ACC Recruiting Status Report

The season is almost over for the ACC, as Clemson has a chance to put an exclamation on the ACC’s season with a victory in the national championship game against Alabama. The rest of the conference is now in full on recruiting mode, as they attempt to fill out their classes for the 2016 season. Here is the ACC Recruiting status report heading into the final month.

SITTING PRETTY

Duke

Raise your hand if you expected the Blue Devils to have a top 25 class with a month to go? Now put your hand down you liar. There is no other way to put it, David Cutcliffe and his staff are absolutely killing it on the recruiting trail this year. The star of Duke’s 21 man class is definitely wide receiver Scott Bracey, an explosive athlete who chose the Blue Devils over offers from Clemson, Notre Dame, and Ohio State. Duke has one more round to go with college football’s heavyweights, as the Blue Devils will be hosting MLB prospect Jonathan Jones in an attempt to wrestle him away from Michigan and Notre Dame.

Star of the class: WR Scott Bracy

Sleeper: OLB Xander Gagnon

Dream Recruit: MLB Jonathan Jones

Clemson

The Tigers don’t have the biggest class with just 16 commitments, but no one has brought in a more impressive haul on defense this year. Linebacker Rahshaun Smith and nose guard Dexter Lawrence are the headliners, both are 5 star recruits that chose Clemson over other offers from across the country. The only remaining area of need heading into the final month for Clemson is the cornerback position, a spot Clemson hopes to fill with prospect Malek Young, who will be visiting on the 15th of this month.

Star of the Class: DT Dexter Larence

Sleeper: OG Tremayne Anchrum

Dream Recruit: CB Malek Young

Florida State

Florida State will always recruit well, but this is getting ridiculous. Florida State currently holds 18 commitments in their class,with eight of the recruits already being enrolled for spring classes. The headliner of the class is cornerback Levonta Taylor, the number one cornerback recruit in the country who chose Florida State over Alabama. Florida State isn’t done bringing in blue chippers either, as the Seminoles are set to host seven prospects in the month of January, including Florida defensive tackle commit Shavar Manuel.

Star of the Class: CB Levonta Taylor

Sleeper: K Ricky Aguayo

Dream Recruit: DT Shavar Manuel

North Carolina

The Tar Heels shocked many by going 11-1 in the regular season and reaching the ACC title game, but an 0-2 finish cast a dark cloud over an otherwise awesome season in Chapel Hill. Luckily for UNC, Larry Fedora has done a great job of capitalizing on the Tar Heels on field success, as he has acquired 23 commitments heading into the final month of recruiting. The star of the class is quarterback Chazz Surratt, a local product who chose UNC over offers from Clemson and NC State. While UNC’s class is pretty much full, they are still in the hunt for dynamic running back Amir Rasul, a Florida State commit who will visit Chapel Hill on the 29th.

Star of the class: QB Chazz Surratt

Sleeper: WR Roscoe Johnson

Dream Recruit: RB Amir Rasul

Virginia

New coach Bronco Mendenhall has taken over a talented but underachieving roster in Charlottesville. He has also inherited a pretty darn good recruiting class, as the Wahoos currently have 25 commits heading into the final month of the season. The star of the class is running back Tre Harbison, a powerfully built runner from Shelby, North Carolina who chose Virginia over offers from UNC and NC State. The challenge for Mendenhall will be to keep this class together, as several ACC foes are attempting to poach recruits from the Virginia class.

Star of the Class: RB Tre Harbison

Sleeper: OT Ben Knutson

Dream Recruit: OT Lucas Niang

Louisville

Bobby Petrino led a young team to eight wins and appears to have a future star at quarterback in Lamar Jackson. The Cardinals just needed to give Jackson some more weapons, and the staff has done just that on the recruiting trail. Louisville currently holds 21 commitments heading into the final month, none being more important than Chris Taylor-Yamanoha, a talented receiver from California who chose Louisville over offers from Arizona and Utah. The Cardinals will look to add one more talented receiver when they host Desmond Fitzpatrick, who is currently deciding between Louisville, Indiana, and Nebraska, on the 22nd.

Star of the Class: WR Chris Taylor-Yamanoha

Sleeper: OT Robbie Bell

Dream Recruits: Either WR Desmond Fitzpatrick or WR Isaiah Simmons

DOING PRETTY GOOD

Pittsburgh

Pat Narduzzi had a successful first season in Pittsburgh, as he led the Panthers to eight wins despite losing his star running back James Conner to a knee injury. Now Narduzzi needs to keep that momentum going on the recruiting front, where he currently has 19 commitments. The star of the class is linebacker Kaezon Pugh, an undersized but highly athletic linebacker from traditional recruiting hotbed Aliquippa, Pennsylvania. Pitt will look to pair Pugh with another talented Pennsylvania linebacker, as they will be hosting Khaleke Hudson on the 29th in an attempt to keep him away from Michigan.

