Dave Clark will get a chance later this month to show his skills to Canadian Football League scouts.
The former Holland College Hurricanes running back has been invited to the CFL regional combine in Quebec City on March 20.
“I learned the basics playing with the P.E.I. Privateers (of the Maritime Football League), but the experience I got with the Hurricanes was invaluable,” Clark said in a news release Friday. “The team provided a very supportive environment and I really developed as a player.”
Clark ran the ball for the Hurricanes in 2010 and 2011. In his final year, Clark helped lead the team to its first-ever Atlantic Football League championship and earned offensive MVP honours. During the historic 2011 campaign, Clark was the dominant runner in the league, amassing 1,498 rushing yards on 163 carries for an average of 9.2 yards per carry. Clark, who runs to 40-yard sprint in 4.42, also led the league with 15 touchdowns.
Clark is well-known to Islanders as a gymnast. At the age of 11, he was the youngest athlete to compete in the 1999 Canada Games, and received two gold medals, and a silver and bronze at the Canadian national championships. At five-foot-11 and 179 pounds, Clark finds his gymnast training gives him an edge over larger players.
“Football is an explosive sport, and so is gymnastics,” he said. “In both instances, there’s a lot of stopping and starting, with short bursts of activity. The ability to perform under those circumstances, along with the core strength and balance that gymnastics build, actually gives me an advantage.”
This is the second year in a row a Holland College Hurricane has drawn the interest of the Canadian Football League. Last year it was linebacker Marcus Dunphy, who was scouted by the Toronto Argonauts before being invited to an Argos mini-camp for a four-day evaluation.
“Doors are really opening for our players, which is certainly rewarding for them and for everyone associated with our program, including our dedicated coaching staff,” said Hurricanes president Mike O’Grady.
“In Dave’s case, he certainly deserves the shot and we know he will give it everything, just as he did on the field. He was unstoppable.”