February 13, 2007

Rivals.com top 10 ACC recruiters

North Carolina was the surprise winner of the ACC recruiting race this year, so it's no surprise that the Tar Heels have two coaches on the list of top 10 recruiters in the conference.

Led by linebackers coach Tommy Thigpen, the North Carolina staff had a breakthrough year.

ACC 2007 Recruiter of the Year
Tommy Thigpen, North Carolina


Thigpen recruited UNC's biggest signee in years in defensive tackle Marvin Austin. Thigpen also had a hand in landing Ryan Houston, Albert Craddock and Quantavius Sturdivant. Thigpen's efforts played a big part in facilitating a smooth transition from John Bunting to Butch Davis.

The rest of the top 10, in alphabetical order
Jim Cavanaugh, Virginia Tech


Tyrod Taylor was the key to this class. Cavanaugh also pulled in offensive linemen Jaymes Brooks, Blake DeChristopher, Cris Hill and Davon Morgan. Cavanaugh has been solid in Virginia for years, and this recruiting season was no exception.
John Lilly, FSU


Lilly landed Dionte Allen and Jamar Jackson. He closed well on Signing Day with commitments from Markish Jones and Jatavious Jackson. Lilly was the main reason that Florida State finished in the top 20 this year.
Mike London, Virginia


London is back in college football after a stint with the Houston Texans. He had a successful return to recruiting, pulling Nick Jenkins and Lamar Milstead from the Maryland/DC area and landing linebacker J'Courtney Williams. London has always been a great recruiter, and this year was one of his best.
Bill McGovern, Boston College


One of only two holdovers from the previous coaching staff, McGovern was key in retaining recruits like Will Thompson and Dan Williams. McGovern also brought in John Elliott, Chris Johnson and Ifeanyi Momah after Tom O'Brien left.
Billy Napier, Clemson


Napier hit North Carolina hard, pulling in three of the top seven players from that state. Napier's recruits included Marcus Gilchrist, offensive tackle Landon Walker and defensive end Kourtnei Brown. Napier also recruited tight end Brian Linthicum from Virginia, and he has emerged as one of the best young recruiters in college football.
Giff Smith, Georgia Tech


An assist on Jason Peters and the lead role with Josh Nesbitt, D.J. Donley, Willie White, Kyle Jackson and Brad Jefferson landed Smith on this list. Smith led the charge for Chan Gailey's best recruiting class.
Dave Sollazzo, Maryland


Maryland signed a five-star player and two four-star prospects, and Sollazzo was responsible for all three. He worked on Bruce Campbell the last two years and went into New Jersey and New York for Tony Logan and Lansford Watson, respectively.
Tim Walton, Miami


Walton did a great job in South Florida, landing Doug Wiggins, Damien Berry and Demarcus Vandyke. He also secured the commitment of the nation's top prep school player, Graig Cooper. In such a transitional year for Miami, Walton came through for the Hurricanes.
Charlie Williams, North Carolina


Williams came in and handled the Dwight Jones situation very well. He also outrecruited many for wide receiver Rashad Mason. Williams brought in sleeper Brian Gupton, and the coaches like Gupton's potential. If the passing game excels down the road for UNC, it will be due in large part to Williams' efforts.

-- Recruiters profiles by Rivals.com National Recruiting Analyst Mike Farrell.

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