Tigers, Hurricanes chasing Seminoles in ACC's football talent derby

On-field success, consistency reflect five-year recruiting trend

Clemson's Mike Williams tackles Florida State's Ronald Darby who intercepted a Tajh Boyd pass during the third quarter at Memorial Stadium in Clemson, S.C.

Photo by Ken Ruinard

Clemson's Mike Williams tackles Florida State's Ronald Darby who intercepted a Tajh Boyd pass during the third quarter at Memorial Stadium in Clemson, S.C.

Who has the ACC's most talented roster, based on 247Sports consensus recruiting rankings?

Not surprisingly, it's Florida State, whose classes have been ranked in the top 10 in each of the past five seasons, and has an average yearly ranking of 5.6.

Trailing, and in a virtual dead heat, are Miami (16.8 average ranking) and Clemson (17.2). The Hurricanes and Tigers enjoy a similar gap over fourth-place Virginia Tech (27.4) and fifth-place North Carolina (28.6). There's another drop-off between the Tar Heels and Virginia, at 37.4.

In its analysis of the data, Athlon notes that 10 or 15 years ago a No. 3 ACC ranking would have carried a negative connotation for the Tigers. "Now, however, it's positive," wrote the editors. "Clemson has really good players and is winning a lot of games. In fact, the Tigers are essentially tied with Miami as the league's second-most talented roster and is tied with Virginia Tech for the second-most ACC wins over the last four years (24-8).

"Has Clemson slipped behind Florida State to some degree? Certainly. But if the Tigers continue to recruit as well as they have and continue to get coaching from a star-studded staff, then they should be the top challenger to the Noles for the foreseeable future. "

Following is a team-by-team breakdown of the ACC's average recruiting rankings, as well as highs and lows, for the players making up their current rosters:

Florida State: 5.6, H #2, 2011; L # 10, 2013

Miami: 16.8, H #10, 2012; L #33, 2011

Clemson: 17.2, H #10 2011; L #28, 2010

Virginia Tech: 27.4, H #21 2012 + 13, L #36, 2011

North Carolina: 28.6, H #19 2011, L #43 2012

Virginia: 37.4, H #23 2011, L #77 2010

Louisville: 41.4, H #29 2011, L #50 2010

Pittsburgh: 47.2, H #33 2013, L #58 2011

NC State: 51.2, H #34 2014, L #72 2011

Georgia Tech: 53.4, H #41 2010, L #76 2013

Boston College: 58.8, H #41 2011, L #87 2013

Syracuse: 63.6, H #50 2014, L #73 2013

Duke: 65.4, H #58 2014, L #74 2010

Wake Forest: 67.0, H #62 2014, L # 71 2010

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Comments » 1

JSBCharleston writes:

That is a huge gap and it showed in the game last year. 5 star recruits obviously make a difference and we really aren't able to land many despite the number of wins we have posted in the last few years. Until we jump up into the top 10 regularly-I think we will remain a top 13 team only.

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