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Film Review- Jakai Clark

Film Review- Jakai Clark

Lance Roffers
Recent OL commit, Jakai Clark, plays for a powerhouse program in Georgia in Grayson High. I wanted to take a look at how he plays in a full game setting, rather than in a highlight video. In this game they are taking on another solid program in Archer, GA.

Clark plays C for Grayson and is joined by two other P5 commits in 5-star Wanya Morris (Tennessee) and 4-star Trente Jones (Michigan). A high school OL with three P5 commitments is fairly unheard of and just shows the amount of talent his team has.

You can see right off the bat that Clark is definitely the leader of the OL. He is immediately directing traffic, pointing out where players need to pay attention, and all eyes and ears are on him pre-snap.
1.png


Clark snaps the ball without the laces, which is a fairly new technique, but is currently en vogue.

After the snap, Archer stunts with the DE and DT. The initial stunt causes a push, but Clark recovers nicely to move his man out-of-the-hole and you can see him here driving with excellent knee bend and a nice, flat back. This play goes for a TD down the sideline, and Clark handling the initial stunt action allowed his QB time to escape and find a receiver. The guy he’s blocking is an Auburn commit.
2.png


Archer is undersized on the DL and they actually had their DL jump into the legs of the OL on this play like you might see on a kneel-down play trying to knock the ball out of the QB’s hands at the end of a game. Think the Greg Schiano Tampa Buccaneers play. Clark sprawled very well and then buried his defender. The 4-star LT went to the ground on the play. (Not pictured)

He gets beat here and absolutely tackles the DT (#41). That initial quickness gave him trouble here.
3.png


Next play he gets his shoulder on the DT and releases to the LB but misses the block, honestly. His RB got through the hole and past the defender before he could get him down though. (Not pictured)

They run a QB draw on the next play and Clark tries to cut his man and doesn’t get him down. The defender scampers over and tackles the QB after a gain of 5. (Not pictured)

Grayson asks Clark to get to the second level quite a bit. He got his initial hit and shocked his man back. I’d like to see more ferocity in his strikes. He’s more of a leaner right now than he is a true puncher. He put the dude on the ground at least. Last year, Archer beat Grayson 6-3, so this isn’t a scrub defense they’re playing. Here is the lean I’m talking about (#55). If you lean into LB’s and quicker players you will get your weight over your toes a lot more and tend to drop your head and miss your target on the move.
4.png


Clark is pretty good at that sprawl, which tells me he might have a wrestling background. Good feet and hand coordination (meaning the hands and feet work together in coordinated movements, rather than being out-of-sync). #58 here tried to shoot low and Clark was having none of it and forced him to eat dirt for the payment.
5.png


Quickness at the snap seems to give Clark trouble. #41 got inside of his shoulder and shocked him back and really pushed him back into the backfield on the next play. QB threw it away. (Not pictured)

He showed his good feet on the next play and cut his man down easily. (Not pictured)

Here Clark is absolutely man-handling this defender. #55 is next to the RT right at the LOS and his defender is actually flailing as he gets pancaked.
6.png


Clark has a lot of natural power. Here he is taking this kid for a ride (kid standing tall with his arm on the helmet of the OL). If he brought his hands with him here this kid would have been on his back and hard. He’s strong enough to shock this kid badly, but if he learns to use his hands in that jolt he could really develop into a people-mover with that power. After he hits this block he actually falls to the ground because again, his weight is over his toes rather than back and with his hands delivering the blow. #7 made it easy on him here by simply standing up and exposing his chest to the OL.
7.png


Archer shoots the gap at the snap again and this time Clark lands on his man, but too far into his legs and his man reaches up and grabs the runners’ legs for a tackle. (Not pictured)

Grayson teaches a weird protection set in FG protection. They have them simply lean at an angle into the defense instead of actually trying to block them. Not sure why they teach it this way, but #7 got a measure of revenge against Clark and planted him here (#7 is an Auburn commit). Clark is playing two over from the C on FG protection. Obviously, this technique was less than effective, as Archer blocked it easily. Something I liked afterwards though was seeing his movement skills as he ran after the ball after it was blocked. He is a quick player for his size and has a nice motor.
8.png


You expect Clark to be able to overpower the NT, who is 5-10, 220, but he does a nice job of using his leg drive to turn him completely out of the hole here. I wrote often in my film reviews about our OL not always understanding leverage and how to use it to turn a defender and Clark does that very well here rather than going too fast and getting off balance.
9.png


Clark snaps for punts but not FG’s. Interesting. By the way, Owen Pappoe is a freak show. If Pappoe and a few of his OL teammates wanted to join him here I wouldn’t be mad.

