Gut Reactions to National Signing Day

For a brief moment, I want to take off my hat as a Thekeyplay.com columnist and speak casually, as someone who has been a fan of the Virginia Tech program since 1993. This National Signing Day has not been as peachy as the Virginia Tech Sports Information Department will characterize it. It has not been as disastrous as the doom and gloom crowd will make it out to be.

I am as frustrated as any Virginia Tech fan. For the Hokies to be a true NATIONAL power, they have to not only own the Commonwealth of Virginia in recruiting, but they have to compliment those recruits with critical need players outside of the Commonwealth. This year, the Hokies pilfered the Maryland player of the year (Cam Phillips), Pennsylvania's Gatorade Player of the Year (Andrew Ford), one of the best running backs from the Keystone state in the last decade (Shai McKenzie), and need players at linebacker, wide receiver, offensive line, and defensive line. Over the last decade, rarely has the Hokies recruiting footprint been stronger outside of the Commonwealth. And, I am convinced that this class has more READY TO PLAY TOMORROW players than any class in recent memory. In my opinion, Shai McKenzie, Marshawn Williams, Holland Fisher, and C.J. Reavis all have every physical tool to be All-ACC players early in their careers. Many more have the ability to be All-ACC talents if they stay healthy and are developed properly by the end of their careers.

At the same time, nobody understands the impact of missing out on Derrick Nnadi and Javon Harrison on signing day, especially when coupled with not being in the mix on Andrew Brown and Da'Shawn Hand (especially after Hand lauded his relationship with Foster). Signing those players would have addressed critical areas of need on the depth chart. Playing time was available to each on day one. The Hokies may beat the crap out of the University of Virginia year in and year out, but somewhere along the road, they are losing a battle of perception. And, that stinks.

But, before we light the torches and grab our pitchforks, we need to take a moment and analyze why. Why are these top flight recruits choosing not play play for a defensive genius like Bud Foster? Why would a kid from Virginia who has only seen the Hokies beat up UVa over most of their lifetime pick UVa? I want those answers before I lose my cool with the state of the program, and its detractors.

If Tech's exhausting every resource at their disposal to sign players, and they're still going elsewhere, then the program has to look internally at processes and fix issues that will allow them to be more competitive. However, if every asset and advantage was leveraged within the NCAA rules this cycle, and the player didn't bite, there isn't much more that can be done. That's my two cents at least.

A step was taken in the right direction. The younger offensive staff was brought in to reinvigorate the program, and if you look at the recruits targeted by Shane Beamer, Scot Loeffler, Aaron Moorehead, and the recently departed Jeff Grimes, they had a tremendous amount of success recruiting. In the span of an offseason, the Hokies significantly overhauled their offensive talent pool, with the only major misses being Javon Harrison, Ryan Izzo, Coleman Thomas, and elite QB prospects David Cornwell and Jacob Park. Both Cornwell and Park have chances to compete immediately for a starting job at SEC powers, and that is tough to compete with. Everywhere else, the young staff chopped wood. Shane Beamer also had a major hand in landing Holland Fisher, Raymon Minor, and C.J. Reavis, and all three I believe will be major contributors on defense sooner rather than later.

At the same time, Beamer Co. didn't sell Da'Shawn Hand enough to stay out of the clutches of Nick Saban; the opportunity to make an immediate impact at receiver couldn't sway Harrison away from Florida State's championship spotlight and the attraction of staying close to home; and the staff couldn't convey to Derrick Nnadi that he would be the perfect fit in Bud Foster's gap fit defense on day one. In some cases, there is a clear rational reason for why the Hokies couldn't close the deal. Although, others are inconclusive based on what I know.

I read Mark Giannotto's article about the Thoroughbreds and the 757 Sports Academy. If you are telling me that the price of winning the ACC is entering a gray area, or even stepping out of bounds, as far as NCAA rules go, then count me as happy with 9-4. It's playing with fire and in my opinion would only be a matter of time before the NCAA's axe falls in some form or fashion.

The moaning over the guys who signed elsewhere and will not be in the program is hurtful and dismissive of the young men who chose to become Hokies and will give their blood, sweat, and tears to the program. We got an outstanding class of players, and while sometimes we don't always get every present on Santa's wish list (I am still waiting on my X-Wing fighter), the gifts we did get can be pretty badass. Just like with the X's, O's and execution on Saturdays, as a fan base it helps the program to become educated. Everyone knows if a play didn't work. Understanding why is the only way to improve.

