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Tuesday, July 7, 2009
AFA's Clark back in action


Posted by ESPN.com's Graham Watson

Air Force running back Asher Clark is back to full speed this week after spending the past four months recovering from a torn meniscus in his right knee that required surgery.

 
  Stew Milne/US Presswire
  Asher Clark is healthy again and ready to compete for the starting quarterback position.

Clark, who was expected to challenge for the starting quarterback role in the spring after serving as one of the team's top tailbacks, reportedly suffered the injury long before spring practice and the inflammation in his knee brought it to trainers' attention.

Initially, Air Force coach Troy Calhoun said Clark would be out about two months, but last week he said this was the first week Clark would be able to do everything in Air Force's offseason training regimen.

"Starting next week, he's going to be able to pretty much cut loose and do everything," Calhoun said. "It's both lifting and changing direction and that's running."

Calhoun said he also expects Tim Jefferson, AFA's starting quarterback last season, to be back on the field for fall camp. Jefferson missed most of spring football last season while trying to right some academic wrongs. He's spent the entire summer on campus taking extra classes and trying to get back into the good graces of some of his teachers.

Calhoun said he expects both players to compete for the starting quarterback position and that he won't name a starter until well into camp and maybe not until the first week of the season.

He also hasn't ruled out switching Clark back to tailback should he not be able to grasp the quarterbacking position or playing both Jefferson and Clark at quarterback if it gives the Falcons the best chance to win.

"There is a chance, but frankly, I think it works best when one person gets the lion's share of the reps," Calhoun said. "I think there are times where I think that could happen."

Calhoun said the best part about the competition is that neither player has lost sight of the fact that the team comes first and both guys want what's best for the team even if that means sitting on the bench.

"What's neat about both of them is that they grasp the team element," Calhoun said. "It's going to get covered [by the media] and understandably so, but what's neat about both of them is they're great competitors and with the spirit that they have they're able to channel it. And they appreciate what it means to have good teammates."