ACC Crunch Time
By Matthew Osborne
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As we enter the final weekend of the recruiting season we look at the ACC and who's chasing who down the stretch.
With National Signing Day less than a week away, college coaches across the country are making last-minute recruiting pitches to many of the top uncommitted prospects on their board.
In order to give you a better idea of some of the top prospects involved with ACC programs, let’s look at the top uncommitted prospect left on the board for each team in the conference.
Boston College: DT Jaxon Hood (Hamilton HS) Chandler, AZ
Recruitment Status - Hood actually gave his verbal commitment to the Eagles in December, but he has stated that he now considers himself to be a “soft commit” to Boston College. As of right now, Hood will choose between Boston College and Arizona State, although there is a chance that he might visit an additional school this weekend. He will announce on Signing Day.
Clemson: CB Ronald Darby (Potomac HS) Oxon Hill, MD
Recruitment Status - Darby, who is considered to be the top cornerback prospect in the class of 2012, was once a solid Notre Dame commit. Since opening things back up, Darby has official visited Auburn, Clemson and Florida State, in addition to a trip to Notre Dame. The fastest player in the country in this class, Darby will announce his decision live on ESPN on Signing Day.
Duke: RB Jela Duncan (Mallard Creek HS) Charlotte, NC
Recruitment Status - Duncan has been the top prospect on Duke’s recruiting board for quite some time. He currently lists a final four of Duke, East Carolina, Virginia and Wake Forest; although there is a slight chance that UNC could enter the equation. Duke and East Carolina are currently thought to be the two frontrunners. He has not set a date for his announcement at this time.
Florida State: CB Ronald Darby (Potomac HS) Oxon Hill, MD
Recruitment Status - Also considered to the top uncommitted prospect on Clemson’s board, most experts believe that Florida State is firmly in the lead for Darby’s services. It has been difficult to get a solid read on Darby, however, as he has refused to participate in interviews as of late. As previously mentioned, he will announce his decision live on ESPN on Signing Day.
Georgia Tech: DT Dalvin Tomlinson (Henry County HS) McDonough, GA
Recruitment Status - Tomlinson has done an excellent job of keeping his intentions well hidden throughout the recruiting process. Alabama and Georgia Tech are thought to be the prohibitive favorites in this race. Georgia is still in the race, but they will not receive an official visit from Tomlinson due to his high school wrestling schedule. He is planning to announce his decision on Signing Day.
Maryland: DT Eddie Goldman (Edison-Friendship Public Charter School) Washington, DC
Recruitment Status - The Terps will most certainly be considered a long shot in the race for this five-star prospect, but there are rumors circulating that are saying that Maryland is not out of the race just yet. Goldman’s original final four were thought to be Alabama, Auburn, Florida State and Miami, but the Terps would love to keep him closer to home. The tentative plan is to announce his decision at 10:30 AM on Signing Day.
Miami: OT Avery Young (Palm Beach Gardens HS) Palm Beach Gardens, FL
Recruitment Status - Much like Dalvin Tomlinson, Young has done a good job of not tipping his hand during the recruiting process. After taking all five of his official visits, Young’s final list of schools includes Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Florida and Miami. He will entertain a bevy of coaches from those schools over the course of the next week, before announcing his decision at 2:00 PM on Signing Day.
North Carolina: MLB Keilin Rayner (North Brunswick HS) Leland, NC
Recruitment Status - UNC was once the leader for Rayner’s services, but that was before the hiring of Larry Fedora as the Tar Heel’s new head coach. Rayner now has a final four of Duke, East Carolina, Ohio State and UNC. It is tough to get a good read on what Rayner is thinking, but it appears that East Carolina may have the inside edge because of their location. Rayner has not set an official announcement date.
NC State: DE Kenderius Whitehead (MLK HS) Lithonia, GA
Recruitment Status - Although Whitehead has already given his verbal commitment to the Wolfpack, Georgia has sent a platoon of coaches after Whitehead over the past couple of days. While he currently remains strong with NC State, it could be tough for Whitehead to turn down an offer from his home-state program. We won’t know Whitehead’s intentions until he signs his Letter of Intent on Signing Day.
Virginia: OT Chris Muller (Boyertown Area HS) Boyertown, PA
Recruitment Status - Virginia wasn’t even a realistic destination for Muller until recently. A Rutgers commit, Muller was quoted as saying that he was going to take some time to think about his decision with the news that Greg Schiano was taking the head coaching job with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Although Muller has also said that he plans on sticking with the Scarlet Knights, we won’t know for sure until he signs on the dotted line. The Cavalier coached will certainly make a strong push for his signature.
Virginia Tech - DT Korren Kirven (Brookville HS) Lynchburg, VA
Recruitment Status - Kirven did not really start focusing on the recruiting process until after his senior season concluded, so it has taken us awhile to get a feel for what he is thinking. At this time, Alabama, Tennessee and Virginia Tech are the final three schools on his list. The Hokies are thought to have the inside track in this race, however. He will announce his decision on Signing Day.
Wake Forest: WR Quinshad Davis (Gaffney HS) Gaffney, SC
Recruitment Status - Davis has been a priority recruit for the Demon Deacons for a very long time. He has taken official visits to Tennessee, UNC and Wake Forest in recent weeks. Wake Forest is perceived to be his leader, although it is difficult to be certain because he has been so quiet throughout the recruitment process. He has not set an exact date for his announcement.