NCF On The Trail: ACC

Early Offer: Hokies score super sleeper 

December, 16, 2014
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Once again, Frank Beamer has landed an under-recruited prospect with “unlimited potential.” Plus, how much progress has been made by the committee looking into whether or not there should be an early-signing period?

Weekend recruiting wrap: ACC 

December, 16, 2014
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The dead period is upon college football with last weekend the last chance to have in-person contact until January 5th. As expected, there were some key visits in the ACC, but a pair of decommitments and a huge commitment for Clemson took center stage.

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The addition of No. 1 2016 TE Isaac Nauta shows that the Florida State recruiting machine shows no signs of slowing down. Plus, Tennessee continues to impress with its 2015 defensive class.


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Top sleeper commits: ACC 

December, 15, 2014
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Five-star and ESPN 300 prospects create the most buzz, but with more than a hundred FBS programs competing for talent, it takes more than just those top-rated prospects and rosters are built with mainly prospects that enter college with little fanfare, but their development and contributions are key to a program’s success. Every year we see prospects who flew under the radar, but developed into some of their conference's top players.

Throughout our evaluations we come across many players who show promise and based of their upside for development or scheme fit are great additions.

Here are five unheralded commitments in the ACC worth keeping an eye on.

OG Wyatt Knopfke, Boston College
While Knopfke is an ESPN 300 player, he’s not as well-known as other interior linemen in the rankings. The big man out of Florida is a physical, strong player with the tools to be a good well-rounded player. And while listed at guard, he could be a candidate to develop at center as well. With an Eagles line that was loaded with seniors this season, head Coach Steve Addazio, an O-line coach himself, has a player who can develop into a key contributor in Knopfke.

DE LaSamuel Davis, Clemson
Four-star prospects like OT Zach Giella and athlete Van Smith are talented prospects and still rated highly, but they could be overlooked in a Tigers’ class that features double-digit ESPN 300 prospects. Another prospect in that group is Davis who notched over 100 tackles and 16 sacks this season. A rangy defender with wiry strength, he can use his hands well, flashes a good first-step and displays the tools to at least develop into a productive edge rusher. He needs to work to fill out his frame and be more consistent with his motor, but among this great collection of talent, Davis could emerge in time as a productive defensive contributor.


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Best of the visits: ACC

December, 14, 2014
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This weekend brought several big-time targets to ACC schools for official visits. At the top of the list was Louisville, which played host to five-star defensive tackle Tim Settle.

Settle snaps picture with Bobby Petrino

While some might think the official visit to Louisville over the weekend was an afterthought for ESPN 300 No. 17 Settle, the Cardinals are solidly in the mix.

Settle is scheduled to announce his commitment at the Under Armour All-America Game Jan. 2 on ESPN2 with Virginia Tech, USC, Louisville and Washington State all in the mix.

Georgia Tech hosts several commits

Three-star defensive tackle Kyle Henderson out of Florida power Tampa Plant was among several of the Yellow Jackets' pledges who visited. Henderson took to Twitter to show what he received upon arrival at his hotel.

Fellow commitment Harland Howell II took to Twitter as well.

Miami hosts top targets

The weekend at Miami was a weekend of defensive backs with ESPN 300 pledge Jaquan Johnson, four-star Tim Irvin, and three-star and Ohio State commit Carlton Davis both making the short trips.

Davis tweeted out where dinner was taking place for the recruits Saturday night.

Also on campus over the weekend was versatile three-star Javarius Davis out of Jacksonville.

One key target and commitment on campus Saturday who is not a defensive back was ESPN 300 running back Dexter Williams, who tweeted out a picture from his hotel in Miami.

Meanwhile in Blacksburg, Virginia, the Virginia Tech Hokies hosted a tackle whom offensive line coach Stacy Searels has been targeting since last spring. Senior riser Kenny Thomas Jr. took to Twitter and Instagram to post a picture on his official visit.

A second official visitor in Blacksburg over the weekend would give the Hokies' offense a much-needed shot in the arm: ESPN 300 No. 150 Nyheim Hines.

Hines is considering NC State, Wake Forest, Duke, Virginia Tech and others.

5-star Cowart set to visit Auburn 

December, 13, 2014
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ORLANDO, Fla. -- Five-star defensive end Byron Cowart has had Florida and Florida State near the top of his list for some time, but now that former Florida coach Will Muschamp is the defensive coordinator at Auburn, the Tigers are starting to make a push for the No. 2-ranked player in the nation.


