Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Most important ACC recruiting targets
By Jared Shanker
Few recruits are labeled indispensable to a class, but there are must-have prospects on the recruiting board for every school across the country. The reasons vary, however, ranging from whether the recruit fills a position of need or if he is an in-state prospect a program cannot afford to miss.
Here is the top target for each ACC school and the reasons behind it.
Boston College S Lubern Figaro (Everett, Mass./Everett) 6-foot-1, 180 pounds ESPN 300 rank: N/A
Steve Addazio’s first full class at BC is close to completion, but he would like to add one more important in-state piece before signing day. Figaro continues to list BC among his top five, along with Michigan State, Syracuse, Vanderbilt and Wisconsin. The Badgers will get his first official visit, as he will be in Madison this weekend. The Eagles have some work to do to keep Figaro at home, but there is a lot of time left to secure his pledge.
ILB Raekwon McMillan (Hinesville, Ga./Liberty County) 6-foot-2, 249 pounds ESPN 300 rank: 14
The Tigers are surging for McMillan after an unofficial visit to Clemson for the season-opening win over Georgia. The Tigers are not McMillan's leaders, but they are making up ground. McMillan, a five-star prospect, could be the leader of the Tigers' future defense if he lands in Clemson.
Duke WR Trevon Lee (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla./Cardinal Gibbons) 5-foot-11, 168 pounds ESPN Rank: No. 232
A player of Lee's caliber to Duke would be a remarkable coup for David Cutcliffe's program. Lee would infuse some Florida speed into the Blue Devils' offense, and it would seem that he would be a guy that could contribute immediately.
Florida State OT Roderick Johnson (Florissant, Mo./Hazelwood Central) 6-foot-6, 320 pounds ESPN 300 rank: No. 139
A home run at offensive tackle is going to be required in this class for Florida State. Landing a top offensive tackle such as Johnson couldn't be considered anything different. It would represent more than just getting a good player, too. It might calm down some Seminoles fans who have been critical of O-line coach Rick Trickett's recruiting abilities.
Georgia Tech CB Lamont Simmons (Jacksonville, Fla./Raines) 6-foot-2, 180 pounds ESPN 300 rank: N/A
Tech would love to grab another quality defensive back out of the Jacksonville area, if they can. Simmons, at 6-foot-2, is one of those modern day corners who can match up with the taller wide receivers that offenses now employ. He'd make a nice pair with Stepheny Durham (Jacksonville, Fla./Atlantic Coast).
CB Jalen Tabor (Washington, D.C./Friendship Collegiate Academy) 6-foot-1, 188 pounds ESPN 300 rank: 17
Maryland has mined Washington -- and specifically Friendship -- for the last few years, but Tabor would be the biggest D.C. commitment for Maryland in quite some time. The offense is humming in College Park early in 2013, and Tabor’s commitment would help raise the defense to a similar level. For the Terps to compete in the ACC -- and for Randy Edsall to keep his job -- they cannot afford to miss on the region’s top prospects.
Miami WR Johnnie Dixon (Palm Beach, Fla./Dwyer) 5-foot-11, 197 pounds ESPN 300 rank: No. 42
Dixon's recruitment saw Florida take an early lead but then slip. Alabama, N.C. State, Ohio State and Arkansas are in it, but if there is one team to benefit from Dixon, it is the local Hurricanes. Dixon would be an immediate impact guy at receiver and yet another top prospect from South Florida who chose to stay in Miami.
North Carolina DE Lorenzo Featherston (Greensboro, N.C./Page) 6-foot-7, 202 pounds ESPN 300 rank: 27
The in-state prospect is considered a major Clemson lean, but he does not look to be in a rush to make a commitment. The No. 4 defensive end nationally recently told RecruitingNation’s Gerry Hamilton he is still considering the Tar Heels. It will be a tough pull for UNC, but he is the type of in-state prospect that Larry Fedora needs to keep at home.
DE Kentavius Street (Greenville, N.C./Rose) 6-foot-2, 265 pounds ESPN 300 rank: No. 33
Street's proximity to N.C. 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 or not they can hold on to him.
Pittsburgh OT Alex Bookser (Pittsburgh/Mount Lebanon) 6-foot-6, 295 pounds ESPN 300 rank: 142
Pitt coach Paul Chryst is formerly of Wisconsin, so it’s no surprise he intends to construct a power offense built behind a strong offensive line in the Steel City. In the 2013 class, Chryst landed one of the top tackles in Dorian Johnson, who saw the field this past weekend. Bookser might not be able to play as early as Johnson, but he could become a future bookend tackle with Johnson beginning in 2015.
Syracuse DT Thomas Holley (Brooklyn, N.Y./Lincoln) 6-foot-4, 303 pounds ESPN 300 rank: No. 86
Syracuse appeared to be an afterthought for Holley’s commitment until an August visit to the campus. The Orange made a big push for Holley, who could visit the school officially this fall. If Syracuse can land Holley, first-year coach Scot Shafer would be making a big statement as the Orange enter the ACC.
Virginia WR Jamil Kamara (Virginia Beach, Va./Bishop Sullivan) 6-foot-2, 189 pounds ESPN 300 rank: 297
Kamara won’t announce until January, which means there is a lot of time for other programs to swipe him from the Cavaliers. He has long been considered a Virginia lean, but he intends to visit other schools this fall. He will be at Wisconsin in October, but it looks as if Pittsburgh is becoming the clear contender to Mike London and the Cavs. At this point, however, it is still hard to envision Kamara anywhere but Charlottesville.
Virginia Tech DT Derrick Nnadi (Virginia Beach, Va./Ocean Lakes) 6-foot-1, 299 pounds ESPN 300 rank: N/A
The Hokies are trending for Nnadi, who has looked for quite some time like he will choose between Virginia Tech and Virginia. Virginia Tech could have the best defense in the ACC in 2013, so Nnadi would be a welcome addition to an already strong unit. Three-star running back Shai McKenzie might have been the pick heading into the weekend, but the Washington (Pa.) High prospect tore his ACL on Saturday. It remains to be seen if the Hokies will continue to heavily recruit McKenzie.
Wake Forest DT Edgar Cerenord (Plantation, Fla./American Heritage) 6-foot-1, 292 pounds ESPN 300 rank: N/A
Wake Forest traditionally has recruited the state of Florida really well. Big Cerenord could be a continued step in that direction if the Demon Deacons can land him. Arkansas and Tennessee will provide stiff opposition.