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Recruiting 2012 - ACC Coastal Team Rankings
Posted Feb 2, 2012

Ranking and analyzing the 2012 ACC Coastal Recruiting Classes

Recruiting 2012 

ACC Coastal Rankings

Recruiting 2012 

CFN Top Prospects for 2012
- No. 1 to 50 | No. 51 to 100 | No. 101 to 150
- No. 151 to 200No. 201 to 250 | No. 251 to 300
- Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Receivers
- Tight Ends | Off. Tackles | Guards & Centers 
- Def. Ends | Def. Tackles | Linebackers | Corners | Safeties 
- 2011 ACC Recruiting Rankings

- ACC Atlantic Recruiting Rankings

1. Miami | The Entire 2012 Recruiting Class  

The 2012 Class Was Heavy On... Apparently, someone forgot to tell the excellent Miami recruiting class about the Nevin Shapiro situation. While this might not be a special haul, it’s looking like a strong job done by Al Golden to keep bringing in enough NFL caliber prospects to keep the expectations high. Golden wants to upgrade the passing game, and it shows with a load of receivers coming in of all shapes and sizes. At least three quarterbacks are going to be signed, and they’ll be expected to be the main backups behind Stephen Morris sooner than later.

Team Concerns For 2012: The NFL bus left with several key underclassmen on it, and now Golden needs to find veteran playmakers early on who can win the close games that last year’s team couldn’t. Three starters are gone off the offensive line, RB Lamar Miller will be missed, and targets Travis Benjamin and Tommy Streeter are done. The defense has to replace Sean Spence in the middle and pass rusher Olivier Vernon on the outside.

Looking Ahead To The 2012 Season: What’s going to happen over the next few years after the Nevin Shapiro findings kick in? There was a mass exit of juniors to the NFL, but head coach Al Golden has a loaded recruiting class coming in with the promise that all the top prospects will get a shot to start right away. QB Stephen Morris shoukln’t have to look over his shoulder, but he won’t have Lamar Miller to hand off to or Tommy Streeter to throw to. Only two starters are back up front and there aren’t any proven players to get the attack rolling. The defense that was shockingly mediocre at everything but allowing points loses end Olivier Vernon and MLB Sean Spence. Two starters are back in the secondary and four starter return to the front seven, but it’s going to be a work in progress. 

2. Virginia Tech | The Entire 2012 Recruiting Class  

The 2012 Class Was Heavy On... Offensive skill players. Frank Beamer is always going after the next great running back, and he’s bringing in several options along with plenty of receivers with size and talent. This will be a class to boost up the offense for 2014 and beyond, while the defense will get the most help at linebacker. It’ll take a few years in the weight room, but this year’s class is big on speed and athleticism for the back seven.

Team Concerns For 2012: The Hokies bare on the offensive line with four starters gone. The 2010 recruiting class focused on the lines, but it’s asking a lot for the young players to be ready for primetime now; they’ll need another year, but they’ll provide the depth. The secondary lost corner Jayron Hosley and safety Eddie Whitley, but it’s a deep group that should be fine with a little bit of time.

Looking Ahead To The 2012 Season: The Hokies have to do some reloading, but that’s never been a problem for Frank Beamer. The biggest issue is an offensive line that loses four starters, while slippery-quick running back David Wilson is off early to the NFL. Also gone is Sugar Bowl star Danny Coale and fellow starting receiver Jarrett Boykin, but huge junior-to-be Logan Thomas is coming into his own as a quarterback and should be good enough to make everyone around him better. The defense is another story with no concerns with experience or returning starters. Pickoff artist Jayron Hosley is leaving early, leaving a void at one corner, but nine other starters are back from a very, very young group that finished tenth in the nation in total D. The line that started four underclassmen is loaded, while the linebacking corps should be special with a little bit of time. 

3. Virginia | The Entire 2012 Recruiting Class  

The 2012 Class Was Heavy On... Receivers. The last few classes have revolved around the offense, and the defensive front seven is getting the strongest talent this year, but the Cavaliers are looking to keep bringing in good targets. Last year, head coach Mike London came up with a strength-in-numbers class of receivers, and he’s doing it again with at least five prospects coming in. While the passing game needs more attention, London likes the running game and he’s getting a good one in Kye Morgan.

Team Concerns For 2012: The defensive line has to find a disruptive force to fill in for Cam Johnson on the end, but the biggest problem is a secondary that loses three starters including shutdown corner Chase Minnifield. Considering the Cavs played so many close games, solidifying the kicking game is a must with P Jimmy Howell and PK Robert Randolph both gone.

