NCF On The Trail: ACC

ACC's top recruiting visits 

October, 24, 2014
Oct 24
This weekend has the look of a slow one on the recruiting trail. While there could certainly be news and visits pop up late, this looks to be a big weekend for Clemson in the 2016 class. Looking ahead, the struggling Virginia Tech Hokies are set to host a number of key targets in two weeks.

Duke now has the ability to sell a winning program and new facilities to recruits, and prospects like what they're seeing. Plus, the nation's top 2016 quarterback was slated to be at Florida State for the Notre Dame game, but he wasn't able to make it and now is looking for a return date.

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video Dwayne Haskins is the second-ranked QB in the 2016 class, but he's not letting the pressure of recruiting get to him. Don't sleep on Arizona State with ESPN 300 linebacker Osa Masina.

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With the October update of the 2015 ESPN 300, it’s time to look at a number of topics in the ACC. From the biggest battles to come for ACC teams to the best class in the conference to the player most likely to flip, here is a look at five hot-button recruiting topics within the conference.

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video Adam McLean picked Penn State in April, but Ole Miss, Tennessee and others haven't stopped recruiting him, and his high school coach knows exactly why. DeMatha Catholic's 2016 class is shaping up to be one of the best ever in school history, and that's saying a lot.

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Weekend recruiting wrap: ACC 

October, 21, 2014
Oct 21
The weekend has come and gone without a single commitment to an ACC program. With that said, there is plenty to talk about within the conference including huge official visitors for Florida State, a key offer by Louisville and a look at some players that could flip.

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A lot of talent has already come off the board, but there’s still quality at the top of the ESPN 300 that could give at least 10 teams a shot at the second-best class. Plus, Penn State's James Franklin continues to be the most talked about coach in the Washington D.C. metro area.

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The Big 12 was turned upside down by West Virginia and Kansas State, and both are being led by former juco recruits. Plus, it was no surprise that many of the nation's best recruits walked away impressed with Florida State following Saturday's victory over Notre Dame.

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Best of the visits: ACC

October, 19, 2014
Oct 19
Saturday's Notre Dame-Florida State game was the prime-time attraction in college football this weekend, and plenty of recruits were on hand to see the Seminoles hold on for victory. Here's a look at some of the best social media posts from ACC recruiting this weekend.

Notre Dame at Florida State

The Seminoles played host to the best visitor list in college football over the weekend, and quite possibly the best of the season to date. Among the truly elite group of visitors were top cornerback prospects Kendall Sheffield and Tarvarus McFadden.

ESPN 300 No. 44 McFadden is set to announce between Florida State and Georgia on Oct. 31, and he tweeted that the Seminoles were showing the love Saturday.

ESPN 300 No. 158 Neville Gallimore tweeted shortly after landing in Tallahassee Saturday.

Gallimore made an official visit to Oklahoma Sept. 12 prior to this weekend at Florida State. Ohio State is also in line for an official visit Nov. 28, as is Florida and possibly Oregon.

Florida State four-star commitment Calvin Brewton was on his official visit this weekend and commented on the morning after the Seminoles' thrilling win. Brewton made an official visit to Notre Dame Oct. 4.

Another 2015 defensive back on an official visit to Florida State was versatile Davante Davis. The safety/nickelback summed up Tallahassee after the game. Along with the Seminoles, Alabama, Florida, Miami (Fla.) and possibly Auburn are seriously under consideration.

ESPN Junior 300 No. 13 Trayvon Mullen was in attendance Saturday with a pair of teammates, No. 297 Malek Young and wide receiver Binjimen Victor.

Victor tweeted about the atmosphere at Florida State and in Doak Campbell Stadium.

Mullen and Binjimen are also high on Ohio State and Alabama, among others, with there being a strong connection to Alabama on the Coconut Creek High coaching staff. Young was a heavy lean to Florida State during the spring and summer, but the Seminoles weren’t ready to accept a verbal commitment.

Even the class of 2018 was represented Saturday by First Coast budding star corner Tyreke Johnson, the younger brother of 2015 ESPN 300 quarterback and Seminoles commit De'Andre Johnson. Tyreke posted a twitter picture with 2016 fast-rising defensive back Saivion Smith and ESPN Junior 300 No. 28 and Alabama commit Demetris Robertson.

Syracuse at Wake Forest

Wake Forest hosted a number of highly ranked running backs and skill players Saturday. While the Demon Deacons lost convincingly to Syracuse, it was a showcase for the ability to come in and play right away for Wake Forest.

ESPN Junior 300 No. 117 and running back Robert Washington took to Twitter and posted a picture with ESPN Junior 300 No. 92 Moe Neal (left) and friends at the game Saturday.

Both Washington and Neal are top targets of the Demon Deacons in 2016. Washington has more than 15 offers and lists Ohio State as one of his early favorites. Neal has been to games at Duke, Georgia Tech and Wake Forest this season.

The most important prospect in attendance didn’t tweet Saturday: ESPN 300 No. 149 Nyheim Hines. He made the short trip west to Winston-Salem with his family, including twin sister Nyah, who has a track offer from NC State. The Wolfpack are considered the favorites for the talented duo.

ACC's top recruiting visits 

October, 17, 2014
Oct 17
There is little doubt where the top prospects in the region and country will be this weekend, as Florida State will host Notre Dame in a top-10 matchup. While that game will take center stag nationally, there is a key visitor scheduled to be at Wake Forest this weekend as well.