Raging on social media for coaches to be fired, or hiding underneath a forum because the sky is falling in Blacksburg is counter productive and irrational. Recruits are reading it, and it is only hurting the perception issue. If you want to go to a Hokie Club recruit night and ask Bryan Stinespring drill down questions about some of these misses, go for it. As ticket holders, donors, and fans, you have a right to understand the thought process on how a product that you have a choice to invest in does or doesn't improve. You are a customer, and they are the support. But, congratulate the players who spurned the Hokies on starting down the road to success and higher education. Support and encourage the new Hokies to work their tails off and make those recruits who took different paths regret their decision with losses every time they play the Fighting Gobblers. And, educate ourselves about the game, and take actionable steps that we can take to make the program better.

Contact the editor about this post anytime by phone: (703) 646-1931 or mail: 3057 Nutley St Suite 633, Fairfax, Virginia 22031.

Comments

Couldn't have said it any better myself, French. Welcome to our new class of Hokies. We may lament the recruits we didn't land, but that does not detract from my personal excitement at seeing what these new guys will do. If all goes according to plan, they will be a new wave of excellent Hokies for whom all of us will be cheering.

W.I.N.

Well said.

I would definitely like to take an opportunity to welcome all the young dudes who sent us a fax this morning. You won't regret it. Now..get to work.

Well said frenchie! I especially like this:

"The moaning over the guys who signed elsewhere and will not be in the program is hurtful and dismissive of the young men who chose to become Hokies and will give their blood, sweat, and tears to the program. We got an outstanding class of players, and while sometimes we don't always get every present on Santa's wish list (I am still waiting on my X-Wing fighter), the gifts we did get can be pretty badass."

And this:

"...congratulate the players who spurned the Hokies on starting down the road to success and higher education. Support and encourage the new Hokies to work their tails off and make those recruits who took different paths regret their decision with losses every time they play the Fighting Gobblers."

VT has built its Blue Collar reputation on many, many great recruits over the years whom have not gotten the accolades from national recruiting boards year in and year out. Prior to the past 2 years, the product has been BAD ASS in total! And it will be again!

This class is absolutely a step in the right direction. Welcome New Hokies. The Sky's the limit!!

LETS! GO! HOKIES! Time to work!

Pain is Temporary
Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever
Let's Go Hokies!!

I view it like we got a car for our 16th birthday, and although it's not a Camaro, it's still sweet. We missed out on having arguably the best recruiting class ever by two or so players. It stinks, but I think we have guys that will step up and attempt to fill those shoes. A bittersweet signing day, but overall pretty damn good.

#38-0

completely agree, really thought it would be a great class with Nnadi and Harrison but it's still good without them. Filled needs on offense and have a lot of defensive guys from last years class. If QB gets solved then I'm not worried that we won't meet minimum of 9 wins and ACC Championship game each of the next few years

WHO WANTS TO START THE RUCKUS!?

Yea but it's a fucking sweet car.

There are wolves and there are sheep, I am the sheep dog

I like our direction, we missed some targets but no one gets everything they want.

My opinion:
With Foster's defense, VT needs be successful at recruiting the QB and O-line. We got a nice haul there. The talented receivers and RBs are also a nice addition. This team will be better. Success + great recruiting will yield even better classes. For where the program is now, this was a very good recruiting class. I expect a solid recruiting class in 2015 and much better recruiting classes in 2016 and beyond. (pending future coaches...)

I was a bit butthurt on the misses today but... whatever, we are winning a national title every year.

I am always drunk when I make my videos.

I nominate French for "Most likely to give a pregame speech".

Take the shortest route to the ball and arrive in bad humor.

Hell, I'm ready to run through a brick wall at the end of a film review. This kind of pep talk might cause destruction to the greater DC/Metro area.

I would probably quote Lombardi and John Wooden. And the two quotes would likely conflict with each other. And then my players would laugh, ask "who is John Wooden?", and then get beat by 40 while I insist on running fullback trap until we execute it correctly like some kind of disgraced former college coach trying to find himself coaching high school in a tiny Indiana town where nobody ever leaves.

Viva El Guapo

The Wizard of Westwood was one of my fraternity's greatest alums. I even went to a leadership seminar at Miami of Ohio (beautiful campus, by the way) created in his honor one summer. He could probably even make me enjoy basketball if he mentored me in the early days.

The U invented Swag, but UVA invented Smug.

VT '10, Born & Raised in the 804. Hokies, Keydets, Army Black Knights, NY Giants, NY Rangers, and ATL Braves.

Then after a while you adopt some new crazy scheme and win all the state championships in all the states?

"GODDAMMIT!!!! RUN IT AGAIN!!!!!!"

