Ryan Clark, born and raised in southern Louisiana, is a retired professional football player and current sports analyst for ESPN. While attending Archbishop Shaw High school, he was a Class 5A standout recruit. Clark led the Eagles to a perfect 6-0 District 10-5A record and the quarterfinals of the Class 5A playoffs. He would be named District 10-5A defensive MVP and be listed on the Times-Picayune Top 20 Blue-Chip list. Upon graduation, Clark would go onto Louisiana State University (LSU), continuing to make a name for himself. As a redshirt freshman, he was named LSU’s Special Teams Player of the Year in 1998 as a key reserve and special teams player. In 2001, Clark recorded 88 tackles including 63 solo and three interceptions. As an LSU Tiger, Clark would have an elite performance during the 2001 Sugar Bowl with 5 tackles, he would finish his collegiate career with his sight set on the professional gridiron game.
In 2002, Clark would go to the National Football Association (NFL) as an undrafted free agent, signing a contract with the New York Giants. Clark’s career would span 13 seasons, including two AFC Championships and a Super Bowl XLVIII championship win with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He would record 177 NFL games played with 16 interceptions over the course of his career. While still an active NFL player, Clark found a new passion as he made regular appearances on ESPN as a guest analyst. In 2015, Clark would sign his final professional football contract with Pittsburgh as he would retire a Steeler for life.
In retirement, Clark has continued to support and influence the sports world by joining ESPN as an NFL analyst and MMA enthusiast. In July 2021, ESPN would pair Clark and Daniel Cormier together for a weekly podcast focused on the understanding of MMA and their passions as superfans. Clark is also a regular commentator of several of the network’s feature shows, such as ‘Get Up’ and ‘NFL Live’. Clark also has a hand in developing the future gridiron stars of the next generation as the founder of DB Precision, an academy dedicated to elite-level training with professional development.
In 2012, Clark would establish the Ryan Clark’s Cure League, using his own journey to raise awareness for sickle cell anemia. Clark, who suffered a splenic infarction while playing in the NFL has continued to fund sickle cell awareness, research, treatments, and community programming.