Signing Day Profile: Center Jakai Clark

Signing Day Profile: Center Jakai Clark

Grayson (GA) offensive center Jakai Clark signed with Miami today. He is the third signature of the day for Miami.

The 6-3 305 pounder is a consensus 3-star prospect right now. According to the 247 Composite, Clark is the #1,477 player overall, the #13 ranked center in the country, and the 138th best player in the Peach State.

Recruiting Story

Clark’s recruitment has been nothing short of a roller coaster ride. Back in early April, Clark committed to Auburn. It was around this time that coach Jess Simpson brought Jakai Clark to the attention of coach Mark Richt and coach Stacy Searels, but Miami never offered because they felt that Clark was solid on his commitment to the Tigers.

Fast forward to the Monday after Auburn’s first game of the season, and Clark decided to back off his pledge to the Tigers. At this time, Miami still had what they thought was a solid pledge from eventual Florida signee Kingsley Eguakun, so they did not offer Clark. Then, about three weeks later, despite receiving interest from Clemson, Clark decided to commit to Illinois.

Clark remained committed to Illinois and Eguakun remained committed to Miami up until December 2nd, when Eguakun flipped his commitment to Florida. At this point, Miami reached out to Miami Central offensive lineman and then Boston College commit Maurice Smith. Smith did not show much interest in Miami. The Hurricanes were really scrambling until coach Simpson bring up Jakai Clark again. Coach Searels and coach Richt approved of his tape and Miami pulled the trigger on an offer on December 5th.

Just two days after that, Clark officially visited Miami and gave the coaches a silent commitment before he left campus. The next day, December 10th, Clark publicly announced that he has flipped his commitment to Miami.


On film, Clark is a physical road grader that relishes the idea of knocking his opponent off their feet. Clark drives his feet through contact and uses a strong punch to get the defender off-balance. He’s the type of heady player that you want running the show on the offensive line; Clark shows the ability to alter his assignment based on the flow of the defense and handles stunts and twists with great awareness. Another good quality of Clark is his eagerness to finish blocks. He will not stop until the person he is blocking is on the ground. I also like that he looks for someone to hit when he’s uncovered. Clark has a lot of potential in the run game, but carries some bad weight and doesn’t have the best footwork at the moment. He’ll be a liability in pass protection early in his Miami career without some improvement in those areas.

The Team

Miami has struggled with their play up front for years, and now they’ll be losing a two-year starter at center heading into the 2019 season. Tyler Gauthier leaves a hole to fill in the middle, and although he was solid overall, Gauthier’s play was far from perfect and he’s certainly not irreplaceable.

Corey Gaynor seems like the obvious replacement for Gauthier heading into the 2019 season, but Coach Searels has been telling Clark that he should work this off season with the expectation of starting. Clark will not arrive in Coral Gables until the summer, but should he prove he can be the starting center, we could see Corey Gaynor move to guard.

Redshirt Probability: 5/10

Miami is losing their starting center, the offensive line play has been subpar, and Clark is the best offensive lineman in the class right now. All of that would suggest Clark gets game reps next season, but I am giving the redshirt probability a 50% chance because right now we just need to wait and see how he progresses between now the fall.


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