I don't how many times I heard that as a player...

LOL

Virginia Tech would walk right up to you and punch you in the neck. They're just tougher. Cowherd 3:16

And, while there are dirty tricks and resource issues, getting elite defensive tackles will always be tough for Foster with this defensive system. ALWAYS.

Viva El Guapo

Is that simply because our DTs don't get the limelight as much?

RealDiehl

From what I understand, it's mostly about the scheme and technique they are taught. It doesn't translate as well to the NFL as what other teams do on defense.

"That move was slicker than a peeled onion in a bowl of snot." -Mike Burnop

Excellent post. Missing Nnadi to me is really the only "big" disappointment of this class. Thought he had a chance to be a really special player at VT. As it stands, he has a great chance to be a really special player at FSU. When we talk about defensive recruits, as good as Bud Foster is, lets not kid ourselves, Nick Saban and Jimbo Fisher are as hard as it gets to recruit against when you are talking about defensive track record (to the NFL especially).

Harrison flipping stings, but I think landing Ford and Phillips (and Shai as well of course) are big gets for our offensive future, and it really can not be overlooked at the stellar success that was had bringing in some real honest to goodness offensive lineman with this class.

If things pan out, we honestly could be seeing our starting offensive backfield and skill position players (almost forgot Burke there) brought in in one class in addition to a potential O line that can start together for years and adding some defensive players that could become absolute studs under Foster's tutelage.

Time to start focusing on bringing in front 7 players for 2015. Go get em Hokies

Well said. I'll even add... When it comes to losing out to the likes of recent NC Bama and last year's NC FSU, it's not a real head scratcher. Kids want to play for big named programs. To a degree, I can understand losing a top player or two to UVA (e.g., kids grow up rooting for a given team). My frustration in the past was losing out on players to inferior teams that are out of state (e.g., 3 years ago UNC and Clemson).

This class seems to be another step in the right direction. Last year's class had more signees who played their 1st year, than any other in VT history. This year's class seems to have that same potential. I like what I see and expect recruiting to continue to improve, esp as the offense improves (I also have a theory that it's tougher to recruit on both sides of the ball if one side is viewed to be a mess).

Agree with all of this. if I remove my Tech bias (which is admittedly difficult) and I'm a 17 year old bigtime recruit I'm choosing FSU or Bama 99% of the time.

With this class we filled our needs very well and you KNOW we have quality young men. Thats what I love about Tech. Good people.

Hopefully the coaches can see where they missed or messed up and learn when they go out recruiting the Class of 2015 tomorrow

West Virginian by birth, Hokie by choice

Experts agree: adding depth and competition at every position on offense, yields a good offense.

That being said, Seminoles, the good rapport we had during the championship and Clemson games this year is over! Why didn't you poach a DT from some SEC school? You will NOT be invited to my birthday party this year!

The U invented Swag, but UVA invented Smug.

VT '10, Born & Raised in the 804. Hokies, Keydets, Army Black Knights, NY Giants, NY Rangers, and ATL Braves.

hey French - isn't the Foster scheme issue kind of a chicken and egg thing? Couldn't Foster conceivably wind up with a better (or just as good) D by running a scheme like Saban's with better athletes? Is Foster's scheme a self-fulfilling prophecy? Conversely, you can't argue with results and Foster gets the job done year after year ....

If you were in Foster's shoes, what would you do?

I go back and forth on this myself. It can be a total rabbit hole. But invariably, one "result" is the number of front seven Hokie starters in the NFL. How many are there?

I can think of only James Anderson because I'm not sure Tapp counts as a starter.

Who was the last DL or LB we had drafted?

My question is what is it about the scheme that would turn off elite recruits?

Or is it a personality/coaching issue?

Yak Butter nailed it. The style front six play is a hybrid. Like a one gap 4-3, every player has an assigned gap. Unlike an NFL style 4-3, those gaps are RARELY those in front of a players, so a premium is placed on defensive tackles who can shoot gaps laterally and then if they don't get through the hole cleanly, they can get under blockers and hold their gap fit. The advantage is that guys who fit the mold can be effective and open up things for the linebackers if they follow assignments. The bad thing is that elite defensive tackles are so dominant growing up that they learn how to beat blockers straight up and make plays instinctively. In Foster's system, top guys who are just used to running to the football and make plays become robotic because the system mandates that they go places and do things that are not always natural for guys who have been elite players growing up. The ends tend to be tweeners who are very quick because they have to track down running plays from the back side and rarely have bootleg contain. The mike and backer are more like 3-4 middle linebackers, where they have to play north south and fill the interior gaps rather than let the tackles eat up blockers and range sideline to sideline like a Ray Lewis.

