We wrap up our recruiting roundups with the ACC. The ACC hasn't had the success as its Southern counterpart the SEC, but Florida State, Clemson, North Carolina and Virginia look poised to turn that around with strong recruiting classes.
Clemson (29 commitments...recruiting limits be damned!) - Most would put the Seminoles at the top spot, but I'm giving the nod to Clemson as I slightly favor the top end of their class. They addressed a big team need at receiver with the signings of Sammy Watkins, Martavis Bryant (prep), Charone Peake and Stanton Seckinger. At least one, probably more, will see immediate playing time. They also landed one of the most dynamic running backs in the country in Mike Bellamy. He'll see early work alongside Andre Ellington. But it wasn't all offense, they bring in a pair of Top 100 linebackers in Tony Steward and Stephone Anthony.
Florida State (29 commitments...recruiting limits be damned!) - Before Seminoles recruitniks flood my inbox with hate mail, we are really splitting hairs between the Tigers and Seminoles. Both are superb classes. The Seminoles are ranked one or two in the country by sites that cover recruiting for a living and rightfully so. The Seminoles' class is probably deeper and more balanced than Clemson's. Where Florida State really sticks out is on the defensive side of the ball. With the additions of safety Karlos Williams, defensive tackle Tim Jernigan and defensive end Cornellius Carradine (JUCO) we could be seeing a rebirth of the vaunted defenses from the 90's sooner rather than later. James Wilder Jr. should see the field early at either running back or linebacker. If he doesn't make a splash at running back, Devonta Freeman probably will. At 6-foot-6, Kelvin Benjamin sticks out at receiver.
North Carolina (25 commitments) - The pains of last season are eased a bit knowing that UNC is stockpiling talent for the future. Quarterback Marquise Williams certainly has fans excited, and receiver T.J. Thorpe could provide an early spark. The Tar Heels went heavy on the defensive line signing six interior lineman. Tackle Delvon Simmons headlines the group. They're also heavy at defensive back where they signed six more. Butch Davis knows what wins championships.
Virginia (26 commitments...recruiting limits be damned!) Clifton Richardson has the versatility to play running back, receiver and maybe even a little bit of wildcat quarterback for the Cavaliers. Richardson isn't the only player that can play multiple positions. Darius Jennings, Brandon Phelps and Dominique Terrell all could play receiver or defensive back, giving the Cavs great flexibility down the road. Cornerback Demetrious Nicholson is probably the best bet to see early playing time.
Virginia Tech (21 commitments) - As you'd expect, the Hokies were heavy on the defensive side of the ball, especially along the defensive line where they had seven signings. Defensive end Corey Marshall and tackle Kris Harley lead the group. Kyshoen Jennings and Ronny Vanyke look to be the next ball hawking defensive backs to come from defensive coordinator Bud Foster's tutelage. Losing quarterback Lafonte Thourogood to Vanderbilt at the 11th hour stings a bit.
Boston College (23 commitments) - The Eagles just got a little bigger signing 11 interior offensive and defensive lineman. Add in tight end Brian Miller, who is arguably the top recruit in the class, and it is pretty clear the Eagles were looking to rebuild upfront.
Miami (16 commitments) - Not a huge class for the Canes, but a pair of top end defensive lineman in Anthony Chickillo and Jalen Grimble solidify the class. They should help ease the pain of losing defensive end Bryant Dubose late to Louisville.. Cornerback Kevin Grooms could see the field early returning kicks. If you want, you can throw transfer Tate Forcier in there as post-signing day treat.
Georgia Tech (22 commitments) - With Josh Nesbitt graduating, incoming quarterback Vad Lee nearly made the list of quarterbacks to watch . Lee is more than just a runner, throwing for 2969 yards and 23 touchdowns last season. Ideally redshirting quarterbacks is the way to go, but they may see what the kid can do. The rest of the class is heavy on linebackers and offensive lineman, with backer Jabari Hunt-Davis considered the best of the bunch.
Maryland (21 commitments) - New boss Randy Edsall did a good job holding the class together, which is not an easy thing to do during a coaching switch. Their biggest catch (literally) is 6-foot-5 and 310 pound offensive tackle, Nathaniel Clark. A year of seasoning at the prep school level should do him well. The Terps also snagged fellow Fork Union Military Academy star in receiver Tyrek Cheeseboro.
Duke (20 commitments) - The ACC seemed to have an abnormal number of top tight ends sign in 2011 with Nick O'Leary (FSU), Eric MacLain (Clemson), and Brian Miller (BC). Add Duke's David Reeves to the mix as well. At 6-foot-6 and 250 pounds, he has the size to step right in as a freshman. The Blue Devils also hauled in six big uglies along the offensive line.
North Carolina State (20 commitments) - Coming off a 9-4 season you would expect NC State to be ranked a bit higher. But never fear Wolfpack fans, recruiting rankings and stars mean nothing come the fall. Some bright spots include signing Hakeem Flowers and receiver and Rodman Noel at safety. Expect to see the pair on the field come this fall.
Wake Forest (14 commitments) - The Demon Deacons round out the conference with a small class of just 14 commitments. Stealing quarterback Kevin Sousa from Miami's backyard has to be the key signing. In all the Demon Deacons were able to get six kids from Florida to sign on the dotted line. I hear they have some pretty good football players in that state.