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February 3, 2011

Signing Day Blitz: Ranking the ACC

More Conferences: Big East | Big Ten | Big 12 | Pac-12 | SEC

Florida State made a run at the top spot in the national team recruiting rankings and did finish No. 1 in the ACC after National Signing Day. Karlos Williams headlines another talented group headed to Tallahassee.

Check out the breakdown of the conference in a special edition of the ACC Blitz.

Boston College | Clemson | Duke | Florida State | Georgia Tech | Maryland
Miami | North Carolina | N.C. State | Virginia | Va. Tech | Wake Forest

Signing Day Blitz: Ranking the ACC
1. Florida State

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Warchant.com
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Headliner: Five-star defensive back Karlos Williams of Davenport (Fla.) Ridge is the No. 8-ranked player in the country and the No. 2-ranked player in Florida. Williams, who has been committed since last February, is a safety with the size that may move him to linebacker in the future.
Sleeper: With the class that Florida State put together it is easy to overlook a few players. One of these is three-star linebacker Arrington Jenkins of Miami (Fla.) Coral Park. Jenkins is a physically intimidating linebacker, who plays from sideline to sideline.
Overview: Finishing with the No. 2 recruiting class in the country, Florida State's class is impressive from top to bottom. 22 of the 29 players in the class come from the Sunshine State, including a few key additions on Signing Day. The biggest late addition was four-star defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan of Lake City (Fla.) Columbia, but also joining the party yesterday were three-star defensive tackle Terry Bell of Lakeland (Fla.) Tenoroc. The staff's hard work also entered other areas of the country, with the flip of four-star offensive lineman Josue Matias, who had originally committed to Rutgers. Five star James Wilder Jr. and four-star Devonta Freeman are an impressive 1-2 punch at running back and the class is loaded at every position.
2. Clemson

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TigerIllustrated.com
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Headliner: Five-star linebacker Tony Steward of St. Augustine (Fla.) Pedro Menendez is the No. 13-ranked player in the country and the No. 4-ranked player in Florida. Steward is big, fast and moves amazingly well for someone of his size.
Sleeper: Three-star wide receiver Stanton Seckinger may end up at tight end at some point because of his current size of 6 feet 5 and 200 pounds, but most people believe that he has the speed to play on the outside.
Overview: The Tigers finished with the No. 8 recruiting class in the country, which is impressive enough, but when you add in the fact that they had four out-of-state five-star commits, then that makes it even more amazing. The daily double of landing Steward and five-star linebacker Stephone Anthony on National Signing Day will leave a smile on the faces of Clemson fans for a few months. Add in four-star Lateek Townsend, and the Tigers signed one of the best linebacker groups that you will see.
3. North Carolina

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CarolinaBlue.com
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Headliner: Four-star defensive tackle Delvon Simmons of McKeesport, Pa., produced one of the biggest surprises of Signing Day by picking the Tar Heels despite not even taking an official visit there. Simmons is the No. 80-ranked player in the country and the No. 1 player in Pennsylvania.
Sleeper: Three-star linebacker Keeon Virgile of North Miami Beach (Fla.) chose North Carolina over Nebraska on Signing Day. Virgile is a physically impressive linebacker, who is strong in the upper and lower body and plays very well against the run.
Overview: Considering everything that coach Butch Davis had to deal with during this recruiting season, it is amazing that North Carolina finished with the No. 16-ranked recruiting class in the country. The Tar Heels did very well in North Carolina, but also pulled two of the top four players out of Virginia; four stars Travis Hughes and Landon Turner, and also four-star offensive lineman Kiaro Holts, who is the No. 2 rated player in Indiana.
4. Virginia

