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Friday, February 3, 2012
ACC Friday mailblog

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

No, the ACC schedule is not out yet. Next question, please ...

Aaron in Missoula,MT writes: Heather it seems like Miami and FSU have top recruiting classes year in, year out. Will this revive the programs and the great rivalry between the two?

HD: Good lord, let's hope so. College football misses the days when that rivalry meant more. Of course, this isn't the first time these programs have lured in top classes. It's up to Jimbo Fisher and Al Golden to make more out of it than just a class ranking.


Matt in Atlanta writes: Hi Heather,Could you give your opinion on Georgia Tech's sad state of recruiting (particularly within this state!)? I know UGA is the flagship, but we have a good program in a major city, nice facilities, athletic history and traditions, and of course top-notch academics. If a "smart school" like Stanford can recruit well and compete with the USC's of the world, why can't we do the same? Thanks for your insight, and keep up the great work :)

HD: Thanks for reading, Matt. I think Paul Johnson still has something to prove when it comes to recruiting at Georgia Tech. He inherited some impressive NFL talent and made the most of it, but now it's his turn to lure in the same caliber athlete. Virginia Tech is going to continue to be the team to beat in that division, and it got even better on the recruiting trail with the hire of Shane Beamer last year, and Al Golden also made a big splash this signing day. Whether it comes from in-state or California, Johnson needs to recruit the kind of size and speed that can match what the other programs in the ACC are bringing in. And that's regardless of what system he runs.


Noleguy72 in Roseville, CA writes: Hi Heather,On your best QB in the ACC for 2012 article...did E.J. Manuel graduate and I not know about it? He's not on the ballot, REALLY?

HD: Nope. Those guys earned their spots on the ballot based on the fact that all five topped 3,000 passing yards in 2011. I know, EJ was hurt and missed a few games, but all five of those quarterbacks return and FSU's offense didn't exactly light anyone up down the stretch. Manuel and FSU will be fine in 2012, don't worry.


Garrett in Charleston, SC writes: for Dabo's 2013 class he's already announced he's only going to sign 11-16 players for next year due to the small recruiting class signed 4 years ago with the firing of Bowden. Do you think the difference in quantity of players in each class will just even itself out or does Dabo need to be proactive and undersign a certain number of recruits in the future? he's taking a giant risk by having that few players for the 2013 class if he signs busts

HD: Because of the possibility of greyshirts, guys who don't qualify and/or go to prep school, guys who leave early for the NFL, it's hard to keep track of how many scholarships are available for each school. The coaches know, though. These guys know exactly what they have to work with and plan for what they don't (except, of course, in the case of Miami and UNC, which could face scholarship reductions from the NCAA.) Small classes are nothing to be concerned about as long as it's filled with quality and meets the position needs.


Matthew in Boston, MA writes: Heather, I don't understand your continued defense of BC's recruiting. Two specific points. First, how is signing one defensive lineman building depth? Second, how can you defend BC passing on taking a RB for two years in a row? BC has been down to one healthy back literally every year under Spaz, and now we're counting on only four guys, one of whom is coming off of major surgery.

HD: Look, I'll tell you what I know about BC recruiting: Jeff Jagodzinski didn't like it, and Frank Spaziani had to fix it, particularly up front on BOTH sides of the ball. One lineman does not build depth, no, but the Eagles also added several offensive linemen in this class, which will help them. I'm just not ready to say Spaziani's recruiting efforts have been a bust. I think he has continued the tradition of getting those blue-collar BC guys. The bigger problem to me has been the turnover at offensive coordinator, and the problems at quarterback that began the season Dave Shinskie was signed.