No matter what position he plays at the next level, former West Virginia Mountaineer defensive end Will Clarke can make a difference on a football field.
Clarke finished his career at West Virginia ranked sixth all-time in program history with 32 tackles for a loss, and ranks seventh in total yards lost on those same tackles. He would also start 33 games from the beginning of his sophomore season in 2010 until his final game last November against Iowa State in Morgantown.
He might not been a flashy name for West Virginia like Tavon, Geno or others, but you’ll see here that Clarke made a considerable impact on the defensive side of the ball.
Here’s the list of Clarke’s best games during his four years of being a Mountaineer.
Also considered: vs. Marshall, 2011 (4 tackles, 2 TFL)
Clarke totaled four tackles and two tackles for loss in West Virginia’s 34-13 win against Marshall, which was delayed four hours due to severe thunderstorms in Morgantown before being called early in the fourth quarter.
No. 6: vs. Maryland, 2013 (3 tackles, 2 TFL, 2 Sacks)
There certainly wasn’t much for West Virginia players or fans to be happy about in the team’s 37-0 loss, the first shutout to Maryland since 1999. The two sacks by Clarke in the first and third quarters ended Maryland drives before making a deep drive into West Virginia territory to make the score worse last year.
No. 5: at Oklahoma State, 2012 (2 tackles, 2 TFL, Sack, PBU)
With Clint Chelf making his first career start for Oklahoma State, West Virginia wasn’t able to rattle the quarterback as the junior torched the team for nearly 300 yards and four touchdowns. The then-junior Clarke did sack Chelf at the end of the first half before Oklahoma State could extend their 31-17 going into the locker room.
No. 4: vs. Iowa State, 2013 (4 tackles, 2.5 TFL, Sack)
West Virginia was unable to avoid disappointment in the last year’s season finale as the team blew a 24-point lead to Iowa State in a spectacular fashion in three overtimes in Morgantown. Clarke made most of his impact during the second quarter with 2.5 tackles for loss and a sack prior to West Virginia collapsing in the late moments for the fourth time in six games.
No. 3: at TCU, 2013 (4 tackles, 2.5 TFL, Sack, FF)
With what would be the final win as a Mountaineer, Clarke had two tackles for a loss, a sack and a forced fumble to help West Virginia avenge the loss to TCU during the inaugural season in the Big 12 in 2012.
West Virginia could have possibly lost six straight conference games instead of three to end last year, if not for the great game by the West Virginia defensive end.
No. 2: at South Florida, 2011 (9 tackles, TFL)
Clarke had a game-high nine tackles as No. 22 West Virginia knocked off South Florida. 30-27, in Tampa to capture a share of the program’s last Big East Championship.
The nine tackles and one tackle for a loss would stand as Clarke’s best statistical game until right before his career ended for West Virginia.
No. 1: at Kansas, 2013 (10 tackles, 2 TFL)
Similar to the Maryland game from earlier in the year, there were not many bright spots for West Virginia as Kansas won 31-19, snapping their 27-game losing streak in Big 12 conference play dating back to 2010.
Clarke, who had 10 tackles and two for a loss, did his best to contain Kansas running back James Sims, but the senior had a career day with 211 yards and three touchdowns against West Virginia.
We will feature another countdown of the greatest games by another NFL Draft hopeful, RB Charles Sims, later this week here on WVUPros.com.