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ACC Signing Day Blitz

Ranking each conference team's 2007 recruiting class

Posted: Thursday February 8, 2007 3:21PM; Updated: Thursday February 8, 2007 4:36PM
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On the job for just a few months, new Miami head coach Randy Shannon put together the ACC's best recruiting class.
On the job for just a few months, new Miami head coach Randy Shannon put together the ACC's best recruiting class.
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By Mike Farrell, Special to SI.com, Rivals.com

New Miami head coach Randy Shannon landed a solid group of prospects in his first recruiting class that finished on top of the recruiting rankings in the ACC. Leading the way for the 'Canes is five-star running back Graig Cooper, who is joined by talented top-10 quarterback Robert Marve.

1. Miami

Headliner: The nation's top prep school prospect, running back Graig Cooper, should continue the Hurricanes' legacy of talented tailbacks. The 5-foot-11, 185-pounder has unique speed and excellent vision.

Sleeper: Wide receiver Daniel Adderley is a huge target for the Hurricanes. The 6-6, 215-pounder will be a tough matchup for ACC corners in the future.

Overview: New head coach Randy Shannon put together a solid, balanced recruiting class. Obviously Cooper and Marve were the biggest hauls. The 'Canes upgraded their passing game with the additions of Adderley and Leonard Hankerson, Kayne Farquharson, Jermaine McKenzie and Taurus McKinley. Miami also added offensive line depth with Orlando Franklin and Harland Gunn. On defense, Miami got some major help in the secondary with five key commitments: Damien Berry, Jared Campbell, Demarcus VanDyke, Doug Wiggins and Joseph Nicolas.

2. North Carolina

Headliner: Five-star defensive tackle Marvin Austin is the gem of this class. The big man will help UNC's interior defense right away with his combination of size and speed.

Sleeper: Safety Da-Norris Searcy has excellent size and speed to be an enforcer for Butch Davis on the defense. Once the 5-11, 180-pounder improves his speed a bit, he should terrorize ACC offenses.

Overview: After a lackluster year on the field, Davis made it a priority to improve the offense. Rivals100 quarterback Mike Paulus leads the way. He will be helped by wide receivers Dwight Jones, Greg Little, Brian Gupton and Rashad Mason, as well as tight end Zack Pianalto (all five are taller than 6-2). The offense got bigger with two bruising tailbacks in Devon Ramsay and Ryan Houston. Meanwhile, the defense acquired some help up front besides Austin. Both end Linwan Euwell and Rivals250 tackle Tydreke Powell should make an impact.

3. Florida State

Headliner: Top-five cornerback Dionte Allen highlights the Seminoles' class. The quick, 5-11, 175-pounder should become one of the top cover corners in the ACC.

Sleeper: Offensive tackle Anthony Grosso could be a force on Dick Trickett's offensive line. The athletic 6-6, 290-pounder has terrific mobility that should carry over to the next level.

Overview: While the class is relatively small, Florida State did acquire some major talent especially along the offensive line. Grosso is one of six lineman headed to Tallahassee, along with Rodney Hudson, Zach Hillery, Will Furlong, A.J. Ganguzza and top-five offensive tackle Antwane Greenlee. The line wasn't the only upgrade for the 'Noles. The secondary will be helped by Allen and fellow cornerback Bernard Brinson. Meanwhile, four-star linebacker Kendall Smith and defensive end Jamar Jackson should bring more speed. Florida State also improved its receiving corps with four-star pickup Bert Reed and Markish Jones.

4. Georgia Tech

Headliner: Rivals100 defensive end Derrick Morgan is an intimidating force off the edge and could make an impact as soon as next season. The 6-4, 260-pounder has terrific size and speed and should fit in well with the aggressive Georgia Tech defense.

Sleeper: Wide receiver Tyler Melton isn't the next Calvin Johnson. He's only 6-feet and 182-pounds, but he has quickness and versatility. Melton should develop into a nice complement for the Jackets' offense.

Overview: Chan Gailey put together his best class at Georgia Tech by wrapping up with 20 commitments. Morgan leads the way on defense, but there's a lot more talent. On the opposite side is athletic end Jason Peters. Meanwhile, the secondary improved with pledges from Rivals100 safety Morgan Burnett and cornerbacks Mario Butler, Jerrard Tarrant and Michael Peterson. With the departure of Reggie Ball, two quarterbacks -- four-stars Steven Threet and Josh Nesbitt -- will look to take over. They'll be helped by top-10 running back Jonathan Dwyer and four-star receiver D.J. Donley, the likely replacement for Calvin Johnson.

5. Clemson

Headliner: Rivals100 cornerback Marcus Gilchrist has adequate size and the instincts to be a shut-down corner for the Tigers. The 5-11, 175-pounder could make an impact as early as next season, at the very least on special teams.

Sleeper: Andre Branch has the stature and speed to be a linebacker or end for Clemson. The 6-4, 235-pounder was one of the better players on a very talented Varina squad.

Overview: Tommy Bowden did very well on the defensive side in this year's recruiting class, starting with Gilchrist. Alongside him is top prep safety DeAndre McDaniel. The defense saw further improvement with the acquisition of linebackers Brandon Maye, Chad Diehl and Scotty Cooper. The offense got some help, too; starting at quarterback with Rivals100 star Willy Korn. The Clemson offense won't be as run-happy in the near future with the pickup of a handful of talented receivers including Xavier Dye, Brandon Clear and tight end Brian Linthicum.

6. Virginia

Headliner: Quick and athletic athlete Ras-I Dowling could be one of the better defensive backs in the ACC as soon as next season. The speedy star is one of the top players in the country and has good size at 6-2, 180 pounds.

Sleeper: Versatile athlete Corey Mosley should be able to utilize his quick feet at a number of positions for the Cavaliers. He'll likely be making an impact at either running back or cornerback once he arrives in Charlottesville.

Overview: Al Groh pulled in another impressive recruiting class, inking 24 players on Signing Day. Groh went to what he knows, linebackers, and added four for his 3-4 defense including four-star studs J'Courtney Williams and Terence Fells-Danzer. Joining them are Jared Detrick and Aaron Taliaferro. The Cavaliers got plenty of help on offense too with the addition of the quarterback Peter Lalich. Lalich will look to receiver Kris Burd and tight end Andrew Devlin as future targets, although Devlin could grow into an offensive lineman. The Cavaliers added help on the offensive line with a commitment from Lamar Milstead while the defensive line added linemen Nick Jenkins and Anthony Mihota.

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