All-ACC Recruiting Class

I stole this idea from www.rivalryesq.com (Big10 blog).  Here are the top ranked names at each position.  We'll be hearing from some of these guys shortly.  I prefer ESPN's rankings because they evaluate the player and his immediate potential as opposed to rivals.com, who tends to evaluate the player more on eventual nfl potential and places a lot of weight on a kid's 40 time, vertical leap, etc.  I try to include any prospect graded as a 79 or higher :

Scouts Inc. High School Grading System
90-100: Rare Prospect
Player demonstrates rare abilities and can create mismatches that have an obvious impact on the game. Has all the skills to take over a game and could be an impact player as a true freshman.

80-89: Outstanding Prospect
Player has the ability to create mismatches against most opponents and could contribute as a true freshman.

For the record, the ACC signed the 2nd most ESPNU150 prospects (23) of any conference (SEC was 1st with an incredible 52).  The ACC pulled 45 of the Rivals 250 (2nd most).  Here's the breakdown:

 

POSITION NAME SCHOOL HEIGHT WEIGHT ESPN RK ESPN GRADE RIVALS RK RIVALS GRADE
QB Tajh Boyd Clem 6' 1" 208 #5 QB 82 #4 QB 4* (6.0)
QB Bryn Renner UNC 6' 3" 192 #6 QB 81 #5 QB 4* (5.9)
QB Jordan Luallen
GT 6' 3" 196 #23 QB 79 #17 QB 3* (5.7)
QB A.J. Highsmith Mia 6' 0" 186 #24 QB 78 #5 ATH 3* (5.6)
QB Sean Shroeder Mia 6' 0" 186 #29 QB 78 #42 QB
3* (5.5)

The ACC did well at the Quarterback position as they grabbed two of the top 10 quarterbacks in the nation.  No other ACC teams nabbed a top 20 quarterback.  The ACC has lacked consistently good quarterback play for several years now and prospects may have been scared away by the relative youth at the position.  Additionally, the ACC defenses are not quarterback friendly.  Keep in mind, however, that ACC quarterbacks typically do very well in the NFL (Matt Ryan, Phillip Rivers), and that might help this position in the future.  The last two in this list are primarily runners.  Florida State's Will Secord ranks 60th as he is not really expected to be a starter.

POSITION NAME SCHOOL HEIGHT WEIGHT ESPN RK ESPN GRADE RIVALS RK RIVALS GRADE
RB Bryce Brown Mia 6' 0" 215 #2 RB 88 #1 RB 5* (6.1)
RB David Wilson VT 5' 11" 190 #5 RB 83 #4 RB 4* (6.0)
RB Lamar Miller Mia 5' 11" 205 #12 RB 81 #9 RB 4* (6.0)
RB DJ Adams
Mary 5' 10" 210 #16 RB 81 #29 RB 4* (5.8)
RB Desmond Scott
Duke 5' 9" 180 #23 RB 80 #5APB 4* (5.9)
RB Roderick McDowell
Clem 5' 10" 175 #25 RB 79 #4 APB 4* (5.9)
RB Lonnie Pryor
FSU 6' 0"
190 #30 RB 79 #15 RB 4* (5.9)
RB Mike James
Mia 5' 11"
211 #33 RB 79 #15 RB 4* (5.9)
RB Chris Thompson
FSU 5' 9"
175 #35 RB 79 #21 RB 4* (5.8)
RB Rolandan Finch
BC 5' 10"
204 #47 RB 78 #57 RB 3* (5.7)
RB Orwin Smith
GT 6' 0"
181 #52 RB 78 #38  RB 3* (5.7)

The ACC pulled in four of the top 20 running back prospects nationally, which is a good haul.  Consider that Brown hasn't actually signed yet.  This is a very impressive haul for the ACC.  Rivals rates Caleb Porzell a 4*, and he doesn't even make this list.

POSITION NAME SCHOOL HEIGHT WEIGHT ESPN RK ESPN GRADE RIVALS RK RIVALS GRADE
TE Logan Thomas VT 6' 6" 233 # 8 ATH 81 #1 TE 4* (6.0)
TE Tucker Windle
UVA 6' 3" 221 # 11 TE 79 #22 TE 3* (5.6)

Tight End was difficult to evaluate because many of these kids are categorized as athletes or defensive players.  Thomas is widely considered by experts to be a tight end and could be a serious contributor early.  Windle may surprise some.  FSU didn't sign a tight end this year and should be in the running for some of the better tight ends in 2010.

