ACC Spotlight: Handicapping the conference recruiting race
With recruiting classes around the country beginning to fill out, now is a great time to look at how the ACC is faring heading into the home stretch of the 2024 cycle. Here are some of Adam Friedman's thoughts for the ACC's 2024 recruiting rankings.
PROJECTED LEAGUE CHAMP: Florida State
With four commitments from prospects in the top 45 of the Rivals250 and the current No. 1 recruiting class in the ACC team rankings, it's going to be difficult for any team in the conference to catch up to Florida State. The momentum that Mike Norvell and his staff have right now thanks to a huge win over LSU should pay dividends as National Signing Day inches closer.
With a few major targets still left on the board, Florida State could even find itself higher in the national rankings by the time this recruiting cycle is over. The Seminoles need to work hard to hold onto No. 1 safety prospect and five-star KJ Bolden to make sure they come away with the top overall recruiting class in the ACC.
RELATED: FLORIDA STATE'S 2024 COMMITS
DON'T COUNT OUT: Miami
It's not really surprising to say that we shouldn't count out Miami in the race for the No. 1 recruiting class in the ACC because it currently ranks No. 2 in the team rankings. That being said, it seems like the Hurricanes have a few major targets still remaining and a number of players that could end up flipping to Miami, depending on how the season turns out.
Five-star receiver Ryan Wingo is expected to visit Coral Gables at some point this season and the Hurricanes just hosted Ohio State running back commit Jordan Lyle for the Texas A&M game. In-state offensive lineman Eddy Pierre-Louis is a major target for teams across the country and the Hurricanes could be in his top three. If Mario Cristobal and staff can build momentum on the field the rest of the season, we could see it immediately translate to major commitments on the recruiting trail.
RELATED: MIAMI'S 2024 COMMITS
BIGGEST OVERACHIEVER: Duke
Enough can't be said about the job that Mike Elko and his staff have done at Duke. With a huge win over Clemson to start the season and a dominating win this past weekend over Lafayette, it looks like the Blue Devils could be set up to be undefeated when they host Notre Dame at the end of September. That could turn into a major recruiting event for the Blue Devils, who already have one of their best recruiting classes in recent memory.
The last time Duke finished a recruiting cycle with a top-40 class was 2016 and it looks like it could accomplish that feat again this year. Right now the Blue Devils have the No. 34 recruiting class in the nation and could be in line for some additional commitments if things continue to trend up on the field.
RELATED: DUKE'S 2024 COMMITS
SURPRISINGLY STRUGGLING: Clemson
This was supposed to be the "get right" season for Clemson with a new offensive coordinator in Garrett Riley and Cade Klubnik appearing ready to take a major leap as the starting quarterback. The season hasn't gone the way most expected and it's showing on the recruiting trail.
Dabo Swinney and staff currently have 17 commitments with a recruiting class that ranks No. 16 in the country. The last time Clemson finished with a recruiting class that far down the rankings was in 2017 when scholarship limitations allowed it to only sign 14 prospects that year.
We could certainly see Clemson add a few major commitments before the end of this recruiting cycle, but that would have to coincide with major wins on the field this season. If momentum on the field picks up, it should translate to the recruiting trail.
RELATED: CLEMSON'S 2024 COMMITS
BEST BATTLE: Florida State vs. Miami for Booker Pickett
Every team needs an elite pass rusher, and Booker Pickett fits that description. Programs from around the country have been pursuing the defensive end out of Tampa and, while Ohio State seems to have been the early favorite, it looks like Florida State and Miami are making big pushes to keep Pickett from leaving the state.
Miami hosted Pickett for its huge win over Texas A&M and the way the defense played really caught his eye. Expect the Hurricanes and Seminoles to keep pushing to make sure Pickett ends up in one of their recruiting classes come signing day.