Irish Illustrated and 247Sports have learned that Notre Dame quarterback Brendon Clark is entering the Transfer Portal and will leave the Fighting Irish football program. Following struggles with an injury, the 6-2, 225-pounder was never able to get a shot under center in South Bend.
Clark arrived at Notre Dame as part of the 2019 recruiting class. A three-star recruit per both 247Sports and the 247Sports Composite Rankings, Clark chose the Fighting Irish over scholarship offers from Clemson, Duke, Wake Forest, Maryland, North Carolina and Tennessee. The one-time Demon Deacons commit flipped to Notre Dame following a strong pursuit from quarterbacks coach Tommy Rees. Clark was a Polynesian Bowl All-American following his senior season at Midlothian (Va.) Manchester high school. He led his team to a 15-0 record and the 6A State Championship. He was also the 2018 Virginia All-Region 6B Offensive Player of the Year and was named to the All-Region 6B First-Team.
Early in high school, Clark suffered a knee injury. Fully recovered upon arrival at Notre Dame, he started to have a strange feeling from that same knee injury. In checking on his “cranky” knee, as head coach Brian Kelly called it, the medical staff knew that a second surgery to properly repair the ACL was required. That set Clark back in his pursuit to become the starting quarterback at Notre Dame. The expectation was that he’d take over for Ian Book, who left for the NFL, but that was no longer an option with his knee issue. Notre Dame then hit the transfer portal and landed Jack Coan, saw an emergence from freshman quarterback Tyler Buchner, plenty of promise in Drew Pyne as well, which left Clark as the fourth option on the team when he would become available. Clark should be good to go and ready ahead of the 2022 football season, but for him, that will occur elsewhere.
Ahead of the news, Irish Illustrated spoke with Clark’s private quarterback coach Malcolm Bell. He believes that despite Clark having to deal with some adversity, the best is yet to come for the strong-armed signal-caller.
“This kid is a fighter and always has been,” said Bell of Clark. “What his parent have instilled in him shines at all times even through adverse situations. His next landing spot will have a very motivated, talented and hardworking player leading their team. He will not only showcase his accuracy, strong arm, IQ and creativity but will also elevate every player around him. If it’s one thing I’ve learned about Brendon, it’s that he is truly unbreakable and the right opportunity will show exactly the type of kid I know he is. I’m truly excited to see him have success and continue to live out his dream.”
While at Notre Dame, Clark saw action in the New Mexico and Bowling Green games during his freshmen year. He completed a pass for 22 yards against the Lobos. As a sophomore, he played in the game against Pittsburgh and completed a pass for 7 yards in his lone action.
As a senior in high school, Clark completed 133 of 227 passes for 2,326 yards, 35 touchdowns and one interception. He also rushed for nearly 800 yards and 17 more scores. In the year before that, he completed…