POSITION NAME SCHOOL HEIGHT WEIGHT ESPN RK ESPN GRADE RIVALS RK RIVALS GRADE
WR Jheraine Boyd UNC 6' 2" 184 #6 WR 83 #3 WR 4* (6.0)
WR Bryce McNeal Clem 6' 2" 170 # 9 WR 82 # 10 WR 4* (6.0)
WR Rodney Smith FSU 6' 6" 205 # 20 WR 80 # 8 WR 4* (6.0)
WR Willie Haulstead FSU 6' 3"
200 # 32 WR 79 # 34 WR 4* (5.8)
WR Joshua Adams UNC 6' 4"
200 # 36 WR 78 # 35 WR 4* (5.8)

I decided to include wideouts inside the top 40, allowing for each team in the top 20 to take two.  There's a trend here:  The ACC is not coveting to a bunch of scatback like wideouts because they are not running the spread.  I think this is a good haul of wideouts, but not a great one.  Also note that VaTech pulled in a nice JUCO wideout 4* (5.8) Rivals.  Overall, this is a disappointing class of wide receivers for the ACC.

 

POSITION NAME SCHOOL HEIGHT WEIGHT ESPN RK ESPN GRADE RIVALS RK RIVALS GRADE
OT Morgan Moses UVA 6' 7" 347 #6 OT 83 # 5 OT 4* (6.0)
OT J.K. Jay Cem 6' 6" 280 # 11 OT 81 # 15 OT 4* (5.8)
OT Travis Bond UNC 6' 7" 330 # 17 80 #46OT 3* (5.6)
OT Oday Aboushi UVA
6' 7" 300 # 26 OT 78 #23 OT 4* (5.8)
OT Antonio Foster GT 6' 4" 285 #27 OT
78 #32 OG
3* (5.6)

Offensive tackle is a crucial position and the ACC pulled in some good prospects here.  I really like Jay's film, but he is injury prone.  FSU's gem (Aubrey Phillips) doesn't fare well in ESPN's rankings, though his jumping from school to school and late bloomer nature may have something to do with that as he was evaluated as a junior.  He tore up the Army All American game.  I love UNC tackle Brennan Williams, as does rivals (high 4*, #13 OT), but he's a 77 on ESPN, and thus not on this list.  Rivals also likes Brandon Thomas, calling him the #14 OT, at 4*'s, but ESPN rates him a 76 and places him at guard.  Miami picked up a solid JUCO tackle (4* rivals) in Johnson.  A very deep class of offensive tackles for the ACC.

POSITION NAME SCHOOL HEIGHT WEIGHT ESPN RK ESPN GRADE RIVALS RK RIVALS GRADE
OG Brandon Washington Mia 6' 5" 330 JUCO 79 JUCO 4* (6.0)
OG Will Jackson GT 6' 4" 280 #8 OG 80 #25 OG 3* (5.7)
OG Peter White Mary 6' 5" 340 #22 OG 78 #13 OG 4* (5.8)
OG Johnnie Farms UNC 6' 3" 285 #26 OG 78 #11 OG 4* (5.8)

Often times, Guards are not highly rated coming out of high school, as the best offensive linemen almost always play offensive tackle.  In fact, only 31 guards rated 78 or higher and only 16 were 80 or above.  I think UNC is building a monster of a program.

POSITION NAME SCHOOL HEIGHT WEIGHT ESPN RK ESPN GRADE RIVALS RK RIVALS GRADE
OC Henry Orelus FSU 6' 2" 295 #10 OC 76 #6 OC 3* (5.7)
OC Camden Wentz NCST 6' 3" 276 #16 OC 75 #13 OC 3* (5.6)

Center is often where high school teams hide their worst offensive lineman.  There are only 5 players to rate at 79 or higher at the center position.  As such, I expanded the parameters a bit.

