Jeremy Clark played in just three games for Michigan last season because of a torn ACL. He did expect to get an invitation to the NFL combine, but after the NCAA denied him a sixth year of eligibility the defensive back was more than happy to travel to Indianapolis and present himself to the 32 teams.
Clark told media members on Sunday that while he’s back to running, he’s not ready to do on-field drills at the combine and it’s unlikely he’ll do them at Michigan’s Pro Day, scheduled for March 24.
“I’m just embracing the whole process,” Clark said. “Everything that’s been going on, I’m just taking it in. It was a blessing to be here. But at the same time, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to compete in everything so the things I were going to be able to compete in I wanted to take serious, so I’ve been working.”
Clark participated in the bench press, finishing with 20 reps of 225 pounds. It was one of the top numbers among defensive backs. Clark said he has added 15 pounds to his 6-foot-3 frame, up to 220. That may push him to playing safety in the NFL, but he believes he can still play cornerback or provide coverage skills.
“Whatever a team needs me at, to be honest with you,” Clark said. “I feel like I can play both positions. I’m just going in with an open mind and whatever they need me.”
Clark has to prove to teams that he is on his way to a healthy return, the same concern teammate Jake Butt has been addressing during team interview sessions. Scouts were intrigued by Clark’s size and speed prior to the knee injury, suffered in a blowout win against Penn State. The injury may end up costing him a draft spot, but getting to the combine and being able to meet with teams gives him a chance to leave a good personal impression.
“I just want to show them that I’ve been working,” Clark said. “A lot of guys they get down and they might go into a little drought, a little slump. I just want to let everyone know that I’m still competing, still trying to be up there with the best.”
Land of 10 writer Scott Dochterman contributed to this report.