Former Dawson County High School football standout Bruce Clark will continue his career at Shorter University next season. Clark will play for Hawks coach Phil Jones.
Jones began the program at Shorter nine seasons ago. During that time, Shorter has had six winning seasons and a conference championship in NAIA.
Jones also had an illustrious high school coaching career that spanned 29 years in Georgia.
Shorter is making the transition from NAIA to NCAA Division II. This will be the last year of the transitional phase. The Hawks play in the tough Gulf South Conference, which includes National Champion, Valdosta State.
Shorter was 6-5 last season.
Clark recently completed a great high school career under Head Coach Jeff Lee. The talented wide receiver helped lead his team to a state playoff spot last season.
In his final season, Clark caught 45 passes for 787 yards and 13 touchdowns. He was named to the All-Area team and to the Class AAA All-State team as an honorable mention.
As a junior, Clark hauled down 53 passes for 637 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Clark credits high school coach Jeff Lee with his success.
"Coach Lee is like a second father to me. I used to come in his office every day and he would find time for me. Coach Lee was also a big influence in helping me make the right choice for college. He would get on the whiteboard and we would list the pros and cons for each school," Clark said.
Clark was also heavily recruited by Wingate and Stetson University in Florida.
"Coach Lee helped me weigh out all my options before deciding on Shorter. It just felt like the best option for me," he said. "They have a hall-of-fame coach in Coach Jones, who started the program. From day one he was one of the reasons I chose the school. Plus, it's close to home and my mom and friends can watch me play. Another reason is the move to division II football."
Clark's mother, Georgeanne, was a big influence on his life.
"My mother has always been there for me. She is always the stronghold in my life and has always been a positive influence. My mom left the choice of school pretty much up to me."
The 6'4", 220 pound receiver will report to Shorter on for check-in on Aug. 9. Practices will begin Aug. 12.
Shorter will play its first game of the season on Sept. 7 against Charleston Southern, a Division I-AA school.
High school teammate Matthew Hammond will also attend Shorter and will be Clark's roommate.