The 2011 Hokies

Lets get this out of the way, our Hokies recruited a solid class at best including some very good players, though almost all on defense. With that said, it's not what it could have been... not even close. It lacks star power and beef and perception wise, it looks bad. It's a B class, that looks like a C class. Realize that all things recruiting are not equal, VT isn't going to recruit like FSU, Florida, Texas or USC, but by realistic standards, this is a B.


Kris Harley

I am not going to try and come off as a guru evaluator of high school talent. I am not. I have seen most of the highlight films and they are pretty awesome, but then again all highlight films are usually awesome. What is impossible to gauge is how good the kids are based off of supposed blue chip ability and how much is due to exploiting subpar high school competition. The game changes that first day of practice when these kids are going against the same talent level. So with that I will leave the minute details of the positives and negatives to others, but I caution everyone to think about the variables too. Is the kid a grinder, is he motivated on the field and in the classroom, will he get homesick, is this his first structured meal plan and weight training? I came to college as a 6'2" 160 lb freshman, by the end of the year I was 6'3" 190 and this was all Owens Dining Hall, 4 Star Pizza and beer workouts! All I am trying to say, is these kids aren't finished products, their physical peak is a good 7 years down the line by the time they make it to Blacksburg.


James Farrow

The stars players get isn't always about production. A lot of it is physical. Right size, right frame and right speed gets you a bump, even if you couldn't tell the difference between a cover 2 and cover 3. Lots of All-Americans have been flawed 3 star kids and VT has certainly shown that you can win ten games with them. However, there needs to be game breakers, something absent from this class for the most part.

The 2011 Hokies

The Offense

Position Name Height Weight From Notes
RB Michael Holmes 6-0 200 Harrisonburg, VA Decent athlete, uses his blocks well, is patient waiting for the hole, won't dazzle like David Wilson, is more a Cedric Humes type.
WR Kevin Asante 6-0 175 Charlotte, NC A 4.4 speedster, who made a lot of plays this year.
WR Demitri Knowles 6-1 175 Lynchburg, VA Nice speed, needs to be more physical, but he adjusted well to double and triple team as the season went on.
WR Robert Lockhart 6-2 175 Boca Raton, FL Big time sleeper... Good size, speed combo, he should be a star in a couple of years. The best offensive player in the class.
WR/TE Christian Reeves 6-3 220 McDonough, GA Tweener, is he a TE or WR? He could be utilized as a H-Back, think Stanford's Coby Fleener skill set
OL Jake Goins (GS) 6-5 285 Midlothian, VA A typical Curt Newsome OL recruit. He can move OK, but needs to learn pass blocking and put on weight.
TE Chris Hall (GS) 6-4 225 Dinwiddie, VA Learning curve moving from QB to TE, but a very good athlete.
TE Ryan Malleck 6-5 235 Point Pleasant, NJ The best true receiving tight end. Great size, played iffy competition, he did have lots of high caliber offers though. He will play as true freshman.
TE Darius Redman 6-4 239 Washington DC A little unsure about him to be honest. More H-Back skill than tight end. He needs to learn how to block, but can certainly catch.

The Defense

Position Name Height Weight From Notes
DT Kris Harley 6-2 265 Indianapolis, IN Needs to put on weight, will bust his ass and play hard, but if he can't get to 3bills, he could be overpowered/
DT Luther Maddy (GS) 6-2 275 Delray Beach, FL Limited information, is athletic, but one year of experience with no other BCS offers. Maturity might be an issue.
DE/DT Corey Marshall 6-1 255 Dinwiddie, VA Combo player like Jim Davis. Expect him to move inside on passing situations by the time he is an upperclassmen. Will play the stud end, more run stop responsibility. High motor.
DE Dewayne Alford (GS) 6-2 220 Suffolk, VA Speed end, will have to get stronger at the point of attack, minor sleeper.
DE Matt Roth 6-4 230 Ponte Vedra, FL A good all around grinder, may not be a stud, but won't be a waste of scholie either, had a lot off quality offers.
DE Wedley Estime 6-4 215 Delray Beach, FL Comes off the edge hard, very good speed. Only one year of experience, very raw, needs weight or could be like Stephen Friday, though his dad is pretty thick man, so I'm optimistic about weight gain. He's another big time sleeper.
Whip/Rover Michael Cole 6-2 200 Roanoke, VA Looks like a Whip linebacker, very good speed with good pursuit.
Rover Ronny Vandyke 6-3 196 Lorton, VA Future stud in Tech's scheme. Injury his junior year has him a little devalued, he will be a multiple year starter though.
CB/FS James Farrow 6-0 175 Minnetonka, MN Against shaky competition he blew by everyone in highlights. Highly recruited, has a skill set that works at multiple positions and great return skills.
CB/FS Adeboye Aromire 6-0 180 Washington DC Similar to Farrow, potential at either corner spot and free safety, already enrolled.
CB Kyshoen Jarrett 6-0 180 East Stroudsburg, PA Physical and Tech's next great boundary corner, best player in this class.

