Platte County’s Clarkson starting over at Northwestern Oklahoma State

Tanner Clarkson got another chance at the recruiting process.

One of the most prolific quarterbacks to pass through Platte County will take his powerful arm to Northwestern Oklahoma State.

He recently posted the news on Twitter that he would be leaving Missouri Western, where he was a walk-on last fall, to play at another Division II school.

He will be a redshirt freshman for the Rangers and will be one of a handful of quarterbacks on the roster.

Clarkson is already on campus of the school in Alva, going through summer workouts in advance of the start of fall ball. Northwestern Oklahoma went 4-7 last year, with three losses to top 25-ranked teams.

The former all-stater from Platte County went through spring practice with the Griffons. He learned after that wrapped up he wouldn’t be getting a scholarship after being a walk-on last fall.

“I want to go somewhere and earn a scholarship and a chance to play,” Clarkson said. “I thought maybe that wasn’t the place for me. I sent out film and put film together.”

He posted the highlights on his Twitter page and a coach from Northwestern Oklahoma saw it. 

Submitted photo  Former Platte County quarterback Tanner Clarkson is transferring to Northwestern Oklahoma State this season.

Submitted photo

Former Platte County quarterback Tanner Clarkson is transferring to Northwestern Oklahoma State this season.

Clarkson also drew interest from Upper Iowa, Missouri Southern, University of St. Mary and Avila. Southern initially recruited Clarkson out of high school and offered him a walk-on spot, but he chose to attend Western.

The Lions still showed interest even with a coaching change.

Out of high school Clarkson didn’t have a single Division II scholarship offer, but garnered offers from NAIA and Division III schools. 

He excelled in the classroom at Western, earning a 4.0 GPA this past semester and earned an award from the MIAA for the success. He expects to be a health and sports science major at his new school with an eye into going into coaching at some point. 

Northwestern Oklahoma liked the videos of Clarkson from his Platte County days — he only started his senior season — especially his knowledge and ability to a run-pass option offense system. 

He set four school records in 2017: passing yards in a season, passing touchdown in a season, total offense for a season and most touchdowns passes in a half, six against Grandview.

“I think Missouri Western was a situation what would’ve been good and he’d been good there, anytime you get a school that reaches out to you and really comes after you, that is a good sign,” Platte County football coach Bill Utz said. “They looked at his high school film and looked. This game, the recruiting is done so early, it is crazy. In his situation, he was a following a pretty good quarterback and doesn’t get the time and opportunity. Somebody like Tanner, the opportunity is not there, it is a completely different path. He is happy and I’m excited for him. I got a load of confidence in him.”

Last year’s Platte County quarterback, Spencer Stewart, broke many of those records in his one year as the starter.

“They liked my arm and accuracy and where I put the ball,” Clarkson said. “I’m very pumped I got an offer and the opportunity they are giving me.”

“I was kind of disappointed how the recruiting process went (after high school). I know I can execute wherever I go and given the opportunity, I will have success. I will work hard and do everything I need to do.”