The defense lends itself to tweeners and guys who have one skillset that is really good, but may not translate to the NFL. Alonzo Tweedy may never play anything but special teams in the NFL. But his speed and hustle made him valuable WHEN USED BLITZING FROM OUT WIDE AT WHIP. Has to cover? Uh oh. Bruce Taylor and Vince Hall were special guys at reading the play from the mike spot, outquicking or outpowering a backside scoop block, and meeting the guy for a loss. In a 4-3 where they have to play sideline to sideline and pursue? They just were not quick enough. Guys who were special at VT are bit players in the NFL because they had skills that were important at VT but don't always fit a typical NFL D. Jason Worilds may be the exception, but remember, he was a non-factor until he moved from ROLB in a 3-4 to LOLB in a 3-4. LOLB in a 3-4 is a stand up alignment with most of the same responsibilities a stud end would have at VT. His renaissance at that position isn't a surprise.

I fear the latest victim of the NFL mentality will be Derrick Hopkins. This kid was a four year contributor, a three year starter, contributed a photo album full of game saving plays, and set a great example for work ethic. But, he was a quintessential Bud Foster tackle who made plays because he had a set place to go and he went there (similar to an offensive lineman who has an advantage over a defender because the defender is reading while the blocker knows the snap count and where the play is going.) At the Shrine Game, playing in an NFL style system, he seemed to struggle to get off blocks. Kid is all guts and all heart, and will go down as one of my favorite players, but he may not have an NFL future. And you can bet your sweet yak that every time VT is going head to head with a school for a defensive lineman, that track record comes up.

NOW, with all that being said, Seattle used some components of Foster's system to win a Super Bowl. Kam Chancellor is probably one of the highest profile safeties in the game playing the same role that Foster used Kyshoen Jarrett in the last two seasons at VT. The system would work just as well in the NFL as in college IF you get the players that fit it. There in lies the challenge for Foster. How can you get guys who are special talents AND who fit the system (Jonathan Allen, Stephone Anthony, Derrick Nnadi, Andrew Brown) to come to Blacksburg and make them elite. When VT has had star power, that put the system over the top. Cornell Brown and Druck were STARS. Michael Vick, Stith, Moore, Davis... those were stars. Adibi-Hall-Flowers got them close to a national title (my arm for running back depth and a good passing system). Finally, Tyrod-RMFW-Evans-Wilson-Hosley were stars that elevated the DEFENSE during its worst season since 2003. You have to build a foundation, then get lucky finding those elite guys to go with the Vicks and TT5's of the world, and once every few years you are going to have a punchers chance. NOBODY, and I do mean NOBODY with VT's resources, location etc, has had a seat at the BCS table as much as Frank Beamer's Hokies. They now have to correct and get that foundation right. And they have some guys who could end up being those special players that can elevate the team. And they needed it, because besides Trey Edmunds, Kendall Fuller, Brandon Facyson, and Wyatt Teller they didn't have any guys with the talent and upside to be GAMECHANGERS.

Viva El Guapo

Speaking if Tweeners, thoughts on Mihota and/or Bronson sliding to DT? Keihn to DE? Fisher to Backer?

Are those the types if moves that suit Fosters system but eventually hurt us in recruiting because they are taking those players away from their NFL potential?

Bronson to DT wouldn't shock me. Keihn will be at backer along with Minor (although I think Minor would be a stud at whip against pro-sets.) Fisher I *think* will be a free safety and Reavis will be a rover (more in my film reviews of both.)

Viva El Guapo

Honestly, he is the biggest mystery to me. All of his film is from 2012, and he was playing linebacker. I have always heard that despite his size, he has the speed and athleticism to be an outstanding free safety or rover. Can he cut into Bonner's time? That may not be the issue. Bonner isn't just a safety, he is also the quarterback getting the secondary into the right coverage. He is a safety blanket for young DB's. If Virginia Tech can't develop trust in a 3rd corner, Bonner may have to do what he did last year and play the nickel spot. That means Fisher is competing with guys like Greene, Frye, and Clark. I don't put a bunch of stock in ratings, but if Fisher can play free safety as well as he played a linebacker in high school, don't count against him being snaps. Same scenario, they may also move Jarrett to free and let Fisher play around the line. Reavis can make an impact as well. They are Willie Pile, Kam Chancellor type impact guys.

Viva El Guapo

I can't help it. Every time I see "Willie Pile" the only thing my brain thinks is "perfect Hokie player name. Awesome."

