February 6, 2008

Signing Day Blitz: Ranking the ACC

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Rivals.com breaks down every class and takes a look at the headliners and sleepers each school signed in the special Signing Day 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. Miami

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CaneSport.com
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Headliner: The No. 7 prospect in the country, defensive tackle Marcus Forston, leads the way for the class. Forston, a 6-foot-2, 286-pounder, is a beast in the middle with his superb speed, strength and power. He'll be a force in the ACC and could help the Hurricanes as soon as this season.
Sleeper: Coconut Creek (Fla.) Monarch defensive end Andrew Smith had offers from some small programs, so when Miami offered, he jumped. He's a bit undersized at 6-3 and 223 pounds, but he's a good pass rusher who could surprise.
Overview: Defense was a high priority for the Hurricanes this season, especially linebacker and defensive line. Miami got some major help at tackle with Forston as well as four-star prospect Jeremy Lewis. Linebacker got a major boost, too, with five commitments, including five-star Arthur Brown and four-star prospects Jordan Futch, Marcus Robinson and Sean Spence. The secondary is impressive, with late commitments from Brandon Harris and Ramon Buchanan. Quarterback got some much-needed help with talented local gunslinger Jacory Harris, and he'll be aided by speedy receivers Travis Benjamin and Aldarius Johnson and big target Tommy Streeter. The Hurricanes added two linemen in four-star prospects Brandon Washington and Benjamin Jones.
2. Florida State

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Warchant.com
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Headliner: Five-star linebacker Nigel Bradham highlights the class. The nation's No. 16 prospect enrolled in January and will continue the stellar tradition of linebacker excellence in Tallahassee. Bradham has it all: outstanding speed, tremendous athleticism and great instincts. He'll be a force immediately for the Seminoles.
Sleeper: Wide receiver Josh Gehres has excellent size at 6-3 and 190 pounds and solid speed (4.53 in the 40-yard dash). A local talent who produced big in his senior season across town from FSU, he brings some impressive size to the receiving corps.
Overview: Florida State made a major push on defense in 2008, landing star talent all over starting with Bradham and junior college defensive end Markus White. They'll be aided by speedy tackle Moses McCray in the middle, as well as quick end Toshmon Stevens. Besides Bradham, the linebacking corps added help with four-star linebackers Nick Moody, Vincent Williams and Nigel Carr, while the secondary adds Travis Arnold and Terrance Parks. The offense got an upgrade with top quarterback E.J. Manuel to go along with tailbacks Tavares Pressley and , wide receiver Corey Surrency and tight end Jabaris Little.
3. Clemson

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TigerIllustrated.com
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Headliner: Defensive end DaQuan Bowers, the No. 2 prospect in the country, tops an impressive class. Bowers, a 6-4, 267-pounder, should get a chance to play as a freshman. It doesn't hurt that he already is enrolled and will go through spring ball. He has ridiculous speed off the edge that allows him to dominate games. He's aided by outstanding strength and an impressive burst.
Sleeper: Athlete Matt Skinner out of Jacksonville Bolles is being recruited as a long snapper for the Tigers. With his 6-7, 230-pound frame, Skinner could grow into a variety of other positions, particularly offensive tackle.
Overview: The lines were a major focus. Besides Bowers, Clemson picked up four-star end Jarrett Crittenton and four-star tackle Brandon Thompson. Clemson signed four offensive linemen, including four-star prospects Dalton Freeman, Antoine McClain and Kenneth Page. Speedy linebacker Jonathan Willard and big defensive back Spencer Adams round out an impressive defensive effort. The offense picked up some help with dual-threat quarterback Kyle Parker, running backs Andre Ellington and Jamie Harper and two solid receivers in Marquan Jones and Brandon Ford. Landing tight end Dwayne Allen was a signing day bonus.
4. Virginia Tech

