ACC Football Recruiting Class of 2014 Rankings Update (June 18)

Clemson's Demarre Kitt is the Best of the ACC's Top Recruits in the Last Month

Clemson Commitment Demarre Kitt is the Best of the ACC’s Top Recruits in the Last Month

The 2013 college football season is still a couple months away, but with the 2014 recruiting season heating up, we’ve actually got things to keep track of. Like always, recruiting rankings mean absolutely nothing, especially when they’re compiled with nine months remaining in the recruiting period and no hard, binding letters signed yet. Still, it’s fun to see where teams stand, and if your school’s doing well, you get to give yourself a badge of pride for an afternoon (or whatever else you might do to get enjoyment out of this).

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 2014 Recruiting Rankings (June 18)

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 (except with 247, which won’t let us sort by average), to account for high-quality, smaller classes. For school with large classes right now, like Florida State, Boston College and Louisville, the overall rankings are an advantageous figure. But for schools with just a few recruits thus far, like Pittsburgh, Syracuse and Wake Forest, it hurts — which is where the averages come in. 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.

TEAM Total Players Scout (pts) Scout (avg) Rivals (pts) Rivals (avg) 247 (pts) Composite
Clemson 11 13 19 (3.25) 9 4 (3.64) 12 11.40
Florida State 15 9 20 (3.2) 8 19 (3.38) 5 12.20
Miami 12 15 26 (3) 12 14 (3.45) 13 16.00
Louisville 15 22 35 (2.93) 15 52 (2.93) 16 28.00
Virginia 7 26 22 (3.14) 30 35 (3) 35 29.60
North Carolina 14 21 37 (2.86) 16 53 (2.93) 21 29.60
Virginia Tech 10 29 51 (2.5) 28 26 (3.25) 26 32.00
Boston College 15 32 54 (2.45) 19 57 (2.87) 24 37.20
NC State 11 46 63 (2.27) 29 54 (2.9) 31 44.60
Duke 11 42 55 (2.45) 31 68 (2.7) 29 45.00
Georgia Tech 9 53 59 (2.33) 32 55 (2.89) 33 46.40
Pittsburgh 2 71 32 (3) 83 46 (3) 80 62.40
Maryland 5 63 64 (2.2) 58 61 (2.8) 69 63.00
Syracuse 4 73 68 (2) 68 43 (3) 75 65.40
Wake Forest 3 79 78 (1.67) 86 79 (2.33) 84 81.20

When checking out the ESPN 300 rankings, you can also see that the majority of the ACC’s top recruits went to the top-ranked schools. A look at the top 10 ACC recruits:

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Restarting College Football From Scratch: Which 120 Schools Would Sponsor Football?

Is Your School One of the 120 Best Equipped to Play College Football?

Is Your School One of the 120 Best Equipped to Play College Football in Today’s Landscape?

Back in March, SB Nation’s Jason Kirk took a look at an interesting question: Where would you place a college football program if you were starting one completely from scratch? The considerations included current program geography, potential fan bases and to some degree, recruiting as well. Using these factors, both Jason and the commenters (myself included) recommended a flurry of current and hypothetical universities, with no clear choice above the rest. As it is the offseason, this is quite the entertaining exercise.

But taking that idea a step further, what if we decided to start the whole thing from scratch? Blow up the current college football landscape — structure, traditions, records, existing programs, etc. — and just completely start fresh. The only hard-and-fast rule? We’re choosing 120 schools, all of which either currently sponsor Division-1 or -II NCAA athletics and/or have an institutional endowment over $1 billion. Additionally, to narrow the consideration pool down a bit, I avoided all schools with less than 5,000 students, since it’s highly unlikely they’d be able to support football from a talent or fan standpoint (at the collegiate game’s highest level anyway).

Using these factors as guides, I built an available pool of 318 schools, and compiled the following information for each:

  • Endowment: In many cases, endowments are a nice measuring stick of a school’s ability to raise money. Since college football programs cost money and need similar fundraising to function, this should certainly come into play when considering a school’s ability to sponsor the sport.
  • Enrollment: It’s not the end-all, be-all of whether you can sponsor football, but fan support usually starts with students. If you don’t even have 7,000 students on campus, how are you supposed to draw more than 20,000 to Saturday’s game?
  • State Recruiting Ranking: This is a big one, because it examines how sustainable football is from a local recruiting level. If you’re a big school, but have no local base, that means you’re utilizing a national strategy. Likewise, if you’re a mid-size school, but exist in a large local base, you still have a significant chance of recruiting success.
  • Public/Private: Obviously, there are more public schools than private schools at the FBS level today, and in our setup, that’ll still be the case. Private schools won’t be eliminated from consideration at all, but if a decision must be made between a private school and public school, the public school will win out. Public institutions have an easier road toward attracting local talent, and in many cases support too, so that was taken into consideration on a few choice occasions.

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ACC Football Recruiting Class of 2014 Rankings Update

Virginia-Commit Quin Blanding is the ACC's Top Recruit So Far for 2014

Virginia-Commit Quin Blanding is the ACC’s Top Recruit So Far for 2014

Sure, we’re still more than three months from the start of the 2013 college football season, but since teams are currently recruiting for 2014, there are actually things to keep track of on that front. Like always, recruiting rankings mean absolutely nothing, especially when they’re compiled with nine months remaining in the recruiting period and no hard, binding letters signed yet. Still, it’s fun to see where teams stand, and if your school’s doing well, you get to give yourself a badge of pride for an afternoon (or whatever else you might do to get enjoyment out of this).