Looking Ahead To The 2012 Season: The excitement is building under Mike London with a breakthrough season and a few good recruiting classes to work around. QB Michael Rocco and RB Perry Jones provide the offensive leadership working behind a terrific line that gets three starters back. WR Kris Burrd is done, but the other top receivers and TE Colter Phillips return. The defense has some retooling to do up front, and three starters are gone in the secondary, but unlike previous seasons, the depth should shine through with several good young players waiting in the wings. The kicking game wasn’t special, but it still needs to find replacements for PK Robert Randolph and P Jimmy Howell. 

4. North Carolina | The Entire 2012 Recruiting Class  

The 2012 Class Was Heavy On... New head coach Larry Fedora hasn’t have any time to work, and he has to deal with the pressure of a new gig and trying to live up to the expectations of past UNC recruiting classes. For good and bad, the program has been a factory for pro talent over the last few years, and while there aren’t any jaw-droppers in this class, there’s talent at linebacker and a few good-looking defensive backs on the way. Next year’s class will have to load up on skill players.

Team Concerns For 2012: The pieces are in place for a terrific year with the shelves still stocked with talent, but Fedora has to try to replace the production of Quinton Coples – the possible top end taken off the board in the 2012 draft – and Zach Brown, who might be the fastest linebacker at the Combine. Donte Paige-Moss and Tydreke Powell are also gone off a rebuilding defensive front, while two good starters in Charles Brown and Jonathan Smith are gone from the secondary.

Looking Ahead To The 2012 Season: New head coach Larry Fedora doesn’t have the jaw-dropping talent to work with across the board the program has enjoyed for the last few years, but he has a few great players to start with. QB Bryn Renner and RB Giovani Bernard are terrific, and they should get time to work behind a good-looking line with four starters returning. Top receiver Dwight Jones is gone, but Eric Highsmith is ready to be a No. 1. Star end Quinton Coples is gone off the line, as is tackle Tydreke Powell and leading tackler Zach Brown, but there’s a nice base of six good starters to build around. T.J. Thorpe should be one of the nation’s top kickoff returners. 

5. Georgia Tech | The Entire 2012 Recruiting Class  

The 2012 Class Was Heavy On... Receivers. Georgia Tech recruits to a type, and while its classes won’t ever be high up on the lists, they work for what Paul Johnson is trying to do. The defensive line is a focus with a few excellent talents coming in, and the secondary is getting a few new prospects even though the 2010 class was loaded with DBs, but the key might be finding the next gamebreaking receiver to be the home-run hitter the offense needs. No Tech target will ever be a 100-catch playmaker, but Calvin Johnson and Demaryius Thomas have made the school cool for wideouts.

Team Concerns For 2012: Gamebreaking receiver. It goes hand-in-hand with this recruiting class. The running backs are in place, and QB Tevin Washington has grown into his own, but the offense has to come up with a big play, 20-yard-per-catch target to replace Stephen Hill, who’s leaving early for the NFL. Also gone is fellow starting receiver, Tyler Melton.

Looking Ahead To The 2012 Season: The second half of the season might have been a major disappointment after a 6-0 start – finishing 2-5 – but the team returns loaded and ready to do even more after finishing second in the nation in rushing. QB Tevin Washington is the near-perfect option playmaker, but he needs even more help from the backs with David Sims and Orwin Smith returning. The passing game was among the nation’s most efficient, with Washington hitting on the deep plays when needed, but he’s losing WR Stephen Hill a year early to the NFL. The line will be the best in the Paul Johnson era with all five starters returning. The defense that had a strong year gets eight starters back led by linebacker Julian Burnette and outside defender Jeremiah Attochu. 

6. Duke | The Entire 2012 Recruiting Class  

The 2012 Class Was Heavy On... More options for the passing game. The 2010 class addressed the quarterback situation for the next few years, but more and more targets need to be developed for down the road. Head coach David Cutcliffe is trying to build up the offensive talent level, and he’s getting a few more good prospects than normal. With Donovan Varner gone and Conner Vernon done next year, the opportunities will be there to shine early on.

Team Concerns For 2012: The offense has to start producing like it’s supposed to. Varner is the only big loss with QB Sean Renfree, all the top backs, and Vernon returning to provide the experience needed to be consistent, and after going through the growing pains with four underclassmen starting up front, all five starters are back on the line. This is when the payoff has to come.

Looking Ahead To The 2012 Season: Will the offense finally start to work like it’s supposed to under head coach David Cutliffe? It finished 115th in the nation in rushing but gets top rushers Desmond Scott and Juwan Thompson back to work behind a line that was painfully young last year but now gets four starters back. The line was solid in pass protection, and QB Sean Renfree has to take advantage after a disappointing year. Conner Vernon should be among the ACC’s best receivers, and Brandon Braxton has to step up as a No. 2. The defense that was among the worst in the conference gets nine starters back, losing safety Matt Daniels and NG Charlie Hatcher. 

- ACC Atlantic Recruiting Rankings