Patience oftentimes pays off, especially in the case of Jefferson’s Colby Clark, the senior QB who did everything on the field to show that he was worthy of an offer. The Dragons’ signal-caller didn’t have the tangibles that many schools were after – they look often at height and size.
For Clark, he proves to be a reward for the program that looked past the surface to see the intangibles, as well as the skillset. Harding University made an offer that Clark couldn’t refuse, and the Dragons’ QB has become the latest Bison.
“I felt the weight of the world lift of my shoulders,” says Clark on being able to conclude the recruiting process. “The coaches at Harding look deeper into players other than seeing how tall or how fast they are. I’ve had many coaches look past me because of my height. Coach Simmons (HC) and Coach Hill (OC) acknowledge how hard I play, and that means so much to me. Another thing that really made me buy in was that all the coaches on staff played at Harding and genuinely care about the program’s success.”
The decision came on a visit recently to the university with his family, and Clark recognized being a part of what’s going on at Harding was something he was sold on.
“After a great day of visiting the campus, we then had a meeting with Coach Simmons, and he asked me what my thoughts were, and I told him this is a place I want to be, and I’m ready to be Bison,” recounts Clark.
“He jumped up out of his seat and hugged my parents and me and continued to express to us how excited he was for me to join the Harding family. It was a huge relief knowing that I’m going to be at an amazing university for the next 4-5 years and be a part of the Bison family for life.”
Harding is a D-II NCAA school that is nestled in Searcy, Arkansas, and as recently as 2017 played in the National Semifinals. The program has made the playoffs in each of the past 3 seasons, so the winning foundation is nothing new to Clark.
“Jefferson has guided me on the right path to succeed at the next level academically and athletically and especially at a place like Harding,” says Clark.
“Jefferson and Harding are both very well-respected schools that expect nothing but success and push their students and athletes to their highest potential.”
It should be an easy fit for both Harding and Clark, who has a chance to play early, though nothing is a given.
“Coach Simmons told me I’m going to have to work my tail off just like anyone else on the field and compete like crazy,” adds Clark.
“I have an excellent opportunity in front of me to be successful, but it is going to come with a lot of hard work. Harding is a special place with special people. I can’t thank them enough for how welcoming they have been to me.”
Clark just finished off his senior season as an All-State honoree, and led the Dragons to the 3A Quarterfinals. He passed for 563 yards and 9 TD against just one interception, and rushed for 1,108 yards and 24 scores. For his career at Jefferson, he passed for 1,559 yards and rushed for 2,501, and had a hand in 65 TDs (46 rushing, 19 passing).