Former Auburn commitment Jakai Clark made an unofficial visit to Clemson for Saturday’s game vs. Georgia Southern and came away impressed by his experience.
The class of 2019 offensive lineman from Loganville (Ga.) Grayson saw close to 80,000 fans show up at Death Valley to cheer on the Tigers despite the game being moved up to noon due to the threat of inclement weather from Hurricane Florence.
“It was cool,” Clark told TCI. “I liked the fan support even with all the changes and weather.”
One of the highlights for Clark was being taken to the top of the hill before kickoff, where he was able to get a great look at what many consider the most exciting 25 seconds in college football.
“It was cool to see everything up close and in person instead of watching it on TV,” Clark said of Clemson’s tradition of rubbing Howard’s Rock and running down the hill. “It’s crazy. Just standing at the top of the hill looking at all the fans screaming for you before you run down … nothing really beats it.”
Clark (6-2, 305) also had a chance to spend a good amount of time with Clemson offensive line coach Robbie Caldwell and area recruiter Mickey Conn, the latter of whom came to Clemson after 16 seasons as the head coach at Clark’s school, Grayson.
“They just told me they need some big linemen to help with the run game and told me to come back out,” Clark said.
Clark had been committed to Auburn since April before he decided to de-commit from the SEC’s Tigers on Sept. 3.
“It was a mutual agreement to just part ways after a lot of bad communication,” he explained.
Clark carries power conference offers from Virginia, Boston College, Syracuse, Rutgers, Oregon State, Minnesota and Kansas. He said Clemson, Louisville, LSU and Indiana are among the schools that have been showing the most interest since he reopened his recruitment.
Should Clemson opt to extend an offer moving forward, Clark says it would be big for him.
“It would mean a lot to go to a program that’s used to winning like they are,” he said.
Clark intends to take his time before he renders another commitment in the future.
“Just making sure the school fits me before I make a decision,” he said. “I feel like with Auburn I made a decision before I really learned everything about their school.”
Clark has scheduled an official visit to Arkansas State for this weekend, though he said it might get cancelled. He added that he “should be at Clemson again in a few weeks” and may also visit LSU for its game against Georgia or Alabama later this season.