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ACC Recruiting Recap

With another football letter of intent signing day passing by yesterday, the analysis begins.  The major outlets take their subjective weight given to players and look at how those players accumulated at schools.  If there was ever an example of “garbage-in, garbage-out,” it would be this task.  Nevertheless, throwing out all the subjectives, there is certainly some sort of correlation between “good recruiting classes” and results (except at Texas and Miami).  So here is what folks think of the 2016 football recruiting classes.


Here is the overall top ten listed at Rivals.  As you can see, Florida State and Clemson crack the top 25.

Rank School Total 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars Avg Points
1 24 5 10 9 3.83 2885
2 25 1 18 4 3.72 2816
3 24 2 15 7 3.79 2704
4 28 1 15 12 3.61 2603
5 22 3 10 6 3.59 2530
6 23 0 15 6 3.57 2515
7 24 2 10 12 3.58 2507
8 20 2 11 7 3.75 2429
9 21 2 11 6 3.62 2403
10 20 3 10 6 3.75 2387

As for all the ACC schools:

  • #2  Florida State-twitter seems to suggest a disappointment that this is not deemed the #1 class.  But the Seminoles would certainly prefer a national title over a recruiting rankings title.
  • #5 Clemson–in-state rival South Carolina was way down at #26.
  • #12 Notre Dame–between UCLA, Texas, and Florida makes sense.  Behind Mississippi does not.  And rival USC is a few spots up at #8, while Stanford is a few spots down at #18.
  • #22 Miami–Miami has never had trouble getting talent and this is a decent class for Mark Richt in just a few weeks.
  • #24 North Carolina–ahead of historical blue blood Nebraska, neighbor South Carolina, and current elite school Oregon.  Good things happening in Chapel Hill.
  • #30 Pittsburgh–Pitt has had good recruiting classes year after year–the benefit of being located in Pennsylvania, adjacted to Ohio, and next to both New Jersey and the D.C. Corridor.
  • #31 Duke–we are used to top classes in hoops, but the Blue Devils on-field success is translating into better football recruiting classes, including a class better than football stalwarts Wisconsin and Arkansas… and a top half class within the ACC.
  • #37 Louisville–a decent class, but Cards fans cannot like seeing Kentucky up at #28.  There is an SEC bias, to be sure, but who would have expected that?  Still, #3 in the Atlantic.
  • #43 NC State–squarely in the middle of the Atlantic at #4.  Ahead of Wake Forest, but behind Duke and UNC.  Ahead of Syracuse in the division, but behind Louisville.  Not good, not bad.
  • #49 Virginia Tech–as a ranking, this must be disappointing.  Houston, Northwestern, and Brigham Young should generally not out-recruit the Hokies.  Chalk it up to a new coach.
  • #57 Syracuse–being behind Washington State, Iowa State, and Indiana is ordinarily disappointing, but new coach Dino Babers worked some magic to get Syracuse above four other ACC schools in just a few weeks.
  • #62 Virginia–former coach Mike London was a good recruiter, and the coaching switch seemed to cost Virignia slightly.  Not much of a new coach bounce.  UCF, Temple, Vanderbilt, and Colorado State were among the schools to have better ranked classes.
  • #63 Wake Forest–hey, anytime the Demon Deacons avoid the basement, it is a good thing.
  • #68 Georgia Tech–having only 18 recruits hurts, but should Georgia Tech EVER be below Western Michigan in recruiting?  They do recruit for a system, though, and the system players usually suffer in the rankings.
  • #82 Boston College–sigh.  Only Kansas has a worse recruiting class among P5 schools.  Miami of Ohio has a better class.  But better than neighbors UConn and UMass.  And similar classes did not prevent BC from having a great defense.

What do you think?  Are you happy with your school’s class? Disappointed?  Dispute these RIVALS rankings?  Let us know.

Five Star Friday

Who would have thought Citadel week down in Tallahassee would wind up being such a huge week for the Seminoles? The Seminoles, coming off a 37-31 win over the young but very talented Oklahoma State team are hitting what would be considered a lull in the schedule. Kick off is tonight at 7:30PM against the Citadel and the Noles are 55 point favorites. This week is followed up by a bye week before playing Clemson the following week, a game that has determined the ACC Atlantic winner the last 4 years. Coming into the year, this might have been a good stretch to double down on work and other responsibilities so you can concentrate your fandom during the remainder of the year, right? WRONG! FSU had arguably their biggest recruiting day ever, and not in the way you’ve probably come to expect. Not to mention two other major announcements on current players on the football team. Read more…

Louisville Headlines: May 26, 2014

In opening I would like to say thanks to all our vets on this Memorial Day.