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ACC season recruiting superlatives 

December, 12, 2014
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While the recruiting season is heating up with seven weeks until national signing day, we are done with the regular season. As expected, the season in the ACC brought a number of surprises on the recruiting front, while defending national champion Florida State and Clemson currently having top 5 classes with the final stretch run just a month away.


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For the longest time it looked like Alabama was going to run away with the title for the top-ranked class, but here comes Florida State. Plus, why the hype around Josh Sweat?

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Are four-star DT Carlos Davis and his twin, three-star tackle Khalil Davis, still committed to Nebraska? Good luck figuring that out. Plus, handicapping the finalists in advance of Josh Sweat’s Wednesday decision.

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David Cutcliffe of Duke said young coaches should turn to Kenny Rogers for advice on how to get ahead on the recruiting trail. Plus, Florida's Jim McElwain has been busy since he was hired.

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Go ahead and debate who should have been in the inaugural College Football Playoff, but there’s no debating Bama, Oregon, FSU and OSU dominate in recruiting.

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ORLANDO, Fla. — Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian defeated Delray Beach (Fla.) American Heritage 27-7 in the FHSAA class 3A state championship game on Saturday afternoon. Trinity features five players in the ESPN 300 and nine prospects who are committed to FBS schools. Here is a look at the latest recruiting updates for a few of Trinity’s top players.

Kevin Toliver II remains firm in his commitment


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The good news Thursday was that both Florida and Nebraska filled their open coaching positions in a timely manner, but the bad news is we’re less than 60 days until signing day. Plus, what type of recruiter is Nebraska getting?


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Although the battle for highly coveted junior college cornerback Rasul Douglas isn’t among only ACC teams, he is one of the top prospects remaining on the board for Louisville, with the Cardinals battling regional foe West Virginia and others vying for the talented defensive back.


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Best of the visits: ACC

November, 30, 2014
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It was a busy weekend of recruiting in the ACC, with Florida State, Louisville and Clemson taking center stage. As expected, there were rave reviews on Twitter. Here's a look at some of the best social media posts of the weekend in ACC recruiting.

South Carolina at Clemson

Sophomore receiver Keyshawn Johnson Jr. tweeted this picture of him talking with Tigers coach Dabo Swinney after Clemson’s big rivalry win.


Before the game, Johnson tweeted out a picture with former NFL star Ray Lewis.


The sophomore wide receiver from California has offers from UCLA, Tennessee, Arizona State and others in addition to Clemson.

One of many 2016 prospects on hand Saturday at Clemson was ESPN Junior 300 No. 19 Saivion Smith. Smith sent out a pair of tweets, one prior to the visit and one following.


Smith, who has offers from just about every top program in the Southeast, made the trip from IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, with fellow ESPN Junior 300 prospect Tavares Chase (No. 128).

Florida at Florida State

The Seminoles' official visitor list over the weekend in Tallahassee would make even Nick Saban blush. Included in the star-studded group was ESPN 300 No. 42 Florida State commitment Jacques Patrick, who posted a picture with his mom and little brother all decked out in Florida State gear.


One of the official visitors and top targets on hand this weekend was ESPN 300 No. 277 Kris Boyd. The East Texas native tweeted out his thoughts Sunday morning.


Boyd also appeared on Twitter in a picture with fellow target Holton Hill (No. 173) and the nation's top safety, Derwin James.


ESPN 300 No. 297 Jalen Merrick tweeted out about having a “great time” on his official visit to Tallahassee as well.

Kentucky at Louisville

The Cardinals hosted a number of 2015 targets, both high school and junior college, as well as some 2016 prospects on Saturday. Junior college corner Rasul Douglas tweeted out a picture Sunday morning in a Cardinals jersey.


ESPN 300 No. 186 and Louisville commit Traveon Samuel also tweeted while on his weekend official visit to Louisville. Samuel is expected to be an instant-impact return man and slot receiver with big-play capability.


In the class of 2016, Michigan defensive end Khalid Kareem tweeted about his visit to Louisville. Kareem has offers from the likes of Iowa, Duke, Maryland, Northwestern, Tennessee and a number others, in addition to the Cardinals.

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