Sept. 24, 2007
Editor’s Note: Each Monday during the NFL season hawkeyesports.com will feature the performance of one former University of Iowa student-athlete making his mark at the “next level,” the National Football League. The 2007 Iowa Hawkeyes entertain Indiana Saturday at 11 a.m. in historic Kinnick Stadium in this year’s Homecoming game and, therefore, it only makes sense to feature all-Pro tight end Dallas Clark of the Indianapolis Colts.
IOWA CITY – The defending Super Bowl champion Indianapolis Colts are unbeaten in 2007 and, while there’s probably plenty of players deserving of credit for the team’s 3-0 start, there wouldn’t be any argument about including tight end Dallas Clark on the list.
The former consensus all-American from the University of Iowa collected a team-high four catches for 58 yards in Sunday’s 30-24 victory over the Houston Texans. His first reception was a 2-yarder that completed a 15-play, 74-yard Indianapolis drive that consumed 8 ½ minutes and evened the score at 7.
His longest of the day – a 26-yarder – set up a 36-yard field goal that gave the Colts a 17-10 lead that they never relinquished en route to only the fourth victory by a visiting team in Week 3 of the NFL season.
Clark, who is in his fifth season with the Colts, has nine catches for 117 yards in the first three games of 2007. If Clark maintains the same pace for the season, he’ll have a record-setting year – a nice achievement but something the winner of the 2002 John Mackey Award as the nation’s top collegiate tight end would trade in a heartbeat for another Super Bowl ring.
His career bests for Indianapolis came during the 2005 season when he had 37 catches for 488 yards. Four of the receptions went for seven.
Clark walked on to the UI program and was originally slotted as a linebacker. However, it didn’t take long to realize that the native Iowan had a nose for the ball, great hands and outstanding speed. Clark hit stride his junior and senior seasons when he collected 81 receptions for more than 1,200 yards and eight touchdowns.
His 95-yard touchdown return against Purdue during Clark’s junior season still sits at the top of the longest touchdown receptions in school history. He also had the game-winner that day, snaring a 7-yard toss from Brad Banks that gave the Hawkeyes an important come-from-behind win before a crazed sellout crowd at Kinnick.
Clark is one of a string of Iowa tight ends who used their experience at Iowa to capture the attention of NFL scouts. Last year’s No. 1 tight end, Scott Chandler, was a fourth round selection of the San Diego Chargers. Tony Jackson (Seattle), Erik Jensen (Pittsburgh), Zeron Flemister (Washington), and Austin Wheatley (New Orleans) are others.
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