1. North Carolina Tar Heels
Okay, yeah, so Mack Brown isn’t exactly the type of young coaching star you want to build your program around, and he’s not the Next Big Thing like he was in his first stint at North Carolina, but the man can really, really, really recruit.
Landing top talent at Texas shouldn’t ever be a problem, but it’s been a bit harder than it might seem since Brown left. Charlie Strong and Tom Herman got guys with stars next to their names, but the overall puzzle hasn’t fit.
In Year One back at Chapel Hill, Brown and his staff were able to flip QB Sam Howell from Florida State and put together a nice enough class to help the cause in the turnaround season. This year’s class, though, should help make the push to be the ACC’s No. 2 team in the very near future.
Clemson is at a whole other level when it comes to bringing in top talent, and Miami and Florida State are starting to kick it in again, but there’s a whole lot to like with what the Tar Heels are doing.
A few excellent talents in WR Joshua Downs and QB Jacolby Criswell were signed on, but this class is for the defense, with the defensive ends being brought in to make a huge difference.
You want to be a player in the ACC? You want to take down Clemson in the Atlantic? You have to get to whatever NFL franchise quarterback is back there, and UNC is trying to figure that out with an outstanding class of NFL-sized pass rushers to unleash over the next several seasons.
The team has the young quarterback, the young talent returning, and a whole lot of hope for the near future. Brown is doing exactly what everyone was hoping he would.