Calera’s Clark commits to UA

Published 1:18 pm Friday, October 4, 2013

Calera's Ronnie Clark announced his commitment to play football for the University of Alabama Oct. 4.

Calera’s Ronnie Clark announced his commitment to play football for the University of Alabama Oct. 4.

By DREW GRANTHUM/Sports Writer

CALERA — After months of speculation in internet chatrooms, message boards and around office water coolers, it’s official: Ronnie Clark intends to play college ball at Alabama.

The 6-foot-3, 215-pound quarterback announced his commitment at a press conference at Calera High Oct. 4.

“Deep down, I knew that’s where I need to be,” he said.

Clark said he got as much information as possible and made several trips to both Alabama and Auburn, his top choices, to try and weigh the options.

Calera head coach Wiley McKeller said he felt Clark’s decision was well thought out, and that both schools were helpful in the process.

“He did his homework,” McKeller said. “He handled it tremendously. Both coaches (told him) to take his time. They were very professional.”

While many have speculated that the decision has been made for weeks now, those closest to Clark said that was far from the case.

“It was a tough decision,” Ronnie Clark Sr., Ronnie’s father, said. “He came up with it last night. He was torn between the two. He prayed about it, and felt he needed to go to the University of Alabama.”

Throughout the process, Ronnie Sr. said he did his best to help his son any way he could.

“It’s everyday living,” he said. “You’re going to be put in a situation where you have a choice. I just did normal things that a father would do, and let him know I’m going to be there for him.”

While Clark is currently the starting quarterback at Calera, Alabama is recruiting him to play safety. Regardless of position, McKeller said UA was getting a great person on top of a great athlete.

“He’s a tremendous individual,” McKeller said. “A lot of times, elite players get by with things. He doesn’t do that. His teammates feel ‘He’s one of us,'”

With the decision now behind him, Clark and the Eagles will take to the field Oct. 4 to battle the Carbon Hill Bulldogs in region play.