College football programs coast to coast have opened, or are set to open, spring practice slates and recruits continue to make visits for a fresh sample of their potential collegiate homes.
The open period in the recruiting calendar has proved both fruitful and telling in some regard, with spring break windows, collegiate bus tours and 7-on-7 tournaments helping that many more prospects see that many additional campuses.
The result has been a slow rise in verbal commitments over the month, reaching national levels in quarterback Nico Iamaleava picking Tennessee, particularly with schools and out-of-state recruits. In the last week, every Power Five verbal commitment outside of Dylan Spencer picking the in-state Texas Longhorns has featured a decision made beyond home state lines.
Over the weekend, the ACC was the primary beneficiary, as Boston College, Duke and Wake Forest added to their 2023 commitment hauls in a short span. Sports Illustrated looks at each choice on and off the field.
IDL Eryx Daugherty - Boston College
When a program gets a coveted prospect on campus and he wraps up his recruitment while in town, it's seemingly a bit sweeter for the coaching staff. It enables them to celebrate with said recruit and his family, something Jeff Hafley and company were able to accomplish with Daugherty, the two-way Bloomfield Hills (Mich.) Brother Rice lineman, on Saturday. Well put together at 6'4", 285 pounds or so, the Michigan native is a balanced defender with prowess versus the run and the pass. Thrown in plus athleticism, a strong lower half and consistent motor and there is a fit in the program's aggressive defensive scheme. BC defensive line coach Vince Oghobaase had multiple reactionary Tweets to the Daugherty news, expressing the excitement of the big recruiting weekend for the Eagle class.
IDL Ka'Shawn Thomas - Wake Forest
Another interior defensive lineman came off the board Saturday evening, nearly at the same time in Thomas' public pick for Wake Forest. The Brunswick (Ga.) High School star follows up his all-state and Brunswick News Defensive Player of the Year run in 2021 with an ACC decision. The 300-plus pounder is a force on the interior off the snap with substantial lower-body power and surprising pop off the line of scrimmage relative to his size. There is classic run-stuffer and pocket-collapsing skill in his game and he rarely gives ground along the way. As a junior, Thomas dealt with double teams for most of the campaign and still anchored an elite defense that sparked an 11-1 run in the fall. Thomas' pledge is the first for the program in the class of 2023 and it comes from the pipeline state of Georgia, where a dozen players on the current roster hail from.
Edge Jordan Mayer - Boston College
Around the same time Daugherty popped for BC, the pass rusher pledge to the Eagles came in via Jordan Mayer. Another two-way prospect, with tight end moonlighting on the resume, Mayer will be expected to play outside of the BC front with length and a strong first step in his game. The rising-senior can win with speed and/or counter with power from out of a three or four-point stance. He also has experience working in space with success as an off-ball player at times for Jefferson Hills (Pa.) Thomas Jefferson High School. At 6'4", 235 pounds, Mayer has the chance to become a pass rushing specialist or potentially build into a hybrid role with principles on the outside and inside alike. BC is up to five verbal commitments in the class and the haul on the defensive front over the weekend helps to lessen the impact of losing edge Boubacar Traore from the commitment list 10 days ago.
RB Seth Davis - Duke
The ACC's strong visitor weekend led to commitments through Monday morning, when Seth Davis went public with his pledge to Mike Elko and the Blue Devils fresh off of a trip to Durham. The Katy (Texas) High School star, who helped the program to a state semifinal run in 2021 with 2,460 yards and 28 touchdowns in 14 games, is a compact three-down type with a strong combination of north-south instincts and subtle shiftiness to make the initial defender look silly. Davis has more than 4,000 yards to his name since 2020 and shows toughness despite a smaller build at 5'9", 175 pounds or so. 400-plus varsity carries against a sky high level of competition shines just as brightly as the production on the Davis resume and the commitment to Elko is tangible proof of the coach's ties to the Lone Star State. All three of the early Blue Devil pledges are out-of-state gets on the offensive side of the football to date. Only Louisville, Boston College and Florida State have more early pledges in the ACC than the new administration at Duke, which also added Arkansas State transfer offensive lineman Andre Harris to the fold Monday evening.