Cardinals rookie CB Kei’Trel Clark’s story more than just his own

May 24, 2023, 10:34 AM | Updated: 10:42 am

TEMPE — It’s been a whirlwind month for Arizona Cardinals rookie cornerback Kei’Trel Clark.

From the draft process to graduating from Louisville this month in addition to voluntary organized team activities kicking off, Clark’s schedule has been nonstop.

And that’s more than OK for the rookie, who understands the impact he’s making for not only himself but those around him.

“Every day I wake up, my goal is to be my best self and represent the name on my back and that’s Clark,” he said Monday. “At the end of the day, I have two little brothers that’s coming after me and I got numerous other little brothers in my hometown that look up to me or just little kids around the world that (direct message) me saying, ‘Bro, I look up to you.’

“I just got to make sure that I’m letting them know this is what you have to do to be a successful man.”

In every step through some of his biggest life moments, Clark made sure to involve those in his community and who look up to him.

Despite the unlikeliness of Clark going during the first round, that didn’t stop him from holding draft festivities throughout the three days of action.

It was a moment bigger than himself and one he wanted to pass on to those trying to carve their own path. When that Phoenix area code popped up on his phone during the sixth round, it made things that much sweeter.

“I had some little kids come from one of the teams that I played for at rec league,” Clark said. “They came through and I autographed some of their jerseys and took pictures with them and let them know I was in their position at one point like just keep on going and motivating them a little bit.

“That’s a moment that they are never going to forget. … Everybody was just overall supportive at the end of the day and then Day 3 was like, ‘It’s go time.’ Everybody showed up and I got that call from the coaches.”

Now, it’s about further proving he belongs at the highest level of the sport.

And with how the Cardinals CBs room is currently constructed, he very well could have a chance early on.

Marco Wilson and Antonio Hamilton figure to be the leaders in the clubhouse in terms of Arizona’s starting options. Beyond those two names, though, there opportunity is there for the taking, with Christian Matthew, Kris Boyd and Rashad Fenton jostling for playing time.

Fellow rookie Garrett Williams will be another player to watch when he is back healthy from a torn ACL suffered last season.

There’s certainly a depth chart to climb for Clark and the sixth-rounder is more than ready to begin his ascent.

“I’m very tenacious … I’m a quick-twitch player,” Clark told Arizona Sports’ Bickley & Marotta on Wednesday. “I’ll say my feet are undefined. That’s something you can’t teach and just my courage to not be afraid to sit on routes.

“You’re getting somebody who is a dog, a ball player, somebody that is going to be every single play giving his all. That’s the type of guy the Cardinals organization has got now.”

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