POSITION NAME SCHOOL HEIGHT WEIGHT ESPN RK ESPN GRADE RIVALS RK RIVALS GRADE
DE DeMonte McAllister FSU 6' 3" 263 #3 DE 83 #4 SDE 4* (6.0)
DE Donte Moss UNC 6' 4" 225 DE #6 82 #2 WDE 5* (6.1)
DE Macillah Goodman Clem 6' 4" 258 #9 DE 81 #2 SDE 4* (6.0)
DE Dyron Dye Mia 6' 4" 215 #11 DE 81 #8 WDE 4* (5.8)
DE Olivier Vernon Mia 6' 3" 229 #16 DE 80 #11 WDE 4* (5.8)
DE Brandon Jenkins FSU

6' 3"

225 #18 DE 80 # 12 WDE 4* (5.8)
DE Lanford Collins VT 6' 4" 240 #20 DE 80 #20 SDE 3* (5.7)
DE Billy Sanders Mia 6' 4" 230 #26 DE 79 # 18 TE 3* (5.6)
DE Izaan Cross GT 6' 3" 253 #28 DE 79 #18 WDE 3* (5.7)
DE Brian Slay NCST 6' 2" 240 #41 DE 78 #62 DT 3* (5.6)
DE Jake Snyder UVA 6' 5" 237 #41 DE 78 #20 WDE 3* (5.7)
DE Justin Renfrow UVA 6' 4" 260 #43 DE 78 # 43 SDE 3* (5.5)
DE Zach Thompson WF 6' 5" 240 #44 DE 78 #44 SDE 3* (5.5)
DE De'Onte Arnett Mary 6' 4" 243 #53 DE 78 #6 SDE 4* (5.9)

Because of its location, the ACC has long produced the best passrushers.  Reggie White, Lawrence Taylor, and Bruce Smith all came from the Appalachian mountains.  I don't know why those mountains produce the world's best pass rushers, but they do.  Julius Peppers, Mario Williams, Peter Boulware, and Everette Brown are also from the region.  The ACC nabbed 14 of the top 53 defensive ends this year, and it is little wonder why the conference produces the best defenses and defensive players (most defensive players drafted and 1st rounders over the last 5 years).  Taking 7 of the top 20 is particularly impressive.

 


POSITION NAME SCHOOL HEIGHT WEIGHT ESPN RK ESPN GRADE RIVALS RK RIVALS GRADE
DT Jacobbi McDaniel FSU 6' 0" 267 #1 DT 91 #2 DT 5* (6.1)
DT Jared McAdoo UNC 6' 3" 285 #12 DT 80 #12 DT 4* (5.9)
DT Curtis Porter Mia 6' 2" 334 # 19 DT 80 #54 DT 3* (5.7)
DT John Drew Duke 6' 1" 303 #21 DT 79 #20 DT 4* (5.8)
DT Raynard Randolph NCST 6' 3" 295 #23 DT 79 # 47 DT 3* (5.7)
DT J. C. Lanier GT 6' 3" 340 # 24 DT 79 #31 DT 4* (5.8)
DT Frank Souza WF 6' 4" 282 #25 DT 79 #56 DT 3* (5.6)

Look at the variance between the ESPN rank and the Rivals rank.  The ACC did well at the DT spot, but nowhere near as well as they did at the defensive end spot.  7 of the top 25 is impressive, but I expect a better haul next year.  Rivals calls BC commit Dillon Quinn a 5.9 4*, but he's only a 70 by ESPN.  Rivals calls Miami commit Luther Robinson a 5.8 4*, but he's a 76 by ESPN.

POSITION NAME SCHOOL HEIGHT WEIGHT ESPN RK ESPN GRADE RIVALS RK RIVALS GRADE
OLB Eric Fields Clem 6' 1" 210 #5 OLB 83 #25 OLB 3* (5.7)
OLB Luke Kuechly BC 6' 3" 220 #20 OLB 79 #44 OLB 3* (5.6)
OLB Quandon Christian Clem
6' 2" 210 #22 OLB 79 #51 OLB 3* (5.6)
OLB C. J. Mizell FSU 6' 3" 212 #25 OLB 79 #19 OLB 4* (5.8)
OLB Tariq Edwarda VT 6' 3" 225 #27 OLB 79 #50 OLB 3* (5.6)
OLB Rick Dowdy NCST 6' 1" 229 #31 OLB 78 #32 OLB 3* (5.7)
OLB Darin Drakeford Mary 6' 0" 215 #41 OLB 78 #77 OLB 3* (5.5)
OLB Marcus Whitfield Mary 6' 3" 215 #44 OLB 78 #89 OLB 3* (5.5)
OLB Justin Dixon UNC 6' 1" 228 #47 OLB 78 # 9 ILB 4* (5.9)

Poor showing by the ACC in the OLB category.  Surprising since some of the better NFL OLB's (including Shawn Merriman) come from the ACC.  9 of the to 47 is good, but none of the top 20 is not.

