ESPN's 2014 Top 300 loaded with future Seminoles, Hurricanes, Tigers

Miami leads the ACC with 12 top-300 commitments, FSU has 10 and Clemson 9

TE Milan Richard

TE Milan Richard

As Clemson puts the finishing touches on its latest recruiting class, including a meeting yesterday between Tiger running backs coach Tony Elliott and Alabama transfer David Kamara, other top programs are doing the same, racking up impressive lists of commitments from ESPN's final Top 300.

Florida State, Miami and Clemson are runaway leaders within the ACC, as they've combined for a total of 31 players from the top 300.

Miami's 26-man class includes a dozen from the top 300, which ranks third nationally behind Alabama's 16 and LSU's 13. Top pick-ups for coach Al Golden's Hurricanes include running back Joseph Yearby (No. 23 on the ESPN Top 300), offensive lineman K.C. McDermott (No. 36), defensive end Chad Thomas (No. 65), quarterback Brad Kaaya (No. 112) and offensive lineman Trevor Darling (No. 115).

Filling out the Hurricanes' list are defensive end Trent Harris (133), defensive tackle Anthony Moten (182), athlete Kiy Hester (196), offensive lineman Reilly Gibbons (241), linebacker Darrion Owens (246) and wide receiver Braxton Berrios (289).

Florida State includes 10 top-300 players among its 29 early enrollees and commitments, led by running back Dalvin Cook, a former Clemson and Florida commitment who's ranked No. 21 nationally. Other top additions for the Seminoles include linebacker Kevin Daub (32), defensive end Lorenzo Featherston (33), wide receiver Travis Rudolph (40), linebacker Jacob Pugh (110) and linebacker Delvin Purifoy (114).

Also headed to Tallahassee are defensive tackle Dexter Wideman (179), offensive lineman Corey Martinez (191), defensive tackle Demarcus Christmas (212) and quarterback J.J. Cosentino (240).

The Seminoles' group is tied for fifth nationally in top-300 prospects, along with Auburn, Tennessee, Texas A&M and Notre Dame.

Clemson's group of nine top-300 players is tied for 10th nationally with Georgia, Ohio State and Michigan.

The Tigers have the ACC's top-rated quarterback and No. 3 player overall in Deshaun Watson, who's ranked 16th nationally by ESPN. Other top Clemson pick-ups include wide receiver Artavis Scott (83), wide receiver Trevion Thompson (152), wide receiver Demarre Kitt (167), linebacker Korie Rogers (193), and tight end Milan Richard (195). Other Clemson commitments who made the top-300 list are running backs Jae'lon Oglesby (223) and Adam Choice (252), and tight end Cannon Smith (237).

Virginia has grabbed six players off the ESPN Top 300, including the ACC's top-rated prospects in defensive tackle Andrew Brown (No. 5) and safety Quin Blanding (No. 10). The Cavaliers also have commitments from athlete Jeff Farrar (232), wide receiver Jamil Kamara (263), and offensive linemen William Richardson (290) and Steven Moss (296).

North Carolina has three top-300 players: running back Elijah Hood (80), offensive lineman Bentley Spain (144) and quarterback Caleb Henderson (189).

Virginia Tech and Pittsburgh each have two off the list. The Hokies have commitments from athlete Ja'Von Harrison (117) and defensive tackle Ricky Walker (299). Pittsburgh will add wide receiver Adonis Jennings (151) and offensive lineman Alex Bookser (154).

ACC teams with one top-150 player each include N.C. State with No. 68 Kentavius Street, a defensive end, and Boston College, with running back Jonathan Hillman (282).

Shut out of the top-300 were Georgia Tech, Syracuse, Wake Forest, Duke and Louisville.

Clemson opponents Georgia and South Carolina have collected a total of 16 top-300 players – nine by the Bulldogs and seven for the Gamecocks.