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HokieHaven.com
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Headliner: Four-star running back Ryan Williams is the gem of the Hokies' class. Williams, a 5-10, 192-pounder, is the best running back to commit to Tech in years and should help revamp the offense along with sophomore-to-be quarterback Tyrod Taylor. Williams combines excellent vision, deceptive speed and power and could be a force as early as next season for Tech.
Sleeper: Athlete Joseph Clayton from Richmond (Va.) Hermitage will head to Virginia Tech as a quarterback prospect. Clayton, a 6-2, 200-pounder, blew up his senior season, with 27 touchdowns and more than 2,000 yards passing. He's a dual-threat prospect who also could be a playmaker in the secondary.
Overview: Receiver was of critical importance this season for the Hokies, and they landed six, including four-star prospects D.J. Coles and Dyrell Roberts. Williams and Tony Gregory combine for a one-two punch at running back, while the offensive line got an upgrade with four-star tackle Vinston Painter. The Hokies also put a large focus on linebackers, picking up five prospects including prep-school stud Quillie Odom and high school standout Bruce Taylor. The Hokies also added talent on the defensive line with Florida sleeper Dwight Tucker to go along with Antoine Hopkins, Isaiah Hamlette and prep-school standout Leon Mackey.
5. North Carolina State

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TheWolfpacker.com
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Headliner: Tom O'Brien got his quarterback of the future in Rivals100 member Mike Glennon, a 6-6, 194-pounder who has a nice touch on the ball, a quick release and good decision-making skills.
Sleeper: Charlotte (N.C.) Independence tight end Mario Carter will provide a big target for Glennon in the future. Carter, a 6-5, 231-pounder, fell under the radar because of an ACL injury, but he has good hands, solid speed and will run over a defender.
Overview: O'Brien has taken North Carolina State's recruiting to new heights. O'Brien has revamped the offense, starting with Glennon. He will have some help up front with five bruising offensive linemen, including four-star prospects Sam Jones and R.J. Mattes. The Wolfpack also added quick athlete Brandon Barnes, who likely will make an impact as a receiver and running back. The defense got some help starting along the line with four-star tackle Kyle Linney. Meanwhile, the Wolfpack signed four linebackers, most notably Terrell Manning.
6. Maryland

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TerrapinTimes.com
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Headliner: Rivals250 wide receiver Kevin Dorsey is the star of the Terps' class. Dorsey, a 6-1, 187-pounder, pulled in 80 receptions and 24 touchdowns the past two years for Forestville (Md.) High. He has a chance to provide immediate depth.
Sleeper: Linebacker Eteyen Edet, out of Fort Washington (Md.) Friendly, has the chance to be an impact player down the line. Edet's combination of speed (4.6 seconds in the 40) and size (6-2, 235) could make him a big-time player soon.
Overview: Offense was the focus this year as coaches added some help for their receiving corps. Aside from Dorsey, the Terrapins added four-star wide receivers Kenny Tate and Kerry Boykins as well as talented prep-school tight end Devonte Campbell. The Terps also picked up four prospects along the offensive line, including R.J. Dill and Justin Lewis. Two additions at running back Gary Douglas and Davin Meggett should provide some speed. While the defense was limited in numbers, it is full of quality. Maryland got three tackles including four-star prospects Masengo Kabongo and Teddy Dargan. A major boost came at cornerback with 6-1, 175-pound Cameron Chism. Quarterback Tyler Bass isn't highly ranked, but has good dual-threat potential.
7. Boston College

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EagleAction.com
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Headliner: Jeff Jagodzinski finally will be able to fully implement his offense and it starts with four-star running back Josh Haden, a 5-8, 191-pounder with plenty of speed. Haden has a good chance to earn immediate playing time this fall and could be the starter. He's perfect for BC's zone-blocking scheme.
Sleeper: Athlete Dominick LeGrande from Staten Island (N.Y.) Curtis could be a big-time playmaker. A versatile athlete with good leadership qualities who played quarterback in high school, LeGrande could fit in a variety of spots, including safety, cornerback and wide receiver.
Overview: Defense was an important focus for the Eagles. Boston College picked up some major help with five linemen. Leading the way are three-star ends Nick Halloran, Max Holloway and Kaleb Ramsey, each of whom could play inside as well. Two talented linebackers back them up in Nick Clancy and Alexander DiSanzo. The secondary was important as well; five defensive backs were signed, with Okechuckwu Okoroha and Ugo Okpara leading the group. The Eagles added other tailbacks besides Haden in Eric Reynolds, Montel Harris and Jerry Kelly. And for the passing game, BC signed talented receiver Colin Larmond and stud tight end Chris Pantale as well as junior college quarterback Codi Boek.
8. North Carolina

