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Alfred University’s Clark invited to Bills free agent mini-camp
5/02/12

ALFRED, NY - Nick Clark (Canisteo, NY/Canisteo-Greenwood), a former All-American linebacker on the Alfred University football team, has been invited to participate in a Buffalo Bills mini camp for free agents.

Clark, who wrapped up a record-setting career with the Saxons last fall, was not chosen in last weekend’s NFL draft, nor was he signed to an undrafted free agent contract. But he’ll have a chance to impress coaches with the Bills when the team holds its mini-camp for unsigned free agents, beginning Thursday, May 10.

On April 29, the day after the NFL Draft concluded, Clark’s agent Chris Turnage, received calls from representatives of the Bills and the St. Louis Rams inviting Clark to attend their mini-camps. Clark chose to accept the Bills invitation, in part because of the proximity to his home, but also because of the team’s prior evaluation of his abilities. "I ranked pretty highly on their pre-draft board," he said.

Clark said he’ll be at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park May 10-13 for the mini-camp, which will include undrafted players and those not signed to free agent contracts. Unlike the pre-draft combine he attended in Akron, OH, in early March, where players are evaluated on speed, agility and strength via a series of non-contact drills (40-yard dash, broad- and high jump, i.e.), the mini-camp will focus more on on-field drills aimed at evaluating players’ abilities at their position, in Clark’s case linebacker.

A 6-2, 235-pound outside linebacker for the Saxons, Clark was a four-year starter at AU, where he set a school career record for tackles. He was a four-time Empire 8 Conference all-star (Second Team, 2008, First Team 2009-11) and a two-time conference Defensive Player of the Year (2010, 2011).

He wrapped up a stellar collegiate career by being named an American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) First Team All-America after his senior season, when he had 108 tackles (nine for loss, three sacks), two interceptions and two forced fumbles. For his career, he had 377 tackles (51 for loss, 15.5 sacks), six interceptions and five forced fumbles. The Saxons’ short-yardage running back his last three seasons, he finished his career with 26 rushing touchdowns.

Clark graduated from AU in December with a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies. His mother, Theresa Gunn, is an accounting professor in the AU College of Business.

While he was naturally disappointed at not being selected in the draft or signed as an undrafted free agent, Clark is grateful for this next opportunity to showcase his skills and hopefully make enough of an impression that he is signed to a contract.

"I knew it would be tough, coming from Division III, to get drafted," he said. "But I’m excited. I guess it’s just another step in my journey."