ACC Spotlight: Top targets as Late Signing Period approaches
CLASS OF 2019 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | State | Position | Team
CLASS OF 2020 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | State | Position
The Late Signing Period is just a week away, and while some teams have already finished their 2019 recruiting class, others still have some very important targets out there. Take a look at each ACC team's top remaining targets.
MORE: Top Big Ten targets as the Late Signing Period approaches | SEC
Boston College - None
Steve Addazio and his staff seem to have moved on to the 2020 recruiting class because they’ve filled up their 2019 class. The only other addition that could come down the road is grad transfer kicker Michael Tarbutt from UConn. Boston College landed a commitment from offensive lineman Christian Mahogany earlier this month and it looks like he filled their last spot in this recruiting class.
Clemson - Jerrion Ealy
Clemson is recruiting against Major League Baseball when it comes to Ealy, a two-sport star that could be selected in the first round of June's baseball draft. The Tigers already have a running back in the fold for 2019, so it’s not as though Ealy is a true “must get,” but Dabo Swinney would certainly love to have him in the fold. Ealy was once committed to Ole Miss, but backed off that pledge just prior to an official visit to Clemson. Things look good for the Tigers here, but Swinney and company will need to hope Ealy chooses football over baseball. That said, the Tigers' class was mostly finished during the early period, so anything that happens now is a bonus.
Duke - None
David Cutcliffe’s team is essentially done with its 2019 recruiting class. The Blue Devils might take a grad transfer or two at some point in the next couple months, but for the most part they have moved on to the 2020 recruiting class.
Florida State - Lance Legendre
At this juncture, the name on the letter of intent doesn’t much matter. FSU needs a quarterback in this class and it needs one badly. The Seminoles don’t exactly have a wealth of quarterback depth on the current roster and the program’s 2019 class is still without a pledge at the position. Add in the fact that most of the top prospects at the position have already signed a letter of intent and you get something resembling a full-on recruiting emergency in Tallahassee.
Legendre, a Louisiana-based quarterback, visited over the weekend and it seems as though the Seminoles lead for the four-star prospect. And while some level of academic eligibility concerns linger around Legendre’s recruitment, things on that front are thought to be improving. If things fall apart between Legendre and the Seminoles, however, there’s no telling where the program may have to turn to finally land a quarterback.
Georgia Tech - Jamious Griffin
New coach Geoff Collins has been working hard to build up this Georgia Tech recruiting class and he has a few important targets remaining, but Griffin is his top priority. The in-state running back prospect has a long list of schools he is still considering, but Georgia Tech seems to have a slight edge when it comes to his commitment. This recruitment could go down to the last day or two. Louisville, NC State, Auburn and a few others are Georgia Tech’s competition here.
Louisville - Jamious Griffin
You could list a number of players here, since the Cardinals managed to sign just four total prospects during the early period. We’ve selected Griffin because his lofty ranking and because he happens to fill a position of need. Griffin is coming off a trip to the Cardinals’ campus, but it remains unclear if the official visit weekend did enough to give Scott Satterfield’s program a leg up. Landing the four-star running back won’t be easy, as Florida State, Auburn and Georgia Tech remain involved. Louisville is in desperate need of star power in this class, and Griffin would provide it.
Miami – Mark-Antony Richards
It’s been a rough recruiting cycle for Miami, which underwent a surprise coaching change when Mark Richt stepped down following the Early Signing Period. The hope is that things on that front will improve with former defensive coordinator Manny Diaz now in the big chair, and that all starts with landing the players Miami is supposed to land. Richards is one of the highest-rated prospects still on the Hurricanes’ 2019 board and is the younger brother of former UM wideout Ahmmon Richards, who found success in Coral Gables before suffering a serious neck injury.
The Hurricanes have led for Mark-Antony Richards for some time now, so seeing him go elsewhere would be another gut-punch for Miami, which has already endured its share of blows this season. Georgia, Auburn, Florida and a few others are serious threats.
North Carolina - Octavius Brothers, Eugene Asante, Wisdom Asaboro and Michael Lockhart
Mack Brown and his staff have a solid list of prospects that they hope to add to this recruiting class on National Signing Day. Asaboro took his first official visit to North Carolina, and the in-state program might have a leg up on the competition. Auburn, Georgia Tech and Syracuse are making it harder for North Carolina to secure a commitment from Brothers. The Tar Heels are heavily involved with two prospects that emerged late in the recruiting process. Asante and Lockhart both have North Carolina high on their lists, but Asante, who will take his official visit to North Carolina this weekend, is also very high on Virginia Tech. Lockhart has a long list of schools coming after him, and North Carolina will need to fight off Iowa, Georgia Tech and Mississippi State.
NC State- Jamious Griffin and Cecil Powell
With a top 30 class in the team rankings, NC State is set to finish with a really good group heading in to next season. The Wolfpack just added former Maryland commit Jordan Houston to this class, but they still hope to get Griffin to rejoin the class. Running back depth was a major priority for NC State heading into this recruiting cycle and it still has room for Griffin. The Wolfpack would also like to get another defensive back and it seems like they've zeroed in on Powell, but there is still some work to do there. Powell took his official visit to NC State last weekend, but Oregon will get him for an official visit this weekend.
Pittsburgh - Marlin Devonshire, Alante Brown, and Jeffrey Blake
Pittsburgh still has some spots to fill in this 2019 recruiting class, and these three players are prime candidates to join the Panthers. Devonshire, a local four-star defensive back, is easily Pat Narduzzi’s top remaining target because of his fit in the program and his ties to other local prospects. Kentucky just got him on campus for an official visit, but West Virginia still remains a threat to Pitt’s chances as well. Brown just released a top five that included the Panthers along with Florida State, Tennessee, Iowa State and Texas Tech. Pitt will have to fight hard to keep him from picking one of those four schools. Keep an eye on Blake, a Vanderbilt commit, as we get closer to National Signing Day. He visited Pitt a couple weeks ago and could be a late addition to this class.
Syracuse - Michel Dukes and Dorian Hewett
Dino Babers and his staff are trying to close out this recruiting cycle with some big wins. They just flipped quarterback David Summers away from Maryland and now they are trying to keep Dukes from committing to Clemson. The running back out of South Carolina is set to announce his decision this weekend. Hewett was previously committed to Syracuse, and the staff would love to get him back in the fold. Utah recently hosted him on an official visit, but Syracuse has hosted him in the past.
Virginia- Wisdom Asaboro
The Cavaliers are mainly finished with their 2019 recruiting class outside of a grad transfer or two, but if there is one high school prospect they hope to add on signing day it is Asaboro. He took an official visit to Charlottesville earlier this month and it really opened his eyes. The environment and coaching staff really impressed him and the education that he would receive is a major selling point. Asaboro is also considering Penn State, Tennessee and North Carolina, so landing his commitment will not be easy.
Virginia Tech - Eugene Asante
Virginia Tech is looking to fill out the roster with mainly grad transfers this offseason, but its top remaining target as far as high school prospects go is Asante. Emerging late in the recruiting cycle, Asante's first major offer was from the Hokies, and he took an official visit to Blacksburg in December. Virginia Tech is still one of his top contenders, but an official visit to North Carolina this weekend is a major threat to Virginia Tech’s chances of landing the in-state linebacker.
Wake Forest- Isaiah Essissima
This Wake Forest recruiting class features some impressive prospects, but Dave Clawson and his staff hope to add one more player to this group. Essissima is back on the market after parting ways with Houston. He added a few offers right after the announcement, and Wake Forest is one of the schools that hopes to draw his attention. Look for the Demon Deacons to push for his commitment as signing day nears.