By TONY ADAME
The Wichita Eagle
Chalk up another high-profile recruit from the Wichita area to Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy.
Collegiate’s Trace Clark, a 6-foot-5, 240-pound defensive end, committed to the Cowboys on Thursday/Friday, choosing Oklahoma State over Iowa, Purdue, Kansas, Kansas State, Oregon and Stanford.
Gundy flew from Stillwater to Wichita on Thursday night by private jet and Clark committed in his family’s living room.
“I’m very relieved to know that most of the process is over now,” said Clark, a three-star recruit according to Rivals.com. “I can get back to my school work and playing basketball and I only have a couple of coaches that I need to talk to now in coach Gundy and my position coach.”
Schools can’t comment on recruits until they’ve signed a national letter of intent, which Clark will do on February 1.
Last month, Clark was named to The Wichita Eagle’s Top 11 team after recording 106 tackles, six sacks and three forced fumbles this season.
Clark joins two other local standouts on the Cowboys’ roster in running back Joseph Randle, from Wichita Southeast, and defensive back Devin Hedgepeth, a Derby product. Hedgepeth was Clark’s host for his recruiting visit the weekend of the Oklahoma-Oklahoma State game.
“I think those two being there helped a lot,” Clark said. “With Devin being my host on the trip, he was just really helpful and (Randle and Hedgepeth) both kept telling me they really wanted me to be another Wichita-area kid who comes down there and has success.”
Clark didn’t let family ties get in the way of his decision, either. His father, Steve, played for Kansas State and the New England Patriots and older brother Zac was an All-Pac 10 defensive lineman last season as a senior at Oregon.
“I think that Trace looked at what the best situation was for him, for his education and his football future,” said Steve, who is an assistant coach at Collegiate. “(Oklahoma State) did the best job of recruiting Trace from Day One, did all the things you’re supposed to do when you’re serious about somebody.
“We had some idea it would be Oklahoma State, but (Gundy) didn’t know when he showed up. It was funny because (Gundy) said he told his assistant coaches that if they’d already been up here, to stay home because they’d had their chance. He wanted a shot at it.”
Clark told his family earlier this week that it was down to Oklahoma State and Iowa and they went out and bought gear from both schools, just in case. Clark also marks a clean sweep of siblings to play Division I sports – Older sister Destiny played volleyball at Arkansas and older sister Sadie plays at Arkansas State.
Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy and Collegiate defensive end Trace Clark tonight at the Clark's house in Wichita after Clark committed to the Cowboys.