Normally it’s only Clemson that has consistent success recruiting the state of South Carolina for the ACC. According to 247Sports, the Tigers have commits from four of the Top 20 recruits in their own state including three of the Top 10. Last cycle they landed two of the top three and in 2012 they signed four of the Top 10.
Former South Carolina and Tennessee assistant Jay Graham landed Dexter Wideman for the Noles.
Several of the programs in the ACC comb and spot recruit South Carolina.
Florida State, led by one of the nation’s top young recruiters in RB coach Jay Graham, has a longtime presence in the Palmetto State that stems back to when Seminoles offensive coordinator Brad Scott signed Kevin Long (Summerville, center), Gideon Brown (Stratford, OL) Chad Bates (Spring Valley, OL), and Peter Boulware (Spring Valley, DE), in 1992.
Graham landed a commitment from the state’s No. 5 recruit this cycle in four-star defensive tackle Dexter Wideman.
Former Clemson assistant and Union (S.C.) native Andre’ Powell has South Carolina for the Terrapins and inked quarterback Caleb Rowe out of Greer (S.C.) Blue, the team’s current No. 2 QB, two years ago.
Wagener (S.C.) native Des Kitchings, who played at Furman, now recruits his entire home state for North Carolina State. He landed last year’s late sleeper, Malcolm Means, out of Lewisville for the Wolfpack.
Previously former Wolfpack assistant Jim Bridge handled the state and inked several guys in North Carolina State’s current 2-deep out of South Carolina including Quintin Payton (Anderson-TL Hanna), Thomas Teal (Bennettsville-Marlboro County), Asa Watson (Rock Hill) and Mike Rose (Simpsonville-Hillcrest).
North Carolina has three assistants with territory in the Palmetto State as Gunter Brewer recruits the northeast portion of the Upstate, while former Clemson assistant Ron West handles the rest of the Upstate and most of the Midlands. Former Tiger defensive coordinator Vic Koenning recruits the Pee Dee and Low Country for the Tar Heels.
North Carolina currently only has one native of the state, Gaffney’s Quinshad Davis, on its roster, but hopes putting more resources with contacts in its neighboring state to the south will pay dividends over the next few cycles.
Jake Whitley is one of three Georgia Tech commits from S.C.
Wake Forest, Duke, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech and Miami all spot recruit South Carolina with the Yellow Jackets, Demon Deacons and Hokies spending an ample time in the spring and winter evaluating the state’s talent.
In fact, on Wednesday, Paul Johnson’s Yellow Jackets picked up two-star offensive guard Jake Whitley out of North Augusta (S.C.). The hard-nosed, well-coached lineman is Tech’s third get this cycle out of South Carolina as Goose Creek three-star running back Caleb Kinlaw committed to Tech in July as did Charleston-Porter Gaud three-star defensive lineman Michael Preddy.
For 2014, 12 of the state’s top 41 recruits are committed to ACC schools. That number could jump if Chapman wide receiver Tyshun Samuel opts for Maryland, Blythewood linebacker Jalen Williams chooses Clemson, or one of the schools within the league needs a late steal on the defensive line and opts to offer Bluffton’s K.J. Ford, Rock Hill-South Pointe’s Zeek Rodney or Carver’s Bay Naquez Pringle.
In 2015, the state’s top junior, Shameik Blackshear, is already committed to South Carolina. Though the rest of the state’s best have ACC programs in their respective lead groups.
Orangeburg (S.C.) Wilkinson four-star defensive tackle Albert Huggins has Clemson in his lead pack along with Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. Four-star linebacker Johnathan Sutton of Swansea (S.C.) has Florida State, Clemson, North Carolina State and South Carolina as his lead group.
Greenwood (S.C.) four-star cornerback Kaleb Chalmers lists Clemson, North Carolina, Duke and Stanford as his favorites, while four-star defensive end Rasool Clemons of South Aiken has a top three of Miami, LSU and USC. Four-star defensive end Michael Barnett of Dorchester (S.C.) Woodland has a Top 3 of Virginia Tech, Florida and Florida State.
Summerville (S.C.) four-star offensive tackle Zach Bailey lists Oregon, Clemson, Florida and South Carolina as his lead group. Boiling Springs (S.C.) offensive lineman Noah Green and Peidmont (S.C.) Wren athlete Kelly Bryant are early Clemson leans in the Upstate.
ACC in Charlotte
Again this December, Charlotte will host the ACC title game. The Queen City annually produces upwards to 20 Division-I signees. In 2014, six of Charlotte’s top 10 are committed to ACC programs. That could be seven if three-star running back Shaun Wilson commits to his leader, Wake Forest.
For 2015, the trend of keeping Charlotte’s best in ACC country could continue. Clemson made a big statement that way on Saturday by landing Wilson’s teammate at West Mecklenburg, Van Smith, a four-star safety.
Four-star offensive tackle Mason Veal of Ardrey Kell has Clemson and North Carolina along with South Carolina in his lead group with distance being a factor. Four-star athlete Carl Tucker, who picked up offers from Tennessee and North Carolina earlier this week, lists a Top 3 of Clemson, North Carolina Tennessee.
His teammate at Cornelius (N.C.) Hough, four-star cornerback Mark Fields, has high interest in LSU, South Carolina, Clemson, Florida and Tennessee.
Charlotte’s top dual-threat quarterback Anthony Ratliff favors North Carolina over Clemson, Michigan and Oregon. Just outside of the Queen City, a pair of four-star recruits both favor ACC institutions with outside linebacker Tanner Muse of Belmont (N.C.) South Point having Clemson over North Carolina and defensive end Darian Roseboro of Lincolnton (N.C.) listing North Carolina State just ahead of Auburn and Duke.
The Real Deal
Two weeks ago, 247Sports introduced the next big thing in North Carolina in Havelock (N.C.) 2016 outside linebacker Keion Joyner. The 6-foot-3, 200-pounder has been ultra impressive in his first few games on the varsity level, so much so that its not a reach to say he may have the most upside of anyone on his loaded squad right now.
Joyner has the chance to be a national recruit. 247Sports will release the debut story on him on Friday. Look for major college interest and potential offers to come his way very, very soon.