Gridders sign up for college football
June 09, 2010 - After receiving their diplomas on Monday night three of Clarkston's best are ready to embark on their next journey.
The journey won't take Jordan Clark, Bryan Haslinger and Jeff Dean too far – all three plan to play football for Michigan universities.
Clark heads off to Adrian College where he will play linebacker or defensive end depending on how much weight he gains and what position they want him to play.
"I really liked the campus and the coaches," he admitted. "They seemed to like me and they had nice facilities."
He looked at different colleges and sent a tape to Adrian.
"They contacted me and I went to visit," he said.
Haslinger heads to Michigan Tech, joining teammate Tyler Scarlett.
"I talked to coach (Kurt Richardson) about it and he let me know the coach was in town talking to Tyler," he said.
After sitting down and talking with the coach, Haslinger became interested in the program.
Jeff Dean will be attending Ferris State University.
Each takes with them the skills they learned during the season. Their training during the off season between their junior and senior year will help them as they go into college.
"Coach stepped up the commitment this year and playing on the college level you have to work out four days a week," said Haslinger. "They demand study time with the team so you are succeeding on the football field and in school."
The intensity helped Clark get ready for the next level.
"The lifting was intensified," he added. "There was more team lifting and getting better in the off season."
Both plan to contribute to the practice squad and bring their strengths to help their teams.
"I can be a good part of the special teams and defense," said Clark. "I can make plays for them and help them win."
Haslinger plans to bring his energy - and tons of it.
He will also put just as much energy in the engineering program where he plans to study electrical engineering.
"I am really good at math and science," he said, adding the field uses a high level of math.
Clark is undecided on a major but is leaning towards the sciences.
"I want to be a chiropractor," he said. "I have been going to one since ninth grade. I really like it and it helped me out a lot."
Both Clark and Dean began playing football when they were in seventh grade.
Clark played soccer. Once seventh grade came he followed in his brother's footsteps and joined his friends in signing up for the sport.
Haslinger started earlier and has been playing for nine years.
"A bunch of kids came into school wearing their Chiefs uniform and I started to play football at recess," he said. "It gradually built until I joined the Clarkston Chiefs program."
After experiencing the highs and lows of the last few years on the football team, it gave them a perspective to pass on to the next varsity players.
"If you love something pursue it," said Clark. "If you love it keep working at it. Other people are out there working hard, work harder than they do."
Haslinger offered the advice to stay focused and out of trouble.
"A lot of things can get in the way on the weekends and in the summer. H
Wendi graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a degree in communications. She wrote for the Michigan Times college paper and Grand Blanc View before joining The Clarkston News in October 2007.