Clark Gaines played his college ball at Wake Forest, and went undrafted in the 1976 draft. The Jets brought him on as an undrafted free agent and was the first rookie to be selected as Jets’ MVP. As a rookie in 1976, Gaines rushed for 724 yards, and caught passes worth 400 more yards. He scored 6 TDs that season as well. He was the AFC Offensive Rookie of the Year, set a record at the time with 4-one hundred yard rushing performances, even though he didn’t start until week seven.
His next best year was in 1979, coming off of injuries in 1978. He rushed for 905 yards, and was fourth in the AFC in rushing. His ball security was terrific, fumbling only once in 186 carries.
On Sept 21, 1980, Gaines set as record with 17 receptions against the San Francisco 49ers. He is one of only six undrafted running backs to rush for 500 yards or more as a rookie.
Clark Gaines has kept himself in football, working for the NFLPA for 22 years. In 2008, he received a promotion to Assistant Executive Director.