28 Days to Miami football: Freshman Marcus Clarke adds CB depth

MIAMI, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 21:(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 21:(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

Three-star freshman signee Marcus Clarke joins the Miami football program in the class of 2020 adding depth at cornerbacks.

The Miami football program enters the 2020 season with only four experienced scholarship cornerbacks. The signings of freshman Marcus Clarke and Isaiah Dunson add depth for the Hurricanes at the position. Clarke primarily excelled as a wide receiver at Winter Park High School near Orlando.

Clarke was lauded as the top WR in Central Florida by the Orlando Sentinel after a senior season with 49 receptions for 842 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns. While the Sentinel praised Clarke’s hands and route running, the Miami football program believes he is a better fit at CB. Clarke has run a 4.5-second 40-yard dash.

Clarke was the 706th ranked player, 55th ranked CB and 91st ranked player in Florida in the Class of 2020. Clarke might have to contribute on special teams and potentially as a back up at CB because of the lack of depth Miami has. Juniors Al Blades Jr. and D.J. Ivey and sophomores Christian Williams and Te’Cory Couch return at CB.

In ideal circumstances, Miami would have more than six scholarship CBs on the roster and be able to redshirt Clarke. With kick and punt returner open entering the 2020 season, Clarke could be in line to compete for those positions. In high school, Clarke had eight punt returns for TDs. Miami was sixth nationally in punt returns in 2019.

Former graduate transfer K.J. Osborn handled most of the punt returns for Miami in 2019 and finished fourth nationally. Blades and Ivey are projected to be the starting CBs for Miami. The Hurricanes lost two-year starting CB Trajan Bandy after last season. Blades and Ivey are ready to assume Bandy’s mantle as the leaders at CB.

Miami CB depth excites Blake Baker. dark. Next

Signing Clarke and Dunson in the class of 2020 is critical for the depth on the Miami football team this fall. Clarke’s speed and experience playing offense should help him reading WRs routes and in the potential for him to return kicks. Marcus Clarke will be a valuable addition to the Miami football program.