Rifle’s Clark to walk on at Northern Colorado (with video)
Rifle High School senior Brock Clark on Tuesday night confirmed that he has opted to play Division I football in the fall for the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley.
Clark, who received Class 3A first-team all-state accolades for his performance as a running back and linebacker for the Bears this past fall, had also received a scholarship offer from Division II Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction. In all, however, Clark said that the opportunity to play football at the Division I FCS level was too good to pass up.
“My family and I talked about it, and we feel really good about this,” Clark said by phone on Tuesday night.
Rifle coach Damon Wells said that Clark is the fifth Rifle High football player in the past decade to move on to play football at a Division I-level school. The last was Ryan Moeller, who just finished his second year playing football at the University of Colorado in Boulder.
Clark committed via text message Tuesday night, the day before today’s National Letter of Intent Day. It’s the first day college recruits can sign to play intercollegiate sports for their school of choice. As a walk-on, Clark does not have to sign with UNC.
Clark played linebacker and running back for Rifle which, this past season, won its fourth consecutive Class 3A Western Slope League title and advanced to the 3A state title game for the second time in three years. He finished with 1,427 rushing yards and 22 touchdowns on 163 carries, and his 97 tackles were second on the team to fellow senior linebacker Austin Shepherd (137).
He said that UNC coach Earnest Collins Jr. would prefer for Clark to play linebacker. Clark had also been offered an academic scholarship at UNC, which he said was equal to the amount of money he was being offered to play football at Mesa. Plus, Clark said that UNC is a fully funded Division I football program now since making the jump from Division II in the early part of the century, meaning UNC can distribute 63 in-state equivalency scholarships. Clark has a chance to earn a scholarship as an upperclassman.
Clark said he owes his opportunity to play college football to playing at Rifle.
“I feel so blessed to have this opportunity,” he said.
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It was a close game, but after some thrilling back-and-forth plays the Rifle Bears were able to pull off the 28-20 victory over The Academy on May 1.