Off the Cuff Opinions

Weakest Area:

Offensive Line and Defensive Tackle: Yes, the Hokies whiffed at linebacker but where the team really needs studs are in the trenches. After Stanford, Bama, LSU games of the past few years it's apparent the Hokies' lack of stud DT and OL is the team's downfall. This will keep haunting VT against elite competition as this class did little to help these areas.

Strongest Area:

Secondary: I love the corner back and safeties, potentially the best secondary class VT has ever recruited. Gray will mold this group into a top 5 unit like he always does.

Other thoughts:

Wide Receiver: All three of these guys are relatively new to organized football, so there will be a learning curve. Lockhart looks special, even Beamer gushes about him. Asante and Knowles look to be clones of Dyrell Roberts.

Tight End: As a group none of these guys are like Nosal, Brown or Wang, they don't have the frames to move to OL, it's TE/H-Back or bust.

Defensive End: A lot of bodies, good combination of skill set, all will redshirt.

Fastest: Asante, Knowles and Farrow, all 3 can fly.

War of Attrition: Tight end and defensive end, due to sheer numbers someone(s) will pan out and be really good and outside of Marshall and Reeves these guys look locked into their positions.

Losses:

  • LB Curtis Grant, tOSU - something turned sour in this relationship and no one is saying a word
  • CB Derrick Nicholson, UVA - very good corner back, may be better than Jarrett, but not for Bud's defense
  • LB Travis Hughes, UNC - almost, but bought into UNC and not what VT does with their backers
  • OL Landon Turner, UNC - ask his dad
  • QB Marquese Williams, UNC - verballed to the coaches twice, Butch Davis resold him
  • LB Stephone Anthony, Clemson - bought into Dabo's incoming class and negative recruiting about the the Whip LB
  • OT Kiaro Holts, UNC - no comment
  • QB Lafonte Thourogood, Vanderbilt - the kid wants to play, even on a losing team, more power to him
  • WR Dominique Terrell, UVA - not that much of loss to me, VT doesn't use slot receivers much and that's all he can really play at the collegiate level

The OL and LB misses hurt the most, by far. There is no way around it, UNC amidst potential probation cleaned our damn clocks. Say what you will about his coaching ability, ethics or lack of knowledge all things internal to UNC football, Butch Davis can recruit his ass off. Big question, will he be around long enough to see it mature?

UVA did very well with quite a few 4 star players, backing them up with a lot of the state's 11-25th ranked players. These are the guys VT has made a living off of, they are firmly back in the 757, that hurts. Now let's see if London can coach them up at all.

To say our coaches outside of Stiney, Cav and Gray don't recruit well is a huge understatement, at this point we are NBC... never be closing. Word I got, is recruiting territories will be changed, but no coaching changes... this year. Potentially 2012, but we have heard that song and dance before. However if that happens, look for Shane Beamer and Cornell Brown added to the staff. Unfortunately, I am privy to some "inside" information that I can't speak of, but the coaches aren't unaware or clueless to all things recruiting, even if they look like it at times.

Looking Ahead to 2012: The obvious needs are QB, OL, DT, RB and LB, but more importantly will we start to recruit like an elite program. How is that so damn hard?

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Comments

feel free to ask

me questions about what i may or may not know or give answers to.*

* off the record of course

Are Stiney and Gray getting increased territory

and is it effective immediately?

And seriously, wtf is up with lack of the big boys? WHY is this always an issue? Do we not grow them in Virginia? Joe maybe we need a forum topic on this one alone.

i am not sure of the exact

territory changes, but you would think putting stiney back in the 757 is a good idea.

gray does good work for us in the south, not sure how much more he can take ... lot of road time already. keeping stiney close to blacksburg was so he could spend more time on offense and less chasing kids.

no clue on big guys.

We need to move either Stiney or Gray to the 757. Stinepring has proven to be our best recruiter, but I'd send Gray there. Is it feasible for him to keep combing Florida and take over the 757? Is that too much responsibility? He's obviously the best choice to stay in the Sunshine State because he's from Florida, had an outstanding career at Tech and was productive in the League. I just know that Newsome has done very little in the 757 and we could send him up to Northwest Virginia to flip-flop with Gray. Furthermore Gray is only 36 years old compared to London's 50, so he's got the young "hip" factor going for him too.

