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ACC Roundup: Noles strong early

Who in the Atlantic Coast Conference is doing well on the recruiting trail?

FSU already has five-star ILB Kain Daub on board.

Which program has surprised? Which has disappointed?

In this week's ACC recruiting roundup, we break things down.


In the ACC recruiting team rankings, Florida State currently sits at No. 1. Additionally, the Seminoles are No. 6 nationally.

Already, FSU -- with its revamped coaching staff -- has landed eight commitments, including 247Composite five-star inside linebacker Kain Daub. Here's a telling stat -- six of the eight are rated as four stars or better.

FSU is doing especially well in the Sunshine State, where it has grabbed seven of its verbals thus far.

Honorable mention here goes to Miami, which is No. 2 in the ACC, No. 11 nationally. The Hurricanes have seven commits, notably a pair of five-star prospects -- running back Joseph Yearby and offensive tackle Kc McDermott.


Boston College coach Steve Addazio has the Eagles off to a strong start.

Tie -- Boston College and Duke.

The Eagles currently are 19th in the country and No. 4 in the ACC. That's a major reversal from February, when Boston College had the conference's lowest-rated group.

While an assistant at places such as Florida, Boston College Steve Addazio built a reputation for being a stout recruiter, and now we're seeing why.

Th Eagles have seven verbals, including three of the top seven prospects from Massachusetts.

As for Duke, David Cutcliffe's Blue Devils are No. 6 in the ACC and No. 24 in the country.

Where is Duke doing well? Exactly where it needed to -- up front on offense. Already, three three-star offensive linemen are on board.

The class headliner thus far is cornerback Alonzo Saxton, the No. 53 player at his position in the 247Composite.

By the way, Duke's six commits have come from five different states.

Quin Blanding is the highest-rated ACC commitment at the moment.


Looking solely at the rankings, Clemson, which is only No. 8 in the league, might be the pick. But in reality, the Tigers are doing reasonably well even though they only have four commitments. This will be a small class in this cycle, so Clemson is being pretty selective.

Instead, Maryland is the pick.

The Terrapins, with one verbal, are last in the ACC and 82nd nationally. That's after putting together a respectable class for 2013.

Good news could be on the way, though. And one player for Terrapin fans to watch is four-star dual-threat quarterback Will Ulmer of Washington D.C. Maryland likes its chances there, and a commitment from him could kickstart a momentum surge locally.


Virginia Tech [stop us if you've heard this one before]. The Hokies, who consistently build solid classes, rarely get much buzz nationally for their recruiting, but they already have seven commitments and have a shot with defensive end Da'Shawn Hand, the No. 1 overall prospect in the 247Composite.

Already, Virginia Tech has five pledges from the state of Virginia. That includes three of the top 15 in that state, which has a very strong 2014 class.


Safety Quin Blanding of Virginia Beach (Va.) Bayside, who committed to Virginia back in February. He's the No. 1 safety and No. 8 overall prospect in the 247Composite. Blanding is one of four Cavalier verbals. When all is said and done, he might not be Virginia's top pickup. That's because the Cavaliers are very much in the running with five-star defensive tackle Andrew Brown of Chesapeake (Va.) Oscar Smith.


Outside linebacker Cayson Collins of Charlotte (N.C.) Phillip O. Berry Academy, a North Carolina pledge. Collins has some filling out to do, but the three-star prospect is extremely athletic -- and intelligent.

Elsewhere in the ACC ...

*Clemson got good news Thursday morning when Tigers quarterback commit Deshaun Watson of Gainesville (Ga.) told 247Sports he no longer plans to visit other schools. Only two weeks ago, Watson said he wanted to check out Ohio State this summer. He visited Georgia earlier this year, and has talked with Auburn and Oregon. For now, though, he apparently is all Tigers.

Watson, the No. 43 overall prospect in the 247Composite, committed to Clemson on Feb. 1, 2012. Since then, however, several colleges have tried to lure him away, perhaps most notably Ohio State. Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer has visited Watson's school, and Ohio State has told Watson he is a high priority.

Watson planned to visit the Buckeyes several weeks ago, but that trip never happened.

Does this mean Watson's recruitment is over? Maybe not, but for Clemson this latest development certainly was welcome.

*Florida State seems to be making some headway in the recruitment of four-star receiver Demarre Kitt of Tyrone (Ga.) Sandy Creek. The Seminoles have just cracked his top five, Kitt told 247Sports on Wednesday night. However, they still trail, in order, Ohio State, Tennessee and Clemson. Kitt is ranked No. 93 among all prospects and No. 12 at receiver in the 247Composite. A one-time Georgia commit, he is relatively unpredictable so it's hard to say when a decision might come. There seems to be a decent chance, though, he will visit FSU.

*Could Duke possibly steal one away from Clemson? It won't be easy, but four-star inside backer Kendall Joseph of Honea Path (S.C.) Belton Honea Path, who lives 35 minutes from Death Valley, says the Blue Devils are giving him plenty to think about. Clemson, Louisville and UCLA also are factors [all have offered], but Joseph has been extremely impressed by the academics and the coaching staff in Durham, particularly after visiting there. "I loved it," he said. "I love the atmosphere, and the coaches are down to earth. They really change kids' lives."

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