I'm already going to Hell. At this point it's pretty much "Go big or go home."

as always - thanks for the well considered response - I really love the Babcock hire and I don't think it can be overstated how important getting the former players and Hokie Club contributions fixed (both monetary and visible support) will help us long term and it looks like Babcock is the guy for the job. I really hope we are able to take advantage of all the opportunity Frank, Foster, MV, etc. have given us to take VT to that consistent, elite level.

I think this might my favorite post of yours ever.
I'm looking very much forward to see who develops into a GAMECHANGER and who comes in right off as a GAMECHANGER!!!

What's Important Now?
The Lunchpail. The Hammer. BeamerBall.
Deal some damage boys

So is it fair to say that our stud DEs (NFL 3-4 LOLB) and mikes/backers (NFL 3-4 MLBs) should expect easier transitions to the NFL than our DTs and non-stud DEs? I'm not sure we've really seen that, though. Why not?

Despite the signing day misses, I'm also fairly happy with the class. I think it's better than 2009-2012 classes and on par with last year. And as noted, getting a QB with the potential to complete more than 55% of his passes should be huge.

To French's final point about actions to help male the program better, the elephant in the room is putting a Beamer exit strategy in place. He is a class act an a legend, but in my opinion he is a clear drag on the program. He has lost whatever energy he once had, and does not appeal to recruits.

To that end I hope the fan base can start to exert pressure on Babcock to begin the exit strategy. I would hate to become Penn State circa 2005-2010 (some might say we already are).

Signed,

Debbie Facking Downer

"he is a clear drag on the program" really? We just got one of our best recruiting classes ever. I am not sure what your qualifications are to make that bold statement, but based on this post, it looks like a troll.

Clueless troll is more like it.

'80 Grad, beer was cheaper then, so was gas.

Yeah, go ahead and lead that march to Babcock's office and see how fast you get laughed out.

I've written this before, but the two people who could have pushed Beamer out and survived the fallout were/are Steger and Weaver. Weaver's gone, and Steger's gone on June 1.

Survived the fallout? Weaver barely survived getting rid of Thursday night home games last year.

#thingsiblamethemvsfor

Weaver was already disliked greatly. Pushing Beamer out couldn't have made people like him less because you can't have a negative approval rating.

I dunno... I've seen negative turkey leg counts here. It may be possible.

No, I *don't* want to go to the SEC. Why do you ask?

I don't really agree with everything you said, but I'll say this: I do hope Babcock is developing an exit strategy and that's no disrespect to Beamer. That's just being realistic of the current situation and looking ahead (his age, contract year soon, and a bit of our recent woes).

In no way am I saying the exit strategy needs to have a quickly approaching deadline. Just saying the exit strategy should always be in the back of his mind, and I don't think the fans should have to pressure that. If he's a good AD, he'll be aware of the situation.

Kendall Fuller - future Thorpe winner

I'm impressed with this class for the way the program has expanded into different areas of the East coast. I think this class filled needs at many key positions and we will see immediate competition for starting spots against veterans. This should be applauded.

However, Beamer and his staff can not be content with missing on the top players in the state of Virginia.

Something is wrong with the recruiting approach when the best team in the state (by far) doesn't close on at least one or more of these guys. Hand, Blanding, Brown, Holmes, Nnadi, Kamara, Henderson... VT wasn't even in the discussion at the end with these guys, except Nnadi.

Top programs cleanup in state
Ohio State - 5 out of top 5 in Ohio
Georgia - 3 out of top 5 in Georgia
Florida State - 2 out 4 ***** guys in Florida
South Carolina - 3 out of top 5 in SC
Auburn/Alabama - 13 out of top 15 stayed in state
OK/OK state - 7 of top 10 stayed in state

Virginia Tech will not meet its lofty expectations without winning the recruiting battle in its own state - period.

Virginia Tech will not meet its lofty expectations without winning the recruiting battle in its own state - period.

I think you have backwards. Until Virginia Tech becomes BCS relevant on a consistent basis, it will not land the top recruits in the state.

Yep, those are winning programs. Reality: we have slipped. And with the turnover next year, we are realistically a full season away from showing an improvement. And that's just another year closer to the Beamer Transition issue

True to an extent.

Maryland kept the top 2 players in their home state this year. They kept Diggs from leaving in 2012.

If Maryland can fight off the wolves, it can be done.

Small sample size. Since 2008, UMD has kept the best player in the state twice, 2012 and 2014. 2/7, not bad I guess. In the same time period, VT has kept the best player once. UVA as well. So the ACC schools in the VA are 2/7 as well.

