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Biggest SEC vs. ACC Recruiting Battles in Class of 2014

Edwin WeathersbyAnalyst IOctober 24, 2016

Biggest SEC vs. ACC Recruiting Battles in Class of 2014

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    The SEC features many of the best recruiting programs in the country. However, because so many ACC schools are in close proximity to SEC schools, they routinely compete for the same recruits.

    ACC schools such as Clemson, Florida State and Miami have the confidence to not be intimidated by SEC schools when going after recruits. Those schools have signed top prospects and assembled recruiting classes that can rival any of the best classes from the SEC.

    A pair of the best defensive ends in the country are considering schools from the SEC and ACC. A pair of prospects from Alabama have the Tide on their minds, but schools from the ACC are also being considered. And a receiver in Florida resides close to an ACC school, but an SEC school is also high on his list.

     

    Player evaluations are based on review of tape at Scout.comRivals247Sports and ESPNU.

Kentavius Street, DE

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    Street, who could grow into a defensive tackle, is one of the strongest defensive players in the country. He has a powerful build and has the strength to toss blockers aside to make plays.

    Street, who is from North Carolina, has N.C. State at the top of his list, says Scout.com. Miami is another school to watch. As far as SEC schools go, LSU is a team that could land the talented defensive end.

    Street, who is 6'3" and more than 260 pounds, has adequate snap quickness. He plays strong at the point of attack, can set the edge and anchors well versus the run. He is an ideal defensive end to play over the tight end.

Damian Prince, OT

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    Prince, who is one of the top offensive tackles in the nation, has offers from schools in every conference across the country. In the SEC and ACC, schools such as Alabama, Florida State, Maryland and Florida are in the mix (Scout.com).

    The Terps have an advantage, as they are the in-state school and close to Prince's home. However, the Seminoles, Gators and Crimson Tide have the track record that proves they are forces to be reckoned with on the trail.

    Prince, who is 6'7" and more than 300 pounds, is a great left tackle prospect. He would fit well in a zone-blocking scheme, as he relies on athleticism and quickness. Prince bends well at the knees and can mirror rushers as a pass-blocker.

Racean Thomas, RB

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    Thomas, an electric running back from Alabama, may be leaning toward one of the Iron Bowl schools. However, Scout.com reports that Florida State is under consideration.

    Auburn has to feel good about its chances, as Thomas has been to The Plains several times this spring. The Seminoles have some work to do, but Thomas could elect to visit Tallahassee before he makes a decision.

    Thomas, who is also known as "Roc", is a 5'11" running back who weighs 202 pounds. Aside from being capable of running with good power, Thomas also displays impressive hands in the passing game. Whoever signs him will be getting a three-down back.

Khairi Clark, DT

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    Clark, who was once committed to Miami, is a defensive tackle who can be dominant in the trenches. That is why the Hurricanes are attempting to recapture his commitment.

    However, Clark has stated to Scout.com that Florida, Clemson and Alabama are also among several other schools being considered. Clark, who is 6'2" and 325 pounds, will be participating at The Opening this summer, which is a camp for elite recruits held at Nike headquarters.

    Although he can be inconsistent with his quickness at the snap, Clark has great strength and power. He could fit as a nose tackle in a 3-4 scheme or as a one-technique in a 4-3 scheme.

Jalen Tabor, CB

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    Tabor, who is from Washington, D.C., has just given an update on his recruitment. Based on what he has recently told Scout.com, it appears the talented cornerback will be playing in either the ACC or SEC.

    Maryland, which is close to Tabor's home, is a school under consideration. Yet several SEC schools, including Florida and Vanderbilt, are high on Tabor's list.

    Tabor, who is 6'1" and more than 185 pounds, is great in press coverage. He can use his long arms to ride a receiver into the boundary and has good ball skills. Tabor is also a defensive back who could develop into a good safety.

Ermon Lane, WR

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    Lane is one of the top five receivers in the country, and he is coveted by an array of schools. However, his recruitment may come down to whether he wants to play in the SEC or ACC.

    Lane, who is from South Florida, could walk to Coral Gables and play for Al Golden at Miami, but he also has SEC options with Florida and Alabama on his trail.

    Lane, who may take visits to other schools outside the two conferences, is a 6'2" receiver who weighs more than 190 pounds. He has solid release quickness, is more than adequate at separating from coverage and shows great ball skills.

    With more coaching, Lane could develop into a No. 1 receiver in college.

Andrew Brown, DT

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    Brown, who is one of the best defensive tackles in recent memory, is wanted by many schools. He holds many offers from prominent programs and could be a recruit who makes an early impact.

    Scout.com reports that Brown is looking to trim down his list soon and could be ready to make a commitment in September. His list of 10 schools includes Virginia, Alabama, Florida State, Florida, Clemson and Virginia Tech.

    Brown, who is 6'4" and 295 pounds, has good quickness at the snap. He plays with power at the point of attack and can fit in any scheme. Brown has the talent to be All-SEC or All-ACC early in his career.

Marlon Humphrey, CB

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    Humphrey, who is one of the most intelligent players in this class, has close ties to Alabama. He is from the state, and his father played running back for the Crimson Tide in the 1980s.

    Humphrey, who, according to Scout.com, is considering Florida State, also has South Carolina and Mississippi State on his list among other schools. 

    Humphrey, who is 6'1" and 179 pounds, has great anticipation skills and instincts. He can play zone and off-man coverage thanks to loose hips, agility and awareness. He is a defensive back who plays like former Alabama cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick. 

Da'Shawn Hand, DE

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    Hand, whom some view as the top player in the country, is a dynamic defensive end who, according to 247Sports, just named his top three schools: Michigan, Florida and Alabama.

    Sure, no ACC school is in Hand's top three, but do not count Virginia Tech out just yet. The Hokies will not stop pursuing Hand, and with recruiting being an unpredictable journey, crazier things have happened.

    Hand, who is 6'5" and 260 pounds, is quick at the snap and can covert speed to power. Virginia Tech defensive chief Bud Foster, who would love for Hand to rush passers for him, will continue to stay on Hand until the first Wednesday in February.

Lorenzo Carter, DE

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    Carter, who could be the next great pass-rusher, is an athletic defensive end who could be preparing to play in the ACC or SEC. Schools such as Alabama, Georgia, Florida and Florida State are in the hunt, according to Scout.com.

    Carter, who is from Georgia, has outstanding agility. His length allows him to reach and get a hand on ball-carriers and tip passes to make plays. He has great range and also displays good speed in pursuit.

    Carter, who is 6'5" and 235 pounds, is such an impressive athlete that he could play outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme and still excel in college.

     

    Edwin Weathersby is the College Football Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. He has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns.

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