With the academic year coming to a close the headlines are slowing down but there is still plenty to talk about. Here are a few of the top stories.

Academic; the NCAA recently released their annual Academic Progress Rate (APR). Once again the University of Louisville has excelled as 9 teams posted perfect scores. They are: mens basketball, football, mens tennis, mens and womens golf, womens lacrosse, softball, womens soccer and volleyball. They showed that student athletes can excel on the field & in the class room. Also mens basketball and womens golf are in the top 10% in their sport in the latest multi year APR which measures academic eligibility, retention and graduation. They both posted perfect APR’s for the four year period from 2009-13. Overall over 100 student athletes recieved their degrees this spring, including Teddy Bridgewater who left early for the NFL draft.
Read more…

Much-Maligned ACC Football Trending Well in Recruiting

According to ESPN’s latest football recruiting rankings, the ACC has three of the top 10 teams, with Notre Dame knocking at the top 10 at #11.  Specifically, Florida State is at #4, Clemson is at #8, and Miami is at #10.  The three traditional ACC powers are where they should be in the recruiting rankings.  But there is other good news.

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Report CARD: Recruiting

Louisville Cardinals athletic logo

Louisville Cardinals athletic logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

July 1st brings in a new era for the ACC as Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Notre Dame officially join the conference. It also is the dawning of a new conference, the American Athletic Conference. I hope Commissioner Aresco pardons Louisville fans for not greeting this day with applause and cheers. What we will relish is one final year with two old rivals in Cincinnati and Memphis.

Last week I took a look into the Louisville Cardinals future, their 2014 football recruiting class. Over the course of last week it has changed as the Cards received seven commitments in five days, it was truly a busy week. The week started with the news that Detrick Dukes switched his commitment to his home state Georgia Bulldogs but this bad news was short lived as the new commitments began to trickle in. Read more…

Louisville 2014 Football Recruiting Update

With the Louisville Cardinals historical 2012-13 year coming to an end with a disappointing CWS performance its time to start looking ahead. Before we focus in on the 2013 football season lets jump ahead a bit. It’s still early in the 2014 recruiting process but the Cardinals are putting together one of their best classes ever. Louisville first ACC class brought in 15 commitments already, a number that is highly unusual for them. ESPN, Scout and Rivals are still evaluating the 2014 class and as the athletes compete in their senior season there will be many changes in the rankings. Even though its still early, lets take a look at some of the Cards top commits. Read more…

Conference Comparisons: Football Recruiting

ESPN obviously does a very thorough job covering college football recruiting. Led by Tom Luginbill, has evaluations of players, schools, and conferences.  Yesterday, they updated the conference rankings for football recruiting.  The results may be surprising:

Read more…

ACC in the NYC Metro Area

Trying to catch up on a few things after the fine Syracuse run through the NCAA lax tournament.  Getting crushed at the faceoff x was bound to catch up.  This Syracuse team overachieved all season and almost pulled off another National Championship.

Read more…

Jimbo Fisher will win a National Championship at Florida State

Before we discuss Florida State’s recruiting class, I’d like to give you some context:

  • Mark Stoops, Defensive Coordinator, left to be Head Coach at Kentucky.
  • DJ Eliot, Defensive Line Coach, left to be Defensive Coordinator at Kentucky.
  • Eddie Gran, Running Backs Coach, left to be Offensive Coordinator at Cincinatti.
  • Dameyune Craig, Quarterbacks Coach, left to be Offensive Coordinator at Auburn.
  • Greg Hudson, Linebackers Coach, left to be Defensive Coordinator at Purdue.
  • James Coley, Offensive Coordinator, left to be (real) Offensive Coordinator at Miami.

A typical college football coaching staff has approximately 10 coaches.  Head coach, offensive and defensive coordinators, and position coaches (quarterback, running back, wide receiver, tight end, offensive line, defensive line, linebackers, secondary).  The list above represents the coaches Florida State lost in one off-season; the most recent defection to a rival, two weeks from signing day, hurt the most.  As soon as Jimbo Fisher hires his last assistant, I will follow-up with profiles on each of the new coaches.

