Local O-lineman grows in to offer
The second in a series profiling newcomers to the 2017 Arkansas Razorbacks football team.
Ty Clary started his football career as a running back.
For the next four years, the Arkansas Razorbacks are hoping Clary will create holes for their running backs to run through.
Clary is being groomed to be a guard for the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. It’s a position that took some time to cultivate in the 6-4, 280-pound freshman who eventually became a standout fat Fayetteville High School.
“At first I didn’t like it,”
said Clary, who as a youngster at Farmington played behind and not in front of the quarterback. “But my new role grew on me. I had a knee injury and I got a little chubby. It all worked out for me.”
Fayetteville offensive line coach Benji Mahan said Clary has a chance to be a great offensive lineman.
“He’s got great feet and a body that can add more weight,” Mahan said. “He’s got big arms and the physical make up to be a dominate player. He’s got a lot of football smarts. He knows how to use his body, and he knows where to put his hands.”
Considered a late bloomer, Clary was not an immediate
target for the Razorbacks. Tulsa, Cincinnati and Kansas were some of the first programs to take notice of the lineman.
Clary was hopeful the Razorbacks would come around.
“Being so close to the university, I was always interested in them,” Clary said. “We had season tickets, and we
tried to go to as many games as possible. But I never really thought there was any possibility I’d be playing for Arkansas.”
That was until his junior season.
“I thought he was being under-recruited big time,” Mahan said. “I thought he was our best lineman, and we had some really good linemen. But I understood it. Linemen tend to bloom a little later than other positions.”
Once Arkansas became interested, Clary was an eager recruit.
“I’d like to prove that I’m worthy of a scholarship,” Clary said. “I want to bring something to the team.”
Clary was a driving force behind Fayetteville’s championship run last fall. The
Bulldogs (12-1) averaged 42.1 points per game.
“It was awesome watching the team get better and better every week,” said Clary, who spent the majority of his time playing left tackle during his senior season. “Just to be a part of it was special.”
Clary said he did not know what he planned to major in at Arkansas, but he does like “the idea of becoming a coach.”
Mahan said the Razorbacks are getting a player who has all the intangibles to become a super talent.
“He’s a great kid,” Mahan said. “He’s dependable and accountable. He’s going to be early for practice, and he’s going to go to class. The coaches will not have to worry about Ty Clary. They got a steal.”