National Signing Day 2013: ACC Team Recruiting Rankings

Matthew Thomas and Florida State Are the Class of the ACC's 2013 Recruiting Classes

Matthew Thomas and Florida State Are the Class of the ACC’s 2013 Recruiting Classes

Earlier today, we covered the ACC‘s top 15 recruits from National Signing Day. Now, we take a closer look at each team’s haul and how it stacks up against their conferencemates (plus Louisville), while also highlighting each school’s top recruit. Once again, we’ll be using ESPN’s rankings for consistency’s sake. Please don’t take that as us putting too much stock in these (or any) numbers, however.

1. Florida State Seminoles (22 commitments, 12 in ESPN300): FSU underwent a bit of a crisis a few weeks back, losing offensive coordinator James Coley to rival Miami, and possibly a ton of their recruits in the process. And yet, the collateral damage didn’t turn out all that bad. The ‘Noles still pulled down a boatload of top recruits from all across the south (especially Florida), filling most needs on both sides of the ball. This team will be forced to reload a bit in 2013, and this class helps them do that — most notably at linebacker, with five commits at the position. Top Recruit: Matthew Thomas, OLB (No. 6 overall, Grade: 90)

2. Clemson Tigers (23 commitments, 10 in ESPN300): Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney continued his recruiting hot streak, scoring another strong class packed with athletic defenders as he and D-coordinator Brent Venables fix this squad’s biggest weakness. While he wasn’t the most heralded member of the star-studded class, New York DE Ebenezer Ogundeko could end up being the hidden gem here, though he’ll need to bulk up a bit for the college game. Top Recruit: Mackensie Alexander, CB (No. 4 overall, Grade: 91)

3. Virginia Tech Hokies (22 commitments, 4 in ESPN300): Tech took advantage of a strong 2013 class coming out of Virginia, nabbing 14 in-state recruits. Overall, the group appears heavy on defense, which stays in line with what Frank Beamer’s staff has done consistently over the past two decades. Granted, that won’t help the team’s current offensive woes, but given some defensive issues this past season, bolstering that side can’t be a bad thing. Top Recruit: Kendall Fuller, CB (No. 18 overall, Grade: 88)

4. Miami Hurricanes (17 commitments, 6 in ESPN300): Miami’s class may appear small, but it certainly makes up for that fact in quality. All but two of the team’s 17 signees graded at a 75 or higher on ESPN, and the U once again managed to pull in a geographically diverse group of talents. While they failed to land several of their marquee targets, the ‘Canes still made out pretty well — especially on defense, where help is sorely needed. Top Recruit: Stacy Coley, WR (No. 47 overall, Grade: 87)

5. Pittsburgh Panthers (28 commitments, 2 in ESPN300): For some of the flack it appears head coach Paul Chryst has taken, there’s nothing to be ashamed of after hauling in one of the nation’s largest (non-SEC) classes. Despite the move to the Southern-focused ACC, Pitt still managed to own the Northeast, with all but four players coming from Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Maryland. Top Recruit: Dorian Johnson, OT (No. 29 overall, Grade: 88)

6. North Carolina Tar Heels (20 commitments, 5 in ESPN300): Another team that firmly understands its personnel needs, UNC went with defense for a big part of this recruiting class. With so many departures on that side of the ball in the past two years, the Heels need to replenish the defensive line and secondary positions, both of which were addressed thoroughly in this recruiting class. Top Recruit: Brian Walker, CB (No. 118 overall, Grade: 84)

7. Virginia Cavaliers (22 commitments, 1 in ESPN300): Since arriving in Charlottesville, Mike London’s put an emphasis on recruiting high-quality talent, while also failing to sacrifice academics in the process. And surprisingly, this strategy’s worked out incredibly well, with the Hoos bringing in yet another strong class. While there may be some concerns, of course, about some recent legal trouble concerning their top recruit, everything else checks out for a group loaded at the linebacker and receiver positions. Top Recruit: Taquan Mizzell, RB (No. 75 overall, Grade: 85)

8. Louisville Cardinals (17 commitments, 2 in ESPN300): Head coach Charlie Strong’s staff continued their impressive efforts outside of the state of Kentucky, gaining multiple commitments from Florida (as usual) and Alabama, too. You can tell this squad’s being built for speed and Heisman hopeful QB Teddy Bridgwater, seeing as their top two recruits were both quick receivers. Top Recruit: James Quick, WR (No. 79 overall, Grade: 84)

9. Maryland Terrapins (22 commitments, 0 in ESPN300): Offensive coordinator Mike Locksley is a wizard in terms of local recruiting for the Terps, and it showed yet again with the class of 2013. Of Maryland’s 22 commitments, 14 came from the D.C/Maryland/Delaware corridor, with an enormous emphasis on defense. This looks like a squad prepping for a move to the Big Ten, just looking for bigger bodies to fill out the program. Top Recruit: Deon Long, WR (NR, Grade: 83)

10. NC State Wolfpack (26 commitments, 0 in ESPN300): State’s deep and Southern-focused class certainly addresses every position on the field, though admittedly it doesn’t possess that one standout player you usually look for. Plenty of excitement left to be had, however, as the Wolfpack appeared to extend their reach a bit into Florida by bringing in seven players from the Sunshine State. Top Recruit: Sean Paul, CB (NR, Grade: 80)

11. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (25 commitments, 0 in ESPN300): There’s been a few areas of severe concern for the Deacs lately, and Jim Grobe and his staff set out to address them on Signing Day. While they managed to wrap up two running backs, the other issue — offensive line — still hasn’t seen a ton of movement. But give Grobe this: few, if any coaches can grab out-of-state recruits like he can, taking just four from North Carolina this year. Top Recruit: Lance Virgile, OLB (NR, Grade: 81)

12. Syracuse Orange (19 commitments, 0 in ESPN300): I won’t write a ton of excuses for the Orange, but when your coach leaves a month before National Signing Day (with seven members of the coaching staff in tow), you’re going to be operating at a disadvantage. And yet, coach Scott Shafer and new OC George McDonald still salvaged themselves a nice class here. Granted, they lost a ton of quality recruits due to attrition with staff turnover, but what they gained over the past month may eventually outweigh that. Top Recruit: Corey Cooper, WR (NR, Grade: 78)

13. Duke Blue Devils (20 commitments, 0 in ESPN300): Duke’s recruiting has improved exponentially since David Cutcliffe first arrived, so this ranking is not a diss whatsoever. Following the lead of his ACC cohort, Wake coach Jim Grobe, Cutcliffe has also began to master the art of out-of-state recruiting, relying heavily on Texas, Florida and Virginia to fill out this well-rounded class. Top Recruit: Austin Davis, C (NR, Grade: 79)

14. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (14 commitments, 0 in ESPN300): If the Yellow Jackets enter into some downward spiral in the next few years, this could very well be the class everyone points to. Decommitments all over, the Wreck simply couldn’t win their various battles for big recruits this year and as a result, do no look to be in great shape heading into the extended offseason. Top Recruit: Shamire Levine, OT (NR, Grade: 79)

15. Boston College Eagles (17 commitments, 0 in ESPN300): New coach Steve Addazio tried to make a splash in recruiting given the short time he had to do so, and for the most part, he salvaged a solid class this year. As he addressed himself at the school’s press conference today, the key for BC going forward is building a fence around Massachusetts and the entire New England area and get a stronghold on local recruiting. With just two recruits from Mass. this year, I’d say it’s his most critical task. Top Recruit: Myles Willis, ATH (NR, Grade: 77)

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