About ten days after Syracuse seemed to land Chris Clark, a five star transfer tight end out of UCLA, the two parties have mutually agreed to “part ways”, according to Scout and Rivals. According to the reports, Syracuse has elected to not honor Clark’s verbal commitment.
This is a very interesting case. On the surface, it seems really confusing as to why the Orange would turn down the commitment from a player who has so much promise. He decided to leave UCLA because he was suffering from homesickness so it’s not like he has had to overcome some devastating injury. So, why did Shafer and Co. turn down the 6-foot-6 tight end?
Well, one reason may be that Clark would not be eligible to play until 2017. As he is a transfer, per NCAA regulations he would have to sit out the following season, which means he could not play until the year after next. The Orange have had plenty of trouble this season at the tight end position as Kendall Moore and Josh Parris have both been kept off the field due to injuries. Shafer may elect to look for a quicker fix at the tight end position as Mike McAllister reports that Syracuse is expected to add a tight end in the class of 2016.
It is also important to remember that coaches do not just look for talent when they bring in recruits. They are looking for a player that fits the vision that the coach has for the team and the program. There is no way to know exactly what Shafer is looking for in a recruit but it is possible that Clark just didn’t fit Shafer’s idea of a Syracuse player.
He is a player who committed to two other schools (UNC and Michigan) before committing to UCLA, only to transfer out. After the Robert Washington headache, it is possible Shafer did not want to deal with something like that again.
We may never know exactly why Syracuse decided against honoring Chris Clark’s commitment but the Chris Clark saga is most certainly over.