ACC: Recruiting

ACC recruits who fill biggest needs 

August, 12, 2014
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RecruitingNation takes a look at the 2015 recruits who most fill the needs of each of the ACC schools.

Dalvin CookTom Hauck for Student SportsFlorida went into Miami's backyard to get a commitment from ESPN 300 RB Dalvin Cook, but the Hurricanes aren't exactly ready to concede him to the Gators.
Florida and Miami face off this weekend in what could be the last match up between these two in-state teams for the foreseeable future. The Hurricanes and Gators have had some memorable games on the field, but also some fierce recruiting battles off it. Here's a closer look at 10 recent recruiting battles -- five that Florida won and five that Miami won.


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Recruiting is the lifeblood of every program in the country, and every conference has its own strengths and weaknesses when it comes to landing top prospects. This week, we are examining the BCS conferences plus Notre Dame to find each one's strength, the biggest obstacle each faces and the overall view of the conference. The ACC is up today.

Biggest obstacle: Getting out from under the SEC's shadow. This conference shares the same player pool and it needs every matchup versus the SEC to count. Clemson beating LSU in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl in 2012 was big, but over the course of the past few years Clemson, Virginia Tech and FSU haven't always fared as well, and South Carolina has been a thorn in the side of Clemson. This conference needs a resurgence from Miami and North Carolina as well as NC State. The middle- and bottom-tier teams in these two conferences are very comparable. The ACC needs its powers to consistently dominate on and off the field, and for recruiting classes from the likes of FSU, Clemson and Miami to produce double-digit wins.


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NoleNation links: Open up playbook

September, 11, 2012
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David Hale writes: With two FCS games in its rear-view mirror and ACC rivals on the way, FSU should look to crack its playbook open beyond the “three percent” its quarterback says has been used so far.

Hale: QB EJ Manuel and DE Bjoern Werner should see their stock rising for the postseason awards for which they’re in contention.

Corey Dowlar writes: Insider Florida State’s method of getting the attention of 2014 defensive end Dante Sawyer (Suwanee, Ga./North Gwinnett)? The Seminoles sent more than 50 pieces of mail with their name on it in just more than 48 hours.

NoleNation links: Pryor aims higher

September, 5, 2012
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David Hale writes: FSU fullback Lonnie Pryor is used to toiling in the shadows, but after a frustrating 2011, a talk with Jimbo Fisher may have pushed the senior into the spotlight in 2012.

Hale: Terrence Brooks needs to curb some of his enthusiasm in hopes of avoiding further problems with cramping that cost him a couple of series against Murray State.

Hale: Q&A with Savannah State coach Steve Davenport on his team’s thrashing at the hands of Oklahoma State and how they’ll respond this week against FSU.

Corey Dowlar writes: Insider Kendall Baker has early offers from Florida State and Vanderbilt, talks about his recovery from ACL and recruitment process.

Note: Join NoleNation at 2 p.m. ET for a chat with Dowlar.Insider

NoleNation links: Werner slims down

September, 4, 2012
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David Hale writes: A body-fat report gave DE Bjoern Werner a bit of sticker shock that coaches hadn’t in their requests for him to get in better shape -- so he found easy ways to slim down, prompting coaches to wonder if it’s too much. His season-opening performance might alleviate concerns.

Corey Dowlar writes: Insider Brandon Jenkins’ season-ending injury puts the possible redshirting of Mario Edwards Jr. and Chris Casher in a new context -- not just for this season, but in regard to the signing classes of 2013-14 as well.

NoleNation links: Joyner's tough lesson

August, 27, 2012
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David M. Hale writes: It took a damaging hit on a teammate for Florida State DB Lamarcus Joyner to realize his aggressive energy, which pushes the defensive unit, needs to be controlled. Seminoles WR Willie Haulstead lost the 2011 season to aftereffects of a concussion that didn’t seem bad at the time.

Corey Dowlar writes: Insider 2014 LB Tre Williams, the latest target inside Alabama for FSU recruiting coordinator Dameyune Craig, plans his visit to Tallahassee.

Hale: Insider OL Menelik Watson, an unusually athletic big man who’s short on experience despite being a juco transfer, is today’s subject in NoleNation’s Carrying the Spear series of player profiles.

Also, check back this afternoon with NoleNation as David M. Hale attends Jimbo Fisher's news conference, as well as Seminoles afternoon practice.

NoleNation links: Greg Reid's new start

August, 24, 2012
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David Hale writes: Deposed FSU cornerback Greg Reid isn’t starting over completely at Valdosta State. He still preaches team goals. He still keeps in touch with his old Seminoles teammates. And he’s back in his old hometown, which brings him both blessings and challenges.

