Van Horn gets another chance to raise NFL Draft stock in sixth year


Richard Crank | The Parthenon

Marshall University senior offensive lineman Clint Van Horn takes the field during a game last season at Joan C. Edwards Stadium.

Senior offensive lineman Clint Van Horn was recently granted a sixth-year of eligibility to suit up for Marshall University next season, which gives him the opportunity to potentially raise his NFL Draft stock. 

The NCAA made the 6-foot-5, 322-pound tackle eligible for his sixth collegiate season after playing 10 quarters of football in 2015 due to a torn pectoral muscle.

Van Horn sat out the entire 2011 season as well due to sustaining injuries during his high school playing days at Woodrow Wilson High School.

Last season, Van Horn was injured during a game against Ohio University, which eventually ended his season a few weeks later.

Before being reinstated for another year, Van Horn was considered a later-round selection of the 2016 NFL Draft or a possible free agent signee if undrafted, according to CBS Sports.

Van Horn said he is pleased to have another chance to impress pro scouts as a member of the Herd.

“It feels good,” the three-time all-conference lineman said. “But I know that I won’t get anywhere without work. So, I hear these things, but I try to stay focused because last year I was hearing the same things.”

Alex Mirabal, Marshall offensive linemen coach, said improving his draft stock is not what is on the sixth-year player’s mind as he prepares during the offseason.

“He is focused on being the best college football player he can be for Marshall,” Mirabal said.

Van Horn said after his season-ending injury last season, it was tough for him to watch games after he was ruled out for the rest of the year.

“It hurt a lot every game,” Van Horn said. “It hurt because you feel like it’s your fault that you got hurt, and you blame yourself for a lot of stuff that might not be your fault.”

Van Horn said the injury ended up helping him in the end.

“This did help me become a better leader and a better teammate by coaching up guys more and watching the game more,” Van Horn said. “And now, I respect other people’s game for it.”

Van Horn said the thing he most enjoys about being on the team is the comradery between the individual he has met over the years.

“I’ve met some really good athletes,” Van Horn said. “And even better than that, I have met some really good people.”

Van Horn said he has been blessed to come across so many great people at Marshall and is glad he will be able to do that here for another year.

Van Horn said his leadership skills have flourished during his time with the Herd.

“I have learned how to be a leader from a lot of different guys throughout the years, whether it was Vinny Curry, Chris Jasperse and guys of that nature.”

Van Horn, who was an All-Conference USA first team selection at right tackle in 2014, joined the team as a walk-on in 2011.

Mirabal said Van Horn’s development has been spectacular.

“He went from a guy that was buried in the depth chart to a guy who is one of the better offensive linemen that has ever played here at Marshall,” Mirabal said. “This speaks in depth about how hard he has worked since joining Marshall.”

Van Horn said he thought he was at a disadvantage when he started college compared to other players he seen when he arrived on campus because of where he attended high school.

“I have seen players come in from places like Texas and Florida that were miles ahead in technique,” Van Horn said. “So, that was one of my biggest transitions from high school.”

Van Horn said another adjustment he had to make from high school was the overall speed of the game.

“You go from blocking defensive ends that maybe run a 4.8 or 4.9 to going against guys that sometimes run a 4.5 or 4.6,” Van Horn said.

Mirabal said he credits Van Horn’s work ethic as the primary reason for becoming a successful Division I athlete.

“He is a guy that craves and wants to be coached hard and a guy who is not satisfied with where he is at during that particular moment” Mirabal said. 

Van Horn, who earned his bachelor’s degree in political science in May 2015, said he hopes to one day work in the government.

Christian Hisman can be contacted at [email protected]