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RIVALS.COM ACC RECRUITER OF THE YEAR
Buzz: Why did he do such a good job? Considering that Florida State lost six coaches in the offseason -- including one who hasn't been replaced yet -- Pruitt was huge in keeping FSU's recruiting class on track. It starts with DeMarcus Walker, who flipped from Alabama to FSU (and enrolled in January) based almost solely on Pruitt's effort. It was a Rivals100 player at a need position -- FSU loses three defensive ends to the NFL entering 2013. Next came Jalen Ramsey, the nation's No. 10 player, whom FSU had zero shot with before Pruitt got on campus in January. He was also instrumental in keeping Dothan (Ala.) Northview defensive back Marquez White committed, and he signed three-star Wilson Bell. Bottom line, he was the point man on two of the five Rivals100 players FSU signed, and he did it in an extremely small time frame.
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Buzz: After a huge haul last season, Haggins kept up the extraordinary work on the recruiting trail, serving as the lead recruiter for four four-star players: defensive tackle Keith Bryant, linebacker E.J. Levenberry Jr., linebacker Freddie Stevenson and offensive guard Ira Denson. Haggins hung on to Levenberry, Stevenson and Denson through long commitments to FSU. Bryant, who picked FSU on National Signing Day, cited his relationship with Haggins as the key factor in his decision to pick the Seminoles over Miami.
Buzz: Hobby took the lead on Ebenezer Ogundeko, and their relationship helped to lure the four-star despite a late push from in-state school Syracuse. Hobby was the lead recruiter for four-star wide receiver Mike Williams, one of top talents in the state of South Carolina who also helped fill a position of need in this year's class. Hobby's in-state work continued when he reeled in versatile athlete Jadar Johnson and helped to keep him despite late pushes from other BCS schools.
Buzz: The foundation of any football team starts on the offensive and defensive lines, and Kapilovic did an excellent job of recruiting players who fit his system. He was responsible for a trio of three-star recruits on the offensive line, Lucas Crowley, Brad Henson and R.J. Prince. He was one of the main men responsible for recruiting the back who will be running behind them for the next four years in four-star T.J. Logan. Kapilovic got on Logan early and helped hang on to him after Logan exploded with an excellent senior season.
Buzz: The current Wolfpack staff got a very late start on this recruiting cycle, but Kitchings was key in salvaging a quality class. He was the primary recruiter for three-star offensive lineman Tylar Reagan and three-star running back Joshua Mercer. He was instrumental in the Wolfpack's late close on three-star athlete Johnathan Alston and two-stars Malcolm Means and Bryant Shirreffs, two players who got a lot of attention during the last two weeks before signing day.
Buzz: After coaching elsewhere for 10 years, Locksley made his way back to the Maryland program and showed he can still recruit the DMV in a big way. It was very important for the Terps to continue the recruiting momentum from last year when they landed Stefon Diggs, and it is safe to say they did just that. Locksley was responsible for getting commitments from the nation's top JUCO player, Deon Long, and four players from Washington (D.C.) Friendship Collegiate Academy: four-stars Derwin Gray and Yannick Ngakoue and three-stars Jermaine Carter and Cavon Walker, plus a few other local players. The Terps continue to get it done in recruiting despite adversity on the field, a good sign for the building program.
Buzz: After plenty of chatter that the Hokies were in danger of not being top dog in the 757, Stinespring helped Virginia Tech put that notion to rest. He secured the Hokies' quarterback of the future, four-star Bucky Hodges, as well as possibly the WHIP linebacker of the future in his teammate, three-star Andrew Motuapuaka. Three-star Parker Osterloh is a mammoth offensive lineman who has big upside, while three-star Deon Newsome is a burner as a likely wide receiver and three-star Charles Clark provides more depth at safety. Stinespring was recently named recruiting coordinator for Virginia Tech.
Buzz: Over the past few years, Clemson has done a tremendous job in recruiting and Venables has been a big part. This year was no different. He helped land four-star Ebenezer Ogundeko out of New York and pull four-star Mackensie Alexander on signing day. Alexander surprised many around the Southeast by signing with the Tigers over latecomer Auburn, but Venables and fellow assistant Mike Reed made a good impression on Alexander early and led privately for most of his recruitment. Venables was responsible for landing Scott Pagano out of Hawaii and Adrian Baker, another Florida prospect.
Buzz: West handles recruiting in the 757 for Virginia and, on top of signing the school's first five-star recruit since Eugene Monroe in 2005, West was one of four assistants at Virginia tasked with holding the class together after Mike London fired four coaches, including the defensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator. West played a role in the recruitment of pretty much every player for the Cavaliers, including those outside of his region. Even though the Cavaliers suffered one de-commitment, West minimized the damage and secured recruits who were originally committed to coaches who were fired. Five-star Taquan Mizzell, Corwin Cutler and Zack Jones committed to West, and he had a big hand in keeping Tim Harris, Malcolm Cook and many other players on board.
Buzz: Williams was the primary recruiter for local Rivals250 back end defenders Artie Burns and Jamal Carter. Burns is an explosive athlete who set the 110-meter hurdle national record as a sophomore. Carter is physical safety with good coverage instincts who can help in the punt return game. The Hurricanes defensive backs coach also went to the prep ranks to land massive offensive lineman Sonny Odogwu over a couple of SEC programs.
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