Recruiting 2012 - ACC Atlantic Team Rankings

Posted Feb 4, 2012

Ranking and analyzing the 2011 ACC Atlantic Recruiting Classes

Recruiting 2012 

ACC Atlantic Rankings

Recruiting 2012 
CFN 2012 Recruiting Rankings & All-Star Teams
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- ACC Coastal Recruiting Rankings

2012 CFN All-ACC
Recruiting Team

QB – Jameis Winston, Florida State
RB – Duke Johnson, Miami
RB – Mario Pender, Florida State
WR – Germone Hopper, Clemson
WR – Justin Thomas, Georgia Tech
TE – Christo Kourtzidis, Florida State
OT – Isaiah Battle, Clemson
OG – Patrick Destefano, Clemson
C – Jay Guillermo, Clemson
OG – D.J. Reader, Clemson
OT – Ereck Flowers, Miami
PK – Ross Martin, Duke

DE – Chris Casher, Florida State
DT – Eddie Goldman, Florida State
DT – Carlos Watkins, Clemson
DE – Mario Edwards, Florida State
OLB – Markuss Eligwe, Florida State
MLB – Kwontie Moore, Virginia
OLB – Eli Harold, Virginia
CB – Ronald Darby, Florida State
S – Travis Blanks, Clemson
S – P.J. Williams, Florida State
CB – Tracy Howard, Miami
P – Roberto Aguayo, Florida St

1. Florida State | The Entire 2012 Recruiting Class  

The 2012 Class Was Heavy On... This might not turn out to be the class last year's was, but head coach Jimbo Fisher is playing with the biggest of big boys when it comes to bringing in the talent. He's loading up on the lines, especially defensive end, with Mario Edwards the top end prospect in America, and Chris Casher and Dante Fowler not far behind. He's looking for instant help from the JUCO ranks for the offensive line that needs a few more options, and he's going hard after a few top quarterback prospects to be ready to fight for a job when E.J. Manuel is done next year.

Team Concerns For 2012: Playing up to the talent level. There's no excuse this season to not be in the national title chase with a few outstanding recruiting classes setting the expectations high, and now the skill and experience are both in place to come up with a huge season. Improving the running game will be a priority, and developing Manuel into a top NFL prospect is a must, but that's nitpicking. Everything is in place to do big things.

Looking Ahead To The 2012 Season: Let's try this again. Florida State was just about everyone's sleeper team to play for the national title last season, but the offense didn't do enough in key situations and the D wasn't special enough in the biggest games. This year, though, it's time to really and truly be as good as projected thanks to a defense that won't allow a thing. This could be the best Seminole defense in a decade only two players off the two deep depth chart done; no one will run on this line.

Offensively, quarterback EJ Manuel as the size and the skill set to go from good to top-ten-overall-draft-pick good, but he could use some help from the receivers. The running game was abysmal last year, but the line gets three starters back and Devonta Freeman is a promising young back to work around. Kicker Dustin Hopkins will be on the Lou Groza short list. 

2. Clemson | The Entire 2012 Recruiting Class  

The 2012 Class Was Heavy On... Lowered expectations. Head coach Dabo Swinney appears to be putting together another terrific class, but it's asking for way too much to come up with an instant game-changer like Sammy Watkins. Even so, this receiving corps is about to get even better with a few good four-star types to be ready to roll when Watkins bolts for the NFL as soon as humanly possible. The defensive line will get the most attention and should be the strongest part of the haul.

Team Concerns For 2012: Consistency. After the awful last part of the season – outside of the ACC championship – the team needs to bring the effort and production week in and week out. That might be hard early on with three starters gone off the defensive front and three new starters on the offensive line. There's an interesting blend of terrific young talents and decent veterans, and it all needs to blend fast in what could be another title run.

Looking Ahead To The 2012 Season: How fast can the Tigers get over the atomic wedgie applied by West Virginia in the Orange Bowl? The offensive talent is undeniable with the pitch-catch combination of Tajh Boyd to Sammy Watkins one of the best in college football. However, the offensive line has to undergo an overhaul and tight end Dwayne Allen is about to become a millionaire at the next level. The defensive front has even more issues with tackle Brandon Thompson one of three starters gone, but almost everyone in the back seven returns. The recruiting has been stellar and the athleticism and skill is in place across the board to be in the hunt for the ACC title, but the league is going to be stronger as a whole.
3. NC State | The Entire 2012 Recruiting Class  

The 2012 Class Was Heavy On... The Wolfpack is going hard after the defensive line for the second time in four years. The line is fine for now, but Tom O'Brien needs players to develop for down the road with the wave of strong prospects from the 2009 class are done. The offensive side will get more help for the interior with the guards getting the most attention.

Team Concerns For 2012: The passing game needs more options for QB Mile Glennon to work with after speedy T.J. Graham chose to leave early and receivers Jay Smith, Steven Howard, and tight end George Bryan also done. The defensive side needs help on the inside with starting tackles J.R. Sweezy and Markus Kuhn gone. The Pack has plenty of young players ready to show what they can do, but it'll be an untested area in spring ball.

