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It didn't matter just weeks ago, Donovan Clark discovered he played on a torn ACL for Lincoln High School. Boise State wanted him to sign early anyway

Kendall Munson, Garfield

If it seemed as if Donovan Clark had a very un-Donovan Clark-type senior season in his only year at Lincoln High School ... there is now an explanation for that.

Clark played on one healthy knee.

In fact, he likely played up to nine games with a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his right knee.

After having surgery to repair his damaged knee Tuesday, Clark was up early Wednesday to do the thing he has most dreamed of - sign a letter of intent to play football at an NCAA Division I school.

And that school - Boise State University - is sticking by him after the late-developing injury news.

"We wanted to make sure everything with Boise (State) would still be OK," said Clark, who was joined by many of his teammates, coaches and classmates in the Lincoln library Wednesday morning for a brief signing ceremony.

"That is why I picked them - I knew they just love my character and know my work ethic is on top. Everything is straight with them."

The 6-foot-3, 190-pounder is a press-coverage cornerback with the speed to stay with any wide receiver. He had his coming-out party as a junior at Sumner High School when he had four interceptions in one game against Camas - a 14-7 victory.

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Big things were expected of Clark when he transferred to Lincoln last winter, and showed off some of that natural burst as the school's top sprinter.

A month after giving Boise State a verbal commitment in August, Clark dinged up his knee in the season opener at eventual Class 4A champion Camas.

He sat out a few weeks with what many, including Abes coach Masaki Matsumoto, thought was with torn cartilage - and eventually returned to the lineup against Bonney Lake in late September.

Clark had just one interception this season - a return for touchdown against Lakes.

"There were some points he seemed like he was real tentative," Matsumoto said. "Now it totally makes sense."