To this point the biggest negative I have with Clark is his propensity to be on the ground. He tripped his RT here trying to make a cut block. This game is a weird game because the NT for Archer is so undersized they’re using him like a sacrificial lamb on most plays and just asking him to create a muck right up front by diving and shooting gaps.
10.png


It’s so unusual the way they teach FG protection. They just lean like this and don’t actually block anyone in particular.
11.png


The main problem with Clark continues to be his lack of hand usage. This player on the edge jumps into the air as #74 falls down. Clark has a direct shot at him while he’s in the air and he just tries to duck into him and lean with his right shoulder into him. He barely touches him and doesn’t block him at all. If he fires his hands into the chest of #4 they’re picking pieces of him up out of the turf. You’ve got to absolutely bury this defender, Jakai.
12.png


Locks his arms out and controls the DT here. He gets his hands out wide too far though and that makes it so the DT can swipe his arms off of him and redirect. Again, the problem is that this kid is 5-10, 220 pounds. There are certain techniques he handles well and there are other areas he is going to need to have a lot of coaching to get better. This play ends in a long passing TD.
13.png


This is what the Archer NT does on the majority of plays. He just dives in there trying to create a mess. Clark pretty much just dives on him each time and plants him there.
14.png


Threw his man to the ground and then buried him on a fade route for the TD. (Not pictured)

Something that Clark is excellent at is looking for work when he is uncovered (no defender playing over him and no one he is responsible for on the blitz). He really shows his natural power on down blocks like this one.
15.png


Clark fires out high on this play and is once again leaning. If he fires out and then up with his elbows in and brings a strong lift punch he could basically take this defender’s soul. He gets the block, but not anywhere near the level he could have with this kind of quickness at the snap before the defender is ready to leverage. This is the Auburn commit, so a legit talent.
16.png


Auburn kid shoots the gap and Clark saves the day with his awareness and quickness. He pushes him just wide enough and the RB has some room. The RT was supposed to have this defender but he shot the gap before he could get there as they pulled the RG and the RT was trying to downblock. Honestly might be the best play of the game for Clark because he was smart enough to come off of his assignment (defender standing behind the LOS was the guy Clark was supposed to release to) and saved the play to get 6 rather than a loss of several. Sometimes you just have to be smart and save the play first.
17.png


There is a lot of natural power in this young man. Look what happens to defenders when he actually uses his hands correctly. He delivers a man punch to this defender who is absolutely flattened up against the OL next to him. The play goes for a TD deep.
18.png


Grayson went on to blow out Archer, so there wasn’t much from here.

Positives

He has very good hand-to-feet coordination. That allows him to sprawl quite well and to change directions when he needs to hit a moving target to either side.

Flexibility is a strength of his.

Looks for work with the best of them. Any time a G or T is blocking someone and he is uncovered that defender is going to take a shot to the ribs. He delivers some violent shots in these situations, which makes me believe he can be coached to be violent in heads-up situations as well. Having the violent temperament to do it in some situations is a lot better than not showing it at all.

Natural power in his upper body. When he actually shocks a defender, they move. He delivers a pop with just his shoulder often times.

Very smart and aware player. On the play I mentioned was his best play of the game it was a situation he will see on the major college level quite often and he handled it well.

Opportunities

Clark carries some bad weight in his midsection. He will need to reshape his body when he gets to college.

At this point he has nary a clue how to use his hands to deliver a punch, to redirect, and to lock out a defender.

Speed is going to give him trouble in pass protection.

I’d like to see him be a better finisher. There were several blocks that he had initially and then the defender slid off of him (because he doesn’t use his hands well) and got involved with the play. This could be as simple as getting his hands more involved, but I didn’t see a mean streak stand out in this game.

Clark is on the ground more than I want to see from my C. My guess is the balance issues are technique related as he gets out over his toes far too often trying to lean into defenders with his shoulder, rather than delivering a violent strike.

Shorter prospect with short arms. He will be limited to C-only at the next level, which limits his upside. If he’s not starting, he’s not providing a ton of value.

