Athlete of the Week: De’Corian Clark

Luke Lawhorn, Sports Editor

UTSA football is in the middle of its season, and the offense is leading the way. The Roadrunners are 11th in the nation in total offense, averaging 498.3 yards per game. UTSA has three wide receivers in the top five of receiving yards in Conference USA, and De’Corian Clark sits first overall. Now in his senior year, Clark has improved over his four seasons at UTSA.

“It was just a matter of me knowing the plays. I had to get my head in the game not only mentally but physically,” Clark said.  

Clark made a huge jump from his sophomore season with eight receptions to 52 in his junior season. Through six games, he is already at 39, showing his mental and physical changes.  

“I was buying more into my teammates and I feel like I was becoming a leader because everybody believed in me. So, I grew confidence in a way,” Clark said.  

Clark was added to the Biletnikoff Award watch list, which is the award for the most outstanding receiver in college football. Not only did Clark take the next step in leadership and playmaking, but he did so alongside two other top-tier receivers in Zakhari Franklin and Joshua Cephus who sit amongst receiver rankings in C-USA.  

“I feel like we all bring each other juice,” said Clark when asked about playing alongside Franklin and Cephus. “How we feel now is that nobody can stop us. As long as we know the plays and formations and everything like that, all we have to do is execute, and we feel like we’re pretty good at that.” 

Not only does Clark sit second in C-USA for receiving yards, but he is also seventh in the nation. Accomplishing a 139-yard game against Middle Tennessee and a 217-yard game against Texas Southern is no easy feat, especially when pre-game nerves are involved. Clark is no different, but he shakes them off early.  

“I’m always nervous before a game, but I feel like I don’t get that little burst of energy until I get tackled or hit for the first time. After that first hit, that’s when it’s like, ‘Okay let’s go,’” Clark said.  

As a lethal wide receiver, it’s important to know the plays your team is running, along with being able to read the defense. Knowing the defender and seeing where the weak side is can result in a big play for the offense or even a touchdown. Clark takes pride in the proper prep work, which can be seen in his six touchdowns so far this season. 

“I would say like walking through the plays while I’m at home or having somebody test me with the plays that we learned that week. That’s helped me behind the scenes,” Clark said.  

Being a student-athlete can be hard to manage between the travel, practices, treatment and, of course, the classes. Athletes who love the grind as much as Clark are always in the film room or lifting weights in the afternoon, which shows on the field; however, that means little free time. Being the hard worker that he is, Clark uses his downtime to rest. 

“I really try to get as much rest as I can, but other than that it’s recovery. Going to the training room, taking care of my body with the hot tubs, cold tubs and rest. Resting while I’m at home and playing with my dogs,” said Clark.  

With seven games remaining on the schedule, anything can change. There is plenty of time to make statement performances while also breaking personal and program records. When asked about personal and team goals, Clark did not hesitate to answer.  

“My goals are to get over a thousand yards and to score more touchdowns than I did last year. To get into the double digits,” Clark said. “Team goals, I pray that we once again go to the championship again and have another bowl game, then be able to win that bowl game to make school history.”  

Clark and the rest of the UTSA offense are a force to be reckoned with. With Clark playing the way he is, he is on pace to reach his goals while helping UTSA become repeat conference champs and win the program’s first-ever bowl game.