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Wednesday, August 14, 2013
ACC class rankings analysis

By Corey Dowlar


Florida State, the ACC's reigning champion, now owns the No. 2-ranked recruiting class in the country for the 2014 cycle, as Alabama has passed up the Seminoles. Miami, too, is in the top five giving the ACC some strong classes to go with the usual dominance of the SEC. There is a noticeable drop off beyond that, though. Clemson is next at No. 11, Virginia at No. 17 and North Carolina at No. 22.

Trending up: Mike London's Cavaliers have put together a tremendous class already. Their top two commitments, Andrew Brown (Chesapeake, Va./Oscar Frommel Smith) and Quin Blanding (Virginia Beach, Va./Bayside), are both five-star caliber and in-state talents. Keeping highly rated guys home is important for any program, and London and Co. were able to do that. But last week, they reached across the country and snagged ESPN 300 ATH Jeff Farrar (Upland, Calif./Upland) out of California. That gives Virginia four ESPN 300 commitments, but at only 11 commitments, they'll need to fill out the rest of their class in the coming months. It's also worth noting that North Carolina picked up a verbal from three-star wide receiver Josh Cabrera (Jacksonville, N.C./Northside).

Trending down: Inside the top 11 classes in the country, it is not like Clemson is exactly struggling. They've got big pieces to the puzzle committed already in the top dual-threat quarterback Deshaun Watson (Gainesville, Ga./Gainesville) and four-star receiver Artavis Scott (Tarpon Springs, Fla./East Lake). Clemson being in this category is not a function of them losing anyone they've got, though. It's more of a case of missing on uncommitted targets. Rick Leonard (Middletown, Md./Middletown) picked Florida State over Clemson on Tuesday leaving the Tigers wondering what could have been with a 6-foot-6 defensive end at their disposal. Dabo Swinney and Clemson will be fine when everything is said and done, though, that's for sure.

One to watch: The more and more that's said about Damian Prince (Forestville, Md./Bishop McNamara), the more and more it is believed that Maryland is very much in play for the No. 22 overall prospect in the country. Alabama, Florida State and Ohio State have been some of the heavy hitters involved, but the Terrapins are courageously defending their home turf. Landing the ESPN 300 offensive tackle would give the offense something to build on offensively for the future.

Bold prediction: Those that follow recruiting closely understand that the average recruiting class for a school hovers around 25 from year to year in college football. Sure, some classes are bigger or smaller depending on attrition and other circumstances, but 25 has served as a decent benchmark. Florida State, the owners of the second-ranked class in the country, could see its total swell way beyond that. The Seminoles could take on 31 scholarships, and could use all of them. Expect Florida State to finish with at least seven or eight more commitments for this cycle.