Editor's Note: The perfect segue from this morning's post.
This year more than ever, I got into the nitty-gritty of following VT recruiting, spending entirely too much time concerned over the decision-making process of 17 and 18 year old strangers. I definitely picked the wrong year to take it so seriously. No reason to stop now.
Here's a list of the early top-25 players for the state of Virginia:
What are your thoughts? Who do we need a most? Who do we have no shot at?
Tech seems to be in good standing with Korren Kirven, a big defensive tackle and the early #4 player in the state. He's from Zach McRay and Logan Thomas's high school in Lynchburg, so I think that bodes very well for the Hokies. Also, Cornell Brown is now recruiting that area and has all-American status and a Super Bowl ring after playing on the defensive line for the Hokies. That definitely doesn't hurt.
I think it is absolutely critical to the 2012 class that we load up on quality offensive lineman and at least one game-breaker at running back.
JC Coleman, the #5 player in the state, is a shifty back with breakaway speed. He's small, but could contribute immediately given our current depth at RB. The only catch is he's from Oscar Smith HS in Chesapeake. It's my understanding that that program is not too happy with how Greg Boone was never given a real shot at QB at VT and has since been giving us the cold shoulder. With Bryan Stinespring recruiting the area and selling early playing time, I hope we can turn the corner.
There are plenty of quality offensive lineman prospects littered in the early top 25. VT seems to be the leader for Win Homer, who besides having a great football name would definitely need to redshirt and bulk up 40-50 pounds. I don't think the answer to improving offensive line play is to continue playing 275 lb tackles. Matt Grey from Woodbridge already has NFL size and could play guard or tackle. It's always a good sign for a lineman's potential when Boston College is busy trying to nab a player out of VA.
Receiver is also a position that needs to be addressed with so many seniors leaving after next year. Tech has decent immediate depth with Davis and Boyce, but will need to bring in some kids this year. I don't think E.L. Smiling is the future of the VT receiving corps.
I think that the coaching changes and buzz about the program should help to net the Hokies a good to possibly great class this year. Work the new young coaches, show off the facilities, talk about early playing time (no more redshirting the best running back VT has had in 10 years cause he might not be able to block perfectly), and bring back every VT alum in the NFL for the spring game to hammer the point home. The Hokies have a great mix of coaching experience and young enthusiasm, beautiful new facilities, players in the NFL, and a tradition-ladened, CLEAN program that is always in the hunt for a BCS game. That combination is something that Penn State, UNC, Virginia, and Clemson can't say.
Now would be the time to use these things to our advantage.