Outlook

Next season, Miami will have Corey Gaynor and Hayden Mahoney ready to compete for the starting C position. That will allow Clark some much needed time to redshirt. Clark is not arriving until summer, so he is already limited in his time to get ready to play next year. Once on campus, Clark should focus on three things:
  • Getting his body remade and stronger.
  • Learning to use his hands as a blocker.
  • Becoming comfortable with the playbook so that he understands everyone’s assignments. If smarts and awareness are going to be the calling card, they need to stand out.
There are natural tools to work with in his strength, flexibility, and body coordination. If the OL coach can teach him to use his hands effectively and unlock a mean streak, he can be a starting C at this level. If not, this is going to be a reach that carries a scholarship tied up into a one-position player. All of his weaknesses are fixable, which makes him the type of projection player you should be taking if you do not have a blue-chip recruit already in the fold at the position.
 

Comments (19)

Mahoney should be no where around starting anywhere.

Great write up as usual.
 
I was just told that Morris and Jones makes up for his mistakes... And the only reason he has offers because schools wanted the 5 star kid going to Auburn
 
I was just told that Morris and Jones makes up for his mistakes... And the only reason he has offers because schools wanted the 5 star kid going to Auburn

How do they clean up his mess if their tackles outside and he’s the inside center??

Not to mention if he is that much of a weak link why go at the outside walls with those 5star and 4star tackles when you can attack the center and up the middle?
 
I never knew a 3star would garner this much pub! Are we hurting that bad that such attention focused on a guy who is mostly an afterthought because of the ones that flipped on us?
 
Outstanding write up Lance!! Big brother Lanceeeeee! School Dayz classic
 
How do they clean up his mess if their tackles outside and he’s the inside center??

Not to mention if he is that much of a weak link why go at the outside walls with those 5star and 4star tackles when you can attack the center and up the middle?
Thats what i was saying but hey
 
I want to do a deeper dive on his tape, and will do so after we actually assemble a recruiting class...but my initial thoughts were that he is a guard.

You showed a few examples of some issues I saw when just browsing his tape...dealing with speed and recovering. Because he's a little behind there, I think he'd make a better guard, because of what he does well and where he wins. He's a squatty, naturally strong kid that when he gets his hands on you, puts you in the dirt. That is why, in another thread, I said he reminded me of Harland Gunn a little bit like that on first look. But again, would like to do a deeper dive.
 
Recent OL commit, Jakai Clark, plays for a powerhouse program in Georgia in Grayson High. I wanted to take a look at how he plays in a full game setting, rather than in a highlight video. In this game they are taking on another solid program in Archer, GA.

Clark plays C for Grayson and is joined by two other P5 commits in 5-star Wanya Morris (Tennessee) and 4-star Trente Jones (Michigan). A high school OL with three P5 commitments is fairly unheard of and just shows the amount of talent his team has.

You can see right off the bat that Clark is definitely the leader of the OL. He is immediately directing traffic, pointing out where players need to pay attention, and all eyes and ears are on him pre-snap.
View attachment 71204

Clark snaps the ball without the laces, which is a fairly new technique, but is currently en vogue.

After the snap, Archer stunts with the DE and DT. The initial stunt causes a push, but Clark recovers nicely to move his man out-of-the-hole and you can see him here driving with excellent knee bend and a nice, flat back. This play goes for a TD down the sideline, and Clark handling the initial stunt action allowed his QB time to escape and find a receiver. The guy he’s blocking is an Auburn commit.
View attachment 71205

Archer is undersized on the DL and they actually had their DL jump into the legs of the OL on this play like you might see on a kneel-down play trying to knock the ball out of the QB’s hands at the end of a game. Think the Greg Schiano Tampa Buccaneers play. Clark sprawled very well and then buried his defender. The 4-star LT went to the ground on the play. (Not pictured)

He gets beat here and absolutely tackles the DT (#41). That initial quickness gave him trouble here.
View attachment 71206

Next play he gets his shoulder on the DT and releases to the LB but misses the block, honestly. His RB got through the hole and past the defender before he could get him down though. (Not pictured)

They run a QB draw on the next play and Clark tries to cut his man and doesn’t get him down. The defender scampers over and tackles the QB after a gain of 5. (Not pictured)

Grayson asks Clark to get to the second level quite a bit. He got his initial hit and shocked his man back. I’d like to see more ferocity in his strikes. He’s more of a leaner right now than he is a true puncher. He put the dude on the ground at least. Last year, Archer beat Grayson 6-3, so this isn’t a scrub defense they’re playing. Here is the lean I’m talking about (#55). If you lean into LB’s and quicker players you will get your weight over your toes a lot more and tend to drop your head and miss your target on the move.
View attachment 71207