Corey Dowlar writes: Insider 2014 WR Johnnie Dixon prizes his ties to high school teammates now at Florida State and Florida.

Hale: NoleNation readers get their questions answered by Florida State linebackers.

Hale: Insider CB Nick Waisome, who is battling freshman phenom Ronald Darby for the starting spot vacated by Reid, is today’s subject in NoleNation’s Carrying the Spear, profiling 50 potential impact players this season.

NoleNation links: Recruit push, LB shuffle

August, 23, 2012
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Corey Dowlar writes: Insider 2014 QB DeShaun Watson is committed to Clemson’s spread offense -- so FSU's coaches are tackling the challenge head-on, pushing Watson to visit when the Tigers come to Tallahassee next month.

David M. Hale writes: The lauded Seminoles still have questions on their depth chart that could get answers during this afternoon’s scrimmage.

Hale: The shuffle at linebacker, aimed at shoring up the biggest weakness on FSU’s vaunted defense, is born not of desperation but logic.

Note: Check back with NoleNation late this afternoon for notes and news from Florida State's afternoon scrimmage.

NoleNation links: CB Rhodes keeps working

August, 21, 2012
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David Hale writes: For FSU cornerback Xavier Rhodes, a potential first-round NFL pick, progress isn't built on a foundation of past successes. What happened last year, last week or last play -- that's gone. What's next is what matters.

Corey Dowlar writes: Insider ATH Treon Harris tries to focus on his team’s goal of winning a high school state title.

Hale: Insider FSU football player Bryan Stork's versatility and experience are scarce resources on a Seminoles offensive line that's a work in progress.

NoleNation link: 5 beating expecations

August, 19, 2012
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David Hale writes: A look at five of the Seminoles who have stood out and exceeded expectations during the first two weeks of Florida State practice.

NoleNation links: DC Mark Stoops' future

August, 17, 2012
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David Hale writes: Mark Stoops has built a dominant defense at Florida State, which could lead to him getting a job as a head coach after the season.

Corey Dowlar writes: Insider FSU commit Marquez White, whose family is full of Alabama ties, will visit campus with his parents in tow.

Hale: Insider Wide receiver Rodney Smith, a 6-foot-6 target with speed and more experience than most of the deep receiving corps, is Friday's profile in NoleNation's Carrying the Spear series of players who can make an impact.

NoleNation chat: Corey Dowlar, recruiting

August, 15, 2012
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RecruitingNation reporter Corey Dowlar will host NoleNation's first live recruiting chat in the Tomahawk Talk forum Insider -- post your questions in advance, or join in live at 2 p.m. ET.

RecruitingNation is offering a free 30-day trial of Insider access -- sign up now for the ability to chat with Dowlar.

Also see a wrap of NoleNation beat writer David M. Hale's comprehensive Seminoles chat from yesterday.

NoleNation links: Fisher on drug 'epidemic'

August, 15, 2012
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David Hale writes: FSU's Greg Reid and LSU's Tyrann Mathieu are among players who have Jimbo Fisher saying marijuana use is "epidemic" -- and a hurdle to success.

Hale: WR Kenny Shaw, who should fit in as a go-to option in the slot, is today’s profile in NoleNation’s Carrying the Spear series of 50 potential impact players.

Hale: O-linemen Daniel Glauser and Bryan Stork seem solid as starters, judging by Tuesday's practice.

Note: Check back with NoleNation later today -- Hale is at FSU practice today, while Corey Dowlar’s Recruiting Tracker will make its debut this afternoon.

State of the Brand: Florida State

August, 14, 2012
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Editor's note: RecruitingNation is taking a look at the state of each team's brand.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- On the first day, it rained.

A day later, it rained again, and on through the rest of Florida State's first week of practice, forcing the Seminoles to move workouts to the wee hours of the morning, with players taking the field long before the sun rose.

"It's another reason for us to get this indoor facility," quarterback EJ Manuel said. "Win a national championship and maybe we'll get one next year."

Manuel's aside was meant to be humorous, but it underscores the reality of life on the margins of college football's elite.

A decade ago, things were different. Florida State was dominant, a perennial top-five team and the prototype by which other programs were measured. But the new millennium has not been kind to the Seminoles, once the crown jewel of the ACC but now overshadowed by SEC neighbors such as Alabama, Florida and LSU.

If the Seminoles want the perks that come with excellence, like that indoor practice facility -- there is no more room for mediocrity.

"Winning is everything, so when you don't win, your brand takes a move back," FSU athletics director Randy Spetman said. "It puts huge expectations on us, and we've got to come through with that. And I think we will."

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