Remember those fun ol' ACC Football Roundtables we used to post? Well, they're making a short comeback for Signing Day. Our friends at From the Rumble Seat are hosting this week, so make sure to check back over there in a few days to catch up on the rest of the ACC's class.
On that note: I'll be trying my damnedest to get a liveblog going for Signing Day tomorrow morning, but no promises. If I can do it, you'll know it. I'll be checking up on a few dozen different live blogs, cross-posting some stuff, and posting our impressions of players when they send in the LOI.
Anyway, onward to the questions:
Who is your prized prospect?
Unless Maryland is able to pull of a huge surprise on Wednesday, it'll be Javarie Johnson, a DE/OLB tweener from DC. He was slated to go to Miami, but his desire to enroll early - not a possibility for him at UM - allegedly forced him to switch his commitment to Maryland. Hey, I'll take what I can get after going 2-10 and all that. He's an absolute monster off the edge and can contribute from day one. He has his holes - no true postion and undersized for DE, not great against the run - but his pass rushing ability makes up for it. Look out for him in the future - we're talking Shawne Merriman potential here. Of course, potential is the key word in that sentence, but I do believe he has the talent to have a similar impact.
How does your fanbase react to recruiting? Or do they just want to see results no matter the star count?
It's rather obsessive. Maryland fans haven't had a good product on the field or court since the early 2000s, but they are still major programs in both sports and thus are big players in recruiting. The future is usually brighter than the present.
Who is the next Calvin Johnson or Philip Rivers in this year's crop of ACC recruits?
Personally, I love Storm Johnson, even moreso than Lamarcus Joyner and Jeff Luc. By the name alone he's one of my favorite players in the ACC. He sounds like an action figure. Also, how great is it that someone named Storm plays for the Hurricanes? I mean, was that not a match made in heaven?
Oh, and I've heard he's not too bad at football, either. I can't wait for a Storm vs. Luc battle in the future.
Have any recent coaching changes affected your team's recruiting class (eg kiffin to usc)?
No, actually, but a near coaching change did, and perhaps positively. I don't know if you've heard, but Ralph Friedgen was about a foot away from being fired last year. The thought was that a lame duck coach - which is what Friedgen increasingly looked like, even after he kept his job- would cripple this class. Somehow, though, it didn't. Did it motivate him and his staff to finish better than they would've? Perhaps. Either way, after the season ended the class switched from disaster to not half-bad. We'll see how it affects 2011, but for now, it didn't hurt.
Who do you all think have assembled the strongest recruiting class, taking into account not just rankings but the needs each one has filled?
I think Clemson did a surprisingly great job and I'm a big fan of their class, and VT always gets out more than they should from their guys, but FSU's class just seems on another level to me. I know I'm supposed to look past rankings, but I've always been a fan of position-less football - getting the best players on the field no matter what. With Lamarcus Joyner, one of the most explosive players in the country, they'll do that, and he'll be on the field almost all game. The lack of OL is a bit of a negative for me because that's a pillar to winning, obviously, but I can't give over the Joyner/Luc combo and just how suffocating their defense will be.
How do you all see ACC schools competing with schools in the SEC and Big 12 for recruits?
I'm not exactly well-versed in this area, as a blogger for one of the northenmost schools in the ACC. Maryland mostly competes with the Big Ten, and they lose most of those battles. Honestly, when they win against big competition, it's usually against Big East or other ACC schools. Recently, though, Maryland has started to sniff around SEC territory, grabbing commits from the south, especially south Florida, so we're getting there.
To me, you have two tiers - teams that can actually compete with the SEC and Big 12, and those that have no hope. Miami and Florida State can do it. Clemson can do it. Virginia Tech probably could, but they stick to the 757 and Virginia by choice.
Schools like Maryland and UVA, though, will end up sniffing around and grabbing the occasional Floridian, southerner, or Midwesterner that might've passed through the big schools and normally would've ended up at USF or Illinois or Utah or somewhere like that, despite having real big time talent.