The 2014 Michigan State recruiting class continues to grow and the Spartans picked up a verbal commitment from Marvin Clark, a wing forward who plays for Sunrise Academy in Wichita, Kansas. Sunrise is also the home of MSU signee Lourawls Nair and Clark has received a lot of attention as a late available player with talent. Other programs in the mix were Seton Hall, Kansas State, Iowa State, and Indiana. While recruiting Nairn may have been what drew MSU initially to watch Marvin Clark, they must have liked what they saw as the staff spent more time on him this winter. He received an offer earlier in March and rushed in for an official visit a few days later. Despite visiting Indiana next, Coach Izzo apparently made enough of an impression to set up a future commitment.
Without a lot of scouting information, the big question is where does Clark fit and what position will he play. Lacking ideal size for a post, he shapes up as a big bodied wing forward, a 6'6" player who can use his size to rebound and dominate smaller wings. At the same time, these sort of players have a tendency to migrate into the post at Michigan State (Alan Anderson, Raymar Morgan, Branden Dawson) so I would bet on Clark getting time in the paint in a small line-up. The honest truth is that, outside of about six plays in a :51 clip, most of us have not seem much of him unless you watched a Sunrise Academy game. There is sure to be some more information available now that he's committed to Michigan State and I'll include those in the comments as they come up.
It's easy to use the lack of clips and highlights of Clark on the court to fill in the blanks of his game with elements outside of basketball. Clark was the subject of a 20-minute documentary discussing his difficult childhood and complicated path to Sunrise. He's demonstrated the ability to overcome intense adversity, work hard to achieve his goals, and avoid the pitfalls that derail careers. One can imagine that this is part of his appeal to Coach Izzo and staff. They must see a player who they trust to work to get better each dayt for four years. Clark also presents himself as a character kid, someone who will be a model of conducting yourself as a student-athlete and never take for granted his opportunity in East Lansing. If you like blue-collar players adding toughness and life experience to your program, Clark should be a great fit.
So, we're happy to welcome Marvin Clark into the Spartan family and look forward to watching him play next season!