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Grid Recruiting: State-by-state Update

Thursday, September 11, 2008 11:41am
By: Accsports Staff

By Scott Vogelsberg
ACCSports.com
December 26, 2004 Any successful college football coach will tell you that recruiting a school's home state is a top priority in the recruiting game. Not only does developing strong relationships with the state's high schools ensure that future crops will look your way, but it's also vital in keeping the state's top talent from going to neighboring schools or conference foes.

We'll take a look at the top five players in each state in the Atlantic Coast Conference and where they are either committed or which schools they are considering. All prospects ranked by ACC Area Sports Journal except for the state of Massachusetts, for which we used Scout.com ratings. The school lists for each prospect are the most recent provided by Scout.com.

FLORIDA

Name Rank Pos. Ht./Wt. City Schools
Antone Smith 1 RB 5-8/185 Pahokee AUB, FSU, GA, LSU, MIA, OSU
Maurice Wells 2 RB 5-9/185 Jacksonville GT, OSU, FSU, MD, UNC, ND, USC
Fred Rouse 3 WR 6-3/187 Tallahassee ALA, FSU, MIA, OKLA, TEXAS
Kenneth Phillips 4 S 6-2/195 Miami FLA, FSU, MIA, TENN, NCSU
Matt Hardrick 5 OL 6-5/342 Orlando FSU, FLA, OKLA, MIA, MISS, GA, LSU, NEB

State Notes: In what looks to be yet another loaded year in the Sunshine State, the best players in the state are sticking true to the recent trend of not having decided on a college destination. Most of the finest players in Florida prefer to wait until the days leading up to Signing Day. The "Big Three" of Miami, Florida State and Florida usually have their pick of those prospects. Among ACC schools, N.C. State has the best ties to the Sunshine State due to Amato's 18-year tenure at Florida State, but the Pack's prospects took a hit when lead recruiter and associate head coach Doc Holliday left to join the Gators staff under new coach Urban Meyer. One interesting development to watch is the fact that Miami is in a scholarship crunch and will likely only take five or six more commitments

GEORGIA

Name Rank Pos. Ht./Wt. City Schools
Justin Mincey 1 DE 6-6/240 Folkston Florida State commitment
Trey Blackmon 2 LB 6-0/192 LaGrange Auburn commitment
Kyle Moore 3 DT 6-6/249 Warner Robins GA, MIA, OKLA, TENN, USC, MICH
Matt Dunham 4 LB 6-2/220 Columbus Florida State commitment
Marcus Washington 5 LB 6-1/216 Waynesboro Georgia commitment

State Notes: Georgia Tech appears to be having a rough time in-state, landing commitments from only two of the top 40 players in the state thus far. Coach Chan Gailey and his staff have some work to do here, but the Yellow Jackets only have nine commits thus far, so Gailey & Co. do have grants to work with.

MARYLAND/D.C.

Name Rank Pos. Ht./Wt. City Schools
Derrick Williams 1 WR 6-0/193 Greenbelt FLA, OKLA, PSU, TENN, TEXAS, FSU, LOU, MIA
Melvin Alaeze 2 DT 6-2/276 Randallstown MD, VT, MIA, USC, FLA, FSU, OSU
Morgan Green 3 RB 6-0/190 Indian Head Maryland commitment
Ike Whitaker 4 QB 6-4/205 Germantown Virginia Tech commitment
Anthony Wiseman 5 DB 5-9/173 Hyattsville Maryland commitment

State Notes: The Terrapins have secured commitments from five of the top 11 players in the state. The top two prospects in Maryland are not likely headed to College Park, but the rest of the top five are going to ACC schools -- two to Maryland and one to Virginia Tech. This year has marked another strong effort by the Terps, securing commitments early and often. Maryland has 20 commits already, so it is closing in on its limit.

MASSACHUSETTS

Name Rank Pos. Ht./Wt. City Schools
Jarred Harrell 1 TE 6-6/240 Marion Maryland commitment
James McGillicuddy 2 DT 6-3/300 Shrewsbury HARVARD, DUKE, STAN, B.C., ND, TENN, VANDY
Mike McLaughlin 3 LB 6-2/245 Woburn Boston College commitment
Zack Asack 4 QB 6-4/185 Westwood Duke commitment
Austin Giles 5 OL 6-3/275 Marshfield Boston College commitment

State Notes: Four of the top five prospects in Massachusetts have already committed to ACC schools. Boston College has just a dozen verbal commitments, so the Eagles have the room to reel in plenty more.

NORTH CAROLINA

Name Rank Pos. Ht./Wt. City Schools
Derek Nicholson 1 LB 6-0/228 Winston-Salem FSU, MIA, UNC, VT, TENN, CLEM, GA
Toney Baker 2 RB 5-10/218 Jamestown UNC, NCSU, TENN, VA, VT
Mohamed Massaquoi 3 WR 6-2/195 Charlotte Georgia commitment
Jonathan Crompton 4 QB 6-4/216 Waynesville Tennessee commitment
Jonathan Hannah 5 TE 6-5/255 Hope Mills FSU, GA, UNC, NCSU, SC, VT

State Notes: Three of the top five players in North Carolina have not committed, and the two that have are going out of state, to Tennessee and Georgia. The four ACC schools within the state - N.C. State, UNC, Wake Forest and Duke - continue to struggle with keeping the top North Carolina talents within the borders. Looking further down the list, only one of the top 10 players has committed to an ACC school thus far, with quarterback Cameron Sexton pledging to the Tar Heels.

SOUTH CAROLINA

Name Rank Pos. Ht./Wt. City Schools
C.J. Byrd 1 S 6-3/184 North Augusta Georgia commitment
Rendrick Taylor 2 WR 6-2/207 Bennettsville CLEM, ALA, FSU, SC, GA, GT, UNC
Mike Davis 3 RB 5-10/210 Columbia ALA, AUB, CLEM, KY, UNC, SC
Eric Huggins 4 WR 6-3/190 Conway Oklahoma commitment
Josh Miller 5 LB 6-1/210 Manning Clemson commitment

State Notes: National powers Georgia and Oklahoma plucked two of the top five players out of South Carolina in the early going, but Clemson prevented the shutout by landing Miller. The Tigers have 22 commitments, so coach Tommy Bowden doesn't have many more grants to work with. The job of securing the best players in South Carolina won't get any easier with coach Steve Spurrier taking over the Gamecocks program

VIRGINIA

Name Rank Pos. Ht./Wt. City Schools
Victor Harris 1 CB 6-0/186 Highland Sprrings MIA, MICH, USC, VA, VT
Elan Lewis 2 RB 5-8/214 Hampton Virginia Tech commitment
Vicqual Hall 3 QB 5-11/170 Gretna Virginia commitment
Patrick Sheil 4 OL 6-6/275 Clifton Boston College commitment
Deveon Simmons 5 LB 6-1/210 Virginia Beach Virginia Tech commitment

State Notes: Four of the top five players in the state are going to the ACC, with Boston College stealing highly regarded lineman Sheil. The Wahoos and Hokies have traditionally had a stranglehold on the state since they are the only two Division 1-A schools in Virginia, but the state is fiercely recruited from all sides now. Virginia is just about done, with 24 commitments, but Virginia Tech has only 16 in the stable and now has the ammunition of using a conference championship on the recruiting trails.

LINKS FOR MORE RECRUITING INFORMATION:

ACC Football Commitments, December 26, 2004:
State-By-State Football Fall Recruiting Rankings, August 23, 2004:

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