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Which ACC Teams Have The Most Star Recruits?

Wednesday, June 11, 2014 10:58am
  • Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston is one of seven five-star recruits on the Seminoles' roster. (AP Photo)
     Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston is one of seven five-star recruits on the Seminoles' roster. (AP Photo)
By: A.J. Valdes

In college football, recruiting is everything. The last eight teams to play in the National Championship Game have all had average recruiting classes that rank in the top 10. These top recruits are what make up great teams. In this year's NFL Draft, 26 of the first 50 picks were either four- or five-star recruits coming out of high school.

While recruiting success doesn't necessarily directly correlate to on-field success, programs with more top talent have a better chance at finishing atop the conference than programs who recruit poorly. With that being said here is a preseason ranking of ACC teams based on returning four and five-star recruits, according to Rivals.

1. FLORIDA STATE

  • Five-stars: 7
  • Four-stars: 26
  • Total: 33

Keys factors: With fearsome nose tackle Timmy Jernigan departing for the NFL, it will be up to former five-star recruit Eddie Goldman to anchor down this defensive line that was so devastating a year ago.

2. CLEMSON

  • Five-stars: 3
  • Four-stars: 31
  • Tota: 34

Key factors: Last spring, Clemson was able to sign three four-star wide receivers in Demarre Kitt, Kyrin Priester and Artavis Scott. All will be presented with the task of replacing matchup nightmares Sammy Watkins and Martavis Bryant.

3. MIAMI

  • Five-stars: 1
  • Four-stars: 18
  • Total: 19

Key factors: The Hurricanes managed to put together the best recruiting class in the coastal division, signing eight four-star players in last year's class alone. Among these players is four-star quarterback recruit Brad Kaaya, who will definitely be in the conversation for replacing Stephen Morris.

4. VIRGINIA TECH

  • Five-stars: 1
  • Four-stars: 18
  • Total: 19

Key Factors: Defense, defense, defense. The Hokies are poised to have a big year on the defensive side of the ball. Bud Foster gets to work with blue-chip recruits Kendall Fuller and Brandon Facyson, as well as a top-30 2014 recruiting class.

5. VIRGINIA

  • Five-stars: 3
  • Four-stars: 10
  • Total: 13

Key factors: All of Virginia’s hard work on the recruiting side of the program is on the brink of paying off. The Cavaliers managed to sign two five-star recruits on the defensive side of ball in safety Quin Blanding and defensive tackle Andrew Brown. An early impact from these two might be able to make up for questionable quarterback play.

6. NORTH CAROLINA 

  • Five-stars: 1
  • Four-stars: 14
  • Total: 15

Key factors: With the departure of tight end Eric Ebron to the NFL, there are some questions as to who will be catching passes from quarterback Marquise Williams this year. Former four-star recruit Quinshad Davis is the safe bet to assume the No.1 receiver role. The All-ACC wide receiver is due for a break out year in 2014.
 
7. LOUISVILLE 

  • Five-stars: 0
  • Four-stars: 9
  • Total: 9

Key factors: This season, three-star returning quarterbacks Will Gardner, Kyle Bolin and Brett Nelson will all battle to fill the shoes of Teddy Bridgewater. Gardner was the only one to see the field last season in a Louisville uniform and seems to be the frontrunner for the starting job. Whoever wins the job will inherit star wide receiver Devante Parker.

8. PITTSBURGH

  • Five-stars: 1
  • Four-stars: 7
  • Total: 8

Key factors: With the uncertainty of who will be replacing quarterback Tom Savage, it's good to know that the Panthers will have All-ACC wide receiver and former four-star recruit Tyler Boyd to throw to. Boyd led the team in receiving last year as a freshman and seems poised to follow it up with another 1,000-yard season.

9. N.C. STATE 

  • Five-stars: 1
  • Four-stars: 5
  • Total: 6 

Key factors: With a stable of wide receivers to throw to, four-star transfer quarterback Jacoby Brissett is in position to have a big year. With a strong, mobile quarterback for coach Dave Doeren to work with, this Wolfpack team looks very similar to the ones he was able to dominate the MAC with.

10. GEORGIA TECH 

  • Five-stars: 0
  • Four-stars: 6
  • Total: 6

Key factors: With the sudden transfer of Vad Lee, the loss of big-play threat Robert Godhigh to the NFL and the departure of their starting quarterback, the Yellow Jackets seem to be dry on offense. Tack on the loss of their top pass rusher and a mediocre 2014 recruiting class, and Paul Johnson and his staff find themselves with a lot of questions to answer.

11. BOSTON COLLEGE

  • Five-stars: 0
  • Four-stars: 4
  • Total: 4

Key factors: Boston College will find its roster a barren list of underclassmen. Two-star transfer quarterback from Florida, Tyler Murphy, could have a tough time putting points on the board as the Eagles lost their star running back Andre Williams and top wide receiver Alex Amidon.

12. DUKE

  • Five-stars: 0
  • Four-stars: 1
  • Total: 1

Key factors: The Blue Devils are in a position to prove that they are not a one-hit-wonder. Three-star recruits Anthony Boone at quarterback and all-conference receiver Jamison Crowder will both be back this year. Add that on to Duke’s dynamic defense, and the Blue Devils have built a foundation to do big things this year.

13. SYRACUSE

  • Five-stars: 0
  • Four-stars: 1
  • Total: 1

Key factors: With most of its offense returning, Syracuse has a chance to make a little noise. With dual-threat quarterback Terrel Hunt standing behind four returning linemen, including star left tackle Sean Hickey, a former two-star recruit, the Orange are poised to make some real strides in 2014.

14. WAKE FOREST

  • Five-stars: 0
  • Four-stars: 0
  • Total: 0

Key factors: With a depleted defense and a lackluster recruiting class, first-year coach Dave Clawson will be faced with a tough task of coaching the Demon Deacons. With no real improvements anywhere in the running game and offensive line, Wake Forest could be in for a very long year.