Florida State Seminoles: anthony moten

ACC class rankings analysis 

November, 20, 2013
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Generally during the season, recruiting takes somewhat of a backseat, which is why you see much more movement in the player rankings than in the class rankings.

This past week was a little different, though. There is a new top class in the ACC as the Miami Hurricanes have surpassed Florida State. This is the first time since the rankings were released in April that the Canes are ahead of the Noles. At No. 3 nationally, the Canes matched their highest ranking in the 2014 cycle. The Noles dropped to No. 4.

Trending up: Florida State will almost certainly pass Miami for the top spot in the conference before signing day, but we’re not here to rain on the Canes’ parade. The state of Florida gets enough rain as it is. Miami picked up two commitments this week, defensive tackle Anthony Moten (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas) among them. Coach Al Golden has been waiting for that domino to fall since Moten decommitted from the Gators.

Questions for signing day: ACC 

November, 12, 2013
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It is a chicken or the egg argument. Has the SEC ruled college football for much of the last decade because the conference annually places five or more teams among the top 10 of the recruiting rankings? Or is the SEC’s recruiting dominance a result of seven straight national championships?

The ACC, though, could be the David to the SEC on the field and in recruiting. In the 2014 cycle, two ACC schools have top-five classes. Will that remain the same come signing day?

We look at that question and nine others as we examine the most pressing ACC recruiting questions leading up to signing day.

1. Will FSU and Miami remain in the top five of the class rankings?
Both classes are close to completion, so it could be tough for the Noles and Canes to finish in the top five of the rankings. Alabama is at No. 1 and could end up running away with another recruiting title. The rest of the SEC will charge hard come signing day, too. Tennessee should be a safe bet to finish in the top five, and programs such as Florida, Georgia, LSU, Ole Miss and more could break into the exclusive group come February. Tennessee recently jumped both schools, pushing Florida State to No. 3 and Miami to No. 4.

2. Can Miami surpass Florida State for the ACC’s top class?
If both were to fall out of the top five, there is still some pride in finishing with the top class in the conference. The Noles are ahead of the Canes at the moment, and it will be tough for the Canes to jump FSU. It looks as if Miami has two spots left and should finish with Johnnie Dixon and Anthony Moten. But the Noles could sign more than 30, and some of the country’s truly elite prospects have Florida State among their finalists. It looks doubtful that Miami -- or any ACC team -- will catch and pass Jimbo Fisher’s class.

[+] EnlargeLorenzo Featherston
Courtesy of IntersportESPN 300 DE Lorenzo Featherston is a Clemson lean whose pledge would help the Tigers close strong.
3. Will Clemson finish in the top 10?
Sitting at No. 12 in the rankings, the Tigers have a good chance to finish in the top 10 and even an outside chance to crack the top seven. Defensive end Lorenzo Featherston (Greensboro, N.C./Page) is No. 27 in the ESPN 300 and a Clemson lean. It would be a surprise to see him land anywhere but with the Tigers. Cornerback D.J. Smith (Marietta, Ga./Walton), No. 88 in the ESPN 300, also looks to be leaning Clemson’s way, and the same could be said for defensive end Andrew Williams (McDonough, Ga./Eagles Christian Landing), No. 168 in the rankings. The prize of the defensive class would be five-star inside linebacker Raekwon McMillan, however. He is slated to visit officially later this month, and the No. 12 player and top linebacker in 2014 has the Tigers among his top three.

4. Can Pitt close out with three of its four Western Pennsylvania targets?
For Pitt’s class to be considered a success, Paul Chryst needs to do just that. The Panthers are struggling some with Pittsburgh-area prospects in 2014, but the same happened in 2013 before Pitt landed Dorian Johnson and Tyler Boyd. In February, the Panthers hope to land Dravon Henry (Aliquippa, Pa./Aliquippa), Alex Bookser (Pittsburgh/Mt. Lebanon), Montae Nicholson (Monroeville, Pa./Gateway) and Shai McKenzie (Washington, Pa./Washington); Henry, Bookser and Nicholson are all in the ESPN 300 and have Pitt among their finalists. Henry is a Pitt legacy. Bookser looks to be focused on Ohio State and Pitt; Nicholson will decide in December and is projected to Pitt.

