The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

October 25, 2013

Charles Clardy is probably bigger than you

By Ryan Costello, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle


Here’s a quick look behind the scenes.

There’s a checklist to interviewing any player for the first time, but especially a football player. Not because they’re somehow different from, say, a basketball or volleyball player, but because what they wear, obviously, is.

Long story short: football players wear pads and helmets and when in full garb are effectively unrecognizable aside from a uniform number. So when that comes off, or worse, if their practice jersey has a different number than what’s in the program -- this can get really tricky -- grabbing the right player is at best a bit of an art form and at worst like finding a needle in a stack of needles on a conveyor belt.

With Charles Clardy, this wasn’t a problem.

Pioneer’s 6-foot-6, 230-pound defensive and tight end is just bigger than everyone else. Not just on the Mustangs’ roster, but pretty much everyone he lines up against.


Pioneer’s front court is already bigger than just about any in 2A with 6-foot-10 Colby Koontz and 6-foot-3 Blake Gabriel, but would be downright hilarious if Clardy was added to the mix.

“I just never came out (for basketball) my freshman year,” Clardy said. “I liked it, but I just wanted to focus on football.”

Still, Clardy’s size is a ridiculous commodity in the mostly smallish realm of Class A football. Enough of one that Division II and to a smaller degree, some Division I programs, have taken notice.

That started when Clardy was just a sophomore, when Division II Fort Hays State (Kan.) spotted him while on a routine scouting trip. Since then, Clardy has gotten bigger and better; enough to draw some superlative praise from Pioneer coach Kurt Myers.

“He’s got all the tools,” Myers said. “He’s a great pass rusher -- probably the best pass rusher I’ve ever coached. He’s got Division I size, and he’s a really good athlete.”

Clardy said he’s gotten more looks from Fort Hays State, was invited to a camp at Oklahoma State in Stillwater and once had a voicemail from the University of Alabama, but the senior hasn’t drawn an offer yet. He needs to get stronger, he said, and he could stand to be better conditioned.

But a shot at the next level would be well worth it.

“It’d be like finally playing against somebody that can really challenge me -- I’m not saying I’m not being challenged now, but I’d like to play somebody my own size and really get a feel for it at that level.”