Georgia Football: The Silent Solid Rock Tyler Clark
The 2019 Georgia Bulldogs have a legitimate argument for the best defense in the entire nation. In fact, this year's defensive unit will go down as one of the best in the History of Georgia Football. The biggest strength of the Dawgs outstanding defense, is stopping the run. This starts upfront with the defensive line and Tyler Clark is a key part of that unit.
Tyler Clark arrived in Athens as a part of coach Kirby Smart's inaugural recruiting class of 2016. He hails from Americus, a small city in Southwest Georgia that has a population of just over 17,000 people. Clark arrived at UGA as a four-star recruit and ranked as the 27th defensive tackle in the nation according to 247sports.com.
He immediately earned playing time as a freshman and has been putting in work for the Georgia Bulldogs ever since. Clark has continued to develop and improve throughout his time in Athens. Tyler considered taking his talents to the NFL after his junior season last spring. However, after not getting the desired draft grade feedback, he decided to return to college for his senior season.
The misfortune of that low draft evaluation has been the Georgia Bulldogs' gain. Clark has been a rock for the UGA defensive line, making 23 tackles. He has set a new career-high in tackles for a loss with seven and tied a career-high with 2.5 sacks.
Yet Tyler Clark's value far exceeds the statistics of the box scores. The 6'4 300 pound mountain of a man uses brute strength and leverage to become an immovable object for opposing blockers. This paves the way for linebackers like Tae Crowder and Monty Rice to make plays in the backfield against the run. The fact that teams often have to combo block Tyler Clark opens up one on one edge opportunities for pass rushers such as Azeez Ojulari and Nolan Smith.
More than just a player who eats up blocks, Clark uses strong hands to disengage and rip through the opposition, to knife his way into the backfield to make plays himself. Additionally, he leads by example. These qualities make him an important part of the best-run defense, in the nation's toughest conference.
Such attributes should also make Clark an attractive commodity for an NFL team when the 2020 NFL draft takes place in April. The team that drafts Tyler Clark will be adding a silent, yet solid rock to their defensive line, and if all goes right for the Georgia Bulldogs for the duration of this season, a champion as well.