FORT WAYNE — Donovan Clark is thrilled that the day is almost here.
The South Side senior will sign his letter of intent to play for Indiana on Wednesday, the first day football recruits – who haven’t already enrolled – can sign with their schools.
“I always told myself I was going to be able to do it,” Clark said. “It just feels like a dream come true to make it actually happen.”
The 5-foot-9, 175-pound cornerback had 25 tackles, two interceptions and a tackle for loss last season for the Archers. He also played running back, where he was named an All-SAC first-team performer.
Clark said there is a chance he could play some offense for IU, and he could also factor into the Hoosiers’ return game.
“A lot of times (IU) coach (Kevin) Wilson referred to me as a corner/slot guy. I don’t know if he knows where he wants to put me,” Clark said. “I would like to play corner, but it’s a possibility.
“The last defensive coordinator (Doug Mallory) wasn’t that into it, but this one, coach (Brian) Knorr is a little more open to it. We will talk about it more when I get down here.”
Steve Wiltfong, 247Sports national recruiting writer, said Clark was a good in-state recruit for IU’s 2014 member class. Clark is rated the No. 12 recruit from Indiana by 247Sports.
“I think he is an exciting guy with the ball in his hands too,” Wiltfong said. “I think he can help Indiana as a return man. He’s dynamic with it. Defensively, he brings a lot of confidence to the corner position.
“I think he is going to be a contributor at Indiana.”
Clark is part of a second wave of defensive recruits after IU brought in 13 defensive players last season.
The Hoosiers’ other defensive recruits are defensive tackle Michael Barwick; defensive ends Nick Carovillano, Jermane Conyers and Willie Yarbary; linebackers Airius Moore, Tegray Scales and Dameon Willis; and defensive backs Tony Fields and Kiante Walton. Will Dawkins, who is being recruited as an athlete, could play defensive back.
“I think they did get better in the front seven on defense in this class. This is a defensive-oriented class,” Wiltfong said. “They are creating depth and competition on the roster with the last two classes.”
IU also won a late recruiting battle against in-state rival Purdue when Simmie Cobbs changed his commitment to the Hoosiers on Sunday. The 6-4, 207-pound Cobbs from Oak Park (Ill.) River was being recruited as a defensive back by the Boilermakers, while the Hoosiers recruited the three-star prospect as a receiver.
IU’s recruiting class was ranked 47th by 247Sports on Monday afternoon. The Hoosiers’ 2013 recruiting class was ranked 42nd.
“Another potential top 50 class for Kevin Wilson and Indiana, back to back,” Wiltfong said. “That’s a big deal as they get this program moving in the right direction.”
Clark said he thinks the recent emphasis on recruiting defensive players will begin to show for the Hoosiers in the next year or two, and he likes the way Wilson has gone about building the program at IU.
“He came in with a great plan to get people geeked on IU football with the offense,” Clark said. “People are really starting to respect IU football now. It is kind of how Oregon did it. How they built their offense, then they got a couple of nice uniforms and nice helmets and now Oregon has a great defense and a great offense.
“It is almost like we are becoming the Oregon of the Big Ten. I think that is the vision for IU football.”