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)

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National Signing Day 2013: Top 15 ACC Football Recruits

Clemson Signee Mackensie Alexander Headlines a Strong Class of ACC Recruits

Clemson Signee Mackensie Alexander Headlines a Strong Class of ACC Recruits

Without a doubt, National Signing Day 2013 was a bloodbath in favor of the SEC. Eight of the top 20 classes (per ESPN). Eleven of the top 25 recruits overall (again, per ESPN). And yet, the ACC still put up a pretty good fight (and a much better one than most are willing to give credit for). Unlike the top-heavy classes of the Big 12, Pac-12 and Big Ten — largely buoyed by two programs apiece atop the rankings — the ACC saw four different programs finish among ESPN’s top 20 classes, and carried six of the nation’s top 30 players. And that’s not even counting Notre Dame.

All that aside, however, this is about the best players the ACC brought in the door this National Signing Day. Below are the top 15 recruits of the class of 2013, using ratings by ESPN for consistency’s sake:

1. Mackensie Alexander, CB/Clemson (No. 4 overall, Grade: 91)

2. Matthew Thomas, OLB/Florida State (No. 6 overall, Grade: 90)

3. Jalen Ramsey, CB/Florida State (No. 14 overall, Grade: 89)

4. Kendall Fuller, CB/Virginia Tech (No. 18, Grade: 88)

5. Dorian Johnson, OT/Pittsburgh (No. 29, Grade: 88)

6. Ryan Green, ATH/Florida State (No. 30, Grade: 88)

7. Demarcus Walker, DT/Florida State (No. 40, Grade: 87)

8. Stacy Coley, WR/MIami (FL) (No. 47, Grade: 87)

9. Al-Quadin Mohammad, DE/Miami (FL) (No. 58, Grade: 85)

10. Artie Burns, CB/Miami (FL) (No. 70, Grade: 85)

11. Levonte Whitfield, ATH/Florida State (No. 74, Grade: 85)

12. Taquan Mizzell, RB/Virginia (No. 75, Grade: 85)

13. Ben Boulware, ILB/Clemson (No. 78, Grade: 84)

14. James Quick, WR/Louisville (No. 79, Grade: 84)

15. Kevin Olsen, QB/Miami (FL) (No. 87, Grade: 84)

No one would argue that Florida State and Miami (along with Clemson) carried the flag for the conference this year, though at the same time, there was also plenty of recruiting diversification. Seven different schools are represented among these top 15; which is half the league. You go a little bit further down the list, and you’ll find many of the other schools too. Even one like North Carolina — largely a “basketball school” and without a recruit until number 118 on ESPN’s list — still finishes 20th overall, despite a class of just 17 players total.

Want to see a full breakdown of every ACC team’s class? Check back in an hour for our team-by-team rankings.

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ACC Football Recruiting Class of 2013 Rankings Update (December 20)

Jimbo Fisher and Florida State Continue to Win Big on the Recruiting Trail

Jimbo Fisher and Florida State Continue to Win Big on the Recruiting Trail

As we pointed out back in October, we’ve revamped recruiting coverage a bit. While in-season recruiting has slowed up some, we still saw movement over the past month, with the ACC taking its fair share of lumps and losing a handful of solid recruits. You’ll notice this dip in the overall numbers across the board.

Below you’ll find a breakdown of ACC recruiting rankings from Rivals, 247Sports and Scout, as well as a breakdown of ACC players currently ranked in the ESPN 300.

ACC Football 2013 Recruiting Rankings (December 20)

Each service compiles rankings with a different scoring system, using the total number of points accumulated per school to decide their rank compared to all other classes. However, this also provides an unfair advantage to larger classes, emphasizing quantity over quality. With that in mind, we also included averages, to account for high-quality, smaller classes. For schools like Louisville and Syracuse, looking at smaller overall classes, the total score hurt quite a bit. For schools with larger recruiting classes, like Pittsburgh and Wake Forest, saw their rankings get a boost. Also note that while Scout and Rivals use the standard “stars” system (1-5), 247Sports has an algorithm out of 100 that they explain on their site. Under “composite” below, you’ll find the average ranking score for each school (using both total score and average score), so we can get a much fuller picture on the quality of respective classes using a variety of methods.

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Which ACC Schools Could Be Landing Penn State Transfers?

With Silas Redd Apparently Off the Market, What Are ACC School’s Best Options for PSU Transfers?

Obviously, this post is no disrespect to the victims of the terrible tragedies that occurred at Penn State. It’s my, and everyone’s, hope that some part of these sanctions and fines levied against the university and its football program manage to begin the healing process — both for the victims and for the obviously out-of-touch Nittany Lions football culture.

One of the biggest parts of the sanctions were the ruling that any player currently with the program can enroll in a new institution immediately, and be able to play right away. We’ve seen this happen before, but with a four-year postseason ban and numerous additional factors preventing competitiveness in the near future, Penn State’s situation appears more dire. In a worst-case scenario world, the team loses every football player currently enrolled. In a best-case, I still believe they lose a quarter of their players. But who are those players, and where might they go? Being the major college football conference in PSU’s footprint (the northeast and mid-Atlantic regions), it only makes sense that the ACC would be an understandable landing spot.

For kids looking to remain close to the State College, Pa. area, longtime rivals Pittsburgh and Syracuse are actually the perfect fit, each within three hours of the university. Additionally, potential transfers are likely looking at fellow ACC landing spots Maryland, Boston College, Virginia and Virginia Tech, all of which are fairly close by as well. Before the expected flurry of movement (or lack thereof) though, we tried to break things down for the most relevant classes — 2010 through 2013. Looking at all recruits grading four stars or higher on ESPN.com, we list out ACC offers received before ultimately deciding on Penn State. Since these were the schools that had the closest ties to them during the original recruiting process, it’s a fair assumption they’ll have the quickest road back to their ears. Continue reading