Chris Clark‘s winding college football journey has taken yet another twist.
After Tuesday’s practice, Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi revealed that Clark has decided to take what was described by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette as a leave of absence from the Panthers football team. No specific reason for the departure, which may or may not be temporary, was given.
Narduzzi did state that the door is open for a return.
A four-star member of UCLA’s 2015 recruiting class, Clark was rated as the No. 2 tight end in the country according to 247Sports.com. In mid-September of that year, however, Clark left the Bruins football program, with the university placing restrictions on where he could transfer to that included Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State. A month after he left UCLA, he confirmed that he would be continuing his playing career at Syracuse; less than two weeks later, the Orange pulled their offer from Clark.
After moving on to Pitt, Clark sat out the 2016 season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules. In 2017, Clark started eight of the 12 games in which he played. The 6-6, 260-pounder caught 16 passes for 122 yards and a touchdown during his first on-field season at Pitt.
Prior to his unexpected sabbatical, Clark had been penciled in as the Panthers’ starting tight end for the 2018 season.