All-America Candidate (Punt Returner)
NEW MEXICO:One of the most active defensive players in the Mountain West Conference and an All-America caliber punt returner when healthy...a total package of speed (4.51 in the 40), strength and athletic ability, and an outstanding competitor who has displayed tremendous toughness on the field...is the Lobos' active leader in career tackles with 158 stops (9.0 tackles for loss, 4.0 sacks) in just 36 games...also has 3 forced fumbles and 4 fumble recoveries...burst onto the scene at the old FS/LB hybrid lobo position during the second half of 2007 and helped lead the defense to a No. 13 national ranking...has shifted to a more traditional safety role this year in the team's new 4-3 alignment and is eager to show what he can do in a pro style defense...didn't participate in contact drills this past spring after another offseason shoulder operation, but was active in all other drills and a vocal presence on the practice field...an option QB in high school, Clark said he didn't expect to play defense when he first arrived at UNM...has proven that he's still dangerous with the ball in his hands, however, and could finish as the UNM career punt return leader...boasts a 16.8-yard average on his 20 career returns with a long of 50...not a prototypical threat as a returner as he relies more on his strength and decisiveness with the ball in his hands than does raw speed...brushes off arm tackles and is rarely brought down by the first man down the field...made tremendous improvement in the weight room has added 17 pounds over the past two years...recurring shoulder injuries have been one of his only weaknesses in his career...has missed all or part of 6 games with the injury...didn't have any contact during 2008 spring practice either after offseason surgery...played corner his first two years before moving to safety in the spring of `07...was on the travel squad while redshirting in 2005.
2008 (JUNIOR): Enjoyed a tremendous season despite a recurring shoulder injury that limited his playing time much of the year...missed 3 1/2 games after separating his right shoulder in the 2nd half of the week 4 game at Tulsa...missed the New Mexico State game, ended his night after the 3rd play in week 9 at Air Force, and was a late scratch in week 10 vs. Utah...officially 10 games (9 starts)...4th on the team with 57 tackles (33 solo), including 6.0 tackles for loss (all solo) and 4.0 sacks, which were tied for the most by an MWC defensive back and the first of his career...also had a forced fumble, fumble recovery, along with 6 QB hurries and a career-high 4 PBUs...was sensational returning punts, displaying great quickness, vision and strength en route to 2nd team all-MWC honors as a returner...rarely dropped by the first man down the field in coverage...led the MWC and ranked 2nd nationally with a school record average of 19.7 yards on his 12 punt returns...average was nearly 6 yards better than the nearest MWC player...no Lobo had averaged more than 19 yards per return since 1953...career long of 50 was the best by a Lobo since 2002...6 returns over 20 yards, giving the offense the ball inside the opponents' 40 each time...only had 1 return opportunity in the final month of the season due to injuries and opponents making an effort to limit his opportunities...named Most Inspirational Player by his teammates following the season.
`08 HIGHLIGHTS: vs. San Diego State...Broke up a 4th down pass in Lobo territory and didn't allow any completions in coverage to help hold the Aztecs to 161 yards passing - 79 under their season average...tripped up at the SDSU 9 on his career-long 50-yard punt return to open the 2nd quarter...Lobos scored 2 plays later...at No. 8 BYU...Had a TFL (-2 yds.) and was excellent in coverage to help hold one of the nation's top passing offenses 75 yards under its average...career-high 2 pass break-ups and didn't allow any catches in man coverage...vs. Wyoming...Outstanding in his return to the lineup after missing the previous game with a seperated shoulder...7 tackles (5 solo, none missed), including a vicious 6-yard sack...punished the Cowboys' punt team as well, averaging 16.8 yards on his 5 returns, including a long of 39...vs. Arizona...5 tackles and a sack and stripped QB Willie Tuitama to set up a 4th quarter FG...also returned 2 punts for 33 yards, including a 26-yard gain to set up the Lobos' go-ahead TD at the end of the 1st half...helped lead a stellar defensive effort that held the Wildcats 28 points and 99 yards under their season average...vs. Texas A&M...Team-high 7 tackles (none missed) and a fumble recovery to set up a Lobo FG...notched 3 QB hurries/hits...brought back a pair of punts for 34 and 32 yards...vs. TCU...Team-high 11 tackles (none missed), including a jarring sack and QB hit from the blindside.
2007 (SOPHOMORE): Came alive over the final two months of the regular season, charging into the team lead in tackles and finishing with 79 on the year...recorded 68 stops (8.5 avg.), 2 forced fumbles and a fumble return for a TD in the final 8 regular season games (4 starts)...had just 10 tackles (2.5 avg.) in the first 4 games of the season and 1 stop in the New Mexico Bowl before leaving late in the 1st half with a shoulder injury...tremendous run support with 57 stops coming on running plays...2.0 tackles for loss (-20 yards)...also had 6 QB hurries on the year...got his first career start at TCU and responded with 16 tackles...played in all 13 games and started the last 5...took over as the Lobos' punt returner in game 7 and made an immediate impact, averaging 14.4 yards on his 7 returns with a long of 29, before a suffering an open fracture of his left ring finger late in the Utah game...the injury occurred when his hand got caught in a facemask while fighting off a would-be tackler on a punt return...underwent surgery and had to have his fingernail bed repaired, but showed incredible toughness as he returned to practice a few days later and was back in the starting lineup for the regular season finale...also battled through a painful shoulder injury much of the year after dislocating the joint a week before the season-opener.
`07 HIGHLIGHTS: vs. UNLV...Showed incredible toughness, starting and recording 5 tackles and a QB hurry one week after suffering an open fracture of his left ring finger...at Utah...Double-digit stops for the 3rd straight week with a game-high 11 tackles...jarred the ball out of QB Brian Johnson's hands in a late goal line stand...didn't allow any completions in man coverage...vs. Colorado State...11 stops and blew up a WR screen for no gain, helping to hold the Rams to a FG on a 4th quarter drive that started on the UNM 25...at TCU...Made his first career start in place of injured Clint McPeek and racked up a career-high 16 tackles - the most by a Lobo since 2005...at Wyoming...Was the Lobos' defensive MVP in a dominant road win...8 tackles (5 solo), including one for loss on a 3rd-and-1 play...put the game out of reach when he scooped up a 3rd quarter fumble and walked into the end zone.
2006 (REDSHIRT FRESHMAN): Played in all 13 games and saw signifant action as the first cornerback off the bench behind all-MWC honorees DeAndre Wright and Glover Quin...finished with 22 tackles, 2 pass break-ups and a fumble recovery...season-high 6 tackles vs. Missouri...also a big contributor on special teams.
HIGH SCHOOL: A 2005 graduate of Albuquerque Highland HS...two-year starter for the Hornets at cornerback and quarterback...first team all-state on defense as a senior...as a quarterback, Clark had 101 carries for 634 yards and completed 33 of 63 passes for 482 yards...also dangerous returning kicks for head coach Judge Chavez...HHS finished 9-3 and advanced to the state semifinals in Class 5A...four-year letterman on the track...earning all-state honors in the 300 hurdles.
PERSONAL: Born Sept. 21, 1986, in Albuquerque...age is 22...full name is Ian Randall Clark...son of Reggie and Lori Clark...step-son of Frank Bustiman...has a brother, Tye (17), and sister, Sierra (7)...major is University Studies.