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Ex-footballer becomes a throwback

BY JORDAN HANSEN | MARCH 27, 2014 5:00 AM

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Senior thrower Drew Clark has come full circle.

In high school, Clark was an accomplished athlete in both track and football. He won two Drake Relays shot-put championships as well as a state title in the shot and discus under the watchful eye of his coach and father, Charles Clark.

His high-school mark in the shot put of 64-feet, 7¾ was top 10 in the nation, and he fit the bill as either a Division I thrower or football player.

He decided to pursue football over track in college and signed with the Hawkeyes to do just that. However, track did not stray far from his mind.

“I considered playing both football and track my freshman year; I was definitely thinking a lot about it,” he said. “Once I got into football, I realized that trying to do both sports along with engineering was going to really press me for time.”

Clark played offensive line for Iowa during his time on the football team and was a reserve. He saw sparse playing time in 2010 and 2011, but after a win against Tennessee Tech in 2011, he did not set foot on the football field.

Current defensive-line coach Reese Morgan was Clark’s coach during his days on the football team because Morgan coached the offensive side of the ball until this past season.

“I had the opportunity to watch him as a competitor, and he was really well-coached, elite young man,” Morgan said. “He’s extremely team orientated, and he wasn’t much worried about individual recognition; he had a team-first attitude.”

After his football career, something else manifested itself in the form of throwing for the track team.

He contacted Scott Cappos, the throwing coach for the Hawkeyes who was more than willing to give Clark a chance on the team.

“I talked to him when he was a high-school thrower, and because his girlfriend is on the team, he knows a lot of the guys on the team,” Cappos said. “That goes along with him already knowing what it’s like before he gets out here.

“He had that interest, and he talked to me this summer to see if he could try out for the team.”

That chance is paying dividends for Iowa. Clark finished in the top five three times in his first indoor season with the track and field squad.

It wasn’t much of a surprise when he made the team, and since that point, he’s had the full support of the people in his life, including his father.

“He’s his own man, so he has to make his own decisions,” Charles Clark said,  “I was excited, and he has always had a lot a potential in track, and athletics are all about having fun and challenging himself, which I think he’s doing.”

With Drew Clark’s days as a college athlete waning, everything seems to be falling into a place for an athlete that will end his career with quite a number of experiences.

“I wouldn’t change anything that’s happened — everything I learned and went through for football, I don’t regret any of that,” Clark said. “This being my last chance for track, I definitely don’t regret any of that, either.”


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