“He showed a lot of progress since last year, and he’s been our offensive leader right now. But, we’ve got a couple wrinkles — I won’t expose those — but we’ve got a couple wrinkles and packages that we have (that) we’re going to throw in the mix,” Hawes said. “We’ve got a couple guys that’ll be behind the helm for their particular package that are dynamite athletes. But, for the most part, Tyler will run the show.”
The Falcons feature four senior running backs: Kelly Thorpe, a two-way starter from last season; Blake Wilcox, a transfer from Syracuse; Andrew Sisk; and Jacques Carter, a transfer from Layton Christian.
Hawes tabbed Wilcox as, “just a beast. He’s one of those kids that’s not going to run away from you, but if you don’t come with a perfect tackle technique it probably won’t be good for you.” He also noted that Thorpe and Sisk improved their speed during offseason training regiments.
A major component will be the option at tight end. Hawes said Jarod Valdes is a “playmaker” that can “go over the middle and test linebackers and safeties.”
(8 returning starters)
The variations weren’t limited to the offensive side of the ball. Clearfield will line up in a base 3-3-5 this season.
“Last year we ran a traditional 4-3 with a cover-2 shell, but we are tweener-heavy, meaning we’ve got guys that can play linebacker or safety,” Hawes said. “So, instead of just loading up the box with a lot of bodies and trying to clog gaps, we’re going to put great athletes on the field to find the football and make tackles.”
Hawes highlighted Hayden Phillips at linebacker, along with cornerbacks Braiden Swaner and Zach Herman, a transfer from Hawaii, whom he pegged as “shutdown corners.”
Expect a very aggressive approach this season. Clearfield wants to utilize its speed and create havoc for opposing offenses.
“We’re coming after guys. We’re not going to sit back and wait on anybody,” Hawes said. “We’re coming after guys from snap one. We’re not going to sit back on our heels and bend-don’t-break type — we’re coming. With the speed and physicality on defense, I’m not sure we’re going to give up a lot of points.”
Coaches preseason Region 6 straw poll: Seventh
Deseret News Region 6 prediction: Sixth
Bottom line: Clearfield should be much improved this season, but that doesn’t change the region the Falcons play in. The Falcons should be at least competitive during region for the most part. However, with East, Highland, Bountiful, Kearns and Woods Cross all competing for four playoff spots along with Clearfield and Cyprus, it’s highly unlikely that the Falcons are ready for the postseason.
Clearfield coaching history
2012-Current — Will Hawes (3-7)
2009-2011 — Jeff Bingham (8-22)
2006-2008 — Billy Plium (10-22)
1991-2005 — Randy Johnson (100-64)
1988-1990 — Brent Lund (12-18)
1977-1987 — Brent Hancock (49-61)
1969-1976 — Jack Hannum(37-40)
1965-1968 — Don Jenson (7-30)
1961-1964 — Boyd "Tiny" Grant (10-21)
Deseret News First Team all-staters the past 10 years
2003 — Terrence Stanton, LB
To view second team and honorable mention all-staters through the years, check out the Deseret News All-State Archives.
- Why one Mormon man left Hollywood to be a...
- Best and worst of the BYU, Utah and USU...
- High school football: 4A all-state teams
- BYU fan reflects: 6 lessons I learned at...
- High school football: 5A All-State teams
- Utah Jazz: Jazz forward Richard Jefferson...
- NFL watch: How local players fared in week 14...
- High school football: East's Ula Tolutau...
- BYU football: Cougars to play... 104
- Crystal ball commentary: National... 98
- Utah football: Utah coach Kyle... 81
- Utah basketball: Utes rally to defeat... 68
- Florida St-Auburn title game to usher... 50
- Best and worst of the BYU, Utah and USU... 48
- Utah basketball: Runnin' Utes bounce... 43
- Former BYU star Jimmer Fredette likes... 34