Daryll Clark on joining the Redskins
For the second year in a row, the Redskins made contact with
signed a record-setting undrafted free-agent QB from a powerhouse college program just after the NFL draft ended, and for the second-straight year, fans immediately got irrationally excited. A year ago, it was Chase Daniel from Missouri. This time, it was Penn State's Daryll Clark, a No. 17 to replace the Caps' Chris Clark and some other guy on the Redskins.
Like Daniel, Clark's name is all over his school's record book; he holds the marks for most career touchdown passes, most touchdown passes in one season and most passing yards in one season at Penn State. He went 21-5 as a starter, and was the Big 10's co-MVP as a senior, along with Michigan's Brandon Graham. Graham was chosen 13th overall in the draft. Clark just kept waiting.
"As a kid I dreamed to always see my name go across the scroll on draft day," he told LaVar Arrington and Chad Dukes this week. "Unfortunately, it didn't happen. It hurt me a little bit. Washington came along and gave me a shot, and I intend on coming down there with a chip on my shoulder as big as a boulder to show people I'm able to compete with the best. That's all....
"I was told that Arizona was interested, I was told that Carolina was interested. Fourth round, fifth round went by. I said, 'Ok, maybe something else might happen, something I don't know.' Sixth round, toward the end of the seventh round I was like 'Ok, maybe this wasn't meant to be.'
"So I was upset, it's human, I was a little upset about the whole thing. The dream kind of got a little shaken up a little bit, but within 10 minutes I got a call from my agent. He still had his spirits high, he called to make sure that my morale was still high, and he told me that Washington wanted me to come down and give it a workout."
Clark said he was compared to a young Donovan McNabb during his collegiate career, and he seemed particularly excited about joining him on the Redskins roster.
"I'm definitely bringing my pen and pad down to Washington once everything starts up," Clark said. "To learn from an experienced guy like himself, a very successful quarterback like himself is gonna be a true, true blessing, and I just can't wait to get it going."
After McNabb, the Redskins have Rex Grossman, Colt Brennan and Richard Bartel on their roster. Last year's coaching staff decided to go with just two quarterbacks coming out of training camp, which meant that the thousands and thousands of words we all wrote about Brennan and Daniel were sort of meaningless. But like both of them, Clark does not lack for confidence.
"I really don't turn the football over, I'm a very careful player," he told Arrington, when asked about his strengths. "I'm a...big-time student of the game. Whatever system I'm thrown in, I will make it my utmost [priority] to learn it inside and out before we take the football field....
"I definitely think that I'm a leader, carrying over from college on to the professional level....That's something that you have to learn from people that played ahead of you, and eventually I caught on to it and knew what I had to do, both on and off the field, and that's something that I'm gonna carry from Penn State on to Washington. Hopefully in the future I'll be a starter, and one thing that everyone will say about me is not only is he a great player, but he's a leader. He will will a team to victory, no matter the cost."
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