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