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Fatherhood Helping LSU’s Damone Clark Reach Next Level

Clark establishing himself as premier linebacker in college football through hard work in offseason
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It’s been quite the season for Damone Clark. Leading the country in tackles and exemplifying what it truly means to be a Tiger, Clark has stepped up in a big way for Daronte Jones’ defense.

Though it hasn’t always been perfect for Clark, playing behind LSU legends and waiting for his chance, the patience of his has paid off. Despite the struggles for the Tigers this season, Clark has taken the next step to put himself in the All-American conversation.

If you asked Clark if he thought he’d be in this position as an 18-year-old stud at Southern Lab High School, he’d probably be optimistic.

“I'm just thankful for my time at Southern Lab,” Clark said. “It was a tough time my senior year. I just wake up and thank God every day. When I first got here it was a tough transition for me.”

One thing that has changed Clark’s perspective on not just football, but life, is his daughter Dakota. Knowing who he needs to provide for, his No. 1 supporter is what motivates him to be great.

“My one year old daughter is my biggest motivation,” Clark said. “I could have walked away last year, and I thought who would have taken care of her. She is my biggest motivator.”

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Fatherhood has brought Clark and Tigers running back Tyrion Davis-Price even closer. Aside from their success on the gridiron this season, the two have seen their relationship grow as they want to provide for their children.

"We always give small points to each other because my daughter is older than his daughter,” Clark said. “So there are things that he may not know and if he don't ask his dad, he can ask me."

LSU placekicker/punter Avery Atkins, who also rocks the prized number 18 jersey, harped on the maturity of Clark as he has taken such a leap this 2021 season.

“He's grown so much,” Atkins said. “He'd come in here on a Saturday and Sunday. He's always working. I don't think he leaves the building. He didn't have the season he wanted last year and he's really stepped it up [this season].”

The numbers Clark has put up game in and game out is what has seen his name climb up draft boards. Playing sideline-to-sideline, his versatility at the linebacker positon is what makes him so special.

As fatherhood has him maturing at such a young age, the sky is the limit for Clark, who has the chance to put his name amongst the LSU greats after this season. Just a little over halfway through the year, there is still a ton of room for improvement as Clark closes out his LSU career.