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Miami Hurricanes flip center Jakai Clark from Illinois

It hasn’t been a great few weeks on the recruiting trail for the Miami Hurricanes with regards to offensive linemen, but they finally got a bit of good news Monday. Just a dayafter he left an official visit in Coral Gables, Jakai Clark flipped his oral commitment from the Illinois Fighting Illini to Miami.

Clark, whom the composite rankings peg as the No. 14 center in the country, announced his commitment on Twitter.

The three-star center from Grayson spent almost a month committed to Illinois. Clark pledged to the Fighting Illini a few days after wrapping up an official visit in Champaign last month, but the Hurricanes made a quick move for the offensive lineman last week. Miami offered the senior Wednesday and got him down to South Florida for an official visit Friday. He become the Hurricanes’ only committed offensive lineman in the Class of 2019 after the class’ only two offensive lineman flipped to the Florida Gators earlier this month.

With Michael Tarquin’s and Kingsley Eguakun’s pledges looking less than firm, Miami started searching around for offensive linemen earlier this month. Clark was one of the interior options the Hurricanes found.

The 6-foot-3, 305-pound prospect can be a direct replacement for Eguakun, who flipped to Florida on Dec. 2 after wrapping up an official visit in Gainesville. The three-star guard from Jacksonville Sandalwood committed to Miami in January, and the Hurricanes envisioned him as a potential center of the future. Like Eguakun, Clark could be Miami’s long-term option at the position.

The Hurricanes certainly aren’t done at offensive line this cycle. Miami will host Tommy Kennedy, a potential graduate transfer from the FCS Butler Bulldogs, next weekend and could try to do the same with Maurice Smith, a three-star guard from Miami Central, although Smith said last week he’s solid in his commitment to the Boston College Eagles.

The Hurricanes are also in the top group for Bradenton IMG Academy offensive linemen Evan Neal and Dontae Lucas, both of whom will make final decisions and sign Dec. 19. Neal, a five-star tackle from Okeechobee, is also considering the Alabama Crimson Tide and Florida State Seminoles. Lucas, a 4-star guard originally from Miami, is currently committed to Florida State. The IMG Academy seniors officially visited the Hurricanes earlier this month.

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