5. Will Duke sign an ESPN 300 prospect?
The Blue Devils have never signed an ESPN 150 or ESPN 300 prospect since the rankings began almost a decade ago. That was going to change in 2014 with quarterback Nicodem Pierre (Miami/Coral Reef), but the dual-threat dropped from the ESPN 300 in October. However, Trevon Lee (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla./Cardinal Gibbons) could be leaning Duke’s way with the Blue Devils on a roll this season. With a guaranteed winning regular season -- their first in nearly two decades -- Lee is thinking hard about Duke. Academics are big for the 241st-ranked player, so a decision could come down to Duke and Vanderbilt.


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ACC 2014 recruiting scenarios 

October, 8, 2013
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Hope for the best but prepare for the worst. That is what college coaches must do when it comes to recruiting. Every coach would love to land their top target at every position, but coaches are forced to play the what-ifs and continue to recruit prospects lower on the recruiting board. With signing day a few months away and several classes close to completion, college staffs are pushing for those few final targets but also keeping a watchful eye on players down the board.

Here are the best- and worst-case scenarios for each of the ACC schools.


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ACC recruiting storylines: Sept. 12 

September, 12, 2013
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Another week, and there's more to discuss in the ACC recruiting scene.

[+] EnlargeDerrell Scott
Miller Safrit/ESPNFlorida State, Ohio State and South Carolina are the frontrunners for Derrell Scott, but NC State is also in the mix for the running back.
In this edition of ACC recruiting storylines, Miami continues to build on its big win over Florida. Clemson and North Carolina battle for a 2015 defensive back, and North Carolina State is involved with a bunch of quality prospects.

Clemson, North Carolina positioning for 2015 DB
Three-star ESPN Junior 300 defensive back Kaleb Chalmers (Greenwood, S.C./Greenwood) looks to be one of the best prospects in the state of South Carolina for 2015. And it looks like there is a very good chance the 5-foot-11, 170-pound prospect will be playing in the ACC. Chalmers doesn't care to announce any favorites at this point, but Clemson and North Carolina appear to have the inside track and are recruiting him the hardest. Duke has jumped into the fray as well. Stanford and Tennessee are the other programs that have offered Chalmers, and South Carolina is keeping a close eye on him, too.


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ACC class rankings analysis 

September, 11, 2013
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Miami is back.

That is the fact-or-fiction statement college football is debating this week following the Hurricanes upset of ranked rival Florida last Saturday. Regardless of whether or not Miami continues the success on the field and pushes for a BCS bowl, Miami has been on the rise on the recruiting trail throughout the 2014 cycle. Al Golden has the No. 4 class nationally, and that was before the victory over Florida. As Miami looks to close out its 2014 class and get started on 2015, there is little question that this week the Hurricanes are …


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Weekend recruiting wrap: ACC 

September, 9, 2013
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By a large margin, the most important game with recruiting implications was in Miami over the weekend as the Hurricanes hosted the Florida Gators.

Miami was able to edge out a close, 21-16 victory, but how much will it help?

Best prospect performances


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ACC recruiting storylines: Sept. 5 

September, 5, 2013
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Here's a look at the top storylines in the ACC this week.

[+] EnlargeRaekwon McMillan
Jeff Barlis/ESPNRaekwon McMillan, who visited Clemson over the weekend, has the Tigers, Ohio State and Alabama at the top of his list.
Clemson makes push for McMillan
Top Georgia linebacker Raekwon McMillan (Hinesville, Ga./Liberty County) was at Death Valley last weekend to see Clemson's top-10 win over long-time rival Georgia.
As expected, the Tigers rolled out the red carpet to their visitors, McMillan included, to make the best possible impression. A win certainly helped in that regard. Clemson now joins Ohio State and Alabama at the top of the list for the top inside linebacker in the country. ESPN ranks McMillan as a five-star prospect.

Miami preparing for big weekend
Florida and Miami don't play on a regular basis these days. So when the two schools meet, there is obvious excitement and interest on both the local and national level. Among the most well-known visitors are the Miami Central running back pair of Joseph Yearby and Dalvin Cook, four-star receiver Travis Rudolph (West Palm Beach, Fla./Cardinal Newman) and Anthony Moten (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla./Saint Thomas Aquinas). Of the majority of uncommitted recruits who will be in attendance, Florida and Miami are top contenders for getting their commitments.


