For Clark, fan in high places Michigan's head coach likes the Penn State quarterback.

Posted: October 20, 2009

Rich Rodriguez felt Daryll Clark would have been a good fit for his spread offense at West Virginia when he recruited the quarterback out of Ursuline High in Youngstown, Ohio, but Clark opted for Penn State instead.

Now, Rodriguez will get his second look at Clark as the coach at Michigan when his Wolverines (5-2, 1-2 Big Ten) take on the Nittany Lions (6-1, 2-1) on Saturday in Ann Arbor.

"I remember him coming out of high school," Rodriguez said at a news conference yesterday. "We recruited him a little bit. He's an outstanding athlete. He's achieved an awful lot. I think he's one of the best quarterbacks in the country. He can run, throw. He's a great leader."

Rodriguez left West Virginia for Michigan after the 2007 season. After high school, Clark spent a year at Kiski Prep in Saltsburg, Pa., to bolster his grades.

The coach was impressed by Clark's development over the last two years in the Nittany Lions' offense, dubbed the "Spread HD," saying the quarterback had "adapted very well."

"You could see his progression just looking from afar," Rodriguez said.

In addition, talk to anybody in the Penn State program and you will be told "what a great young man he's been as far as being a leader and a captain," Rodriguez said.

Clark passed for 171 yards and rushed for 45, scoring two touchdowns on the ground, in Penn State's 46-17 victory over the Wolverines last year at Beaver Stadium. The win broke the Nittany Lions' nine-game losing streak in games against Michigan.

Clark completed 21 of 32 passes for 287 yards and a touchdown in Saturday's 20-0 victory over Minnesota. He is 28th in the nation in passing efficiency.

The Lions hope to snap a five-game losing streak against the Wolverines at Michigan Stadium. Their last win there was a 29-17 triumph in 1996.

Contact staff writer Joe Juliano at 215-854-4494 or jjuliano@phillynews.com.

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