But let that last point sink in some—Jimbo didn’t just finalize this class without an assistant coach, but that assistant coach happened to be his best recruiter who recruits the Miami territory.  And as he admitted in his post-signing day press conference, Jimbo found himself doing the grunt work for the home stretch.

After all the dust settled, Florida State signed another top 10 class.  Many insiders are a touch disappointed because it could have been better.  There were a few that got away, like Denver Kirkland (OL) and Stacy Coley (WR).  More reason for concern is the lack of offensive line depth.  Florida State easily expected to sign 5-6 offensive lineman and only came away with 3 true offensive lineman and, potentially, a tight-end turned tackle in a few years time.  The rest of the class, however, is absolutely stacked.

The three best players in this class are on defense: Demarcus Walker (DE), Matthew Thomas (LB), and Jalen Ramsey (CB).  All are blue chips and considered top 5 at their position.  Meanwhile, Florida State’s seemingly singular focus on offense was speed.  And a lot of it.  For the second consecutive year, Florida State may have signed the fastest player in the country (last year it was Marvin Bracy, this year it is Kermit Whitfield).  Bracy and Whitfield have broken all types of track records.  Bracy is most known for his performance in this race.  And for the naysayers, yes, he’s fast in pads, too.  And I’d be remiss if I didn’t also show you Kermit Whitfield’s speed as well.  Jimbo’s strategy seems simple: a big, punishing, suffocating defense and burning speed on offense.  The SEC is awaiting a challenger to their style of smash mouth football but I think Jimbo is building the blueprint to challenge and break the paradigm.

And it all ties to the types of players Jimbo signs.  Athletes.  Smart kids with character.  Some blue chippers, some with chips on their shoulder.  This class will not go down as heralded as others, but these are handpicked players by Jimbo.  They fit the blueprint to a T.  This class also seems awfully reminiscent of FSU’s class of 2009 and 2010 — classes that are sending 13 players to the NFL combine.  It was this group that finally turned the corner for the program.  And each and every year, Jimbo just keeps adding to that foundation.

Lastly, looking around the rest of the ACC, and I’m sure my colleagues will correct me, it seems the top third of the conference is doing just fine in football performance.  However, the bottom two-thirds of the conference turned in weak performances.  I’m a little concerned by this.  The ACC will get better contracts for having a solid top-to-bottom slate.  The ACC is not capable of offering that right now, but then again, if you take away the SEC’s championship caliber teams, they aren’t all that different from the other conferences.

Reviewing Signing Day 2013: How Did The ACC Do?

Well, another signing day has come and gone for college football.  Your question, naturally, is how did the ACC do?  Actually, your real question is how YOUR team did.  But you’ll have to settle for this broad analysis for now.

Our friends over at ESPN have taken the time to rank the recruiting classes.  The ACC did quite well.  Future partial member Notre Dame was deemed to have the #4 class.  Florida State cracked the top 10 at #9.  Clemson was not far behind at #13.  We’ll have to see whether the Confidential correspondents agree with that order.  Virginia Tech, North Carolina, and Miami finished from #19 through #21.

So that is 5 of the top 21 teams being current ACC, with Notre Dame being a 6th team.  By comparison, the Big 10 had two teams in the top 21, with Ohio State and Michigan in the top 6.  Nebraska and Penn State at least finished at #24.  The Pac-12 had 3, with UCLA, USC, and Washington all slotting between #12 and #18.  The Big XII had two, with Texas and Oklahoma finishing #15 and #16.  The rest of the top 21 was SEC… meaning 8 of the top 21 teams were SEC.

All 14 SEC teams finished in the top 38, which is simply amazing.  Indeed, where the ACC struggles is with the second tier.  Only Virginia cracked the top 40.  See this:

SEC               10 in top 25                    14 in top 40

ACC               5 in top 25 (+ ND)        6 in top 40 (+ ND)

Pac-12           3 in top 25                      7 in top 25

Big 10            4 in top 25                      6 in top 25 (+ Rutgers)

Big XII          2 in top 25                      5 in top 25

Really, none of this is surprising.  The biggest problem with the ACC is that the lower-echelon teams are not given enough credit–fairly or unfairly.  But the ACC has absolutely nothing to be ashamed of at the top.  It is as strong as anyone–it just needs to win more BCS games and get more titles to prove it.

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