WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Potsdam native Shawn Clark lived out a dream in October and November, playing for the Blues in the Spring League in San Antonio, Texas, a developmental league for NFL hopefuls.
Clark was thankful to get the chance to put on the pads once again and hopefully catch the eye of some NFL teams in need of a 6 foot 8, 245 pound tight end.
“It’s been a great opportunity, another opportunity to strap them up, and you know, play against some of football’s best right now. And just meeting new people- the coaches- and just getting another chance to just prove I can play with the best of them. It’s been a great opportunity so far,” Clark said.
Clark feels his play and understanding of the game made big strides during his time both on and off the field, learning from some former NFL coaches and finding a mentor on his team who had a stint with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
“Dave Grinnich, who had two years NFL experience with the Jacksonville Jaguars, and you know, just being able to play together and learn from him and just help each other has helped grow my game significantly in this last month. Just being down here, I think that’s reflected in my play, in the run game and in the pass game making some big plays down field,” Clark said.
That growth is reflected in Clark’s numbers.
In three games with the Blues, Clark had nine catches from 130 yards, an average of over 14 yards a catch. It’s proof Clark says that he can play with some of the best football players around.
“Always believe in yourself,” Clark said. “I’ve said this before and I’m going to say it again- when you have a goal or a dream that you want to achieve, just having that confidence just to believe in yourself no matter what anybody says and, you know, to just constantly try your best because along the way you’re going to have some ups and downs but all those ups are going to outweigh all those downs and I’m getting to experience that right now.”
Clark says he will take away many memories from his three games played in the Spring League, along with some friendships he feels will last a lifetime. But the one thing that struck him the most was the stark contrast between professional football and the college game.
“Just having that opportunity to go out there and make plays with some of these high name guys is really exciting,” Clark said.
So what’s next for Shawn Clark?
“Like I said I’ve just always been living my life one opportunity at a time so I come down, take this opportunity and make the most of it and then, I just wait for that next phone call knowing that I can bring something to another NFL team.”