I think it’s crazy that less than a week into the 2017 College Football season, I am sitting here writing about the 2018 classes. But that’s college football nowadays, right? We have a desire to brag about our team and their commits. As we all know, the recruiting trail never stops. So without further adieu, here are my rankings of the 2018 ACC recruiting classes.
14. GEORGIA TECH
I would imagine that it’s hard for Georgia Tech to recruit in the state of Georgia right now. But with that being said, head coach Paul Johnson and his staff have done a nice job at landing some talented in-state guys. ATH Tijai Whately and safety Charlie Thomas are two guys that project to be impact players in the secondary. With the ACC throwing the ball more and more, the development of those two could go a long way for the Yellow Jackets.
13. WAKE FOREST
The class of ’18 is intriguing for head coach Dave Clawson and staff. The name that stands out to me is pro-style quarterback Sam Hartman. What sparked my interest here is the fact that along with Hartman, there are three big offensive linemen in the class. To me, that shows Clawson that believes in Hartman and went out and got 6-5 Devonte Gordon, 6-6 Mike Edwards, and 6-4 Michael Jurgins to protect him. If this all adds up, smart move, Coach.
I’ll be honest on this one, Pittsburgh’s position is largely because they landed 6-5, 315 pound offensive tackle Chase Brown. Brown is the No. 7 offensive tackle in his class and almost alone catapulted Pitt to the 12 spot. Head Coach Pat Narduzzi did a good job getting this in-state commit.
At the top of this class are two names you might want to remember – Javar Garrett and Noah Taylor. These are two private school guys who have high motors at the outside linebacker position. If they feed off of each other, in a year or two these two could be the face of the linebacker crew.
10. BOSTON COLLEGE
With 15 three-star commits, Steve Addazio and the Golden Eagles come in at number 10. The bevy of numbers allows Boston College to have a versatile recruiting class, highlighted by 6-5, 320 pound offensive lineman Finn Dirstine, Vinny Deplama, a stout inside linebacker from New Jersey, and ATH Elijah Jones, who plays plays both sides of the balls and is a force on either.
The 2018 class for the Blue Devils is highlighted by a strong defensive haul. Five out of their top six recruits are defensive players, lead by Tahj Rice, the No. 13 overall strongside defensive end in the nation.
The ‘Cuse feature two “Big Ugly’s” at the top of their board. The No. 4 center in the nation, Tyrone Sampson Jr. and in-state commit Qadir White from the Bronx headline this massive class. The two have a combined weight of over 625 pounds. Look for these guys to bolster the offensive line sooner than later.
7. NORTH CAROLINA
The Tar Heels come in at number seven thanks to Payton Wilson, the No. 3 inside linebacker in the nation. A sideline-to-sideline playmaker, Wilson is versatile enough to play the run or drop back in coverage, a rare trait coming out of high school. The Heels also have WR Jordy Adams, who turns heads with his quickness and long frame alone, and early signee Avery Jones, a 6-4 275 pound OT.
6. N.C. STATE
Barely edging out their in-state rival, N.C. State has a lot of talent committed in this class. The Wolfpack landed an impressive backfield duo with the combination of Ricky Person (#6 RB) and Devin Leary (#14 PRO QB). Two athletes from New Jersey, Daevon Robinson and Jasiah Provillon, are taller than 6-1 and have the ability to impact the game on either side of the ball.
This is my team that is “on the rise.” The Cards just struck out on the nation’s number one tight end, but are looking to bounce back and sign the number two ranked tight end Nigel Kilby, who measures in at a “small” 6-7 250 pounds. Combine Kilby with 4-star WR Manuel Allen and this offense will be just as explosive in a few years as it is now… scary right? Oh, and don’t think Bobby Petrino is finished adding pieces yet.
4. VIRGINIA TECH
VT cracks my top 5… right now. At this stage the Hokies have strength in numbers with 19 total commits. A guy to keep your eye on in this class is 6-4 WR Tre Turner. A college weight program is going to turn him into a game changer.
3. FLORIDA STATE
With eight four-star and 10 three-star commits, FSU has another deep class. The story behind this class is defense. Lockdown corner Anthony Lython, defensive tackle Robert Cooper and (tell me if you’ve ever heard this name before) Asante Samuel Jr. are the highlights of a talented defensive haul. All three should be talked about as high draft picks come their junior seasons.
I feel like a lot of people will disagree and wish I switched FSU with the Tigers, but I just cannot do it. Clemson has verbal commitments from the No. 2 overall player and the best quarterback in the country in Trevor Lawrence and the No. 3 SDE Xavier Thomas. My main reason for having them at two is because Dabo Swinney just signed a long term deal, which almost always looks good in the eyes of a recruit. So the numbers in the Tiger’s class may be low now, but they won’t be for long.
Mark Richt has come out swinging in Miami, landing the No. 2 running back in the nation in Lorenzo Lingard and IMG Academy quarterback Artur Sitkowski. These two prospects have pushed the Canes to the top of my list, and we have not even begun to discuss their 14(!) four-star commits. The Hurricanes seem to be getting back to their old recruiting ways, and that’s a scary thing for the rest of the ACC.