Clark is Named Starter at Penn State

As expected Joe Paterno went with “experience” at the quarterback position as redshirt junior Daryll Clark was named the starter for ’08 this week

Daryll Clark will start at quarterback for Penn State in Saturday’s season opener (August 30th) against Coastal Carolina, coach Joe Paterno announced.  Clark and Pat Devlin competed for the starting job during the preseason, but Paterno said Clark’s experience was a big factor in selecting the redshirt junior.

Clark, who wears #17 in honor of Super Bowl XXII MVP and my Third and a Mile good friend Doug Williams, got his big break last year’s Alamo Bowl as he came off the bench to lead the Nittany Lions to a 24-17 win over Texas A&M.  In the that game Clark (6’2, 231) didn’t throw a pass, but he ran 6 times for 50 yards including an 11-yard touchdown.  For his career at Penn State, the Youngstown, Ohio native has appeared in 15 games the past two seasons attempting 36 passes, completing 20 for 147 yards plus rushed the ball 27 times for 126 yards and five scores. Clark rise up the depth chart was cemented by a very good Blue-White game this Spring and being a player that fellow players have looked to for guidance heading into the ’08 season.

The move by Paterno was expected as the venerable coach always likes Senior-type leaders (John Schaeffer, Chuck Fusina, Michael Robinson, and many others) at the quarterback position and his son/coach Jay Paterno, the play caller at PSU,  was also a big proponent of Clark.  JoePa said of his new starting quarterback “Clark’s got a little more experience, he’s had a good spring practice and a really good preseason, so we’re going to go with Clark, start him but I don’t want him going in there looking over his shoulder.”

The redshirt junior passer will now have to produce on the field as the highly touted Devlin is waiting in the wings.  I will be interested to see if Clark and Penn State can continue their rise back near the top of BCS standings by beating teams like next week’s opponent tough Oregon State than cupcakes like this week’s opponent Coastal Carolina.  Hopefully Clark will be more like Michael Robinson in terms of leading and winning than past Senior-leadership designated starters that struggled Tom Bill, Zack Mills and Matt Seneca.

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