Solid

I went to HighSchool with Cornell Brown's sister. Very nice girl...

She parked beside my and subsequently rammed my 1966 mustang pulling in one morning...hahah

Keep it up Joe!

From Rivals

Billy Hite had 7 targets and didn't land a single recruit this year.

The rankings

From the last ten years show VT's best year was a #14 ranking. We had one 18 and the rest were in the 20's and 30's. Tyrod's year was something like #27. (I wish I saved the article). This year was a little below our average but not bad. One year does not make a team. What makes college footbal so exiciting is that every year is a new start. Winning the recruiting battles is less important than winning games, but it helps to start out with great talent requiring less development.

I have an analogy about high school versus college. Potential does not always equate to performance. Some kids who do great in high school academically don't always perform well in college. Some with great testing ability, i.e. high scores on SATs, don't always do well with grades. These are personality issues. I believe our recruits really want to be here so they can perform. They are motivated to succeed. That is what our coaches want. Not someone who is looking for a shortcut to quick playing time. Those players are hard to find and evaluate.

Our recruiting class is what it is. Let's take it and run with it.

thoughts and miscues

I appreciate the frustration yet the ability of this thread to cut through the sour puss to hit the facts. All in all we're at our worst recruiting year since '04. Boo hoo. 33rd doesnt reflect a perennial top 20 team but i'll take it for the simple fact that i think outside the obvious pitfalls we have some redunkulous diamonds in the rough. Frank's a double edged sword with recruitment. Character first, talent second, rivals ranking 25th. I feel we had some mismatches as noted with who we sent where. Everybody complained about VA being such a component of our classes so when we go a lot outside of it we've dropped the ball. To keep from further being redundant i'll hit on the sparklies in the rough, whiffs, and pumpkins on the fence.

Sparkle: Lockhart fo sho. Possess like Danny, fast like eddie. Christian Reeves, fastest TE in the country. Since he is a TE at Tech he will be moved somewhere. deep Threat? Micheal Holmes, not exceptionally flashy and it isnt saying all that much but had 7+ ypc. With Wilson dazzling on the edge we need more of a bruiser. Keyshon + Torrian, Shutdown corner. Estime, Like Lockhart he didnt have enough *'s or playing time for anyone to care too much. ruh Roh.

Whiffs: Tight end-a-thon. I knew Ed Wang when he came in dumb as rocks as a frosh since I RA'd Cochrane. Used to pee the bed after nights out but I guess he got his stuff together towards the end. I hope one can gain mucho weight and keep their feet. Stephone Anthony, I don't care he's a 5* lost but good lord, GW can't cover himself with a bedsheet. Kiaro Holts & Landon Turner, Please revoke 3 of the TE/DE schollies and split it between the two.

punkins: Farrow, Asante, Malleck. Time will tell.

Feel free to tell me i'm off base.

wow

farrow and malleck are easily in the top 10 in this class. malleck is the 2nd best offensive player and farrow is going to be a really good returner at worst.

Hokiebonoz

When did you RA Cochrane? I was on staff over in Harper

for the record

The two sides of this argument are rankings vs results. Honestly I could care less about Clemson, UVa, FSU fans chest thumping right now, or even the recruits that defected. Do something with your entitled elites for once.

I'm not even sure I care about a National Championship right now.

What I care about is getting to a BCS bowl and beating a quality opponent like Stanford. Not Cincinnatti. I'm sorry but we got our @$$ handed to us in the second half and it was embarassing.

Stars, recruiting, evaluating talent are all well and good, and each player in this class I am sure will be good...but big picture-wise we're behind in some key areas with unmet needs as of right now. Fill them with anybody who can get the job done, a diamond in the rough or an elite that you can manage.

And the next time we have once in a generation talent like RMFW hopefully we rush for more than 66 net yards.

The impact of this class

Will not be seen for a couple of years. In that time current talent will mature and more recruits will come in. If we can take 3/4 star or less guys and turn them into NFL draftees imagine what could we do with 5 star talent on the same development curve? Problem is that I think 5 star talent is coming in near their top potential. They play right away and could have character issues due to less maturity. But if you have enough of them you can bully almost everyone. If you have a great bunch of coaches no one will stop you. We have some weaknesses in our coaching abilities when it comes to game day execution against other top coaching talent. I think we match up pretty well with other on field talent. We have good conditioning and strength. We are just a little short of top 5.

No more excuses. Let's just go out and win!