Miami coach Mario Cristobal has yet to lead the Hurricanes to an Atlantic Coast Conference championship game, but he has certainly made an impact on the recruiting trail.

Cristobal finished strong to help Miami secure the ACC’s top recruiting class for the second consecutive year. According to 247Sports’ composite recruiting site rankings, Miami’s class ranked third nationally early Wednesday evening, trailing only Georgia and Alabama as the first day of the early signing period came to an end.

Florida State placed ninth in the team standings. The Seminoles led the ACC rankings before losing two top recruits on Wednesday: safety KJ Bolden (14th in the 247Sports Composite) to Georgia and defensive lineman Armondo Blount (22nd) to Miami.

Florida State rebuilt its program over the last few years, relying heavily on the transfer portal, but a 13-0 season helped the Seminoles produce their best class under Mike Norvell’s leadership.

Leader of the pack.

Miami signed seven of the 247Sports Composite’s top 73 recruits, including defensive lineman Justin Scott (15th), Blount, wide receiver Ny Carr (48th), athlete Joshisa Trader (50th), edge rusher Marquise Lightfoot (60th), safety Zaquan Patterson (68th), and linebacker Adarius Hayes (73rd).

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Florida State’s recruiting class is led by cornerback Charles Lester (39th), quarterback Luke Kromenhoek (54th), tight end Landen Thomas (64th), running back Kameron Davis (69th), and cornerback Kai Bates (86th).

The only other ACC class in the top 20 was Clemson, which was ranked No. 12. Clemson has two of the nation’s top 21 overall recruits, according to the 247Sports Composite: linebacker Sammy Brown (16th) and wide receiver Bryant Wesco (21st).

North Carolina and North Carolina State both have classes in the top thirty. Stanford, a Pac-12 member, will join the ACC next season.

Under the radar

Georgia Tech’s top-40 class ranked sixth among the 14 ACC teams this season. That is an impressive improvement for a program that finished 12th in the ACC and 62nd overall last year.

Louisville’s class is ranked 12th in the ACC and outside the top 50 nationally, which seems low for a team that made it to the conference championship game this season. However, the portal eliminates the need for teams to rely so heavily on high school recruiting when building their rosters.

Louisville has been extremely active in the transfer portal over the last month, adding former Alabama wide receiver Ja’Corey Brooks, a former five-star recruit.

Stars of the Class

Scott and Blount were two of the four highest-rated prospects who chose ACC schools. They both chose Miami to help the Hurricanes build arguably the best defensive line recruiting class in the nation.

BIGGEST SURPRISES

The departures of Bolden and Blount were unwelcome surprises for Florida State. Miami also signed Hayes, who had been committed to Florida since late January.

Copyright AP-Associated Press

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