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CavsCorner.com
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Headliner: Four-star defensive back Demetrious Nicholson of Virginia Beach (Va.) Bayside is the No. 92-ranked player in the country and the No. 2-ranked player in Virginia. Nicholson is an aggressive cornerback, who does a good job playing the ball in the air, and has the athletic ability to stay with most receivers.
Sleeper: Three-star defensive end Marco Jones of Baltimore (Md.) Boys Latin School has a non-stop motor and good size on his 6-foot-4, 245-pound frame.
Overview: Virginia did a great job in-state, with 18 of its 26 recruits being local. Adding four-star Dominique Terrell of Manassas (Va.) Osbourn and four-star athlete Darius Jennings of Baltimore (Md.) Gilman School was a great exclamation point to this recruiting class, but top recruits like four-star running back Clifton Richardson, four-star defensive back Brandon Phelps and three-star defensive tackle David Dean were the ones who got the ball rolling with early commitments.
5. Virginia Tech

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HokieHaven.com
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Headliner: Four-star defensive back Kyshoen Jarrett of East Stroudsburg (Pa.) South is the No. 5-ranked player in Pennsylvania, and was originally committed to Pittsburgh. Jarrett has good size at 5 feet 11 and 175 pounds and is very fundamentally sound while possessing good athleticism.
Sleeper: Three-star tight end Ryan Malleck was a late January addition to this class after de-committing from Maryland. At 6-5 and 230 pounds, he still has plenty of room to grow.
Overview: Compared to recent years, this can definitely be considered a down year for the Hokies. However, Tech did hit some homeruns on the defensive side of the ball. To go along with Jarrett, four-star defensive tackle Kris Harley, four-star defensive end Corey Marshall and four-star defensive back Ronny Vandyke all add depth to the defense. Harley, who is the No. 3 rated player in Indiana, is strong, has quick feet, and uses his leverage well. Marshall is explosive off the snap and is relentless, while Vandyke is a ball-hawking safety.
6. Miami

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CaneSport.com
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Headliner: Four-star defensive end Anthony Chickillo of Tampa (Fla.) Alonso is the No. 44-ranked player in the country and the No. 13-ranked player in Florida. It took some effort to keep Chickillo after he began to waver, but coach Al Golden and his staff did a great job solidifying his commitment.
Sleeper: Three-star wide receiver Rashawn Scott of Melbourne (Fla.) Central Catholic may have been a bit under the radar for awhile, but he has the ability to make people take notice.
Overview: Coach Golden and his new staff did an admirable job in the time they had, and pulled off a few surprises also. One of these was adding four-star defensive end Jalen Grimble of Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman on National Signing Day. Grimble is the No. 1 rated player from Nevada and had upwards of 25 offers before making his decision yesterday. Another late addition came from three-star linebacker Eddie Johnson, who officially decided to flip his commitment from Louisville. Overall the class filled up most of the necessary holes, aside from signing a quarterback which could still happen with Jacoby Brissett still in play.
7. Boston College

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EagleAction.com
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Headliner: Four-star tight end Brian Miller of Andover (Mass.) is the No. 1 rated player in Massachusetts. Miller has a good frame, runs good routes and has shown impressive hands.
Sleeper: While only a two-star, defensive back Ameer Richardson has the potential to turn some heads. Richardson is a natural safety with a muscular build and good speed.
Overview: Overall not a bad class for the Eagles, but much better on the defensive side of the ball than the offensive. BC brought in a four-star recruit at each level of their defense with defensive end Connor Wujciak, linebacker Steven Daniels and defensive back Albert Louis-Jean. Also adding depth to the defense is three-star defensive end Kieran Borcich, three-star linebacker Sean Duggan and three-star defensive end Brian Mihalik. On the offensive side of the ball, three-star wide receiver Curt Evans originally committed to Wake Forest, but flipped his commitment in early January.
8. Georgia Tech

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JacketsOnLine.com
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Headliner: Four-star linebacker Jabari Hunt-Days of Powder Springs (Ga.) Hillgrove is the No. 11-ranked outside linebacker in the country. Hunt-Days is long, athletic and has size, which should help him as both a pass rusher and against the run.
Sleeper: Three-star offensive lineman Trey Braun should have a chance to excel in coach Paul Johnson's offense due to his athletic ability.
Overview: It was an interesting last month for Georgia Tech, as committed recruits came and went. On the bright side, the Yellow Jackets worked overtime to add a pair of three-star linebackers right before National Signing Day to solidify their class. Nick Menocal of Miami (Fla.) Belen Jesuit Prep flipped his commitment from Miami, while Anthony Harrell flipped his commitment from Wake Forest the night before signing day. On the offensive side of the ball, the Yellow Jackets feel that quarterback Vad Lee is the perfect fit to run their offense.
9. Maryland

