No. 1 again: Florida State has top recruiting class in ACC
CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) Florida State believes they've gotten closer to chasing down national champion and reigning Atlantic Coast Conference champ Clemson with yet another stellar recruiting class.
Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher assembled a 21-man group Wednesday that was rated sixth nationally by 247Sports Composite and included two top 10 players in running back Cam Akers and defensive tackle Marvin Wilson.
The Seminoles also added a second five-star runner to go along with Akers in Khalan Laborn. Both are expected to make it easier to fill the void left by star tailback Dalvin Cook, who has entered the NFL draft.
It's a familiar position for the Seminoles, who have been the ACC's recruiting leader for the past eight seasons, according to 247Sports.
''We've been very fortunate in hitting a lot of guys in our classes,'' said Fisher, who has been at the helm of the program since 2010 and won a national title in 2013. ''If you hit in the 75-80 percent range, that's extremely, extremely high. People don't realize that but that's the truth.''
Clemson didn't sign many players in the wake of its national title - just 14 - along with one walk-on: Coach Dabo Swinney's son, Will, the top receiver at nearby Daniel High. But Swinney's class includes two top talents at receiver from Tennessee in Tee Higgins of Oak Ridge and Amari Rodgers from Knoxville. Rodgers is the son of former Vols quarterback Tee Martin, who led Tennessee to its last national title in 1998.
The group also includes quarterback Hunter Johnson of Brownsburg, Indiana, considered the country's second best pro style prospect. Johnson, already enrolled, will be part of the mix to replace Deshaun Watson, who gave up his final year of college for the NFL.
''We met our needs,'' Swinney said. ''I don't have any doubt.''
Other things to know about ACC recruiting:
LOUISVILLE BEEF: The Cardinals class of 22 players included five 300-pounders for an offensive line looking to protect reigning Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Lamar Jackson next fall. Louisville coach Bobby Petrino said the recruits are athletic and should have the chance for early playing time.
SEEKING QBS: Several ACC programs are looking to replace established quarterbacks and hope signing day is a springboard for that. At Clemson, Hunter Johnson is a strong-armed newcomer who figures in the race to replace Deshaun Watson. At Virginia Tech, the Hokies lost Jerod Evans to the draft and brought in two QBs, including former Nebraska passer A.J. Bush. At Pittsburgh, the loss of Nathan Peterman led the Panthers to add former Southern Cal quarterback Max Browne to the roster. Syracuse brought in Tommy Divitto, a highly regarded quarterback who also had offers from Ole Miss, Texas A&M and Washington State.
CAUGHT LOOKING: North Carolina coach Larry Fedora could've used a quarterback in his class with Mitch Trubisky deciding to leave early for the NFL. But Fedora said Trubisky's decision came too late in the recruiting process to land a top-flight passer. Fedora's got it on his to-do list for next year.
SON SHINE: Clemson coach Dabo Swinney spent time at his son Will's announcement ceremony at Daniel High before continuing with a busy signing day that also included cutting the ribbon on the team's new $55 million football operations building. Swinney said he was proud that Will wanted to join his team. ''If anyone would know where the warts are to this program, it'd be my son,'' Swinney said.
FAMILY TIES: Miami called on some family ties in its recruiting class. Evidence Njoku, whose brother David played for Miami before declaring for the NFL draft, signed Wednesday with the Hurricanes. The Hurricanes also got a legacy recruit as well, with punter Zach Feagles - the son of Miami alum and 22-year NFL veteran Jeff Feagles. Also, freshman quarterback Cade Weldon is the son of former Florida State passer Casey Weldon, who was coached by now Miami head coach Mark Richt while with the Seminoles.
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