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ACC Spotlight: Four predictions about the 2023 class

Samson Okunlola
Samson Okunlola (

The 2023 recruiting cycle is entering crunch time and teams around the country are finalizing their recruiting classes. This week we're looking at each conference and predicting which team will win the conference recruiting title, which team will be the biggest surprise, what the conference's biggest recruiting win will be and which player's decision will cause major changes in the conference recruiting standings.

Up first is the ACC.

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The ACC recruiting champion will be ... Miami.

This is a really tough choice because Clemson is sitting in first right now but Miami is right on the Tigers' heels, even after losing Jaden Rashada to Florida. Clemson's recruiting class is nearly finalized and it has only one highly ranked target left on its board in Rivals250 defensive end Tomarrion Parker.

Miami is the team to beat for five-star Samson Okunlola and the Hurricanes have a slew of other four-star targets that could help push them over the Tigers when all is said and done.



The ACC's most surprising class will be ... Duke.

The Blue Devils are 7-3 under new head coach Mike Elko and currently have a top 30 recruiting class. Duke's highest-ranked recruiting class ever was the 2016 class that finished at No. 31. This class will probably finish somewhere in the mid-30s but that is still a huge jump from what Duke is used to getting. That 2016 class was the only top-40 finish for a Duke recruiting class ever.

Elko was hired less than a year ago, inheriting a three-win team, and now has seven wins and will sign one of the best recruiting classes in program history. Four-star DT Terry Simmons is one of the class headliners so far.



The biggest recruiting victory will be ... Miami signing Cormani McClain.

This is an easy choice because most people believe Florida or Alabama would land Cormani McClain's commitment. Instead, Miami pulled up the biggest surprise of this recruiting cycle getting the No. 3 overall prospect onboard.

The Lakeland, Fla., native took multiple visits to all three of his finalists but Miami was the choice a few days before Halloween. If the recruiting cycle were to end today, McClain would be the highest-ranked prospect Miami has signed in the Rivals era.


The player's decision that will impact the ACC rankings most will be ... Samson Okunlola.

Okunlola is the highest-ranked uncommitted offensive lineman in the Rivals250 and his decision will have a lot to do with whether Clemson or Miami win the ACC recruiting title. The Canes are the favorite to sign the five-star out of Massachusetts but there are many other programs trying to get him on campus.

Florida is a major contender for his services. Alabama and Michigan State, along with Miami, have hosted Okunlola for official visits. Ohio State, Oregon, USC and Georgia are some programs to watch as well.