Star of the class: OLB Kaezon Pugh

Sleeper: FS Phil Campbell

Dream Recruit: OLB Khaleke Hudson

Wake Forest

Steve Clawson inherited a tough situation, but he has his team quietly making strides in the ACC. A big reason for the optimism is Clawson’s impressive recruiting ability, a welcome improvement over former head coach Jim Grobe. The star of Wake Forest’s 21 man class is defensive tackle Sulaiman Kamara, an undersized but lightning quick defensive tackle who chose the Deacons over offers from Duke, Penn State, and UNC. Wake Forest has a few remaining openings, mainly at the linebacker position, where outside linebacker Elias Reynolds seems the most realistic target.

Star of the Class: DT Sulaiman Kamara

Sleeper: OG Je’Vionte Nash

Dream Recruit: OLB Elias Reynolds

North Carolina State

The Wolfpack reached the Belk Bowl behind the arm of Jacoby Brissette, but they are now faced with an offseason of questions following their blowout loss to Mississippi State. On the recruiting front, Dave Doeren and his staff have done a solid job, bringing in 18 commits heading into the final month. The star of the group is massive defensive tackle Ben Frazier from Georgia, who chose NC State over offers from Alabama and Florida. Heading into the final month there is one big fish left to reel in, wide receiver and current Clemson commit Diondre Overton.

Star of the class: DT Ben Frazier

Sleeper: WR C.J. Riley

Dream Recruit: WR Diondre Overton

Boston College

Steve Addazio and his Eagles stumbled to a 3-9 record as their solid defense wasn’t enough to make up for a putrid offense. Addazio and his staff have set out to fix that problem with recruiting, as they currently hold 18 commitments with 12 being offensive players. The star of the class is tight end Scooter Harrington, a Greenwich, Connecticut native who chose BC over offers from Pitt and Wisconsin. Boston College is still looking for one more stud defensive back to add to their class, most notably Rutgers commit safety Patrice Rene.

Star of the Class: TE Scooter Harrington

Sleeper: WR Kobay White

Dream Recruit: SS Patrice Rene

HAS SOME WORK TO DO

Miami

The Hurricanes were the unofficial winners of the college coaching carousel as former Georgia coach Mark Richt decided to return to his alma mater to coach Miami. Richt will, without a doubt, improve the on field performance, but first he has to work to do to add some top recruits to a relatively small Hurricanes class. Miami currently has just 16 commitments with a month remaining until signing day. The star of the class is wide receiver Same Bruce, an undersized but dynamic slot receiver from the powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas program. Richt has worked quickly in setting up visits this month, as Miami will host nine visitors during January, none more important than Auburn commit wide receiver Elijah Stove.

Star of the Class: WR Sam Bruce

Sleeper: DE Jaquwan Nelson

Dream Recruit: WR Elijah Stove

Virginia Tech

For the first time in nearly 30 years, someone other than Frank Beamer will be patrolling the sidelines in Blacksburg. Virginia Tech moved quickly after Beamer’s retirement, hiring Justin Fuente as the new head coach and retaining Bud Foster as the Hokie’s defensive coordinator. The duo has some work to do get Virginia Tech up to a full class, as the Hokies still have at least eight openings. The star of their class at this point is quarterback Jerod Evans, a junior college transfer that will get first crack at replacing Michael Brewer. Virginia Tech looks like a candidate to finish the year strong, as they have five scheduled visitors in January, including Florida recruit wide receiver Rick Wells.

Star of the class: QB Jerod Evans

Sleeper: DT Clay Dean

Dream Recruit: WR Rick Wells

Syracuse

Dino Babers joining Syracuse is one of the more intriguing hires of the season, as he brings his explosive Baylor-lite offense to Syracuse, a school in desperate need of a spark. Before he gets to work installing his offense however, Babers and his staff have some serious work to do in order to fill out their recruiting class. Syracuse currently holds just 12 commits with a month left until signing day. The star of the class is running back Moe Neal, an undersized but quick back who chose Syracuse over offers from Duke, Georgia Tech, and West Virginia. Watch for Babers and his staff to scour Florida for overlooked recruits in order to fill out their class.

Star of theClass: RB Moe Neal

Sleeper: QB Rex Culpepper

Dream Recruit: LB Sam Brodner

Georgia Tech

The Yellow Jackets had a rough season, as they began the season with ACC title hopes only to stumble to a 3-9 record. Things haven’t been much better on the recruiting front, as Paul Johnson has acquired just 12 commitments with a month left until signing day. The star of Georgia Tech’s class is running back Xavier Gantt, an undersized but quick athlete that will fit perfectly as a wingback in Tech’s triple option attack. As rough as the season has been, the Yellow Jackets have a chance to fix all that with just one commitment.Five star athlete Demetris Robertson will be visiting Georgia Tech on the 29th, and he would give the Yellow Jackets a dynamic athlete at quarterback for the next four years as well as a rare recruiting victory over their rival Georgia.

Star of the Class: RB Xavier Gantt

Sleeper: WR Jair Hawkin-Anderson

Dream Recruit: QB Demetris Robertson