Florida State highlights ACC recruiting
Originally Published: August 20, 2010By Tom Luginbill | ESPN Recruiting
ACC Recruiting Breakdown
|1||James Wilder II (Tampa, Fla./Plant)
The Seminoles are picking up where they left off after a sizzling end to the 2010 class last February. More than half of their class (seven) resides in the ESPNU 150 and the secondary is obviously a priority with four safeties ranked in their top eight prospects, including versatile Keelin Smith (Port St. Lucie, Fla./Treasure Coast). WR Rashad Greene (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas) adds speed and quickness to a receiving corps that has been more about size in the past, while Wilder will tote the ball out of the backfield. OT Bobby Hart (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas) has loads of upside because he is young for his class and has yet to fill out that great combination size/frame and feet.
|2||T.J. Thorpe (Durham, N.C./Charles E. Jordan)
The Tar Heels are addressing many positional needs across the board. In fact, if you count Thorpe as a wide receiver, the only position this class is missing is a cornerback and kicker. It will be interesting to see what comes of Everett Golson (Myrtle Beach, S.C./Myrtle Beach) because he has a pistol for an arm and a quick, smooth delivery but lacks great size and is athletic enough to play another position if need be. RB Travis Riley (Kannapolis, N.C./A.L. Brown) is one of the more underrated backs in this class. QB Marquise Williams (Charlotte, N.C./Mallard Creek) has the physical tools and stature to develop into a starter at the BCS level and adds much-needed depth and an upgrade to the QB group.
|3||Charone Peake (Spartanburg, S.C./Dorman)
The Tigers are looking to take this program to the next level and all indications are that prospects are responding favorably. This team is loaded with talent in the offensive and defensive front. Running back is also a priority with two fine backs on board out of Florida in Marlin Lane (Daytona Beach, Fla./Mainland) and Mike Bellamy (Punta Gorda, Fla./Charlotte). QB Tony McNeal (Chester, S.C./Chester) is a huge sleeper under center after suffering a knee injury last year. Peake is in a different class in our opinion, possibly another A.J. Green-type.
|4||Clifton Richardson (Newport News, Va./Menchville)
Mike London is getting it done on the recruiting trail in Charlottesville. The focus of this class has been on defense and recruiting the Virginia area, where he has roots. The interior on the defensive line has numbers and quality with four-star David Dean (Virginia Beach, Va./Green Run) and three-star Vincent Croce (Olney, Md./Our Lady of Good Counsel), who are quick, short-area defenders with the tools to develop into disruptive ACC linemen. Brandon Phelps (Damascus, Md./Damascus) is a savvy, top-10 rated corner with good athleticism and versatility. Richardson is Virginia's top-rated prospect and will likely line up in the backfield for the Cavaliers thanks to his great combination of size and speed.
|5||Marcus Jackson (Vero Beach, Fla./Vero Beach)
Miami's class is small but has significant commitments on offense. The Canes didn't have to look far for their future quarterback and used a successful pipeline. The Jacory Harris comparisons are going to be made with Teddy Bridgewater (Miami/Northwestern), but their games are different. Bridgewater lacks the fundamental polish of Harris at this stage but has the edge in athleticism and is simply a gamer who finds a way to win on Friday nights. Teammate Eli Rogers (Miami/Northwestern), is an explosive receiver with good hands and big-play ability after the catch. Jackson makes a living off pancake blocks and shows flashes of being a dominant interior blocker.
|6||Marcus Leak (Monroe, N.C./Parkwood)
The majority of Maryland's 14 commits are on the offensive side of the ball, led by a pair of top-50 receivers -- Leak and Nigel King (Raleigh, N.C./Wakefield). Leak, at 5-foot-9 and 190 pounds, is an impressive, under-the-radar wide receiver. He has a nice blend of strength, speed and quickness and is a very good punt return man. King has the frame to possibly develop into an H-back type and may be best used as a slot player at the next level. He could also become a red zone target where he has great potential to be a real weapon. With his size and strength, it wouldn't be surprising if King was given a look as a safety/OLB hybrid.
|7||Kris Harley (Indianapolis, Ind./Warren Central)
The Hokies are off to their usual build-up to February with quality prospects but limited numbers. Nothing flashy here, just good players. DE Matt Roth (Pontra Vedra, Fla./Nease) is very good off the edge and plays with a mean streak. TE Christian Reeves (McDonough, Ga./Eagles Landing Christian) is undersized but very athletic. We would like to see the Hokies add some WR help to upgrade their speed and playmaking ability come February.
|8||Will Monday (Flowery Branch, Ga./Flowery Branch)
This program is closer to being .500 or above for years to come. Credit David Cutcliffe for his ability to balance academics and athletics and still be competitive. With a whopping 22 commitments already, Duke is continuing to upgrade. Its top eight prospects are what we consider to be quality BCS level starters at some point for many programs, not just Duke. They have hit on every position including kicker. ATH Jamison Crowder (Monroe, N.C./Monroe) could be another Donovan Varner-type.
|9||Vad Lee (Durham, N.C./Hillside)
A relatively small class of 11 prospects for the Yellow Jackets at this point, but based off Paul Johnson's previous classes this program shows no signs of slowing down. ATH Airyn Willis (High Point, N.C./Southwest Guiliford) could play on either side of the ball.
|10||Alexander Howell (Florence, S.C./West Florence)
Like Duke, a kicker is the Eagles' highest-rated prospect. As we have come to expect, BC recruits tough, rugged guys that fit its identity. Connor Wujciak (West Orange, N.J./Seton Hall) and Kieran Borcich (Bronxville, N.Y./Bronxville) are nice additions along the defensive front.
|11||Godspower Offor (Miami/American)
Wake Forest continues to dip into the South, which is one of the reasons we feel Jim Grobe has been so successful in the past. The Demon Deacons have only nine verbals to this point, but four of them are from Florida and one is from South Carolina. RB Orville Reynolds (Parkland, Fla./M. Stoneman Douglas) may be undersized but is great in the spread.
|12||Juston Burris (Raleigh, N.C./Needham Broughton)
It has been a slow start for the Wolfpack and they need to pick up steam over the next five months. They do seem to be improving their overall athleticism with three ATH prospects that could play multiple positions.
Tom Luginbill is ESPN's national director of football recruiting.