Looking Ahead To The 2012 Season: After closing out the season winning four of the final five games, the needle is pointing up with enough veterans coming back to expect a possible run at ten wins. The line struggled in pass protection, but four starters are back to pave the way for James Washington and a running game that might be better. QB Mike Glennon started to come into his own, and he needs to be terrific with new starting receivers – led by Tobias Palmer - taking over for T.J. Graham and Jay Smith. The defense that led the ACC in sacks loses Terrell Manning a year early for the NFL and has to replace Audie Cole in the middle, but the entire secondary returns and the ends should be terrific with Darryl Cato-Bishop ready to do more in the rotation.
4. Maryland | The Entire 2012 Recruiting Class

The 2012 Class Was Heavy On... The running backs. The defense will end up getting the most help with a ton of great linebackers coming in, but head coach Randy Edsall wants to run the ball, run the ball, run the ball. His ground attack is what made him such a success at UConn, and his first job in his first full recruiting cycle is to beef up the talent in the backfield.

Team Concerns For 2012: The Terps have to find a consistent offense, and again, that's going to start with the ground game. Almost everyone is back on O except for top back Davin Meggett, while the defense gets everyone back except for corner Trenton Hughes, and gets yet another year out of safety/linebacker Kenny Tate, a future NFL star who's coming back from injury. The experience will be there across the board. Can the production start to come? For Edsall, it had better.

Looking Ahead To The 2012 Season: Well that didn't exactly work. Randy Edsall needs to have a few answers in Year Two after a complete and utter disaster following the opening day win over Miami. The first job will be to settle on a quarterback, hoping C.J. Brown is the main man. On the plus side, nine starters are back with all five back up front after being one of the few bright spots. RB Davin Meggett is gone, but speedy Justus Pickett should carry more of the load. The defense was the bigger problem with no production against the run. The pass rush was solid, and it should be stronger with Andre Monroe up the middle to go next to Joe Vellone, who might be the nation's best returning tackle. MLB Demetrius Hartsfield was fifth in the nation in tackles, but he needs more help. Ten starters return only losing corner Trenton Hughes. 

5. Boston College | The Entire 2012 Recruiting Class  

The 2012 Class Was Heavy On... Linebackers. Is BC the new Linebacker U.? With Mark Herzlich and Luke Kuechly, the tradition of spectacular linebacker play continues, and now the program needs to load up on more options for the middle. The position is fine for now, but the class will be looking three years ahead. Upgrading the receiver talent would be a bonus.

Team Concerns For 2012: The offense has to find more pop. 2010 might have been a dud, but this was a young team in several areas and now comes back loaded with talent. Replacing Kuechly is next to impossible, and backup in the middle Will Thompson is also gone. The last few classes have solidified an O line that should be deep and strong for the next few seasons. All the key skill players were sophomores, and now the have to start doing far more.

Looking Ahead To The 2012 Season: The Eagles came on late winning three of the final five games after a disastrous start, but the only hope of improving and getting back into the ACC title chase is to get more out of an offense that finished 112th in the nation in total yards and scoring. Center Mark Spinney is gone, but ten other offensive starters return. QB Chase Rettig is back, and he gets all his top receivers including Bobby Swigert and Alex Amidon. Rolandan Finch took over the running duties, but Andre Williams is strong enough to carry some of the load. The defense loses end Max Holloway and Butkus winner Luke Kuechly a year early to the NFL, but eight starters return from a group that was a rock against the run. Kevin Pierre-Louis needs to be the new top tackler, and someone has to start getting into the backfield. 

6. Wake Forest | The Entire 2012 Recruiting Class  

The 2012 Class Was Heavy On... The passing game. Wake Forest is hardly known for its air attack, bit it has to have the pieces in place for 2014 with Tanner Price and Ted Stachitas done in a few years. The receiving corps lost talented Chris Givens a year early to the NFL, and this year's class could produce a prospect or two to make an early impact. More than anything else, head coach Jim Grobe wants to go after as many good players as possible regardless of position.

Team Concerns For 2012: Finding a No. 1 target in place of Givens is a must, and getting more out of the running game without Brandon Pendergrass will be a task. The defense doesn't lose much, but starting safeties Josh Bush and Cyril Quarles are both gone. It'll be a very, very young secondary that'll take its lumps early on.

Looking Ahead To The 2012 Season: The second half of the season might have been awful, losing five of the final six games, but it was still a bowl season and a nice step forward under Jim Grobe. Tanner Price is a good quarterback to work around, but he loses star receiver Chris Givens a year early to the NFL and RB Brandon Pendergrass will be missed. The big issue is the O line with four starters gone and only center Garrick Williams returning. The defense that didn't get any pass rush, but three starters are back to the line and five starters return to the front seven. Both safeties – Josh Bush and Cyhl Quarles – are done meaning corners Merrill Noel and Kenny Okro needing to do even more. Considering the team has so many question marks on offense, PK Jimmy Newman could become the MVP. 

- ACC Coastal Recruiting Rankings