And how many major football programs are in MD for them to compete against?

Danny caught that ball.

Friends don't let 5 star friends commit to UVA.

I have inside info. - Whit

It's not about the competition instate, it's about the competition out of state. VT, UVA, and UMD have a difficult time keeping the top talent flooding out. Sure you can argue about Stefon Diggs and Damian Prince with UMD, and the Breds with UVA, but most of the talent is heading out of state to the South (or Ohio). And, until VT, UMD, or UVA get on that level, they're going to keep flooding out of state.

What's happening is this...
4- and 5-star athletes are leaving VA to go play elsewhere.
At the same time, 4- and 5-star athletes are leaving elsewhere to play in VA (namely, Tech).

After a while it becomes absolutely impossible to lock down an entire state. Florida and Texas found that out early, and we should be realizing that too.

No, I *don't* want to go to the SEC. Why do you ask?

Exactly. Which is why VT needs to get back to a national level. Make Blacksburg a place for championships, playoff births, and elite NFL development, no matter the state you went to high school in.

You missed the point. There wa a comparison of MD retaining guys instate and VT retaining guys instate.
It's a poor comparison. And completely irrelevant.

Danny caught that ball.

Friends don't let 5 star friends commit to UVA.

I have inside info. - Whit

You're right. I still don't see your point. And I don't see how it's a counter-point to my point.

My point was that UVA, UMD, and UVA are all examples of not being able to keep the top talent in-state. I never was comparing VT to UMD, or vice versa. I didn't even initially bring up UMD...

It's all good guys.

I brought up Maryland in response to VT needing to be BCS relevant to bring in the top guys in-state.

Maryland has brought in the top guy/guys 2 of the last 3 years. As we know, Maryland hasn't been relevant in over a decade. You don't always have to have the best program to get recruits, you just have to know how to sell your program. Randy Edsall is selling.

If VT had the same results, we would have 2 of these guys on our roster right now, and we would be a better team for it - (Eli Harold, Christian Hackenberg, DaShawn Hand)

True. But, I don't think Maryland is pulling in all the Maryland talent. According to this Rival's list, UMD pulled in the top 2 in the state, but no others in the top 25. VT pulled #4 and #7 from MD.

For comparison, VT pulled in 7 of the top 16 in VA.

UVA obviously did the best with the top 10, pulling 3 recruits including #2 and #3, but we all know this is simply due to the shady Thoroughbred connection. UVA also pulled #15 and #24 in the state.

As everyone else has stated, a great speech and just what HC Beamer or someone else high-up on the Coaching Staff needs to say publicly to calm the fans.

Yea, it sucks we missed out on all of UVa top recruits, but we got a lot of great players and these players want, I mean WANT, to be a Hokie! That should trump those missing *s any time.

Go Hokies!

It is so frustrating. The worst part of the day hasn't been missing out on Nnadi and Harrison, even though it hurt. The worst part isn't knowing that the coaching staff is fighting a battle against the nation's elite programs with one arm tied behind their back because of perception, a lack of the same money as big programs, and an unwillingness to deal with "handlers." That is hard enough.

The worst part is listening to all the people who:
A) Have absolutely no idea how the college football world works and decide that any time Virginia Tech doesn't beat everybody by 40, win the national title every year, and get every top recruit, that coaches need to be fired and the players are not trying hard enough.

B) Have no idea why a play is successful or fails, how a player fits or doesn't fit a scheme, and have absolutely no idea how those skills compliment the other players in the program or those who are being recruited, and then destroy the coaches because they didn't hotly pursue guys who are not good fits for the system and the other players strength.

It makes it miserable to be a fan. I can't believe that I have to sometimes defend the coaches, including Coach Beamer. Are there ways things they could change to make the program better? Perhaps, but without us having a backdoor window into the money, support staff, and the coaching rooms, there is no way for any of us to full understand where those touch points are. We can point out where the RESULTS have been less than ideal, but we can only hypothesize what the tripping point was.

At the same time, for those who want to run Beamer out of town... why does everyone assume that a change will make things improve? UNC lost Mack Brown, and the program went into the crapper under Carl Torbush and John Bunting. Tennessee pushed out a NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP WINNING COACH in Phil Fulmer, and the Volunteer fan base got to deal with Lane Kiffin and Derek Dooley with a big orange bow on their heads. Michigan runs off Lloyd Carr. HELLO RICHROD. Sometimes the school hits the jackpot (Jimbo Fisher at FSU) but usually the schools that do have huge resources. You can't just expect that a new coach can replicate the culture at VT, and that culture is what made VT different and gave them the ability to compete at a high level despite talent and resource gaps.

