|Tight end/ Fullback / Long snapper|
|Date of birth:April 20, 1977|
|Place of birth: Bartow, Florida|
|College: Wake Forest|
|NFL Draft: 1999 / Round: 6 / Pick: 179|
|Debuted in 1999 for the Denver Broncos|
|Last played in 2010 for the Chicago Bears|
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2010
Desmond Darice Clark (born April 20, 1977 in Bartow, Florida ) is a former American football tight end who played in the National Football League. He was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the sixth round of the 1999 NFL Draft. He played college football at Wake Forest. Clark also played for the Miami Dolphins and Chicago Bears.
Clark attended Kathleen High School, where he played football as a quarterback, free safety, and return specialist. He was also the holder for former Chicago Bears place kicker Paul Edinger. He also played basketball and baseball during his high school years. His brother, Dominique Davis, played quarterback at East Carolina University.
Clark attended Wake Forest University, where he was a wide receiver and caught at least one pass against every ACC opponent he faced. He was a two-time second team All-ACC selection, a two-time team MVP, and finished his career as the ACC all-time leading receiver with 216 receptions for 2834 yards (13.12 yards per rec. avg.) and twenty touchdowns.
The Denver Broncos drafted Clark in the sixth round of the 1999 NFL Draft, where he was converted to tight end, behind Shannon Sharpe, Dwayne Carswell and Byron Chamberlain on the depth chart. He played with them for three seasons, until the team waived him the preseason. Clark, who was nursing an arm injury, was signed by the Miami Dolphins, and spent a lone season with them before joining the Chicago Bears in 2003. In 2006, Clark helped the Bears win the NFC Championship and a trip to Super Bowl XLI with regular season statistics of 626 yards on 45 catches with a 13.9 average and 6 touchdowns.
On February 24, 2008, the Chicago Bears awarded Clark with a two-year extension. During the 2008 season, Clark caught 41 passes from Kyle Orton and recorded 367 receiving yards and one touchdown. With the emergence of fellow tight end Greg Olsen, Clark dropped to the number two tight end on the team's depth chart. Clark suffered a back injury during the team's 2009 season opener against the Green Bay Packers, and missed five starts. He ultimately accumulated 19 receptions, 145 receiving yards, and two touchdowns in this injury-shortened season.
In 2010, Mike Martz was hired to replace Ron Turner as the Bears offensive coordinator. Clark's role in the Bears offense began to diminish, as he spent most of his time on the team's inactive list. He recorded just one reception for twelve yards. The Bears won the NFC North, but lost the NFC Championship to the Green Bay Packers. After the game, Clark, who was on the final year of his contract, stated he was not sure if the team would offer him an extension.
Clark re-signed with the Bears on August 2, 2011, but was later released on September 3, 2011. At the end of his tenure with the Bears, Clark ranked second all-time in tight end receptions for the team with 242, trailing only Hall of Famer Mike Ditka.
In a Chicago Tribune article published in 2013, Clark revealed that he had decided to retire from football once and for all in September 2012. After a meeting with the Chicago Bears community relations department regarding his youth foundation, Clark was escorted from the premises of Halas Hall by security. Clark said that "he was viewed as an uninvited free agent, not a former member of the Bears' family." Clark had played for the Bears for 8 seasons from 2003 through 2010. Clark told the Chicago Tribune "I was like, 'Are you serious?" "So what I did, just so I could have a relationship with the team was, I wrote them a letter saying my intentions were to never play again and that I was officially retired from football.
88 Wayz Youth Organization
88 Wayz, a non-profit school program started by Clark in 2008, provides a free mentor/leadership program for Polk County-area and Chicago-area schools. 88 Wayz assists youth in realizing their dreams and reaching their full potential by mentoring, motivating, and developing the confidence needed to achieve and become productive adults. 88 Wayz utilizes T.A.L.K.S. Mentoring, an innovative, cognitive-behavioral approach to youth mentoring that focuses on leadership skill development through peer-to-peer and youth-adult interactions. 88 Wayz is delivering its program in 12 schools. 88 Wayz is based in Lakeland, FL.
- "Desmond Clark @ databasefootball.com". databasefootball.com. Retrieved 2010-09-28.
- NFLPlayers.com, Desmond Clark Bio, Retrieved on October 22, 2007.
- "Desmond Clark Stats - ESPN". Sports.espn.go.com. Retrieved 2012-03-03.
- Haugh, David (2009-08-04). "Greg Olsen replaces Desmond Clark as Bears’ starting tight end". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2010-01-06.
- Dickerson, Jeff (2011-01-23). "Desmond Clark done in Chicago?". ESPNChicago.com. Retrieved 2011-01-24.
- Biggs, Brad (2011-09-03). "Cutdown day: Bears release Clark, Taylor, Harrison". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2011-09-03.
- McClure, Vaughn (2013-02-09). "Former Bears adjusting to life on outside". articles.chicagotribune.com (Chicago Tribune). Retrieved 2013-10-08.
- "Desmond Clark Profile". inleague.com. InLeague. Retrieved 17 April 2013.
- Jeff Miller <http://about.me/jeffmiller00>. "The Dez Clark & Alex Brown Show". Dezclarkshow.com. Retrieved 2012-03-03.
- "Tilted Kilt hosts Dez Clark & Alex Brown Show Jan. 19". DailyHerald.com. Retrieved 2012-03-03.
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