Article from San Bernardino Sun Newspaper
RIALTO – On the surface, there seems to be little in common between the football programs at UCLA and Carter High School.
During the summer, Carter senior lineman Kenny Clark attended camps at UCLA, USC and Washington. He got offers from Washington and UCLA, and interest from USC.
But he gave a verbal commitment to go to UCLA in part because of a similarity between UCLA and Carter.
“I want to be part of building something,” Clark said. “Like we’ve done here at Carter.”
Clark was a key player on both the defensive and offensive lines for last year’s
best-ever Lions squad that went 11-2 and advanced to the CIF-SS Central Division semifinals.
He wants a lot more this year.
“I want to go 14-0 and win CIF,” he said. “I don’t like losing.”
The 6-foot-2, 297-pound Clark seems to have two sides: soft-spoken and good-natured off the field, but intense on the field and in workouts.
That’s the only reason to explain Clark refusing to rest on his laurels.
“Last year, he was listed at 280 (pounds),” Carter coach Alex Pierce said. “He filled out in the weight room. He had 36 college offers and he could’ve just coasted. But he’s got a great work ethic.”
He certainly wasn’t coasting when he spent most of his days this summer working out from 5-7 a.m.
And the reason for that? Not necessarily what you’d think. He’s not focused on college or the NFL. Rather, he wants to help his Carter team win.
“Unless someone brings it up, you wouldn’t know I have a scholarship because I don’t talk about it,” Clark said. “That (UCLA) will happen next year. Right now, I’m focused on this year.”
He’s focused on this year, but he says he’s not focused on personal statistics. A year ago, he had 6 1/2 sacks, 36 tackles and two fumble recoveries. He may be bigger and stronger this year, but can expect to see a steady diet of two blockers.
As an offensive lineman, there aren’t accurate statistics to measure your worth. The only one is how the offense runs and last year area Player of the Year Gaylon Maxie rushed for 1,905 yards for Carter.
But Clark’s athletic talents aren’t limited to the football field. As a heavyweight wrestler last season, Clark advanced to the CIF State Championships.
Despite a future in football, Clark says he still plans to wrestle for his senior season this winter.
“I started wrestling my sophomore year,” Clark said. “Coach (Kevin) Hennessy got me to wrestle and I really like it. If something goes wrong, it’s on you.
“Everybody is questioning me … asking me why I want to keep wrestling. But I’m careful.”
His focus may be on his senior year at Carter, but make no mistake – he wants to play in the NFL.
“That’s what I’ve always wanted, to go to the NFL,” he said. “I never really had a college team in mind.”
He’s certainly got a college team now. But first, he has a high school team to worry about.