My biggest concern with Beamer focuses on off season strength and conditioning. The teams over the past couple of seasons just don't seem as physically strong as past teams. You can't teach talent, but you can make guys stronger, and that was a key to VT's rise. I can still remember John Engleberger going from a 6'4 205 walk on tight end to a 260 pound monster DE. Guys from Southwest Virginia like Benny Wolfe and Nick Leeson, who were smaller guys and not heavily recruited, going to VT, growing significantly, and being quality special teams guys. If I had to ask a question of the staff besides scheme or recruiting, that is my first question. What is different with offseason S&C, if anything?

Viva El Guapo

^___ THIS! Especially concerning the strength and conditioning of the team. We seems to get manhandled by almost every team we play for the last 4 - 5 years and I cannot for the life of me understand why this is occurring. Thanks again for the great write-up! Go Hokies!

Go Hokies!

Manhandled is taking it too far (with the exception of the Stanford game and the ACC title game vs Clemson, I can't think of a game where the Hokies were "manhandled" up front. But, are they as physical and as intimidating as in years past? No, haven't been since 2009 or earlier.

Viva El Guapo

Agreed on those two games, but there is selective memory about the good ol days. I watched the 98 team take a physical whippin at M'town. I didn't think Al Clark would make it through the game and the game wasn't a blow out (28-17). Our line was the same tough guys who went 11-1 a year later. And NCSU beat the crap out out of Randall in 2004 and we had a chance to win. It seems like sometimes there are just bad individual match ups and some times it is endemic (hello Broncos)

That 97-98 stretch wasn't an ideal time for me. VT was trending downward, and I was playing my own games on Saturday.

Viva El Guapo

Can VT do any better on S&C than other schools? I think S&C is now consistent across all the top programs.

You either love Blacksburg or you don't. You like what it offers or you look for something else. I don't think the top 5-10 football recruiting schools offer anything more than VT other than association with a NC. If as a HS player you project to be in the NFL then you will probably make it regardless of where you play. Last year's #1 draft pick played at Central Michigan (6-6 the last two years, mainly against poor teams). If VT was pulling in the talent that LSU, AL, OSU, FSU are I would expect we would win multiple NCs too. It is not AL that is winning the championships, it is the talent that was persuaded to go there. Can CFB's personality ever hope to capture the magic of Saban, Miles, Jimbo, or Urban? He doesn't have that aura nor the national exposure.

It is all about perceptions and not the program. VT has put a lot of talent into the NFL without all the hoopla. If you think going to VT hurts your NFL chances and attending AL or FSU helps, then you are kidding yourself.

I'm gonna go out on a limb and say it was someone in category A or B who got butthurt because French called them out on their lack of football knowledge when all they wanted to do was throw a hissyfit and whine and cry and call for coaches to be fired.
Just a hunch.

Would it be somebody via a username that's related to O Brother, Where Art Thou?

True Hokies STICK IT IN!!!

STICK IT IN Army of Virginia Tech

Fosterball

(From Full Metal Jacket)

WHO DOWNVOTED FRENCH?! Who's the slimy little communist shit, twinkle-toed cocksucker down here who just signed his own death warrant? Nobody, huh? The fairy fucking godmother did it. Out-fucking-standing! I will PT you all until you fucking die! I'll PT you until your assholes are sucking buttermilk!

In Beamer & Co. We Trust #Livefor32 #DecadeofDominance

Also seems like we've had more injuries in recent years...wonder if we don't need a Shannon Turley conditioning approach to focus as strongly on flexibility as strength.

gtofever

I seem to recall reading an interview/article a year or two ago that touched on the S&C issue. Apparently NCAA rules regulating summer workouts (in the interest of fairness and player safety) have really hamstrung the S&C staff. They can't make workouts as long or intense as they did before, so they're having to come up with new ways to toughen guys up. It hasn't always been easy/successful.

And how do we solve B?? --> TKP!
Thanks to all the contributors on here that really help us understand this great game and how VT falls into it.

I read an article a few years ago. It stated that back in the 90s VT was able to take a 3 star with a lot of talent, but who was under weight, and transform him into a monster because there weren't so many regulations on when, how, and how much the strength and conditioning coaches could be directly working with them. That is what gave VT an edge. They would push there players harder in the weight room and get better results than other schools. Now that direct contact is regulated and outside of designated periods it is up to the player to modivate themselves into becoming that monster. It just doesn't happen as quickly as it used to for VT. This places greater importants on getting either those 4 and 5 stars that are already at a good size, or high charactor kids that are self-motivating in the weight room.

