FSU leads ACC schools in recruiting rankings

by - Senior Writer -

CLEMSON – Clemson recruiting coordinator Jeff Scott said it best.

Scott met with the media on Wednesday to discuss the 2010 Clemson recruiting class, and he was asked how he would grade the Clemson signing class.

“Ask me in two years,” was Scott’s answer. “I have never been guy big fan of giving a grade on class before we ever get them on campus. There is only so much that a highlight video can tell you. A lot of these guys are getting judged on eight clips. I like to really evaluate classes two years into it, to see which guys developed the way we thought they would.

“But I will say this class is as solid as any class we have had in the past four or five years, and we have had some really good classes during that time. But I am confident that this group is as good or better than any of those classes. But ask me in two years and I will give you a grade.”

However, one certainty is that the Goliath’s of college football remain giants because they recruit the best players year in and year out, so it doesn’t hurt to take a look at how a class ranks, especially within its own league.

I really feel like the Tigers landed the second-best recruiting class in the ACC, and linebacker Justin Parker was the key. If Clemson had lost Parker, and wound up with zero linebackers that could take the field next season, it would have taken some of the edge off of this class.

As a whole, the league had some good classes, and FSU has to be seen as the clear favorite at this point. ESPN has four ACC classes in the Top 25 [FSU, Miami, Clemson, UNC], while Rivals has four ACC schools ranked among the nation’s best [FSU, Clemson, Va. Tech, Miami].

Here is how I would rank the ACC classes.

1. Florida St. - New head coach Jimbo Fisher did a good job in his first recruiting class, winding up with two 5-star recruits and eight 4-star recruits. The best ones of this class are obviously LB Christian Jones and DB Lamarcus Joyner. They will be needed if FSU is to get back to having a fearsome defense.

2. Clemson – Some sites have Clemson behind Miami in this spot, but I just don’t see it. Clemson’s class wasn’t flashy, but this is a VERY solid group. Parker and DeAndre “Nuke” Hopkins are the two best players of this class, in my opinion. However, Corey Crawford, Martavis Bryant and the rest of the 4-star players can’t be overlooked. The great thing about this class is the balance and the fact the Tigers don’t have to hang their hat on just one player in order to be proud. Jeff Scott said that the lack of a quarterback and another linebacker will be addressed in next year’s recruiting class, which has a better crop of players than this season.

3. Miami – This is a solid class for Cane head coach Randy Shannon. The Canes signed 16 players from the state of Florida, but let some of the better talent in their area get away (Joyner from Ft. Lauderdale is the first one that comes to mind.) However, RB Storm Johnson could play early, and OL Malcolm Bunche is a very good prospect. Nothing to be ashamed of in this class.

4. Virginia Tech – This class is a lot like Clemson’s in that it is not big on flash, but is just a solid haul of talent. Big OL Laurence Gibson (6-6, 296) has a chance to be a stud. DE Zack McCray, once he puts on a little more weight, could be another of the really good defensive ends to come out of the Hokie program.

5. North Carolina – The Tar Heels wound up with a solid class, headlined by OL James Hurst. Byrnes DT Brandon Willis is going to be a steal (I love this kid and his makeup), and they took WR Sean Tapley away from the Gamecocks and RB Gio Bernard away from Notre Dame. The Tar Heels figure to be loaded on defense in 2010, but got some much-needed offensive help out of this class.

6. Georgia Tech - It is hard to believe that the defending ACC champion could come in at this spot, but the Yellow Jackets did just that. However, they had fewer scholarships to give out than some of their ACC brethren, and leaned toward getting some defensive help for new coordinator Al Groh. Cornerbacks Louis Young and Ryan Ayers and DT Shawn Green look to be the best of Paul Johnson’s class. 12 of the 18 players were on the defensive side of the ball.

7. North Carolina St – Pack head coach Tom O’Brien picked up OT Robert Crisp, a hometown 5-star player, as the headliner is his class. It’s not a class that's packed with highly-rated recruits, but O’Brien did fill some needs with the kids he picked up, including bringing in some junior college players for immediate help.

8. Maryland – Just like Ga. Tech, the Terps went after defensive players in an effort to fill some holes. They also filled out with some depth on the offensive and defensive lines. The best in this class appears to be the two 4-star players they signed – OLB Javarie Johnson and QB Tyler Smith.

9. Boston College – The Eagles signed 21 players, including two 4-star players in OLB Steele Divitto and OT Seth Betancourt. QB Chase Rettig, out of San Clemente, Calif., and WR Shakim Phillips, however, could get a chance to see playing time early for head coach Frank Spaziani’s offense.

10. Wake Forest – This is a typical Jim Grobe class, lacking in big-time recruits but looks solid. The big thing about this class is that the Deacons picked up seven players out of the state of Florida and just three from the state of North Carolina. C Daniel Blitch, out of Gainesville, GA., might be the best of the Wake signees.

11. Virginia – New head coach Mike London went out and got four, yes four, players that can play quarterback in his 2010 class. Big OT Morgan Moses is the only 4-star player in the class, but the Cavaliers recruited heavily in Virginia and picked up some nice defensive talent, including MLB Henry Coley.

12. Duke – I actually think head coach David Cutcliffe did a good job with this class, despite it being ranked last in the ACC. He added some speed that had been lacking, picked up some nice linemen, and had a good mix of offensive and defensive players. They didn’t pick up any real star power, but OL Laken Tomlinson out of Chicago has a chance to be a really good lineman for the Blue Devils.

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