Early Signing Period: Biggest question for each ACC team
The beginning of the new early signing period starts a week from today and every team from coast to coast will be focused on making sure they get as many signed National Letters of Intent from their verbal commitments as possible. Many schools are also hoping to land new commitments on during the signing period that runs from next Wednesday to next Friday. Here is a look at the biggest question facing each ACC team.
BOSTON COLLEGE: Does Boston College sign their entire class in December?
Steve Addazio's team overachieved this season and they've seen their recruiting class benefit. The class is pretty much full and nearly every commit is expected to sign next week. Quarterback commit Johnny Lagan is coming off his official visit and the good linebacker haul of Evan Stewart, Vinny DePalma and Nick DeNucci from New Jersey is expected to have a big impact on the team. Look for Boston College to try to add one or two big-time prospects before Signing Day in February.
CLEMSON: Which five-star(s) will the Tigers land?
Cade Mays, Jamaree Salyer and K.J. Henry are all announcing their commitments during the early signing period and the Tigers are considered the leader or one of the top two for all three five-stars. Georgia is Clemson's biggest threat for Mays and Salyer. The Dawgs have a very good shot at Henry too, and the Tigers are also battling Virginia Tech here. Dabo Swinney and his staff will be waiting on pins and needles next week.
DUKE: Can the Blue Devils prevent further losses after Palmer's decommitment?
The Blue Devils are in a tough spot as we inch towards the early signing period. Taiyon Palmer was one of their highest-ranked commitments and Duke is in danger of losing other players. Dennis Smith is hearing a lot from Virginia Tech and South Carolina. He is unsure of whether he will sign next week or wait until February so he can take more visits.
FLORIDA STATE: Will the Seminoles find their quarterback?
Maybe Florida State will get a surprise signee during the signing window and maybe not. If not, Seminoles fans should concern themselves with Georgia’s fax machine, however, as having five-star Georgia commit Justin Fields pass on signing with the Bulldogs would be a massive win in its own right. The new FSU staff has long hoped to get involved with Fields and him declining to sign could be a glimmer of hope on that front.
GEORGIA TECH: Will things continue to go smoothly for Tech?
The Yellow Jackets have taken advantage of Tennessee’s woes to help build an impressive class filled with out-of-state talent including Tennessee native Jaylon King. Other schools, including Penn State and Notre Dame, have been sniffing around King, but he’s expected to sign with Tech early. Paul Johnson’s program is just hoping for a drama-free signing period, where everything goes as planned.
LOUISVILLE: Will Louisville lock down Florida stars?
The butterfly effect of Lamar Jackson’s Heisman win and incredible college career continues to help the Cardinals, as three of Louisville’s four four-star commits are from the Sunshine State. All three may sign this month, reinforcing Louisville’s standing as an emerging power player in the state.
MIAMI: Can Miami seal deal early with elite commits?
Miami expects to lock up many of its top-flight commits during the early signing window. The stars have aligned for the Hurricanes, as their on-filed performance has given players the confidence to make things official early. Even if there isn’t a 100-percent signing rate, UM thinks most players in the class should lock in this month.
NORTH CAROLINA: Can the Tar Heels flip the momentum?
It's been a rough few months for the Tar Heels but they're working to combat some losses on the recruiting trail. Larry Fedora and his staff lost commits from two Rivals250 prospects in quarterback Tyler Shough and linebacker Payton Wilson. They added commitments from quarterback Cade Fortin, defensive tackle Jahlil Taylor and running back Kyle Wright this month but they are still in the market for another linebacker and a few more athletes to close out the class.
NC STATE: Does Jovaughn Gwyn run with the Wolfpack?
Dave Doeren and his squad certainly turned a lot of heads this year and they currently have a top 25 recruiting class. Four-star offensive lineman Jovaughn Gwyn really likes what NC State is all about, but he is also considering South Carolina and Duke. His teammate Malik Dunlap has already committed to the Wolfpack, but Gwyn isn't sure if he'll sign next week or wait until February so he can take more visits.
PITTSBURGH: Can the Panthers get more explosive?
Pittsburgh has a promising young quarterback in Kenny Pickett, but they need more playmakers around him. Pat Narduzzi and his staff expect all of their current verbal commits to sign next week, but they really want to get some commitments from receivers like Jeshaun Jones, Shocky Jacques-Louis or Jatavious Harris. They are also in play for defensive back Rashad Ajayi.
SYRACUSE: Can Syracuse flip Rivals250 USC RB commit Mychale Salahuddin?
Syracuse has some spots left in this 2018 class and it would be surprising if nearly all of their current commits didn't sign next week. Defensive line, wide receiver and offensive line are some of the biggest areas of need. The biggest prospect Syracuse has a chance with is Rivals250 USC running back commit Mychale Salahuddin. The Washington D.C. native is teammates with current Syracuse commit Edward Hendrix and he is taking his official visit to Syracuse this coming weekend.
VIRGINIA: Does DJ Brown stick with the Cavs?
Bronco Mendenhall and his staff have done a phenomenal job turning around Virginia and they have a solid 2018 recruiting class in place. Nearly all of the current commits are expected to sign next week but defensive back D.J. Brown has attracted offers from Notre Dame and Louisville. Virginia will keep their focus on making sure Brown sticks with his commitment.
VIRGINIA TECH: Can the Hokies close with Henry, Hollifield and Mitchell?
Justin Fuente has brought excitement back to Blacksburg and that excitement extends beyond the field. On the recruiting trail, the Hokies are major contenders for five-star defensive end K.J. Henry, Rivals250 linebacker Dax Hollifield and four-star tight end James Mitchell. Mitchell is set to commit this Friday and is considering Georgia and Duke in addition to Virginia Tech. Henry will commit on Dec. 20 during a ceremony at his school. Clemson and Georgia, along with South Carolina and Alabama, are competing with Virginia Tech for his commitment. Hollifield isn't committing next week but the Hokies remain a major contender for him along with Stanford and North Carolina. Look for a commitment from him in January.
WAKE FOREST: Will there be any surprises?
The Demon Deacons are pretty much done with their 2018 recruiting class. They have 21 commitments and nearly every one of them is expected to sign next week. Running back Courtney McKinney is the most recent commitment for Wake Forest, but look for the Demon Deacon coaching staff to try to add one or two more playmakers as Signing Day in February gets closer.