Class Impact: Marcus Clarke to Miami

Stefan Adams

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2020 Winter Park (FL) CB Marcus Clarke committed to the Miami Hurricanes while visiting campus today.


The 5-11 175 pounder is currently a consensus 3-star in the national rankings. According to the 247Sports Composite, Clarke is the #760 player nationally, #61 CB in the country, and the #107 player in the Sunshine State. His commitment keeps Category20 at the #7 class ranking on 247Sports and #5 on Rivals.


The Player

Clarke just received his UM offer last month, but things heated up quickly between him and the Canes. Miami was able to get Clarke to Paradise Camp just before the dead period, and then Clarke followed that up by putting the Canes in his top 5 he released earlier this month. UM finally won him over for good this weekend on his second visit and Clarke chose the Canes over FSU, UGA, Tennessee, and West Virginia.

Clarke was a three-way threat for Winter Park last season, and used his skills to become a playmaker extraordinaire in 2018 on his way to first team All-County. He put up 59 receptions for 1,004 yards and a whopping 21 TD’s for the Wildcats’ offense, while recording 4 INT’s and 2 TD’s on defense, and 3 punt return TD’s to the house on special teams. At the Opening Orlando Regional in February, Clarke recorded a 4.57 40-yard dash, a 4.38 short shuttle, and a 33.50 vertical leap.

Miami likes Clarke at corner, so I’ll focus on his evaluation from that perspective. On film, he has incredible reaction time when breaking on the ball. That type of anticipation has helped him become an interception machine, and his natural ball skills don’t hurt either. Speed demon with great 0 to 60 acceleration. Versatile athlete that is also threat at receiver and returner, and is explosive with the ball in his hands. Average technique as a tackler and could be a liability in the run game at this point.

Clarke is a diamond in the rough type that has recently been starting to climb a lot of boards at big programs around the country and he just got a huge bump on 247Sports. He’s nowhere near a finished product and needs a lot of polish, but based on his film, he oozes potential and is going to push for 4-star status by the time the rankings cycle is set and done.


The Class

Clarke’s commitment brings the total class numbers to 23 and he is the second cornerback commitment along with Western (FL) 3-star Justin Hodges. Miami would be okay with two corners in this class, but would take three if it’s the right guy and there's enough room.

A guy Miami has gotten back in the mix with lately is IMG Academy (FL) 5-star Elias Ricks. The nation’s #2 corner has been committed to LSU since December, but has pledged to take all five of his official visits, with the Canes a potential destination. Alabama, Ohio State, USC, Florida are in consideration for OV’s along with LSU and Miami. He’s more than a longshot, but it won’t hurt to get Ricks on campus and throw a hail mary for him, especially with the core of the CB class locked in now.

Lakeland (FL) 4-star Kendall Dennis is another intriguing option that has been floating around the past few months. Dennis visited Miami twice this spring, most recently for the spring game in Orlando in April. He has also visited FSU, Tennessee, and Auburn this spring. In the past month, Auburn and Tennessee have gained momentum here, but Dennis wants to take his time with his recruitment, so Miami will have time to continue to build this relationship.

Originally from Belle Glade, Highland C.C. (KS) 3-star Brian George landed his Miami offer back in mid-April, and has slowly risen on UM’s board. George brings an intriguing physicality to the corner position and the Canes really started building a relationship with him by bringing him in for Paradise Camp before the dead period. Aside from UM, George also visited Auburn this summer. Arkansas is involved here as well and George was planning on being in Fayetteville this weekend. It’s still early in the game for George, but Miami feels strongly about where they stand with him right now.

The Canes recently offered St. Thomas Aquinas 4-star DB Jahvante Royal, who they like at corner; however, Royal is committed to Pitt and the relationship between him and Miami is still very new, so it’s unclear just how much he will really consider UM going forward. Miami has also kept in touch with Buford (GA) 3-star T Lee, who is committed to Arizona State but wants to take an official to UM in the fall. He first visited Miami in March and is also considering a flip to North Carolina, Nebraska, Michigan State, and Louisville as well.


The Team

The Canes won’t lose any corners to graduation in the 2019 off-season and will bring all their core contributors back. By 2020, it is likely a senior Trajan Bandy is in his third year starting at one corner spot. By that time, we’ll know who has emerged between DJ Ivey and Al Blades, and one of them will have the 2nd corner role locked down. Behind them, Clarke will compete with Hodges, as well as Nigel Bethel, Christian Williams, and Te’Cory Couch for a spot in the CB rotation as a true freshman.

Clarke is a raw, but extremely athletic talent, which is why it would be huge for him to come in during spring ball and starting learning from college level coaches. At his current measurables, Clarke’s body should be more than ready to pitch in during his first season at Miami next year, so how much time he sees in 2020 will directly correlate to how quickly he develops his technique and picks up the schemes. Once he starts focusing full-time on the craft of corner, he’s going to have a huge learning curve and will hope to see rapid improvements. His career has a wide range of outcomes, but Mike Rumph has done more with less in the past, and Clarke has a high ceiling that he could potentially reach if he puts in the work to be great.

 

SpikeUM

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@Stefan Adams You need to stay off the Gator sites, its affecting your writing and thinking! :)

Clarke is a diamond in the rough type that has recently been starting to climb a lot of boards at big programs around the country and he just got a huge bump on 247Sports. He’s nowhere near a finished product and needs a lot of polish, but based on his film, he oozes potential and is going to push for 4-star status by the time the rankings cycle is set and done.
 
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Future looking dope! I like that we are getting the overlooked, undervalued, yet super talented guys w/ much the prove. That make always been a part of the fabric the built the U. Greatest soon come. We’ll be playing a gritty, scrappy, tough type of ball henceforth.
 

PittsburghCane

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@Stefan Adams You need to stay off the Gator sites, its affecting your writing and thinking!

Clarke is a diamond in the rough type that has recently been starting to climb a lot of boards at big programs around the country and he just got a huge bump on 247Sports. He’s nowhere near a finished product and needs a lot of polish, but based on his film, he oozes potential and is going to push for 4-star status by the time the rankings cycle is set and done.
Lol, to be fair, Wilfong said the same on the StormSurge pod.
 

twes.305

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@Stefan Adams You need to stay off the Gator sites, its affecting your writing and thinking! :)

Clarke is a diamond in the rough type that has recently been starting to climb a lot of boards at big programs around the country and he just got a huge bump on 247Sports. He’s nowhere near a finished product and needs a lot of polish, but based on his film, he oozes potential and is going to push for 4-star status by the time the rankings cycle is set and done.
Wow, literally out of all our 2029 commits this is his first time saying something like this, now he is becoming like Stampenin. Did u ever think that maybe he legitimately thinks the kid is really good and shows potential.
 

TrueFloridian

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Sep 23, 2013
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I would keep all options open on this kid. The first day of practice I’m lining him up at WR to throw a deep ball, slant, and bubble to see what he can do. That being said, the money for a long term career is at CB if you’re really that gifted. Not to mention we desperately need a gifted CB in this class.
 

Gator Hatar

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This staff seem very confident in their evaluations of the skill guys they got committed even if they are website rated 3 stars. Just hope we can get one of Marshall and or Collier.
 

g8rh8rMD

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May 21, 2016
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Excellent work,@Stefan Adams. Per usual.

Did not stop reading at 2020.

At the moment, this guy doesn’t help the blue chip ratio. Now is not the time to *****. Very impressed and happy with the hustle this staff is showing. Let’s see how the next three to four months shake out. For now, hard not to feel good about the current stewards of The U.
 
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