If you have a little list of heroes tucked away somewhere in your brain, you might want to add Drew Clarkson from Camas, Washington to the very top of it.
Drew Clarkson (6-4,275) was ranked 32nd in the nation as an Offensive Guard on the 2014 recruiting lists. Clarkson was rated as the 5th over all prospect in the state of Washington. He was also rated as the 83rd best prospect on the entire West Coast.
None of those rankings determine the size of a player’s heart.
Clarkson was recruited by Oregon State, California, Colorado, Eastern Washington and Northern Colorado. I have no idea why the bigger boys of the area weren’t interested such as the Oregon Ducks, Washington Huskies and the Washington State Cougars and I believe that Oregon State got a steal with the 3 star recruit.
Clarkson is not just a regular 3 star recruit. He is a cancer survivor.
Oh, sure, you say. You have heard this kind of story before. But, I don’t think you have heard a story quite like Drew Clarkson. This guy is truly amazing.
There are a lot sad stories out there of guys that have been taken by cancer. There are even a few stories of guys that have beaten cancer and have come back. But, I don’t remember a lot of guys that were diagnosed with cancer and were determined to go through chemotherapy without ever missing any time from football.
Clarkson was determined not to miss his senior season. He wanted to play for Camas High School for his senior season and to lead them to the Washington state football title.
Clarkson did it. He didn’t miss work outs even going through chemo and he played his senior season. His team did lose in the state championship game so the story didn’t have a Hollywood ending. But, the fact that he was even out there was amazing in itself. I have not been through chemo treatments myself, but I watched my brother go through it and I know it’s not easy and none of this could have been a cake walk for Drew Clarkson. But, he did it and my hat is off to him as a young man and as a football player.
In a week or two, Drew Clarkson will start at Oregon State and begin working out for his first college football season. The plan should be to work him in at Center. He should redshirt his freshman year, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he plays as a true freshman. I wouldn’t be shocked at all if he even starts. I haven’t done an analysis of the Oregon State Beavers as of yet, so I don’t know who they have ahead of him at Center or even Guard, but he had better beware of Drew Clarkson. This kid has a lot of desire and determination. Let’s just say this kid won’t let his rankings, or his recent sickness, or his age, or his lack of experience keep him off of the football field.