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ACC class rankings analysis 

September, 4, 2013
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The ACC had several big Week 1 games, but few conference teams took advantage of the opportunity. Clemson made a real statement to recruits across the country with a prime-time win, and the performance from Florida State’s Jameis Winston probably has offensive skill players putting the Noles a little higher on the list. But FSU’s win came at the expense of another ACC school, and three other conference teams missed a chance to impress recruits with big out-of-conference wins last week.


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Recruiting is not always about just getting the 25 best players to complete a class. Each school has to recruit to its needs, which changes each class. Here is the biggest need for each ACC school and what its coaching staff is doing to address it.


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BEAVERTON, Ore. --- Rumors circulated early this week that defensive tackle Anthony Moten (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas) had decommitted from Florida.


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The Opening, presented by Nike, will feature 162 of the best high school football players in the country. The event, which will include linemen, 7-on-7 and SPARQ testing competitions, is set to run from June 30 to July 3 at the Nike headquarters in Beaverton, Ore.

The following events from The Opening will be televised on ESPNU:

July 1: SPARQ Rating National Championship, 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m. ET

July 2: 7-on-7 Pool Play, 9 p.m.-11:30 p.m. ET

July 3: Linemen Challenge Finals and 7-on-7 semifinal and championship games, 9 p.m.-midnight ET

The players will be divided in to six teams -- Alpha Pro, Apocalypse, Field Generals, Land Sharks, Super Bad and Vapor Carbon. Here is a closer look at how the teams match up.

Team: Alpha Pro
Coaches: Offensive coordinator Jordan Palmer, defensive coordinator Hardy Nickerson

The Alpha Pro team will have plenty of targets to spread the ball around. Ermon Lane and Tyler Luatua, the No. 1-ranked receiver and tight end in the country respectively, bring size and playmaking ability to the passing game. ESPN 300 athletes Corey Holmes, Jalen Hurd, John "JuJu" Smith, Ja'Von Harrison, and Derrell Scott are all explosive offensive weapons.

Defensively Alpha Pro is led by Andrew Brown, the No. 1-ranked defensive tackle in the country, ESPN 150 cornerback Damon Webb, defensive end Andrew Williams, Ohio State linebacker commit Dante Booker and LSU cornerback commit Chris Hardeman.

Complete Alpha Pro roster.

Team: Apocalypse
Coaches: Offensive coordinator Adam Tafralis, defensive coordinator Donovin Darius

The first thing that jumps out about team Apocalypse is the talent in the defensive front seven. Team Apocalypse will be led by five-star defensive end Da'Shawn Hand and inside linebacker Raekwon McMillan. Hand, from Woodbridge, Va., is the No. 4-ranked player in the country, while McMillan was recently bumped up to a five-star linebacker. Joining Hand and McMillan along the front seven are ESPN 300 defensive linemen Anthony Moten and Ainuu Taua, and linebackers D.J. Calhoun and Rashaan Evans.

Offensively, team Apocalypse has no shortage of playmakers. ESPN 300 wide receivers Artavis Scott, K.D. Cannon and Michiah Quick will provide explosiveness in the passing game, while athletic running backs Joe Mixon and Royce Freeman will provide athletic and reliable targets out of the backfield.

Complete Apocalypse roster.

Team: Field Generals
Coaches: Offensive coordinator Charlie Frye, defensive coordinator Michael Fletcher

Seven-on-seven events are always geared towards the offense, but with five-star defensive back Adoree' Jackson, No. 3-ranked safety Jamal Adams, and ESPN 300 cornerback Adarius Pickett in the secondary, the Field Generals should more than hold their own. New Ohio State defensive end commit Jalyn Holmes and the No. 6-ranked defensive end in the country, Solomon Thomas, will be two to watch along the defensive line.

Offensively, the Field Generals are led by ESPN 300 offensive guard Damien Mama, ESPN 300 wide receivers Austin Roberts and Thaddeus Snodgrass and explosive Notre Dame running back commit Elijah Hood.

Complete Field Generals roster.

