Projecting 5 ACC recruits who will have an immediate impact in 2022
The Early Signing Period is in the books.
Things can still change over the next few weeks, but North Carolina, Florida State and Clemson currently have the top-ranked classes in the ACC. Each of those programs pulled in a 5-star recruit in this class, too.
But which of those players will make an immediate impact in the ACC next season?
There’s several options to explore, but here’s the five who make the most sense after the Early Signing Period:
5-star North Carolina OL Zach Rice
North Carolina’s offensive line struggled this season, but help is on the way. The Tar Heels signed one of the nation’s best offensive lineman in the 2022 class in Zach Rice, who should be able to contribute right away in Chapel Hill. If Rice is able to stabilize things up front, it will make North Carolina’s transition from quarterback Sam Howell a lot smoother.
5-star North Carolina DL Travis Shaw
Speaking of the Tar Heels, they signed another 5-star prospect in defensive lineman Travis Shaw. And he’s not just a 5-star — he’s the No. 4 overall player in this class, according to 247Sports Composite rankings. Players like Shaw can make an outsized impact on programs like North Carolina, which is not used to bringing in blue chip defensive line talent. Shaw immediately upgrade’s UNC’s talent level and should make a difference on day one.
5-star Florida State S Sam McCall
Although Florida State’s signing class took a major hit with the departure of Travis Hunter, the Seminoles still signed the No. 2 class in the ACC this cycle. 5-star safety Sam McCall is now the leader of this class, and he should have a chance to contribute right away. Florida State’s secondary needs the help, too. The Seminoles gave up 25 passing touchdowns last year, which was tied for 10th in the ACC.
4-star Clemson WR Adam Randall
Adam Randall isn’t the top-ranked player in Clemson’s signing class, but he does play a position of need. The Tigers struggled to keep receivers on the field this season, often turning to young players — and with mixed results. Coach Dabo Swinney compared Randall to Justyn Ross on signing day, which should indicate the Tigers like what they have in him.
4-star Miami TE Jaleel Skinner
Miami’s passing game turned into one of the most efficient attacks in the country over the second half of the season this year. Although offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee has moved on to SMU, his replacement should be able to use quarterback Tyler Van Dyke to similar results. With Charleston Rambo going to the NFL, there will be plenty of targets to go around. Enter Jaleel Skinner, who signed with Miami on Friday after previously being committed to Alabama. Skinner has the frame — 6-foot-5, 210 pounds — and opportunity to be an early contributor at Miami.
Honorable mention: 5-star Clemson QB Cade Klubnik; 4-star Virginia Tech IOL Gunner Givens; 4-star Miami DL Nyjalik Kelly; 4-star Virginia WR Dakota Twitty; 4-star Louisville DL Selah Brown.