The first transfer portal acquisition domino has fallen for the Miami Hurricanes this off-season, as the football program secured a significant addition on Friday evening with the commitment of C.J. Clark. A sixth-year redshirt senior from the North Carolina State Wolfpack, Clark’s decision to remain within the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and bring his talents to South Beach is a pivotal move for the Hurricanes, directly addressing a crucial need on the interior defensive line.
The successful recruitment of C.J. Clark was a collaborative effort, led by Miami’s defensive line coaches Jason Taylor and Joe Salave’a, along with defensive coordinator Lance Guidry. The coaching trio all played their roles in convincing the veteran defensive tackle to join the Hurricanes, highlighting the exciting defensive scheme employed by Guidry as a major draw for Clark during his official visit to Coral Gables last weekend.
Known for his aggressive approach, Guidry’s system provides defensive linemen with the opportunity to showcase their skills by getting upfield, attacking, and relentlessly pursuing the quarterback. This style of play aligns perfectly with Clark’s strengths, making him an ideal fit for the Hurricanes’ defensive front.
C.J. Clark’s addition brings a much-needed veteran presence to the defensive tackle room for the Hurricanes, especially following the early departure of defensive tackle Leonard Taylor III in the NFL Draft. With eligibility exhausted for previous transfer portal additions like Branson Deen from Purdue and Jacob Lichtenstein from USC, Clark’s experience and production will be invaluable in fortifying Miami’s defensive tackle group next season.
Over the duration of his career with the North Carolina State Wolfpack, C.J. Clark has compiled 73 tackles, 42 pressures, 7.5 tackles for loss, and 4 sacks, showcasing his ability to disrupt opposing offenses up the interior of the trenches.
With one year of eligibility remaining, C.J. Clark is expected to make an impact for head coach Mario Cristobal and the Miami Hurricanes during the upcoming 2024 season. His addition addresses a critical need for the team and bolsters the defensive line with experience.
He may not be the last defensive tackle Miami adds via the transfer portal, as the Hurricanes are currently hosting Middle Tennessee State transfer defensive tackle Marley Cook on an official visit. Cook is considered one of the top-tier pass rushers at his position (top-5) according to Pro Football Focus during the 2022 season. Early returns, according to a source, have expressed to me that Miami is in a prime position to secure the services of Cook.
Stay tuned, as there is plenty of breaking news expected for the Hurricanes in the coming days, with additions between the 2024 recruiting class and the transfer portal.
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