Clark is pretty good at that sprawl, which tells me he might have a wrestling background. Good feet and hand coordination (meaning the hands and feet work together in coordinated movements, rather than being out-of-sync). #58 here tried to shoot low and Clark was having none of it and forced him to eat dirt for the payment.
View attachment 71208

Quickness at the snap seems to give Clark trouble. #41 got inside of his shoulder and shocked him back and really pushed him back into the backfield on the next play. QB threw it away. (Not pictured)

He showed his good feet on the next play and cut his man down easily. (Not pictured)

Here Clark is absolutely man-handling this defender. #55 is next to the RT right at the LOS and his defender is actually flailing as he gets pancaked.
View attachment 71210

Clark has a lot of natural power. Here he is taking this kid for a ride (kid standing tall with his arm on the helmet of the OL). If he brought his hands with him here this kid would have been on his back and hard. He’s strong enough to shock this kid badly, but if he learns to use his hands in that jolt he could really develop into a people-mover with that power. After he hits this block he actually falls to the ground because again, his weight is over his toes rather than back and with his hands delivering the blow. #7 made it easy on him here by simply standing up and exposing his chest to the OL.
View attachment 71211

Archer shoots the gap at the snap again and this time Clark lands on his man, but too far into his legs and his man reaches up and grabs the runners’ legs for a tackle. (Not pictured)

Grayson teaches a weird protection set in FG protection. They have them simply lean at an angle into the defense instead of actually trying to block them. Not sure why they teach it this way, but #7 got a measure of revenge against Clark and planted him here (#7 is an Auburn commit). Clark is playing two over from the C on FG protection. Obviously, this technique was less than effective, as Archer blocked it easily. Something I liked afterwards though was seeing his movement skills as he ran after the ball after it was blocked. He is a quick player for his size and has a nice motor.
View attachment 71212

You expect Clark to be able to overpower the NT, who is 5-10, 220, but he does a nice job of using his leg drive to turn him completely out of the hole here. I wrote often in my film reviews about our OL not always understanding leverage and how to use it to turn a defender and Clark does that very well here rather than going too fast and getting off balance.
View attachment 71213

Clark snaps for punts but not FG’s. Interesting. By the way, Owen Pappoe is a freak show. If Pappoe and a few of his OL teammates wanted to join him here I wouldn’t be mad.

To this point the biggest negative I have with Clark is his propensity to be on the ground. He tripped his RT here trying to make a cut block. This game is a weird game because the NT for Archer is so undersized they’re using him like a sacrificial lamb on most plays and just asking him to create a muck right up front by diving and shooting gaps.
View attachment 71214

It’s so unusual the way they teach FG protection. They just lean like this and don’t actually block anyone in particular.
View attachment 71215

The main problem with Clark continues to be his lack of hand usage. This player on the edge jumps into the air as #74 falls down. Clark has a direct shot at him while he’s in the air and he just tries to duck into him and lean with his right shoulder into him. He barely touches him and doesn’t block him at all. If he fires his hands into the chest of #4 they’re picking pieces of him up out of the turf. You’ve got to absolutely bury this defender, Jakai.
View attachment 71216

Locks his arms out and controls the DT here. He gets his hands out wide too far though and that makes it so the DT can swipe his arms off of him and redirect. Again, the problem is that this kid is 5-10, 220 pounds. There are certain techniques he handles well and there are other areas he is going to need to have a lot of coaching to get better. This play ends in a long passing TD.
View attachment 71217

This is what the Archer NT does on the majority of plays. He just dives in there trying to create a mess. Clark pretty much just dives on him each time and plants him there.
View attachment 71218

Threw his man to the ground and then buried him on a fade route for the TD. (Not pictured)

Something that Clark is excellent at is looking for work when he is uncovered (no defender playing over him and no one he is responsible for on the blitz). He really shows his natural power on down blocks like this one.
View attachment 71219

Clark fires out high on this play and is once again leaning. If he fires out and then up with his elbows in and brings a strong lift punch he could basically take this defender’s soul. He gets the block, but not anywhere near the level he could have with this kind of quickness at the snap before the defender is ready to leverage. This is the Auburn commit, so a legit talent.
View attachment 71220

