Tuesday, September 8, 2009
ACC's top recruiting closers
By Heather Dinich
Posted by ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich
Not a lot of these guys have national reputations, but somebody has to lure in the players to win these games. Here’s a quick look at the top closers in the ACC:
1. Randy Shannon, Miami: His resume speaks for itself when it comes to recruiting, as the Canes have brought in some of the country’s top talent under his direction, and he doesn’t have to leave his area code to get it. He does have to beat the likes of Florida, Florida State and dozens of other top programs who raid the state to get it, though.
2. Jimbo Fisher/Bobby Bowden, FSU: The head-coach-in waiting has an advantage over everyone else in that he’s essentially a head coach who can recruit when others can’t. He’s done a great job of building for the future and has become more proactive. Bowden is one of the few coaches in the ACC who have developed a national reputation as a closer. He's made a name for himself for getting those top-notch players at the last minute.
3. Billy Napier, offensive coordinator, Clemson: Napier used to be the recruiting coordinator before he assumed the play-calling duties, but he’s a major reason the Tigers have lured in the kind of talent capable of contending for the ACC title.
4. Butch Davis/John Blake, UNC: They're a tandem when it comes to recruiting, and they've already made a difference since arriving in Chapel Hill. In 2009 they brought in the No. 13-ranked class by ESPN.com, and within a week after he was hired, Davis brought in a player named Quan Sturdivant, and Marvin Austin committed on signing day.
TIE: 5. Jim Grobe, Wake Forest/Frank Beamer, Virginia Tech: The Deacs have started a pipeline into the talent-rich state of Florida, and hit the heart of it in Pahokee. Recruiting coordinator Ray McCartney and the staff have done a great job of finding smart players with good character who can still win. Beamer and his staff evaluate the same way Tommy Tuberville did at Auburn. Some are great players, but most are good players whom they develop into great players.