As we hit the first day of summer, football recruiting is heating up around the ACC.
Around the Triangle particularly, league coaches are competing for some of the same talent coming out of local high schools. Coaches at Duke, UNC and NC State have shown their ability to dominate the in-state recruiting scene and have proven their ability to bring in talent from across the country.
Each offseason, 247Sports ranks the top recruiters in college football, broken down by overall rankings and conferences. The site ranked 86 coaches in the ACC, with Clemson’s defensive line coach Todd Bates coming in at No. 1 and its offensive line coach Robbie Caldwell coming in at No. 2 as of Thursday.
Clemson had four coaches in the top 10, N.C. State had two and UNC had one. Out of the top 50 recruiters in the league, Duke, UNC and NC State had 10 coaches listed.
Here’s a look at those 10 coaches and the commits they have brought in. (Rankings are as of Thursday.)
No. 8 - Jay Bateman, UNC
Jay Bateman made a jump from No. 17 to the top 10 in just a matter of days. The co-defensive coordinator has brought in two of the Tar Heels’ four four-star recruits. Four of the five recruits he’s brought in play on his side of the ball.
▪ Cameron Roseman-Sinclair (four-star, Myers Park High School, safety)
▪ Dontavius Nash (four-star, Hunter Huss, athlete)
▪ Eugene Asante (four-star, Westfield (VA), linebacker)
▪ Don Chapman (three-star, Lincoln (CA), safety)
▪ A.J. Beatty (three-star, Central Catholic (PA), tight end)
▪ Cameron Roseman-Sinclair
▪ A.J. Beatty
▪ Cedric Gray (3-star, Ardrey Kell, athlete)
No. 9 - Des Kitchings, NC State
Co-offensive coordinator, running backs
The Wolfpack recruiting coordinator and running backs coach has brought in a lot of the local talent for N.C. State, including Davin Vann (Cary) and Jonathan Adorno (Rolesville), both in the class of 2020. In 2015 he swayed Princeton running back Johnny Frasier away from Florida State. Some of his highest recruits include four-star running back Ricky Person and four-star defensive end Savion Jackson, both on the current N.C. State roster.
Top all-time commits
▪ Johnny Frasier - 2015 (four-star, Princeton, running back)
▪ Kentavius Street - 2013 (four-star, J.H. Rose, defensive end)
▪ Ricky Person - 2017 (four-star, Heritage, running back)
▪ Nyheim Hines - 2014 (four-star, Garner, athlete)
▪ Savion Jackson - 2018 (four-star, Clayton, defensive end)
▪ Davin Vann (three-star, Cary, defensive tackle)
▪ Jonathan Adorno (three-star, Rolesville, offensive tackle)
▪ Ethan Lane (three-star, Archer (Ga.), offensive center)
▪ Sean Hill (three-star, Brookwood (Ga.), offensive guard)
No. 10 - George Barlow, NC State
Assistant head coach for defense/cornerback
George Barlow went into Nash County and recruited two players who could be a big part of the Wolfpack’s future. One of those players, four-star running back Zonovan Knight, burst onto the scene in the Spring Game, rushing for 139 yards on 17 carries.
Top all-time commits
▪ Zonovan Knight - 2018 (four-star, Southern Nash, running back)
▪ Shyheim Battle - 2018 (three-star, Rocky Mount, cornerback)
▪ Troy Vincent, Jr. - 2014 (three-star, Gilman (MD), cornerback)
▪ Nehki Meredith - 2019 (three-star, Bishop Sullivan Catholic (Va.), safety)
▪ Nehki Meredith
▪ Jaylen Smith (three-star, Hertford County, defensive tackle)
▪ Devan Boykin (three-star, Ragsdale, cornerback)
▪ Patrick Matan (three-star, Gonzaga (DC), offensive tackle)
No. 15 - Jeff Faris, Duke
Assistant coach offensive/tight ends
Four -star Ben Humphreys was one of the most productive linebackers in Duke history, but Faris being able to keep four-star defensive back Tony Davis committed to the Blue Devils was huge. Davis committed to Duke, then opened up his commitment over the summer. Davis entertained other schools, including UNC, but ended up signing with the Blue Devils in December and enrolled in January.
▪ Ben Humphreys - 2014 (four-star, Mater Dei (Ca.), linebacker)
▪ Tony Davis - 2018 (four-star, Hunter Huss, cornerback)
▪ Drew Jordan - 2016 (four-star, North Gwinnett (Ga.), defensive end)
▪ Robert Kraeling - 2015 (four-star, Prince Avenue Christian (Ga.), offensive tackle)
▪ Luca Diamont - 2019 (three-star, Venice (Ca.), quarterback)
▪ Luca Diamont
▪ Graham Barton (three-star, Ravenwood (TN), offensive guard)
▪ Nicky Dalmolin (three-star, North Forsyth (Ga.), wide receiver)
No. 18 - Lonnie Galloway, UNC
Wide receivers coach
The first-year UNC wide receivers coach has brought in his fair share of high-level players in the class of 2020, but his recruiting prowess really showed by what he did at West Virginia. During his time with the Mountaineers, he lured future pros like four-star defensive end Bruce Irvin and four-star wide receiver Tavon Austin to Morgantown.
