Since grabbing Offensive Player of the Year honors in 2012 as a freshman, University of Hawaii offensive lineman Ben Clarke has been no stranger to exceeding expectations.
His most recent athletic accomplishment occurred away from the gridiron and was awesome.
The 6-foot-3, 300 lb. senior “flipped out” so to speak at the team’s off-season barbecue earlier this week on campus, doing his best pro wrestler Rey Mysterio Jr. impersonation on a reverse backflip off of the Duke Kahanamoku Aquatic Complex diving board.
Stephen Tsai of the Honolulu Star Advertiser captured what is likely soon to be a viral video.
When KHON2 asked Clarke what goes through his mind when he attempts the impressive flip, Clarke said, “It’s scary when you do it. The biggest thing is you just got to commit. There was probably 10 times when I fell flat on my back and I couldn’t breathe coming out of the water, but it’s not that bad once you get it down.”
No word as of yet if Clarke has any aspirations for Olympic gold in 2016, but the Colorado native, who missed all of spring ball recovering from shoulder surgery, says he is ready for training camp in two weeks.
He also expects the ‘Bows to make a “big splash” in 2015.
“In previous years, everyone would always ask me, ‘Is the team going to be good this year?’ Every time I’ve got to be positive and I always say, ‘Yeah, we’re going to be good this year.’ But, honestly I feel like this year we have a better team than I have been a part of the last three years,” said Clarke.
The Lombardi Trophy Award Watch List member can play all five offensive line positions, but will likely play tackle or center in 2015.
Training camp opens Aug. 5 with the season opener against Colorado at Aloha Stadium set for Sept. 3.