Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Most important targets: ACC
By Corey Dowlar and Jared Shanker
A look at the most important recruiting targets remaining for each school in the ACC:
Boston College DE Harold Landry (Fayetteville, N.C./Pine Forest) 6-foot-3, 230 pounds Four stars The Eagles might be done in the 2014 class, and the focus is squarely on starting strong in 2015. However, the Eagles’ 2014 class would be dealt a devastating blow if Steve Addazio cannot hold on to Landry, No. 32 among defensive ends nationally and the second-highest-rated commit in BC’s class. Reports in mid-October had Landry decommitting from the Eagles, but it was only for a short while. He made amends with the staff quickly and rejoined BC. Crisis averted in Boston.
Clemson DE Lorenzo Featherston (Greensboro, N.C./Page) 6-7, 202 pounds ESPN 300 rank: 27
The Tigers would love to land five-star Raekwon McMillan, but the Tigers are going to need pass-rushers if they plan to unseat Florida State and Jameis Winston in the ACC. Featherston is a top-five defensive end nationally and a Clemson lean. The Tigers can’t afford to miss on a player like Featherston with such a commanding lead already in place. After signing two ESPN 300 defensive linemen in 2013, the Tigers need to find similar talent at the position in 2014 to continue their rise as a national championship contender.
Duke WR Trevon Lee (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Cardinal Gibbons) 5-11, 168 pounds ESPN 300 rank: 232
A player of Lee's caliber at Duke would be a remarkable coup for David Cutcliffe's program. Lee would infuse some Florida speed into the Blue Devils' offense, and it seems that he could contribute immediately. Vanderbilt is the biggest competition.
Florida State CB Marlon Humphrey (Hoover, Ala./Hoover) 6-foot, 179 pounds ESPN 300 rank: 9
Switching directions from the last update, Marlon Humphrey now gets the nod for the Seminoles. Yes, of course Florida State needs offensive tackles. But the bottom line here is that Florida State is becoming a more realistic option for the No. 9 player in the country. There's still a lot of work to do, but the longer Humphrey continues to flirt with the Seminoles -- for example, by showing up at the Clemson game -- the better shot they have.
Georgia Tech ATH Myles Autry (Norcross, Ga./Norcross) 6-foot, 175 pounds ESPN 300 rank: 259
This four-star playmaker remains firmly on the Yellow Jackets' radar. Autry, if he decides to go to Georgia Tech, would provide a huge shot in the arm for the Jackets given his ability to create plays with his athleticism and speed. The question is whether Georgia Tech is going to be able to win the battle against the likes of Florida State, Ohio State or Oregon.
Maryland CB Jalen Tabor (Washington, D.C./Friendship Collegiate Academy) 6-1, 188 pounds ESPN 300 rank: 17
Randy Edsall’s job appears safe following a strong start, which should help the Terps close for Tabor. Several of Tabor’s friends and former teammates are on the Terps’ roster, and Maryland is the clear leader for the local prospect. For a smooth transition to the Big Ten, Edsall needs to land elite defensive talent to go along with some of the offensive stars already in College Park.
Miami WR Johnnie Dixon (Palm Beach, Fla./Dwyer) 5-11, 197 pounds ESPN 300 rank: 42
Florida took an early lead for Dixon but then slipped. Alabama, NC State, Ohio State and Arkansas are in it, but if there is one team in the lead now for Dixon, it is the local Hurricanes. Dixon would be an immediate impact player at receiver and another top prospect from South Florida who chose to stay in Miami.
North Carolina DE Lorenzo Featherston (Greensboro, N.C./Page) 6-7, 202 pounds ESPN 300 rank: 27
The Heels are close to done in 2014, but what better way to finish off a class than with one of the country’s elite prospects? Although Featherston is projected to Clemson, Larry Fedora and his staff are putting the full-court press on the No. 4 defensive end. UNC’s in-state recruiting has turned around a bit, but if Featherston signs on in Chapel Hill, the Heels’ staff would make a profound statement to the ACC and the national programs plucking North Carolina talent that the Heels will no longer be a pushover in their own state.
North Carolina State DE Kentavius Street (Greenville, N.C./Rose) 6-2, 265 pounds ESPN 300 rank: 33
Street's proximity to NC State has been huge in this recruiting process. The Wolfpack have jumped out to an early, sizable lead for the big defensive end. At this point, it's just a question of whether they can hold on to him.
Pittsburgh OT Alex Bookser (Pittsburgh/Mount Lebanon) 6-6, 295 pounds ESPN 300 rank: 142
The Panthers’ defense is bad -- 55 points to Duke bad -- but Paul Chryst is going to build the program in his image. He wants a bruising offensive line to pave the way for a punishing run game, and no remaining target on Chryst's board can provide that the way Bookser can. He has played his recruitment close to the vest recently, but no news is good news for the Panthers as they try to reel in more homegrown talent. It is time for Pitt to close for the four-star tackle.
Syracuse OLB Nile Sykes (Lombard, Ill./Montini Catholic) 6-2, 219 pounds Four stars Orange coach Scott Shafer is recruiting well in the Midwest and Chicago area, and he recently landed a commitment from Aaron Roberts. Now the focus is on the four-star Sykes, who has been high on Syracuse for quite some time. This is Sykes’ first season at linebacker full time, so he is seeing a significant increase in interest. The Orange have been on Sykes since the beginning, though, and are hoping it pays dividends come signing day.
Virginia WR Jamil Kamara (Virginia Beach, Va./Bishop Sullivan) 6-2, 189 pounds ESPN 300 rank: 297
With each loss, Mike London’s seat gets a little warmer. And that means Kamara is no longer a guarantee to end up in Charlottesville. Seemingly a lock to the Cavs for quite some time, Kamara loved his Wisconsin official visit. He also will make November visits to Michigan State and Pittsburgh, which was just behind Virginia on Kamara's list following a summer unofficial visit. Virginia’s class will be small, and Kamara is the biggest target left. If London wants to right the ship, especially on offense, he cannot miss out on Kamara.
Virginia Tech DT Derrick Nnadi (Virginia Beach, Va./Ocean Lakes) 6-1, 299 pounds Four stars The Hokies’ in-state recruiting has significantly improved over the last few months, and Frank Beamer recently landed four-star DT Ricky Walker. So now the focus is on fellow interior lineman Nnadi, who looks to be leaning toward Virginia Tech. The Hokies have been stellar on defense all season, and Nnadi could be a pivotal player in keeping Virginia Tech among the country’s best defenses for the foreseeable future.
Wake Forest DT Edgar Cerenord (Plantation, Fla./American Heritage) 6-1, 292 pounds Three stars Wake Forest traditionally has recruited Florida really well. Cerenord could be a continued step in that direction if the Demon Deacons can land him. Arkansas and Tennessee will provide stiff opposition.