[+] EnlargeTarvarus McFadden
Tom Hauck for Student SportsTarvarus McFadden is one of many top prospects who will visit Tallahassee this weekend.
 No. 5 Notre Dame at No. 2 Florida State
There is little doubt this game takes the cake in the ACC -- and nationally. Many prospects were expected to be in Tallahassee when they saw this game was scheduled, and the guest list to surpass those early expectations.

The enormous list of 2015 visits includes No. 9 Kendall Sheffield (official), No. 44 Tarvarus McFadden (official), No. 49 Da’Vante Phillips and No. 158 Neville Gallimore (official). Four-star offensive tackle and North Carolina commit William Sweet will also make the trip with 2017 wide receiver commit and First Coast teammate D.J. Matthews and four-star versatile defensive back Davante Davis, among many others.

Sheffield has made official visit to Ohio State on Sept. 27 and USC on Oct. 4 already, and he has trips planned to Oregon on Nov. 1 and Alabama on Dec. 5, along with unofficial visit to Texas A&M and LSU on Nov. 8 scheduled. The Aggies, Seminoles, Tiger and Crimson Tide are battling it out for the two-sport star with track figuring into his recruitment.

McFadden will announce on Oct. 31 between the Seminoles and Georgia Bulldogs, where former American Heritage teammates Sony Michel and Isaiah McKenzie are playing prominent roles as true freshmen.

In the Class of 2016, a number of ESPN Jr. 300 members will be in attendance including No. 2 Malik Henry, No. 13 Trayvon Mullen, No. 16 Levonta Taylor, No. 28 and Alabama commit Demetris Robertson and more. Henry is the top quarterback on the board in 2016 for Florida State, Notre Dame and UCLA. A decision is expected in November with the Fighting Irish seemingly having the inside track headed into this weekend's visit.

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Randy Edsall knows recruiting is the lifeblood of his program, and he is really impressing local coaches with his effort. Plus, don’t be surprised if you see NC State finish with a flurry.

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Michigan commit Garrett Taylor will visit Ohio State, Penn State and Virginia Tech, but keep a close eye on the Buckeyes. Plus, LSU’s elite running back class is starting to fall apart.

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UA jersey tour: Garrett Taylor

October, 15, 2014
Oct 15
RICHMOND, Va. -- Garrett Taylor looked out at the crowd in the chapel at St. Christopher’s High School before his Under Armour All-America Game jersey presentation ceremony. At first he let out a sigh of frustration and shook his head slightly, but eventually he started to smile.

For Taylor, Wednesday’s ceremony created some bittersweet emotions. Taylor, the nation’s No. 111 player and 10th-best cornerback prospect, suffered a season-ending knee injury in practice earlier this season. The follow up surgery is keeping him off the football field for another four or five months. And while the honor of being recognized as one of the best high school football players in America makes him “thank God every day,” he also admits he’s frustrated because the injury won’t allow him to play in the prestigious all-star game.

“It's been pretty tough,” said Taylor, a longtime Michigan commitment who continues to look at Ohio State, Penn State and Virginia Tech. “All you do over the summer is lifting, running and doing all that, being with the team and getting ready for the season. Then it's gone in a second. I've had my family there keep me in good spirits.

“But I'm looking at it in a good way now. I'm taking this as an opportunity to challenge myself. I have to do everything I can to overcome it. My goal is to come back even stronger and once I do step on the field I want to prove to people I haven't lost anything. It's a chance to prove myself again.”

Unfortunately Taylor knows that chance won’t come at the UA Game, though. He will travel to the event and get to spend some time at the practices leading up to the game, but he’s disappointed he won’t get the opportunity to work with high-level coaches and against the best receivers in the country.

“That’s something I’m going to really miss,” he said. “I knew in the past they had Deion Sanders coaching and some other great coaches. I’m still going to try to learn from those guys, but I’ll just have to do it off the field. I was also hoping to challenge myself and see how I can do against some good receivers. Guess, that’ll have to wait until I get to college.”

What uniform he’ll be wearing when he does that is something that is still up in the air.

Taylor still calls himself a Michigan commitment, but he admits Brady Hoke’s uncertain future in Ann Arbor has him looking at Ohio State, Penn State and Virginia Tech. He’ll take official visits to Blacksburg on Oct. 23, Columbus on Nov. 22, and Happy Valley on Nov. 29.

“It's a little shaky up in Ann Arbor,” said Taylor, who committed to the Wolverines in March. “The program isn't where Coach Hoke wants it to be. It's definitely not where the fans want it to be. There's definitely some pressure on him. For me and my family, I want to make sure we have other options, just in case Coach Hoke gets fired, in case something goes terribly wrong this season. We want to make sure we have other options, and that's why I'm taking my officials.”
The DMV (D.C./Maryland/Virginia) has developed into one of the most competitive areas in the country, so what recruiters do the best job in Washington D.C.? Plus, can Minnesota keep one of the top juniors in the country at home?

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Weekend recruiting wrap: ACC 

October, 14, 2014
Oct 14
The weekend in the ACC saw a pair of top targets commit to NC State, as well as Georgia Tech making an offer to a familiar last name. On Monday, the nation's top-ranked prospect announced where his official visits will be in November.

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