ESPN Top 300

16 – Alabama

13 – LSU

12 – Miami

11 – Florida

10 – Florida State, Auburn, Tennessee, Notre Dame, Texas A&M

9 – Clemson, Georgia, Ohio State, Michigan

7 – South Carolina, Texas

6 – Virginia, Arizona State, Oklahoma, Southern California

5 – Baylor, Oregon, Kentucky, Arizona, UCLA

4 – Stanford, Mississippi, West Virginia, Oklahoma State, Penn State

3 – North Carolina, Northwestern

2 – Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech, Arkansas, Missouri, Mississippi State, Kansas, Vanderbilt, California, Michigan State

1 – N.C. State, Boston College, Boise State, Maryland, Rutgers, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa State, Indiana, Texas Tech, Nebraska, Central Florida, South Florida, Iowa

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Comments » 9

SoCalTiger writes:

Where are the O-Line commits? Three wide receivers, two tight ends, two running backs and a quarterback? Who is going to protect them?

richardcd writes:

Clemson's percentage of top 300 recruits (47%) is close to or higher than a lot of the other schools that out rank Clemson overall. Clemson will only sign around 19 total this year. A lot of the other schools are in the upper 20s. Florida State is signing 29 (35%). Tennessee is signing 34!

TigerNE writes:

in response to SoCalTiger:

Where are the O-Line commits? Three wide receivers, two tight ends, two running backs and a quarterback? Who is going to protect them?

Good linemen have less of a chance of making the 300 than most other positions. Falcinelli and Hearn are good prospects. Hyatt and Veal in 2015 will be even better, and a number of open offers are out there for others (like Edoga) who could flip our way. Is there any reason we won't get in-stater Zack Bailey?

The next class could be rich for linemen.

KerryCapps writes:

in response to richardcd:

Clemson's percentage of top 300 recruits (47%) is close to or higher than a lot of the other schools that out rank Clemson overall. Clemson will only sign around 19 total this year. A lot of the other schools are in the upper 20s. Florida State is signing 29 (35%). Tennessee is signing 34!

Excellent point! I went back and ranked the leaders by percentage of top-300 recruits:

LSU 72, Alabama 67, Michigan 56, Georgia 53, Florida 52, Auburn 48, Clemson 47, Texas A&M 47, Miami 46, Notre Dame 45, Ohio State 41, Virginia 40, FSU 35, Texas 32, Tennessee 29, Oklahoma 27, Arizona State 25, Kentucky 21, Baylor 18, Arizona 16.

From the ACC: UNC 14, Virginia Tech 8, Pittsburgh 8, N.C. State 3

SoCalTiger writes:

in response to TigerNE:

Good linemen have less of a chance of making the 300 than most other positions. Falcinelli and Hearn are good prospects. Hyatt and Veal in 2015 will be even better, and a number of open offers are out there for others (like Edoga) who could flip our way. Is there any reason we won't get in-stater Zack Bailey?

The next class could be rich for linemen.

I was looking at the entire list of recruits, not just the Top 300. In 2010, they signed 6 O-linemen and in 2011 they signed 7 O-linemen. 2012 and 2013 only lists two O-linemen each.

SoCalTiger writes:

in response to TigerNE:

Good linemen have less of a chance of making the 300 than most other positions. Falcinelli and Hearn are good prospects. Hyatt and Veal in 2015 will be even better, and a number of open offers are out there for others (like Edoga) who could flip our way. Is there any reason we won't get in-stater Zack Bailey?

The next class could be rich for linemen.

I meant to write that 2012 had 4 O-Linemen, with only two listed for 2013 and 2014.

TigerNE writes:

in response to SoCalTiger:

I meant to write that 2012 had 4 O-Linemen, with only two listed for 2013 and 2014.

They loaded up in the earlier seasons but still maintained about 17 or 18 scholarship positions. Timothy was the only surprise problem, and I think not picking up one extra in this class to replace him - just in head count not necessarily position - is the only concern. I am guessing they are counting on Region to be a contributor this time around.

So they need to make up ground just a little in the 2015 and maybe 2016 class over normal plan. For that matter, I anticipate a big focus on linemen on both sides of the ball in the next few classes. I think they have around 18 to 20 offers out to linemen so far for 2015 alone. In the next months be on the lookout for even more now that coaches besides Scott will be focused more on trips and visits.

lhaselden writes:

I had given up on region ever contributing.... thought he might graduate and move on after this semester.

tigerrob44#291802 writes:

in response to SoCalTiger:

Where are the O-Line commits? Three wide receivers, two tight ends, two running backs and a quarterback? Who is going to protect them?

Who cares as long as we average over 300 yards per game passing and 200 yards rushing. The Tooth Fairy could be protecting them as long as our offense scores 40 points a game and gets over 500 yards total offense a game.

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