ACC recruiting reporters Corey Dowlar and Jared Shanker took time Friday to answer questions in their weekly mailbag. You can send questions to them on Twitter with the #AskACC hashtag and mentioning @cdowlar and @JShankerESPN. Or reach them via email at email@example.com and JShankerESPN@gmail.com.
@jameshall616 asks: now seeing Jameis Winston's big debut, how is FSU using that toward recruits? #AskACC
Jared Shanker: There is no doubt Winston’s performance Monday night is going to have an impact on recruits. When you see the former No. 1 QB nationally live up to the hype and completely pick apart a defense, offensive skill players can’t help but imagine catching passes or taking a handoff from Winston. And what offensive linemen would not want to block for Winston, who conducted himself like a senior in postgame interviews, giving much of the credit to his team. Florida State has only a few spots left in the 2014 class, and Winston could be off to the NFL by the time 2015 recruits come to Tallahassee, but if Winston becomes a top-10 pick and brings a few ACC titles and possibly a national title to Florida State, the impact will be felt way beyond 2014 and 2015.
As of now, it isn’t quite the same effect as Tim Tebow or Johnny Manziel had, but it is only Week 1.
@RTDaSilva3 asks: locals are saying [Damian] Prince is leaning towards #Terps. How big of an impact would his commitment be?
Shanker: You’re right, as it looks like Maryland is in the driver’s seat for not just Prince but talented defensive back Jalen Tabor as well. At different times in each player’s recruitment it seemed like Maryland was running behind, but the Terps have always been at least near the top and are now close to securing both of the region’s top prospects. A commitment from Prince and Tabor would bring national headlines to a team that has struggled to produce them on the field under Randy Edsall. And if the Terps struggle again in 2013, a recruiting class with the likes of Jess Aniebonam, Prince and Tabor could keep Edsall around for 2014.
@MadMarshallCC asks: any word on what the big #PITT recruits thought of their visit on Monday? #AskACC
Shanker: The reviews from recruits have been in Pitt’s favor, but I’d have to think it’s a little bit of a mixed bag despite what is said publicly. Any time a team loses in a blowout, the recruiting experience is not going to be as good as it could have been. That said, I think the overall experience was a positive one for recruits. It was one of the best atmospheres Pitt has had at Heinz Field, and the crowd and fan support is something that always seemed to lack at Panthers home games. Several of the recruits visiting witnessed those lackluster crowds before, so Monday’s game gave a glimpse of the potential atmospheres Pitt will have now that it is in the ACC. One high school coach, who has sent several players to Pitt, said he felt like he was at a Steelers game Monday. There was a report that Dravon Henry did not like his visit, but that is not the case. Henry’s father, Roland, said the visit went “very good” although Henry was a little disappointed with Pitt’s scheme in the defensive secondary.