There has been no shortage of great running backs at Fayetteville and Terry Sanford High Schools, dating back to the tales of the great Nub Smith during the post-World War II era.
In modern times, names like Roger Gann, Booten Jackson, Louis Craft, Dwight Richardson and Jordan McRae were often in headlines.
But all of them never achieved the numbers that current standout Dorian Clark has.
Clark recently became the all-time rushing leader in the rich history of Fayetteville High and Terry Sanford. Through last week’s win over Douglas Byrd, Clark has rushed for 4,724 yards in his career as a Bulldog with 50 touchdowns.
This season alone he’s amassed 1,125 yards and 15 scores.
None of this came as a surprise to head coach Bruce McClelland, who saw Clark’s potential as he came up through the middle school ranks. He arrived at Terry Sanford as a freshman eager to learn and get even better.
“He’s one of those gym rat type of kids that always wanted to know what was going on and when we were working out,’’ McClelland said. “Combined with the skill set and wanting to work, you put those two together and you see the promise of him.’’
McClelland describes Clark as a downhill runner who can put his shoulder into a defender and carry two or three of them with him. “I would probably say at least half of his yards have come after contact,’’ McClelland said.
While Clark doesn’t possess sprinter’s speed, McClelland said he’s got enough to to make him an effective runner. It’s also been enough to attract the attention of colleges like Wake Forest, Wofford and Elon to name a few.
If anyone is surprised by Clark’s success, it’s Clark himself, who just came to Terry Sanford hoping he could live up to the reputation of the running backs that preceded him.
As far as his thoughts on his running style, he considers himself a disciple of the Dallas Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliott. “I watch him and study how he runs,’’ Clark said. “That’s my favorite football player. That’s who I feel like I run like, with toughness, the physical part of running.’’
Clark said he still wants to hit 5,000 yards for his career. With three regular season games and a near certain first-round state playoff game left, he has time to make that happen.
But he and the Bulldogs are seeking bigger prizes. “I want us to win our conference,’’ he said. “I want us to be conference champions and go undefeated (in conference play). I’m really excited about what’s going to be coming up for us and all the things we are about to do.’’
Pictured: Dorian Clark