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CarolinaBlue.com
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Headliner: Sierra (Ariz.) Buena running back Jamal Womble is the star of the class. The four-star prospect is a bruising tailback with nice speed and impressive strength.
Sleeper: Quarterback Braden Hanson is a big quarterback (6-6, 193) and has a huge arm. Hanson, from Charlotte (N.C.) Latin, showed impressive accuracy in his high school career, throwing for more than 2,500 yards and 39 touchdowns as a junior.
Overview: Butch Davis got some solid talent. On offense, the Tar Heels picked up some help under center with the additions of Hanson and big dual-threat quarterback A.J. Blue. The running game got a boost with Womble and H-Back/tight end Christian Wilson, while the receiving corps added a talent in Todd Harrelson. The offensive line got one major addition in Jonathan Cooper. On defense, UNC added some major help at linebacker with three impressive specimens in Ebele Okakpu, Kevin Reddick and Zach Brown, and prep-school star Quinton Coples and Robert Quinn could be stars at end. The secondary added junior college safety Melvin Williams.
9. Georgia Tech

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JacketsOnLine.com
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Headliner: Guard Omoregie Uzzi leads this class for Paul Johnson. Uzzi, a 6-4, 298-pounder, is the highest-ranked player the Jackets signed and will be a nice addition to a young, talented group of offensive linemen.
Sleeper: Atlanta Marist athlete Cooper Taylor (6-3, 175) is an impressive defensive back prospect. Taylor, who has good speed, likely will step in at safety for the Jackets and be a big presence.
Overview: Running back and linebacker were the keys to the recruiting effort under Johnson. On offense, the running game added three speedy prospects in Embry Peeples, Richard Watson and Marcus Wright. Further athleticism was added at quarterback in dual-threat Jaybo Shaw. The offense also picked up four linemen, led by Uzzi and T.J. Barnes. There are three three-star linebackers, and two impressive defensive backs Brandon Leslie and Jon Lockhart should help solidify the secondary.
10. Wake Forest

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DeaconsIllustrated.com
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Headliner: Guard Joe Looney is the top prospect headed to Winston-Salem this year. Looney, a 6-4, 309-pounder from Lake Worth, Fla., has impressive strength, decent speed and good athleticism. He should be able to make an impact early in his Wake career.
Sleeper: Wide receiver Terrence Davis from Snellville (Ga.) Brookwood has good size (6-2, 180 pounds), outstanding speed and could become a key to the Deacons' offense.
Overview: The offense landed some major pickups, particularly along the line and at tight end. Wake added five linemen including Looney and fellow three-star prospect Ramon Booi. There are two solid tight end prospects in J.T. Dixon and Andrew Parker. Meanwhile, the defense got a major upgrade at linebacker with three quick three-star recruits: Scott Betros, Joey Ehrmann and Riley Haynes. Rounding out the group is three-star quarterback Ted Stachitas, whose brother, Chet, played basketball at Saint Joseph's.
11. Virginia

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CavsCorner.com
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Headliner: Rivals250 athlete Torrey Mack from Stratford, Conn. is the star of the class. Mack (6-0, 195 pounds) is a versatile prospect who'll get his first shot at running back. Mack has outstanding speed and vision.
Sleeper: Cincinnati Turpin offensive tackle Aaron Van Kuiken (6-7, 285) is a massive prospect. He needs to improve his speed a bit, but could be a major cog on the edge for the Cavaliers in the future.
Overview: Offense was a key for the Cavaliers with Mack at running back. He should be helped by the additions along the offensive line, which features four recruits led by Matt Mihalik out of Ohio. There are three tight end prospects, most notably three-star Bill Schautz. The receiving corps added some speed with Javaris Brown and Rodney McLeod. On defense, Virginia got some help up front with tackle Klinton Ruff. The Cavs added more help in the secondary with three-star prospects Ausar Walcott and Cameron Johnson.
12. Duke

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DevilsIllustrated.com
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Headliner: Chatham (Va.) Hargrave Military Academy cornerback Randez James is the star of the class. James, a three-star prospect, is a tremendous cover corner who has the ability to lock down a receiver. But he isn't afraid to put his nose in there and deliver a shot, either.
Sleeper: With a new coach, Duke is looking to revamp its offense, and the Blue Devils made a push to do just that. It starts with talented dual-threat quarterback Sean Renfree out of Arizona. A big prospect, Renfree (6-3, 200) also boasts impressive speed to help open up the offense. He'll be assisted by running back Jay Hollingsworth, a three-star prospect. Kenny Anunike, a 6-5 tight end and Brian Moore a lineman out of Florida, stand out among the other offensive prospects. The defense got some help in the form of three-star safety Matt Daniels.

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