Miami football transfer DT expected to emerge as 2024 starter

Expect transfers C.J. Clark or Marley Cook to emerge as the second starting defensive tackle for the Miami football team next to returnee Jared Harrison-Hunte for the Miami football team in 2024.
Nov 4, 2023; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; Miami Hurricanes quarterback Tyler Van Dyke (9) throws a
Nov 4, 2023; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; Miami Hurricanes quarterback Tyler Van Dyke (9) throws a / Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Defensive tackle will be one of the most competitive positions during spring practice and entering August training camp. Returnees Thomas Gore and Jared Harrison-Hunte were the first-team DTs for Miami during the first week of spring practice before going on break this week.

Transfers C.J. Clark from North Carolina State and Marley Cook from Middle Tennessee State will be a major part of the DT rotation for Miami this season. Clark should be considered the favorite to start with Harrison-Hunte when Miami opens the season at Florida on August 31.

Clark and Cook have been productive players in their careers. Clark had 72 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss and four sacks in five seasons with NC State. Cook had 61 tackles, 19 TFLs, 10.5 sacks, one interception, three passes defended, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.

Clark and Cook have one year of eligibility left after redshirting and the 2020 COVID season. Miami should be deeper at DT this season. Joshua Horton and Amhad Moten return for Miami and 2024 five-star signee Justin Scott should all push the top four for DT snaps this season.

"“CJ and Marley, they add what we needed...They will play their role very well. They will be very good in this season...(Cook is) very explosive. I wasn’t even surprised, because the way he gets off the ball, he’s very explosive. A guy like that, he isn’t the tallest guy but he’s stocky. You have to get low on him.”"

Miami right guard Anez Cooper

At right guard, Cooper goes against the DTs in practice every day. At 6'3 and 305 pounds, Clark provides Miami with needed size at DT. Cook is 6'2, 298 pounds. Gore is a bit undersized at 6'0 and 280 pounds. Miami needs more production from its DTs in 2024.

The now departed Branson Deen led Miami DTs in 2023 with 5.5 TFLs and 2.5 sacks. Gore was second with 4.0 TFLs and 2.0 sacks in limited 2023 playing time. The Miami DTs did help control the line of scrimmage for Miami in 2024. Miami was 12th nationally allowing 105.62 rushing yards per game in 2023.

Next. Miami adds transfer DT C.J. Clark. Miami adds transfer DT C.J. Clark. dark

The Hurricanes were 16th allowing 3.33 yards per carry. Deen and Leonard Taylor were the only DTs among the top 20 players for Miami as graded by Pro Football Focus via David Lake of Inside the U. Deen was the 18th best player for Miami in 2023 with a 69.8 grade and Leonard Taylor was 12th with a 75.1 grade.