ACC Football: Every team’s most important newcomers for 2021

Dabo Swinney, Clemson football (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Dabo Swinney, Clemson football (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /
1 of 15

“Can anyone come close to Clemson?” is one possible headline coming into the 2021 season for ACC football. “Who is playing for second place?” is more appropriate, however.

Clemson has separated itself from the rest of the conference over the last five years.

The Tigers have won the last six ACC titles and have widened the gap in recruiting. Since the vaunted 2018 class that featured Trevor Lawrence, Clemson has recruited at a top-10 level. In the last two cycles, 2020 and 2021, the Tigers have recruited in the top five.

Clemson’s 2021 class is first in the conference and fifth in the country; Miami, second in the ACC, is 12th. That is a perfect example of how Clemson has separated itself in recruiting if anyone has any plans on catching the Tigers, recruiting needs to level up.

Several teams hope to run this season with the return of divisional play and the exit of Notre Dame. That could be why so many teams were busy in the transfer portal this offseason.

For developmental programs like Wake Forest, Duke, and Syracuse, the success of their season lie with the play of their transfers.

Here are the most important newcomers for every team in the ACC.