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With the college football season at an end, many hardcore college football fans are concentrating on their second favorite hobby…college football recruiting. Recruiting has become a season in its own right during the past 5 years or so, with many a grown man becoming obsessed with the college choices of 17 and 18 year old kids. People now recognize that recruiting is the lifeblood of football programs, and that the battles between coaches in recruits’ living rooms have a direct effect on the battles on the gridiron.
Great recruiting classes create a lot of hype among fans about how their team is going to perform down the road, and so far this year there are a few ACC programs that are doing quite well in this area. Let’s take a look at the recruiting classes for each ACC school and how they are ranked by Rivals.com.
First of all, it needs to be made clear that Rivals ranks schools on both the quality and quantity of recruits. A couple of examples are Virginia and Clemson, who don’t have the average star rating of some teams below them, but they have a lot more commitments at this point, which puts them higher in the rankings. Keep in mind that Signing Day is February 2, which means a lot of things will change in this set of rankings. Schools such as Virginia, Clemson and UNC will not be able to take many more players (25 is the maximum), while teams like Miami and Florida State will finish strong with a lot of commitments on Signing Day, as they always do.
The Hokies appear to be in excellent shape right now on the recruiting trail. The Hokies currently are 3rd in the ACC in overall recruiting rankings and 3rd in average star ratings. Trailing only Miami and Florida State in average star rankings, Tech appears to be adding more top flight talent to an already talented team. Commitments from players such as 5-star athlete Victor Harris, 4-star running back Elan Lewis and 4-star quarterback Ike Whitaker have shown that the Tech coaching staff can recruit with almost any school in the nation. The Hokies also appear to have a chance to finish the recruiting year on a positive note, as they are still in the running for top prospects such as 5-star defensive lineman Melvin Alaeze and 4-star linebacker Derrick Nicholson.
The Hokies are positioned well in that they have 18 total commitments, which is a good number at this point in the recruiting process. With this number, the Tech coaches don’t have to worry about landing a large number of recruits late in the process, but at the same time they have plenty of room to work with, since they still officially have 7 spots open.
Looking at the rankings, there are some surprises in some parts of ACC recruiting, and other things are staying the same. First of all, Duke and Wake Forest are near the bottom of the ACC recruiting rankings. Currently Georgia Tech is listed in last place, but that will change as the Yellow Jackets pick up more recruits between now and Signing Day. Their average star ranking is better than that of Duke and Wake, but as of now the Jackets don’t have the quantity.
Another school worth mentioning is UNC. The University of North Carolina is a world renowned school known for their outstanding academics, great overall athletic department and beautiful campus. However, it cannot be denied that head coach John Bunting is struggling on the recruiting trail. Given the reputation that the school has, one would think that the Tar Heels could do better than a 2.3 average star rating per recruit, which is good for 11th place in a 12 team conference (Boston College is included). Bunting saved his job with a nice year on the field in 2004, but he could just be prolonging the inevitable, unless his recruiting improves. Note to Coach Bunting: Call Mack Brown for tips on how to recruit great players to UNC.
Notice that Miami and Florida State only have 13 and 12 commitments respectively. That isn’t a lot compared to most other teams in the ACC, but this is common for both the ’Canes and ’Noles. Programs of the stature of Miami and FSU have the ability to pick and choose who they want on their teams, at least more so than other schools. Generally these teams bring in a large percentage of their recruiting class in the days leading up to Signing Day, or on Signing Day itself. That will continue to be the case this year.
ACC Bowl Attendance
Now that the bowl games have ended, we can take a look at how the ACC teams traveled to their respective holiday destinations. All numbers come from the January 6-19 edition of theACC Area Sports Journal.
In a landslide, UNC won the traveling battle of all the bowl-bound ACC schools. The Tar Heels took an estimated 65,000 fans to the Continental Tire Bowl. The announced attendance for the game was a sellout crowd of 73,367. So while the Tar Heels lost to Boston College, they did sell out the stadium, which is all bowl officials are concerned about.
Virginia Tech continued their tradition of being a great traveling school by tacking an estimated 30,000 fans to New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl. The Hokies were allotted 15,000 tickets and received more than 22,000 requests., which means about 15,000 Tech fans had to find tickets from a source other than the Virginia Tech athletic department.
Florida State was allotted 12,500 tickets to the Gator Bowl, sold their entire allotment, and took a total of 35,000 fans to Jacksonville. Many Seminole fans bought their tickets directly from the Gator Bowl.
Unfortunately for the ACC, other teams did not fare as well in ticket sales. Miami was allotted 17,500 for the Peach Bowl, but only sold 8,000 tickets. Georgia Tech sold 5,200 out of an allotted 12,000 to the Champs Sports Bowl. Virginia was only allotted 3,000 tickets to the MPC Computers Bowl, and sold 1,500 tickets. Boston College, who will join the ACC for the 2005 season, sold 6,000 tickets out a 12,500 allotment to the Continental Tire Bowl.
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|TechSideline.com Updates From the Past Week|
TSL Audio: Interview With Jon Solomon, The State, 1/13/05 (MP3 Audio)
2005 VT Recruiting War Room #9
Come On Strong in Second Half, Beat BCC 69-58
Tech Talk Tuesday Archive for 1/11/05 (Streaming Audio)
All in All, Not Too Shabby
King to Suit Up for Hokie Basketball Team Tonight
TSL Audio: Interview With Mike Harris, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 1/11/05 (MP3 Audio)
Auto Parts Hokie Hotline Notes for 1/10/05
Revisiting the Keys: The Sugar Bowl
Fade Late and Fall at FSU, 77-70
TechSideline.com Recruiting Report Archive, 1/6/05 (MP3 Audio)
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