When you think of major college football programs in the Southeast, without exception, they are members of either the Southeastern Conference or Atlantic Coast Conference. With the SEC’s rise to dominance during the past decade, the ACC has taken a back seat to a certain extent. Still, there are prominent programs in that league that can win football games and recruiting battles against SEC schools.
Clemson is poised to top multiple SEC programs for five-star defensive tackle Montravius Adams.
Many of the top prospects in the country actually will decide between the two leagues. Here’s a look ten key SEC-ACC battles and the predicted winners, which may come as a surprise.
Montravius Adams, DT, Vienna (Ga.) Dooly County
The Prospect – The No. 2 defensive tackle in the 2013 class, and the No. 10 ranked prospect overall.
The Battle- Clemson (ACC) vs. Georgia (SEC)
The Skinny – Adams has long been thought to be an ACC-SEC battle with Clemson the constant out of the ACC, and Auburn and Georgia the most likely out of the SEC. The 6-foot-4, 310-pounder has made official visits to Florida Jan. 4, Clemson Jan. 11 and Alabama Jan. 18 with a key trip to Georgia scheduled for this weekend. Prediction – Clemson
Alex Collins, RB, Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) South Plantation
The Prospect – The No. 1 running back in the class, and the No. 17 ranked prospect overall.
The Battle- Miami (ACC) vs. Arkansas (SEC)
Alex Collins, the nation's top running back, could very well end up back at the school he originally was committed to- Miami.
The Skinny – The one time Miami commitment was once thought to be a in-state battle between the Hurricanes and Florida State, but that has all changed with the departure of Seminoles assistant Eddie Gran. With last weekend’s visit to Coral Gables in the rear view mirror, the 5-foot-11, 204-pound explosive back will make an official visit to Arkansas this weekend with a final decision expected to come from Miami and the Razorbacks. Prediction – Miami
Carl Lawson, WDE, Alpharetta (Ga.) Milton
The Prospect – The No. 1 weak-side defensive end in the class, and the No. 24 ranked prospect overall.
The Battle- Clemson (ACC) vs. Tennessee, Auburn (SEC)
The Skinny – The “soft” commitment to Auburn has made official visits to Clemson Jan. 11, Tennessee Jan. 18 and is scheduled to be at North Carolina Jan. 26 and Auburn Feb. 1. This one was an SEC pick the first time around, and it looks like the same result this go round. Prediction – Tennessee
MacKensie Alexander, CB, Immokalee (Fla.)
The Prospect – The No. 4 cornerback in the class, and the No. 34 ranked prospect overall.
The Battle- Clemson (ACC) vs. Mississippi State (SEC)
Top247 quarterback Asiantii Woulard would be a game-changer for Kentucky, but chances are he ends up playing for Chad Morris in his high-octane offense at Clemson.
The Skinny – The U.S. Army All-American has made official visits to Texas A&M, Clemson, Mississippi State and will be at Rutgers this weekend. Unless Rutgers can pull the upset, this one is likely to come down to ACC Clemson and SEC Mississippi State, among others, with the place where the four-star corner can play with his brother, Mackenro. Currently, Mississippi State and Rutgers have offered both. Prediction – Clemson
Asiantii Woulard, QB, Winter Park (Fla.)
The Prospect – The No. 2 dual-threat quarterback, and the No. 98 ranked prospect overall.
The Battle- Clemson (ACC) vs. Kentucky (SEC)
The Skinny – Woulard will make his final official visit this weekend, to UCLA, after previous visits to N.C. State, South Florida, Kentucky and Clemson. Headed into the weekend, the 6-foot-4, 200-pound U.S. Army All-American is a heavy Clemson lean with Kentucky trying very hard to get the talented dual-threat prospect to head their way. Prediction – Clemson
MarQuez North, WR, Charlotte (NC) Mallard Creek
The Prospect – The No. 18 receiver in the class, and the No. 155 ranked prospect overall.
The Battle- North Carolina (ACC) vs. Tennessee (SEC)
Alabama and Florida State both love four-star athlete Eddie Jackson. Chances are, the Tide comes out on top.
The Skinny – Three programs have been mentioned prominently with the 6-foot-4, 212-pound receiver the most in North Carolina, Clemson and Tennessee. Headed into the last 10 days before signing day, that remains the case with a decision very likely between the Tar Heels and Volunteers. Prediction – North Carolina
Eddie Jackson, ATH, Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Boyd Anderson
The Prospect – The No. 5 athlete in the class, and the No. 157 ranked prospect overall.
The Battle- Florida State (ACC) vs. Alabama (SEC)
The Skinny – The senior riser that projects to cornerback or wide receiver on the next level has made official visits to Florida State Jan. 11 and Alabama last weekend, and will visit Baton Rouge this weekend to take a closer look at LSU. Prediction – Alabama
James Clark, WR, New Smyrna Beach (Fla.)
The Prospect – The No. 25 wide receiver in the class, and the No. 174 ranked prospect overall.
The Battle- Clemson (ACC) vs. Florida (SEC)
The Skinny – The receiver with 10.6 100-meter speed has made official visits to Northwestern Dec. 7, Nebraska Jan. 11, Clemson Jan. 18 and is scheduled to be at Ohio State (which could be a big factor) this weekend. Florida continues to put up a fight and is looking to get the speedy playmaker back on campus, with hopes of taking the Jan. 25 visit slot from the Buckeyes. Prediction – Clemson
Yannick Ngakoue, LB, Washington (D.C.) Friendship Collegiate
The Prospect- The No. 12 inside linebacker in the class and a four-star prospect.
The Battle- Maryland (ACC) vs. South Carolina (SEC)
The Skinny- The 6-foot-3, 248-pounder was committed to the Terps for a chunk of the process before de-committing on Sept. 23. He visited Florida State officially on the weekend of Jan. 11 and visited the Gamecocks last weekend. It’s shaping up to be a two-team battle between South Carolina and Maryland with the two staff’s top recruiters- G.A. Mangus for the Gamecocks and Mike Locksley for the Terps- going head-to-head. It’s hard to bet against Locksley on a D.C. prospect. Prediction- Maryland
Kermit Whitfield, WR, Orlando (Fla.) Jones
The Prospect – The No. 36 wide receiver in the class with a rating of 90.
The Battle- Florida State (ACC) vs. Florida (SEC)
The Skinny – Whitfield has been committed to Florida State since August of 2012, but he will now make visits to SEC programs two weekends in a row. First up will be a trip to Florida this weekend, followed by a scheduled visit to Texas A&M Feb. 1. Prediction – Florida State
Gerry Hamilton is the lead national recruiting analyst for 247Sports. Follow him on Twitter @GerryH247Sports