By Michael Briggs @MichaelSBriggs on July 9, 2014
The ACC has secured one of the two verbal commitments made by the nation's top 10 players (according to ESPN), and the conference is showing no signs of letting up. Florida State's national championship run has certainly aided the ACC's image, but the Seminoles aren't the only program in the hunt for top recruits. And by the looks of it, opposing offensive linemen could be in for some tough games in the coming years.
The ACC is all over Shy Tuttle, with North Carolina, Clemson, Miami and NC State among his top five teams of interest, according to a recent tweet from the DT prospect. UNC currently leads for his services, which seems like a must-win for the Tar Heels considering the stout run stopper is the state's top-ranked player for 2015. Although North Carolina is projected by 24/7 Sports to land Tuttle, Clemson is certainly not out of it.
Marshall is one of the nation's top-ranked corners, and is a likely candidate for early playing time wherever he lands. That being said, the California native has been recruited hard by the home state schools, with USC looking like the team to beat at the moment, according to 24/7 Sports' Crystal Ball. However, ACC newcomer Notre Dame is still in the mix, which isn't all that surprising given the program's solid recruiting history in California.
Lucier-South is another California recruit who has expressed some interest in playing his college ball out of state, as Michigan, Notre Dame, Texas and Washington are listed among his top schools. Although UCLA seems to have the edge for the tall and lean defensive end, Notre Dame is pushing hard for Marshall and Lucier-South to join current Fighting Irish commit and California native C.J. Sanders in South Bend.
Campbell is a unique player at 6-foot-4 with 4.3 speed, but unfortunately for the litany of top programs trying to land his services, the five-star recruit is most interested in Florida and Clemson. Artavis Scott, a four-star WR recruit who signed with Clemson in the 2014 class, is a good friend of Campbell's, and could help sway the two-way star towards leaving the state to join him in South Carolina.
Sheffield is a state champion hurdler and shutdown corner, making it extra challenging for out-of-state programs to poach him from the backyards of both Texas and Texas A&M. However, Notre Dame has the national presence many schools can only dream of having, giving the Fighting Irish more than a fighting chance at ESPN and 24/7 Sports' 10th-best prospect in the country.
Another imposing defensive tackle considering taking his talents to the ACC, Settle currently favors Alabama, Clemson and Tennessee according to 24/7 Sports, although Florida State and in-state powers Virginia and Virginia Tech are among the prospect's seven schools of interest. Clemson's defensive coordinator Brent Venables is Settle's primary recruiter and is clearly pitching national title dreams, but don't count out the Cavaliers.
As a big-time defensive end prospect from Florida, it comes as little surprise that the Gators and Seminoles are leading CeCe Jefferson's list. UF is currently projected as the five-star recruit's favorite, but the Seminoles could certainly shock analysts by securing his signature, as they have done with similar prospects in previous classes. Landing Jefferson would significantly boost FSU's class, possibly solidifying a top-10 national ranking.
Beckner Jr. looks ready for the college game at 6-foot-4 and 293 pounds, and Florida State would love to pair him with Jefferson to build a havoc-creating defense in Tallahassee. 24/7 Sports has Missouri slotted as the favorite to secure Beckner Jr., but the defending national champs are by no means out of the race.
At 6-foot-5, Sweat possess big cat speed from the defensive end position, where he could quickly become an All-American and high NFL Draft pick with a little more bulk. Keeping that kind of talent in-state is Virginia Tech's highest priority, although fellow conference member Florida State is also on his list of top schools. 24/7 Sports' Crystal Ball prediction envisions a tough battle between the two to decide Sweat's new home.
As the nation's No. 1 recruit, Thompson's decision will have a great impact on the 2015 class rankings, and possibly, future national title races. The Georgia Bulldogs are the team to beat, but Auburn and Clemson are also listed in his top-three by 24/7 Sports. The Tigers already boast ESPN's second-ranked class with five-star OT and Georgia native Mitch Hyatt leading the way, but will a five-star DT from the same state push them to No. 1?
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