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There's not a typo in this stat line: Against Ole Miss, LSU linebacker Damone Clark was credited with 20 tackles, including 2.5 for a loss, with a forced fumble. 

It made it easy for LSU Country to name Clark the most improved player as part of its midseason awards. He leads all of college football with 12.2 tackles per game and already has 99 on the season. 

He's making a strong case for All-SEC recognition and a lot more. 

"I looked at myself in the mirror and last year I was nowhere near where I wanted to be," Clark said. "There's always room for improvement but overall I told myself 'You're not doing the things you need to do.' I had a talk with coach O and I give credit to (linebackers coach Blake) Baker as well. We started from scratch and I'm just appreciative."

Clark wasn't named the SEC Defensive Player of the Week, which instead went to Ole Miss linebacker Chance Campbell (10 tackles, a forced fumble and a sack in helping lead Ole Miss past LSU, 31-17). However, he did get it for his 15-tackle performance against Mississippi State earlier this season. 

"I'm so proud of Damone, he's all over the field, making tackles, he's a tremendous leader. We're very proud of him," LSU coach Ed Orgeron said Saturday after the Ole Miss game. "His hard work, dedication. He identified some things he needed to get better at, one was open field tackling, he's got a lot better at that. Two was his pass coverage and he's gotten a lot better at that."

Damone Clark

Jersey: No. 18
Position: Linebacker
Height: 6-2.5
Weight: 245
DOB: 6/28/00
Draft Eligible: 2022
Hometown: Baton Rouge, Louisiana 
High School: Southern Lab

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Pros

Possessing great size and length to play the linebacker position, Clark has above average athleticism and build-up speed to cover ground once he gets going. Showing good eyes for the most part, he locates ball carriers and flows towards them. Clark sees and fills holes quickly. He is strong enough to drag down big ball carriers. With his length, he flashes the ability to stack and shed using a rip move. After play action, Clark finds and takes away underneath routes. His speed allows him to carry backs on wheel routes and tight ends up the seam.

Cons

Despite his size, Clark is unable to stack and shed consistently, failing to anchor and getting driven off the ball. When taking on blocks, he gets tunnel vision on them, missing runners. He does not blow up and dispose of smaller blockers. Clark is unable to get angles on ball carriers in space, frequently missing in one on one situations. Quick route runners separate underneath as he is slow to change directions. Clark lacks closing speed to be dangerous on the blitz and rarely squares runners up in the hole.

Summary

A linebacker with impressive size, Clark has build-up speed to run with tight ends and play with enough range at the second level. He does not play to his size when taking on blocks and lacks short-area movement skills. Clark projects as a developmental linebacker due to his size and athleticism. If he can become more physical and improve pursuit angles he will at least be a backup with starting potential at Mike.

Grades

6.4 (current value)/7.8 (potential value)

BamaCentral Analysis

He had 13 tackles in last year's meeting with Alabama, but LSU still lost 55-17 as running back Najee Harris topped 100 yards rushing and wide receiver DeVonta Smith surpassed 200 receiving. Has really good size and is extremely effective at getting to anything in front of him. Where he was especially susceptible in the past was in pass coverage when forced to drop back, so it'll be interesting to see how much the Crimson Tide may try and test him. Do they try and isolate him with the occasional tight end, or just try and get him going sideline-to-sideline as much as possible in an effort to wear the defense down. Maybe some of both. Regardless, he'll be a force in the middle for the Tigers. 

All this week and next, BamaCentral will profile numerous LSU players as the Crimson Tide prepares to host the Tigers at Bryant-Denny Stadium on Nov. 6. Also check out NFL Draft Bible for more evaluations.

RB Tyrion Davis-Price

There's not a typo in this stat line: Against Ole Miss, LSU linebacker Damone Clark was credited with 20 tackles, including 2.5 for a loss, with a forced fumble. 

It made it easy for LSU Country to name Clark the most improved player as part of its midseason awards. He leads all of college football with 12.2 tackles per game and already has 99 on the season. 

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