Team: Landsharks
Coaches: Offensive coordinator Craig Nall, defensive coordinator Keith Bulluck

The Landsharks have some big-time talent along each line of scrimmage. Led by five-star offensive tackle Cameron Robinson, the Landsharks also feature ESPN 300 offensive guard Corey Martinez. ESPN 300 defensive linemen Gerald Willis III and Thomas Holley, as well as ESPN 300 defensive end Chad Thomas, will form a very physical and athletic defensive line.

In the secondary, the Landsharks will have three defensive backs -- Arrion Springs, Chris Lammons and Tony Brown -- that are ranked among the top 85 players in the country. The defense also features ESPN 150 linebacker Nyles Morgan.

Offensively, explosive running backs Dalvin Cook, a Florida commit, and Racean Thomas form a dangerous tandem out of the backfield, and wide receivers Travis Rudolph and Jalen Harvey are solid receiving threats.

Complete Landsharks roster.

Team: Superbad
Coaches: Offensive coordinator Dennis Gile, defensive coordinator Harold Nash Jr.

The Superbad defense line is led by five-star defensive end Lorenzo Carter and ESPN 150 defensive tackle Bijhon Jackson. The linebacking corp is stacked with three ESPN 300 members, including Clifton Garrett, Christian Miller and Edwin Freeman. Cornerback Jalen Tabor is the No. 19-ranked player in the country.

Offensively, Superbad has a huge advantage with the No. 1-ranked prospect in the country, running back Leonard Fournette. This team is loaded on offense, with wide receivers Drake Harris, Josh Malone and Speedy Noil all in the mix.

Complete Superbad roster.

Team: Vapor Carbon
Coaches: Offensive coordinator George Whitfield, defensive coordinator Chris Gizzi.

Vapor Carbon will be tough to throw against with defensive backs Quin Blanding, Naijiel Hale and Ed Paris roaming the field. The linebacker group is just as impressive, with Ohio State commit Kyle Berger, Kain Daub and Dillon Bates all leading the way.

The offense for Vapor Carbon could be lethal with running back Joseph Yearby and Nick Chubb in the backfield. Spreading out wide receivers T.V. Williams, Justin Brent and tight end Ian Bunting on the outside could prove to be an awesome combination for this squad.

Team Vapor Carbon has a lot of pieces to make a long run in the 7-on-7 tournament, but then again, every team is stacked in this competition.

Complete Vapor Carbon roster.
Much is made of pipeline schools for certain programs and their recruiting plans, but more often than not, they aren't lasting or sustainable advantages given coaching turnover.

Florida State's had a few of these -- Lincoln High School in Tallahassee or Valdosta Lowndes for example, But no other high school has been more important in restocking the Seminoles’ roster with quality players in recent years than Ft. Lauderdale's St. Thomas Aquinas.

[+] EnlargeLamarcus Joyner
AP Photo/Don Juan MooreLamarcus Joyner was a national player of the year coming out of St. Thomas Aquinas in 2010.
A powerhouse for the better part of the decade, Aquinas has shocked nobody by appearing in state championship games seemingly every year. And since 2007, they've brought home the trophy four times.

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Gators pick up Watch List DT Moten

April, 2, 2013
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- After only recently naming a top 10 schools, ESPN Watch list defensive tackle Anthony Moten (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas) decided to go ahead and make a verbal commitment on Tuesday night.

Moten chose the Florida over offers from Miami, Alabama, Clemson, Florida State, South Carolina and many others.

The 6-foot-4, 280-pound interior defensive lineman announced his decision on Twitter and later confirmed it with GatorNation via text message.



Moten becomes the first defensive tackle commitment for Florida. Seven of Florida's eight verbal commitments appear on the Watch List.

If Moten stays true to his pledge, he will join other St. Thomas Aquinas graduates Cody Riggs, Bryan Cox Jr. and Marcus Roberson on Florida's roster.

One ESPN scout said Moten could develop in to a very good college defensive lineman: "A player who could potentially project as a 3-4 end or a 4-3 D-tackle, Moten has good size, natural tools and can be a productive player, but also shows room for further improvement. A good D-line prospect who it seems could still get more out of his game and if he does, he could grow into a very good BCS-level D-lineman."

Five stories to watch: Miami NFTC 

March, 15, 2013
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Here are five storylines for the Miami NFTC.


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