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 150 (there is no ESPN 300 for 2014 yet).

ACC Football 2014 Recruiting Rankings (May 9)

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 school with large classes right now, like Florida State and Louisville, the overall rankings are an advantageous figure. But for schools with just one recruit thus far, like Pittsburgh and Wake Forest, it hurts — which is where the averages come in. 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.

TEAM Total Players Scout (pts) Scout (avg) Rivals (pts) Rivals (avg) 247 (pts) 247 (avg) Composite
Miami 7 10 13 (3.43) 12 12 (3.67) 13 11 (90.71) 11.83
Clemson 5 22 15 (3.4) 17 6 (3.8) 27 20 (89.6) 17.83
Florida State 9 12 35 (2.89) 7 24  (3.44) 9 22 (89.44) 18.17
Virginia Tech 8 21 48 (2.14) 16 35 (3.29) 16 38 (87.63) 29.00
Louisville 11 28 47 (2.18) 11 42 (3.09) 11 47 (85.64) 31.00
Virginia 4 27 60 (1.75) 25 2 (4) 36 28 (88.25) 31.33
North Carolina 7 31 50 (2) 21 43 (3) 24 49 (85.14) 36.33
Maryland 3 55 30 (3) 42 33 (3.33) 51 43 (86.33) 42.33
Duke 6 35 45 (2.33) 63 46 (3) 29 45 (85.83) 43.83
Boston College 8 54 77 (.25) 28 63 (2.83) 21 57 (84.13) 50.00
Pittsburgh 1 60 31 (3) 63 58 (3) 71 36 (88) 53.17
Syracuse 2 64 57 (2) 56 52 (3) 75 78 (78) 63.67
Georgia Tech 2 67 68 (1) 63 55 (3) 67 65 (81.50) 64.17
NC State 3 69 62 (1.67) 63 70 (2.5) 60 71 (80.67) 65.83
Wake Forest 1 88 88 (-1) 74 77 (2) 82 74 (79) 80.50

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ACC Football Recruiting 2013: Border Wars, and Leaving Your Footprint to Find Talent

Does UGA Control Georgia Recruiting So Much That Tech Must Look Elsewhere?

Does UGA Control Georgia Recruiting So Much That Tech Must Look Elsewhere?

ACC teams pulled in an impressive haul on National Signing Day last month, but with so many conference schools located in states/general regions that overlap with (current and future) Big Ten and SEC schools’ territories, it can be a real uphill slog to lock down local recruits. For some schools like Georgia Tech (14th ranked class out of 15 in the ACC), the overriding opinion is that their own home state, Georgia, may be lost for good to the likes of rival Georgia, and perhaps Georgia State in the future, so why not “go national?

As a key football brand, there’s not doubt the ‘Wreck will ultimately find success leaving the state of Georgia. But for other schools, they can’t afford a bad recruiting class to tell them now is the time to alter course. This year in particular, several schools actually went on the offensive, grabbing some of their best players from bordering states (and in turn, rival institutions from other conferences).

To help frame the conversation, I’ve enlisted our own Hokie Mark (who runs his own ACCFootballRx site along with the work he helps with here) to parse through his immense collection of recruiting data, and give us a starting point. From Mark’s companion piece on ACC schools losing in-state recruits, here’s how we’ll be classifying states:

ACC-Exclusive States: Massachusetts, North Carolina, New York, Virginia

Battleground States: Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, South Carolina

Border States: Alabama, Connecticut, Washington D.C., Indiana, Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, Tennessee

In “Border States,” there were a total of 68 players who received a four- or five-star rating from Rivals.com (we’ll be using this for consistency, and because that’s where Mark’s data is from). Of those 68, here’s how the recruits were broken down (by conference):

ACC: 9

B1G: 26

Big 12: 2

Notre Dame: 2

Pac-12: 3

SEC: 24

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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 National Signing Day 2013 Recap: Looking Back at Our Predictions

Committing to the U in Style, WR Stacy Coley Looks to Bring Some Swag Back to Miami

Committing to the U in Style, WR Stacy Coley Looks to Bring Some Swag Back to Miami

Yesterday, we rolled the dice and tried to predict where all the top uncommitted ACC recruiting prospects would land on National Signing Day. Some we got right, while others we got resoundingly incorrect. A look at yesterday’s predictions, with notes on what we got right/wrong.

Matthew Thomas, OLB (5 Stars)

Our PickFlorida State; Actual – Florida State

Montravious Adams, DT (5 Stars)

Our PickClemson; ActualAuburn

MacKensie Alexander, CB (5 Stars)

Our PickMississippi State; Actual – Clemson

Stacy Coley, WR (4 Stars)

Our Pick – Florida State; Actual Miami (FL)

James Clark, WR (4 Stars)

Our PickFlorida; Actual – Ohio State

Tyrone Crowder, OG (4 Stars)

Our Pick – Clemson; Actual – Clemson

Denver Kirkland, OG (4 Stars)

Our PickArkansas; Actual – Arkansas

E.J. Levenberry, ILB (4 Stars)

Our PickTennessee; Actual – Florida State

Keith Bryant, DT (4 Stars)

Our PickSouth Carolina; Actual – Florida State

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