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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Triangle Recruiting: National Signing Day

Posted by on Wed, Feb 4, 2009 at 9:47 PM

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Today is the day that coaches win or lose championships...

Or so recruiting outlets such as Rivals, Scout and ESPN love to tell us.

The truth is that recruiting is not an absolute science. When the college season starts, how many stars you were given by some old guy sitting behind a computer is meaningless to the 280 pound defensive tackle coming to eat your soul.

Yet, here we are all the same.

Today, recruits all across the nation inked their names and faxed mini heart attacks for coaches who missed out or Twinkies in the eyes of winning coaches who think they've just signed the next Reggie Bush.

By the way, has anyone checked on JoePa today?

In the Triangle, UNC is the clear winner in the recruiting battle, according to Scout and Rivals who ranked Butch Davis' class fourth and eighth in the nation, respectively. Scout gives the Heels the nod as the top-ranked ACC class while Rivals ranks Florida State two spots ahead of the Tar Heels.

All that really means is that the Tar Heels have doubled the expectations since last season. Davis has now shown the ability to recruit among the annual national title contenders.

The two UNC recruits to watch next season are below:

1. Donte Moss, a 226-pound defensive end from Jacksonville, N.C., who should have an immediate impact next to current UNC stud Marvin Austin. Defensive coordinator Everett Withers relies on his defensive line to generate pressure on the quarterback without much extra blitzing support -- a sore topic for UNC fans this season.

2. Jheranie Boyd will be one of the numerous wide receivers attempting to fill the void at receiver left by the departure of Brandon Tate, Brooks Foster and Hakeem Nicks. This depleted receiving corp should open up a spot for the speedy Gastonia native to step in.

Duke, who struggled to find a consistent rushing threat in Jay Hollingsworth and Clifford Harris last season, secured an important signature from Durham running back Desmond Scott.

Scott should instantly upgrade the explosiveness of the Blue Devils' offense, taking some of the load off of star quarterback Thaddeus Lewis.

Speaking of Lewis, the Blue Devils also signed Sean Schroeder of California who can be groomed for a season under Lewis before competing for the starting job. Schroeder is a decent sized quarterback (6-3) who spurned the likes of Notre Dame and UCLA to play for David Cutcliffe.

N.C. State struggled out of the gate last season only to rebound to finish 6-6 in the regular season, riding the coattail of Russell Wilson's spectacular freshman season.

The Wolfpack struggled early on defense, giving up 24 points or more in their first eight games. It's no coincidence that the Pack won their last four games due in large part to improvements on defense.

Offensive lineman Denzelle Good from Gaffney, S.C., should add depth to Tom O'Brien's insurance policy for Wilson -- who carries the expectations in Raleigh.

Insurance policy, offensive line... get it? Oh well, writers aren't supposed to laugh at their own jokes.

Meanwhile, tight end Asa Watson of Rock Hill, S.C., will bolster the dynamic passing attack or possibly play defensive end for the Wolfpack.

For a full list of commitments for the triangle schools check out the Charlotte Observer's rundown here.

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