Munford High School senior Marshall Clark on Wednesday signed a letter-of-intent to play football at Jacksonville State University. Clark said it was a blessing to be able to play for one of the top FCS programs in the nation.
“This is where I want to be and where I have wanted to be for a while, “Clark said. “I am blessed with the opportunity to fulfill my dream. It is a blessing to be going to a winning program, and that is what Jacksonville State is. The last four years, they have won the OVC, and you can’t ask for any more than that.”
Clark had a huge senior season for Munford. The inside linebacker recorded 153 tackles, 17 tackles for a loss, five sacks and an interception. Clark was an Alabama Sports Writers Association first-team all-state selection.
The 5-foot-11 receiver and linebacker will be play nickelback for the Gamecocks. Clark said he is eager to contribute. The Gamecocks were ranked second nationally in total defense last season.
“It is a new position, but I think I will make a smooth transition,” Clark said. “I am just ready to be a part of that nasty defense down there.”
Munford head coach Bill Smith was elated Clark will be playing for coach John Grass and the Gamecocks. Smith said Clark is an example of a young man that works hard in everything he does.
“This is an outstanding day in the life of a day of an outstanding man,” Smith said. “He carries himself as a champion. He is a champion in the weight room, a champion in the classroom and a champion on the football field. He’s a pretty darn good baseball player as well. I love for my young kids to see the benefits of working hard both in the classroom and on the practice field, the game field -- it pays off.”
Playing college football hasn’t always been a goal for Clark. The multi-sport standout for the Lions was sure that his future plans involved a baseball. Clark has been going through the football recruiting process for the past three months.
“I wanted to play baseball up until this year,” he said. “It has been crazy. JSU came and saw me at the beginning of the year. We talked a lot, and I have been to a couple of games. Finally, they pulled the trigger (and offered him) last Saturday. I am blessed.”
Clark said he was grateful for everyone that played a role in helping him accomplish his goal of playing at the collegiate level.
“I would like to thank all of my teammates, my coaches, every coach that has been recruiting me through this process,” Clark said. “I want to especially thank Jacksonville State for giving me this opportunity to be able to play at the next level. I would like to thank my family for raising me the right way, and everybody that has pushed me along the way.”