Thursday, February 6, 2014
Top 2015 targets: ACC
By Jared Shanker
It might seem premature to look at the 2015 class just hours after signing day’s conclusion, but the reality is college staffs have been working hard toward Feb. 2015 for the past two years.
With signing day in the books, here are five recruits who sit near the top of a number of ACC schools' 2015 boards.
DE Jashon Cornell (St. Paul, Minn./Cretin-Derham Hall) Cornell, 6-foot-3 and 235 pounds, is No. 1 on this list because he is No. 1 on every other one -- state, region, position and No. 1 on most recruiting boards across the country, including the ESPN Junior 300. A few ACC schools have already offered Cornell, with Florida State among them. The Noles did a good job recruiting Cornell’s friend Frank Ragnow, and Cornell put FSU in his early lead group. Miami is the latest to offer Cornell.
Florida might be the early leader, but Miami and Clemson are fighting hard for George Campbell, who is No. 2 in the ESPN Junior 300.
ATH George Campbell (Tarpon Springs, Fla./East Lake) A Michigan decommitment, Campbell, No. 2 in the ESPN Junior 300, looks poised to remain in the Southeast this time. Florida could have the early inside track for the 6-foot-4, 185-pound athlete, but Will Muschamp is squarely on the hot seat in Gainesville. Florida State is in the thick of it for Campbell, and few would be surprised to see another of the nation’s elite receivers heading to Tallahassee. Clemson and Miami are among the other ACC schools to offer, and former teammate Artavis Scott signed with Clemson earlier this week.
DT Tim Settle (Manassas, Va./Stonewall Jackson) The one ACC school that can ill-afford to miss on Settle, the nation’s No. 6 junior prospect, is Virginia Tech. The Hokies thought five-star defensive end Da'Shawn Hand would be playing in Blacksburg this fall, but the 2014 recruit elected to sign with Alabama. Coupled with the misses of 2014 Virginia five-stars Quin Blanding and Andrew Brown, it would be a tough pill to swallow for Frank Beamer to miss out on another elite in-state defender. The Hokies are one of the early favorites for Settle, but there is no indication from the 6-foot-3, 308-pound defensive tackle that he is leaning in any direction.
DT Shy Tuttle (Lexington, N.C./North Davidson) The Tar Heels have not signed the No. 1 prospect in North Carolina since 2007 when Greg Little inked with the program. That needs to change under coach Larry Fedora, and Tuttle, No. 12 in the ESPN Junior 300, could break that streak as he is high on UNC. There is stiff competition from Clemson, however, as he visited the Tigers during the summer and then for the season-opening win against Georgia. Some of the country's top programs are after the 6-foot-3, 295-pound defensive tackle, so UNC and Clemson will have to fend off the likes of Alabama and Texas.
ATH Torrance Gibson (Plantation, Fla./America Heritage) Gibson, the No. 11 junior prospect in the nation, wants to play quarterback, and his early favorites are giving him that chance. Among them is local school Miami, which has offered Gibson and is toward the top of his list of favorites. Having signed the No. 5 pocket-passer in each of the past two classes (Brad Kaaya and Kevin Olsen), the Canes are looking at dual-threat options in 2015. While Gibson, 6-foot-4 and 195 pounds, prefers quarterback, he could be open to coming in as an athlete, which would allow for Miami to possibly sign two quarterbacks next February. The Canes have a handful of offers out to 2015 dual-threat signal-callers.