Brownstown Central’s big man in the middle of the offensive line will reunite with three former teammates on the gridiron.
Upon graduation in the spring, Braves senior Clark Hauer will join the Franklin College football team.
While Hauer eyed a few different colleges, including St. Joseph’s and Rose-Hulman, Franklin felt the most at home for the Braves’ starting center.
“I love how it’s a small, tight-knight community (in Brownstown) and I feel like it’s the same up (at Franklin),” Hauer said. “All of the coaches really seem to care about you. They’re a pretty good team for (NCAA) Division III and they have good academics.”
Having friends at the school, who are on the football team, also helped the decision making process.
“Clay Brown, John McKinney and Clay Wilkerson all go there,” Hauer said. “We’ve all kind of been buddies. We went there for team camp for a couple years in the summers, so I know the campus pretty well. I had my first visit there the week after regional and have been in contact ever since.
“I loved playing with those guys. They’re great guys and some of my best friends. We made some memories in high school and hopefully we can make some more in college.”
Spending a week each during the summer for a team camp at the college, Franklin has seen its fair share of players on the field from Brownstown Central.
“Franklin is close enough to Jackson County, and small enough that I think our kids are really comfortable there,” Braves coach Reed May said. “Also, the familiarity from the team camp helps. Even though it’s fairly close to Indianapolis, it’s still kind of a small town atmosphere. They know the coaches, through camp, and I think that all plays into kids going to Franklin.”
This past fall, Hauer — who commanded the offensive line — helped the Braves to 4,581 rushing yards, 1,292 passing yards and 240 point scored.
Hauer received All-State nods for his work on the line on top of making All-Mid-Southern Conference.
“He’s a big guy, but an athletic kid,” May said of Hauer. “Sometimes you get big kids who can’t move their feet. He weighs 270 now and will probably get to about 290 or 300 by his junior year. He has a lot of potential.”
Hauer said he started thinking about playing football in college after his junior season, and couldn’t pass up on a chance of continuing his career.
“I’ve always loved football,” Hauer said. “I didn’t want the four years (at BCHS) to go to waste. Why not another four? You only get so many opportunities to play so you might as well make the most of it.”
Hauer plans to study either mechanical engineering or business management.
“They’re getting a super kid,” May said. “He comes from a good family. Both he and his brother, Clay, grew up as hard workers. He’s disciplined and extremely intelligent both academically and athletically. he’s a ‘yes sir,’ ‘no sir’ guy who doesn’t cause any problems.
“I think he has just scratched the surface of how good he can really become.”