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TerrapinTimes.com
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Headliner: Four-star offensive lineman Nathaniel Clarke of Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy finally makes his way to Maryland. Clarke originally signed with the Terrapins last year, but needed a prep year. He could play on either side of the football and will provide immediate depth wherever he ends up.
Sleeper: Three-star defensive back Makinton Dorleant of Naples (Fla.) Lely has the size, 5-11 and 170 pounds, and athletic ability to become a high level cornerback in the ACC.
Overview: Even before the coaching transition from Ralph Friedgen to Randy Edsall, the Terrapins were not having a great recruiting year in-state. The coaching change definitely did not help that matter however, and they ended up with only one player ranked in the state's top ten. That one player is defensive back Jeremiah Hendy, who re-opened his recruitment after the coaching change, but re-confirmed back to Maryland on signing day. Joining Clarke from Fork Union will be Tyrek Cheeseboro, who also originally signed with Maryland last year but needed a prep year.
10. Wake Forest

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DeaconsIllustrated.com
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Headliner: Quarterback Kevin Sousa from Orlando (Fla.) Lake Nona was a one-time Michigan commitment and was recruited by Miami and others late but stuck with Wake Forest. He has the size and arm strength as well as the mobility to be a star at Wake.
Sleeper: San Antonio (Texas) James Madison defensive back Andre Wiggins has good size and speed and could be a steal from Big 12 country. He had an offer from Texas A&M but was stolen away by the Wake staff in December and he could be the next in line of talented defensive backs.
Overview: Once again Wake Forest was able to go into Florida and have success, landing Sousa as well as defensive back Allen Ramsey, offensive lineman Cody Preble and running backs DeAndre Martin and Orville Reynolds. The best in-state get was Airyn Willis, a late steal from Georgia Tech, and wide receiver Sherman Ragland also has good potential.
11. Duke

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DevilsIllustrated.com
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Headliner: McMinnville (Tenn.) Warren County offensive guard Cody Robinson is a road grader who can move the pile and will help the Duke running game down the line. Duke beat out Kentucky, Syracuse, Vanderbilt and others for his services.
Sleeper: Monroe (N.C.) Piedmont defensive end Lucas Fisher has the size to make an impact right away on the defensive line and he fills a position of need for the Blue Devils.
Overview: Duke didn't land many top prospects in state but did a solid job in Tennessee, Georgia, Florida and elsewhere. The defensive back group is strong with cornerbacks Jared Boyd and Tim Burton and safety Chris Tavarez and Duke did well along the offensive line as well with Robinson and fellow Tennessee prospect Lucas Patrick. Alabama tight end David Reeves could be a standout down the road.
12. North Carolina State

Commit List
TheWolfpacker.com
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Headliner: Safety Rodman Noel did a prep year at New Berlin (N.Y.) Milford Academy and with his 6-foot-3, 206-pound frame and outstanding athleticism he could be ready to impact right away. He's a big hitter who can cover a lot of ground.
Sleeper: Jesup (Ga.) Wayne Country defensive tackle Ty McGill is the kind of defensive lineman sleeper that line coach Keith Willis can turn into a baller down the line. He may be undersized but look for him to be a depth guy at the least.
Overview: This is not a glamorous class for the Wolfpack but they did hit some needs. NC State did well at defensive back wit Noel and Juston Burris, added some solid defensive linemen with Dave Mann, Carlos Gray and Mike Rose and quarterback Brian Taylor will certainly develop under offensive coordinator Dana Bible. Wide receiver Hakeem Flowers has a chance to be special in the offense.



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