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Three-Point Stance: Highs and lows, ACC portal priority, flip targets

Mike Norvell
Mike Norvell (© Alicia Devine/Tallahassee Democrat / USA TODAY NETWORK)

Rivals national recruiting analyst Adam Friedman has thoughts on the start of the college football season for the ACC, which programs should begin to focus on recruiting the transfer portal, and which committed prospects could end up signing with another program.


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The stark contrast of the highs and lows of out-of-conference play for ACC teams so far this year illustrate just how different the top teams in the conference are compared to the others. Florida State's marquee win over LSU will have a lasting effect on the season and on the recruiting trail. The same can be said for Miami after it beat Texas A&M in the NIL Bowl. North Carolina earned the right to call itself 'Carolina' after beating South Carolina in Charlotte and Wake Forest got an important win over Vanderbilt last weekend at home. The Demon Deacons could be set up to have an undefeated record when they head to Clemson in early October.

On the flipside, some of the losses the ACC has already taken this season should be really discouraging. For the second straight year North Carolina almost lost to Appalachian State but that isn’t even the worst the ACC has had to endure. Pittsburgh lost to Cincinnati and Virginia Tech lost to Purdue, but Boston College and Virginia sit atop of the list of worst performing ACC teams thus far. Boston College has done nothing to quiet the rumors of Jeff Hafley’s hot seat as head coach of the Eagles. In Week 1 they lost a home game to Northern Illinois in overtime and then this weekend they barely beat Holy Cross at home. Virginia is the only winless team in the ACC thus far after losing to Tennessee in Week 1 and then losing to James Madison. The in-state program just up the road is in its second season as a FBS program and a member of the Sun Belt conference.



Dabo Swinney
Dabo Swinney (© Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports)

Clemson: Adapt or die. One or two recruiting classes filled with high school prospects hasn’t fixed Clemson’s issues. Time for Dabo Swinney to take a hard look in the mirror.

Miami: The Canes put together a top-20 transfer class last cycle and some of those players are already making an impact. With a lot of new faces on the coaching staff this time around, expect Mario Cristobal and company to make their presence felt in the transfer portal again this year as they continue to improve their roster.

Duke: The Blue Devils have plenty of momentum as a program and Mike Elko is developing quite the reputation. A high academic institution such as Duke can be an attractive destination for transfer prospects and Elko’s staff has shown the ability to maximize the talent on the roster.

NC State: Dave Doeren and staff have put together some very competitive teams over the years but they’ve had a rough year recruiting high school prospects. They missed on a number of highly rated in-state prospects and hold commitments from just four four-star prospects.
Louisville: Jeff Brohm and company are still molding their roster to fit their system. Just 14 high school prospects have committed to the Cardinals so far. That total could go up but they’ll still be very active in the transfer portal as they try to compete for ACC championships.



Zahir Rainer
Zahir Rainer (

Flip season is upon us and there are a handful of players in the East who should be considered flip candidates.

Michigan State commits: The situation at Michigan State is going to have a major impact on the recruiting trail. East region prospects Logan Bennett, Henry Hasselbeck, Syair Torrence and Justin Denson Jr. are all committed to the Spartans but each will get another look from teams around the country as the full picture of the fallout in East Lansing becomes more clear.

Florida commits: The Gators just lost a commitment from Michai Boireau and Florida can't afford to lose any of its other important pieces of its No. 3-ranked recruiting class. Billy Napier and staff have a lot of out-of-state commitments and two to keep a close eye on are Aaron Chiles and Amaris Williams. The two Rivals250 prospects did not seem like Florida leans prior to their commitments. Chiles appeared to be favoring Michigan and Williams had been high on Tennessee and Penn State.

Malcolm Ziglar: Ziglar isn't one to talk about his recruitment much but the North Carolina commit did announce he received an offer from Georgia last week. He then proceeded to return to Chapel Hill for a visit and met with the coaching staff this past weekend. Ziglar appears to still be solidly committed to North Carolina but he'll be one to track as the Early Signing Period approaches.

Zahir Rainer: Minnesota landed a commitment from Rainer in April but there have been consistent rumblings that Virginia Tech will eventually flip him. The Virginia native is close with many of the players committed to the Hokies and he's been to the nearby campus on multiple occasions. Minnesota isn't giving up on Rainer so this is one recruitment to keep an eye on.