The Virginia Tech football program will welcome three new members to its program when it re-convenes Tuesday evening for a team meeting to begin preparing for the 2012 season. Those three players are two recent high school graduates: running back J.C. Coleman and defensive back Donaldven Manning, along with 2011 signee Dewayne Alford. All three began classes Tuesday at Tech.
Alford, a projected defensive end from Nansemond River High in Suffolk, Va., signed with Tech last February and deferred his enrollment to this semester. He was listed as the No. 30 player in Virginia last year by The Roanoke Times.
Coleman played at Oscar Smith High in Chesapeake, Va., helping lead his team to a state title just last month. He is ranked as the No. 4 all-purpose back in the country and the No. 5 prospect in Virginia by Rivals after rushing for 1,488 yards and 20 touchdowns as a senior despite missing three games with an ankle injury. Manning (first name pronounced Donovan) played at Miami Central High in Miami, Fla., and is listed as the No. 23 cornerback in the country and the No. 42 player in Florida by Rivals.
Because both Coleman and Manning are enrolling in January, neither will sign a National Letter of Intent. Alford’s NLI from 2011 was still binding. Signing Day is Wednesday, Feb. 1 this year.
Right now Coleman is the highest rated recruit of the 2012 class, and will be expected to contribute this fall. Depending on how he performs in spring, in August, and how quickly he picks up pass blocking he could get the majority of carries this season. If Manning could come in and play right away like Jayron, that would be a luxury. Personally, it would make me feel better about moving Fuller elsewhere in the secondary. Good luck to all three of these guys. I can't wait to see how they play in spring.