fired after a domestic violence charge. TCU’s Chad Glasgow has been hired to take his place... Former Tiger player Tyler Wright was named to the Fort Worth Star Telegram’s Super Team. Wright had 45 catches for over 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns for Granbury. Wright will play in the Team USA vs. The World all-star game Wednesday (Feb. 2) at Westlake. It will be televised on Fox at 7:30 p.m.


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