All-time commits as an assistant at West Virginia
▪ Ivan McCartney - 2010 (four-star, Miramar (FL), wide receiver)
▪ Bruce Irvin - 2010 (four-star, Stephenson (Ga.), defensive end)
▪ Jovon Durante - 2013 (four-star, Miramar (FL), wide receiver)
▪ Tavon Austin - 2009 (four-star, Dunbar (MD), wide receiver)
2020 commits for UNC
▪ Josh Downs (four-star, North Gwinnett (Ga.), wide receiver)
▪ John Copenhaver (three-star, Rosewell (Ga.), tight end)
▪ Trey Zimmerman (three-star, Rosewell (Ga.), offensive tackle)
▪ Tylee Craft (three-star, Sumter (SC), wide receiver)
No. 27 - Dre Bly, UNC
Dre Bly, a college football hall of famer, is in his first season at his Alma mater, but so far has helped lure in four-star wide receiver Josh Downs and a pair of three-star cornerbacks to UNC.
▪ Josh Downs - 2020 (Four-star, North Gwinnett (Ga.), wide receiver)
▪ LaMareon James - 2020 (Three-star, Indian River (Va.), cornerback)
▪ Obi Egbuna - 2020 (Three-star, Charlotte Christian, cornerback)
▪ Josh Downs (Four-star, North Gwinnett (Ga.), wide receiver)
▪ LaMareon James (Three-star, Indian River (Va.), cornerback)
No. 28 - Tim Brewster, UNC
Tim Brewster, an assistant at Texas A&M and Florida State on Jimbo Fisher’s staff, went back to Texas to get four-star quarterback Malik Hornsby to Chapel Hill. The dual threat QB is the top recruit in UNC’s class of 2020. Brewster had a hand in getting Sam Howell to commit to UNC after originally committing to Florida State.
All-time commits while at Florida State and UNC
▪ Marvin Wilson (FSU) - 2017 (five-star, Episcopal (TX), defensive tackle)
▪ Dalvin Cook (FSU) - 2013 (five-star, Miami Central, running back)
▪ Ermon Lane (FSU) - 2014 (five-star, Homestead (Fla.), wide receiver)
▪ Malik Henry (FSU - 2014 (four-star, Long Beach Poly (CA), quarterback)
▪ Sam Howell (UNC) - 2018 (four-star, Sun Valley, quarterback)
2020 commits at UNC
▪ Malik Hornsby (four-star, Fort Bend Marshall, quarterback)
▪ Jayden Chalmers (three-star, Lee County, cornerback)
No. 35 - Aaron Henry, NC State
Aaron Henry, a defensive backs coach for the Wolfpack, is known for his passionate pregame speeches, but he has locked down the Triad as his recruiting region for 2020, picking up three-star cornerback Devan Boykin and three-star wide receiver Stephen Gosnell, who transferred to Carroll County from East Surry..
▪ Bo Melton (Rutgers) - 2016 (four-star, Cedar Creek (NJ), wide receiver)
▪ Khalid Martin - 2018 (three-star, East Forsyth, safety)
▪ Devan Boykin - 2020 (three-star, Ragsdale, cornerback)
▪ Cecil Powell - 2019 (three-star, Piper (FL), safety)
▪ Stephen Gosnell - 2020 (three-star, Carroll County (VA), wide receiver)
▪ Devan Boykin
▪ Stephen Gosnell
No. 38 - George McDonald, NC State
Co-offensive coordinator/wide receivers
George McDonald’s highest ranking recruits came during his time at Syracuse and Minnesota, but locking in four-star wide receiver Porter Rooks from Charlotte was a huge boost. Rooks is the only class of 2020 four-star NC State commitment so far.
Porter Rooks - 2020 (Four-star, Myers Park, wide receiver)
Other ACC assistant coaches recruiting rankings.
No. 53 - Phil Longo, UNC offensive coordinator/quarterbacks
No. 57 - Stacy Searels, UNC offensive line
No. 64 - Kirk Benedict, Duke assistant coach/special teams and defense
No. 65 - Tommy Thigpen, UNC co-defensive coordinator/inside linebackers
No. 67 - Scott Boone, UNC special teams coordinator/outside linebackers
No. 77 - Zac Roper, Duke deputy head coach/offensive coordinator/quarterbacks
No. 79 - Jim Bridge, Duke assistant coach/offensive line
No. 81 - Lanier Goethie, Duke assistant coach/linebackers
No. 83 - Matt Guerrieri, Duke co-defensive coordinator/defense recruiting coordinator
No. 84 - Ben Albert, Duke co-defensive coordinator/defensive line