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Denmark leader for MVP


The survey on the home page of asks readers to pick the player they believe will be the star of OTAs. Clarence Denmark's name is not included among the options.

Denmark, however, is largely considered to be the early leader for "Underwear League" MVP. Past winners have included Chad Owens and Charles Sharon, wide receivers whose strong spring showings didn't transition to the regular season.

"That's great. That's my wildest dreams. That's real big for me," Denmark said of his OTA-leading status.

What about when training camp begins?

"That's when the intensity level goes up a notch. I try to do something in every practice to stand out," he added.

It's not as though Denmark is a shorts-only player. He was impressive enough in last year's training camp, though he wasn't signed until the day camp began, to warrant an invitation to try again.

Denmark is a local product. He starred at Robert E. Lee High School in Jacksonville before beginning a college football journey that took him to Troy and then to Arkansas-Monticello. He caught the Jaguars' eye at a pro day at Arkansas-Pine Bluff, where Denmark ran a 4.32 40.

His bold effort last summer simply ran out of time.

"Not enough time to get it. Everything was learning how things are done on the NFL level," Denmark said.

He busied himself since then by helping out at his father's tire store, made sure he kept in shape and returned to the Jaguars this spring with a better understanding of the playbook and what's required of an NFL wide receiver. He believes he has a chance to make the team.

"I think my chances are great. I'm a positive person. I think I'll get better day after day," he said. "I know where I am right now and I feel I have to get a lot better. I've got my work cut out for me. Learning to relax and play faster. You can never make too many plays."

Denmark has found a way to stand out in practice at least once every day. Most recently, he caught a bomb from David Garrard on the quarterback's final pass of practice, causing Garrard to proclaim, "It's good to end practice on a high note."

"I beat the guy at the line so I didn't think it made any sense to stop so I threw up my hand to change the route and he just threw a great ball," Denmark said of the play. "I'm able to get a better grasp on things now. As I get more comfortable, the more plays I make."

He's still a long shot to make the team, but with each big play he makes in OTAs, he draws closer to the title of "Mr. May," and that's not a bad thing to take into training camp.

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