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Three-Point Stance: FSU recruiting, Miami & NIL, four-star to Harvard?

Charles Lester III
Charles Lester III (Nick Lucero/

Rivals national recruiting analyst Adam Friedman has thoughts on how the ACC should view Miami now, where Florida State could finish in the team rankings and a potentially huge commitment for Harvard.


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1. Can Florida State finish No. 1 in the ACC team rankings?    


Florida State and Clemson are battling it out for the ACC recruiting crown and neither have many spots left to fill. The Seminoles currently sit in the No. 1 spot just ahead of Clemson, but only by a small margin. Mike Norvell and his staff hold 20 commitments right now, led by the No. 24 player in the Rivals250, Charles Lester III. Dabo Swinney and the Tigers have 17 commitments, with the No. 28 player in the Rivals250, Sammy Brown, leading the way.

Florida State has space for a few more commitments but it will need to land some highly ranked players to keep Clemson in the rearview mirror. Five-star Ohio State receiver commit Jeremiah Smith was on campus over the weekend. It's not his first visit to Tallahassee, so the Noles are still very much in play.

Clemson has room for a couple more offensive linemen, a defensive end and a linebacker. There are a few candidates at each position who could vault them over Florida State, but two players to keep an eye on are four-star linebacker Bradley Shaw and three-star linebacker Wyatt Simmons.

Florida State has the inside track for the top spot in the ACC's team rankings, but the Seminoles can't take their foot off the gas.



2. Should the ACC still be worried about Miami's NIL strength?  

Miami has been in the spotlight for various NIL moves in the couple years since the rules on paying players were changed. One of their biggest boosters, LifeWallet owner and CEO John Ruiz, has played a major role in the Hurricanes' NIL activities, but that could be at risk. A Miami Herald report surfaced over the weekend detailing how Ruiz and LifeWallet are the subjects of multiple lawsuits and investigations by the authorities. Prior to this report LifeWallet had been dealing with a severe drop in stock price as well.

Miami finished with a top 10 recruiting class last year and the Canes couldn't have done it without Ruiz's support. According to a report in the Athletic, any deals LifeWallet has with Miami athletes should expire by the end of the year. With LifeWallet's troubles seemingly set to limit Ruiz's ability to support Miami's NIL efforts can the Canes still be one of the top recruiting teams in the ACC and the country?

Miami seemingly has a strong NIL infrastructure in place, so it's certainly possible, given they are currently No. 12 in the team rankings. The Hurricanes added a commitment from five-star Joshisa Trader earlier this month, and they kept starting quarterback Tyler Van Dyke from transferring, thanks to the efforts of the Canes Connection.



3. Can Harvard land four-star Guerby Lambert? 

Guerby Lambert
Guerby Lambert (

There have only been two four-stars in the Rivals era to commit to and play for Ivy League teams. The last one was quarterback Brevin White in 2018, and prior to him was tight end Blake Barker in 2010. Guerby Lambert is seriously considering Harvard and took an official visit to the campus in late June. Notre Dame, Ohio State and Boston College have been the other top contenders.

Notre Dame is viewed as the favorite, but Boston College seemingly made a last-minute push by getting Lambert on campus for an unofficial visit this past week.

It's been five years since the last four-star committed to and stuck with his commitment to an Ivy League program, and Lambert could very well be the next. He would be the highest-ranked player to ever pick an Ivy League program.