Auburn kid shoots the gap and Clark saves the day with his awareness and quickness. He pushes him just wide enough and the RB has some room. The RT was supposed to have this defender but he shot the gap before he could get there as they pulled the RG and the RT was trying to downblock. Honestly might be the best play of the game for Clark because he was smart enough to come off of his assignment (defender standing behind the LOS was the guy Clark was supposed to release to) and saved the play to get 6 rather than a loss of several. Sometimes you just have to be smart and save the play first.
View attachment 71221

There is a lot of natural power in this young man. Look what happens to defenders when he actually uses his hands correctly. He delivers a man punch to this defender who is absolutely flattened up against the OL next to him. The play goes for a TD deep.
View attachment 71222

Grayson went on to blow out Archer, so there wasn’t much from here.

Positives

He has very good hand-to-feet coordination. That allows him to sprawl quite well and to change directions when he needs to hit a moving target to either side.

Flexibility is a strength of his.

Looks for work with the best of them. Any time a G or T is blocking someone and he is uncovered that defender is going to take a shot to the ribs. He delivers some violent shots in these situations, which makes me believe he can be coached to be violent in heads-up situations as well. Having the violent temperament to do it in some situations is a lot better than not showing it at all.

Natural power in his upper body. When he actually shocks a defender, they move. He delivers a pop with just his shoulder often times.

Very smart and aware player. On the play I mentioned was his best play of the game it was a situation he will see on the major college level quite often and he handled it well.

Opportunities

Clark carries some bad weight in his midsection. He will need to reshape his body when he gets to college.

At this point he has nary a clue how to use his hands to deliver a punch, to redirect, and to lock out a defender.

Speed is going to give him trouble in pass protection.

I’d like to see him be a better finisher. There were several blocks that he had initially and then the defender slid off of him (because he doesn’t use his hands well) and got involved with the play. This could be as simple as getting his hands more involved, but I didn’t see a mean streak stand out in this game.

Clark is on the ground more than I want to see from my C. My guess is the balance issues are technique related as he gets out over his toes far too often trying to lean into defenders with his shoulder, rather than delivering a violent strike.

Shorter prospect with short arms. He will be limited to C-only at the next level, which limits his upside. If he’s not starting, he’s not providing a ton of value.

Outlook

Next season, Miami will have Corey Gaynor and Hayden Mahoney ready to compete for the starting C position. That will allow Clark some much needed time to redshirt. Clark is not arriving until summer, so he is already limited in his time to get ready to play next year. Once on campus, Clark should focus on three things:
  • Getting his body remade and stronger.
  • Learning to use his hands as a blocker.
  • Becoming comfortable with the playbook so that he understands everyone’s assignments. If smarts and awareness are going to be the calling card, they need to stand out.
There are natural tools to work with in his strength, flexibility, and body coordination. If the OL coach can teach him to use his hands effectively and unlock a mean streak, he can be a starting C at this level. If not, this is going to be a reach that carries a scholarship tied up into a one-position player. All of his weaknesses are fixable, which makes him the type of projection player you should be taking if you do not have a blue-chip recruit already in the fold at the position.

Great post.
It is a breath of fresh air to read these sort of informative posts versus the redundant hysteria-laced drivel often seen here.
 
Like the fact he is aware and can look for work when he has no one to block. I would think that's especially important in dealing with twists and stunts and I think I've observed that as a problem with some of our interior linemen this past season.

Am I right about this?
 
What is your thinking on Fort Lauderdale OT Boeteng I believe is his name?

Definately a div 1 level ol. He needs alot of strength may be smaller than listed. Dont see him as a Tackle all the way...may be better suited as a guard.
 
@Lance Roffers i compared him to our former player Harland Gunn. What's your thoughts? Gunn wasnt that bad...and he may be more proven than Gunn at the same juncture
 
Definately a div 1 level ol. He needs alot of strength may be smaller than listed. Dont see him as a Tackle all the way...may be better suited as a guard.
I agree. I know the kid wants to play for the Canes but they haven’t offered. We need all the O-linemen we can get fam.
 

2022 Commits

WR
6'2"
185
Nashville, TN
CB
6'0"
160
Lexington, MS
QB
6'4"
205
Valdosta, GA
CB
6'1"
175
Fort Myers, FL
CB
6'2"
180
Alabaster, AL
WR
6'1"
185
Mandeville, LA
MLB
6'1"
210
Manvel, TX
OT
6'7"
275
Sandersville, GA

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