POSITION NAME SCHOOL HEIGHT WEIGHT ESPN RK ESPN GRADE RIVALS RK RIVALS GRADE
ILB Corico Hawkins Clem 6' 0" 225 #10 ILB 79 #49 ILB 3* (5.6)
ILB Kevin Reddick UNC 6' 3" 230 JUCO 78 JUCO 4* (5.9)
ILB Hawatha Bell UNC 6' 1" 225 #17 ILB 78 #14 ILB 4* (5.8)

UNC and Alabama are compiling the most NFL-Like front 7's in the Nation as the Tarheels again pull some huge LB's who can run.  THE ACC needs linebackers in 2010.

POSITION NAME SCHOOL HEIGHT WEIGHT ESPN RK ESPN GRADE RIVALS RK RIVALS GRADE
CB Greg Reid FSU 5' 9" 175 #2 CB 85 #4 CB 5* (6.1)
CB Prince Kent Mia 6' 2" 193 #5 CB 83 # 37 ATH 3* (5.7)
CB Brandon McGee Mia 5' 11" 186 #2 ATH 82 #10 CB 4* (5.9)
CB Travis Hawkins Mary 5' 1" 181 #14 CB 80 #22 CB 4* (5.8)
CB Terry Shankle UNC 5' 10" 167 #20 CB 79 #21 CB 4* (5.8)
CB Jayron Hosley VTech 5' 11" 175 #22 CB 79 #11 CB 4* (5.9)
CB Taylow Sowell Duke 5' 10" 187 #27 CB 78 #65 CB 3* (5.5)

7 of the top 28 corners including 2 of the top 5 is a good showing for the ACC.  There may be many other players who switch to corner, and indeed rivals has some of them designated as corners.  ACCdefensive backs have been excellent in the NFL and this year will against see many drafted.  Two major snubs here-- Rivals has VT commit Jarrod Williams and NCST Commit Jarvis Byrd as 4*'s, but espn pays them no love.

 

POSITION NAME SCHOOL HEIGHT WEIGHT ESPN RK ESPN GRADE RIVALS RK RIVALS GRADE
S Ray Ray Armstring Miami 6' 4" 215 #4 S 84 #1 ATH 5* (6.1)
S Gerald Demos FSU 5' 11" 190 #7 S 82 #27 S 3* (5.7)
S Gene Robinson UNC 5' 10" 175 #16 S 80 #61 CB 3* (5.6)
S Roderick Sweeting GT 6' 0" 170 #27 S 79 #45 CB 3* (5.7)
S Jim Noel BC 6' 3" 190 #39 S 78 #46 CB 3* (5.7)
S Josh Hunter UNC 6' 2" 172 #40 S 78 #18 CB 4* (5.8)
S Javanti Sparrow UVA 6' 0" 185 #41 S 78 NR 2* (5.3)

Decent safety class, not spectacular.  FSU safety Jajuan Harley is a huge snub, as he is the 12th rated rivals safety (4*).  Jonathan Meeks is a 4* rivals safety (Clemson), and he doesn't appear here.

 

POSITION NAME SCHOOL HEIGHT WEIGHT ESPN RK ESPN GRADE RIVALS RK RIVALS GRADE
ATH Jamal Reid Mia 6' 0" 175 #5 ATH 82 #17 ATH 4* (5.8)
ATH Donovan Tate UNC 6' 2" 205 #6 ATH 82 #5 ATH 4* (6.0)
ATH Willie Downs FSU 6' 2" 192 #14 ATH 80 #3 ATH 4* (6.0)
ATH Theron Norman VT 6' 3" 190 #16 ATH 80 #42 ATH 3* (5.7)
ATH David Sims GT 5' 11" 205 #20 ATH 80 #40 ATH 3* (5.7)
ATH Dexter McDougle Mary 5' 11 180 #28 ATH 80 #76 ATH 3* (5.6)
ATH Antone Exum VT 6' 1" 198 #41 ATH 79 #38 ATH 3* (5.7)

There are also some serious snubs on this list: guys rivals rated highly but ESPN did not.  UVA athlete Quintin Hunter was snubbed here (rivals 4*).  UNC commit A.J. Blue was also snubbed (rivals 4*)

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