football

Free-agent WR Clark signs with NFL’s Falcons

EDMOND, Ok Injuries hampered Central Oklahoma’s Marquez Clark throughout his senior season last fall, but it didn’t stop the gifted wide receiver from earning a free agent contract with the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons.

The 5-11, 185-pound Clark signed with the Falcons Saturday and heads to Atlanta Thursday to participate in a rookie mini-camp.

“It’s like a dream come true,” Clark said.  “I’m very excited and grateful for this opportunity.  I just wanted a chance and now I’m ready to get in there and work my way up the ladder and do anything they want me to do.”

Clark put together a phenomenal junior season for the Bronchos in 2013 in earning All-America honors, catching a school-record 82 passes for 1,348 yards and racking up an NCAA Division II-leading 2,249 all-purpose yards.

But a variety of ailments slowed Clark throughout his final season, limiting him to six full games and parts of three others.  He caught 35 passes for 327 yards and one touchdown while adding 77 yards and two TDs in 10 rushes as UCO went 8-4 last fall.

Clark was still on the NFL radar, however, and a strong showing during UCO’s Pro Day in March earned him plenty of attention.  He entertained offers from several teams before picking the Falcons.

“Atlanta made the first offer and I think it’s a good fit for me,” Clark said.  “I’ve been working hard and I’m going in there healthy.  It’s exciting and I’m ready to go.”

A native of Texarkana, Texas, Clark played two years at Navarro College for UCO head coach Nick Bobeck, earning All-America recognition as a sophomore when he set NJCAA single-season records for catches and yardage.  He transferred to UCO in 2012 when Bobeck took over the reigns and redshirted the season before playing the last two.