Can we sticky this on the header. Oh my lord this. This. This. This. This.

I'm extremely happy with this year's recruiting class. Every year, we lose one or two guys we wished we had, but that is life. Nnadi would have been a huge asset because I think he's the real deal. Still, we will move on, our program won't be broken without him. I am a little frustrated that we couldn't rope in in some of the hot talent that came out of the VA this year. But then I go through the list of guys we got and think how can I be upset? We got some guys that truly will be play makers earlier, than later. We also filled many holes across the board. Beamer has made the right decision to bring in new faces to the staff that has already paid off. In time, we will bring home the big prize.

Hokie, Hokie, Hokie, Hy!
Tech, Tech, VPI

I have no reason not to believe that we will still go out there and kick everyone's ass until it doesn't happen. So, we're still gonna kick everyone's ass. That is all.

21st century QBs Undefeated vs UVA:
MV7, MV5, LT3, Tyrod Taylor, Sean Glennon, and Grant Noel. That's right, UVA. You couldn't beat Grant Noel.

I am just getting started in my review of the recruiting class but I'm deliriously happy with the guys we pulled down. The CJ Reavis-es of the world make my day. They're the kids I like having the opportunity to root for for the next four years.

I also think that it deserves to be noted that Jeff Grimes didn't take any of the OL recruits with him to LSU. A lesser coach might do something like that, so thank you Coach Grimey!

The U invented Swag, but UVA invented Smug.

VT '10, Born & Raised in the 804. Hokies, Keydets, Army Black Knights, NY Giants, NY Rangers, and ATL Braves.

I wonder how people would feel about things if Phillips and the Fords were from VA while Hand and Nnadi were from Florida. I'd probably be less annoyed.

Great concluding message after an exciting national signing day, French. I will give VT class a B. If Bud Foster can fish out a top 5 defense from previously lower ranked class ( Maddy was a 2 star recruit ), then coach foster has enough talent to produce a number one defense out of this class. There is no reason to lose any sleep of the decision of those who decided to go elsewhere, some of them had made their decision before hand ( Nnadi ) and others wanted to go their dream school that's just won a national championship. You can't fault the recruits from going to the CHAMPS. We can't blame the coach either because they worked their butts off traveling to visit recruits and bring in a top 25 class, there's nothing they could have done to change made-up minds. A lot of program cant say they bring a top 25 class for 2 years in a row. The fans are disappointed because they had their hopes up too high. Hokie Nation is passionate and is reacting like Richard Sherman after beating San Francisco. Once the dust settles, we will all realize that the program has an awesome class to work with. GO HOKIES!

I know everybody loves to wish players the best even when they don't pick us, but I'm REALLY hoping that Harrison turns out like the last guy to do this to us (Lockhart). You don't decommit from a school on signing day. You just don't. I know it didn't come as a surprise, but he should have flipped weeks ago when his mind changed. Waiting is incredibly disrespectful as it puts us in a bind and potentially takes a spot away from another player.

And to anyone saying that it's not that bad, if a babe decided the morning of prom to go with some other dude, despite initially saying "yes" to you, would you wish them a good time? Yeah, didn't think so..

Disappointments aside, I'm really pumped for this class. Now that we're phasing out the weak classes of 10 and 11 and bringing in some more talented classes, we'll be back to the 10 win standard in no time.

He won't. Only way he won't be grades is if he sabotages himself or gets hurt. FAR superior player to Lockhart.

Viva El Guapo

But remember if he takes any tutoring from this girl he will most likely fail english comp 1 and loose.

lol

"I'm high on Juice and ready to stick it in!" Whit Babcock

I wouldn't bet against sabotaging himself there...

The only thing wrong with your prom date analogy is that she told you a couple weeks in advance that she was talking to other guys and might choose one of them instead.

Still a bitch, but boo on you for not dropping her and finding another date.

but boo on you for not dropping her and finding another date

We tried. Another viable "date" supposedly was going to "commit on the spot" if we offered. We did, it didn't work out at the last minute when another hot chick (UGA) showed up to the party.

well, UGA, and the fact that they didn't like our car when we picked them up to go out for ice cream

Flowers, Harris, Chancellor, Carmichael, Whitley, Hosley, Fuller, Exum

The reason why we're expressing a wee bit (I said wee) of disappointment is that our heart is soooo big we want all of them for the family and we feel sad and disappointed they'll never know what they missed.

Danny caught that ball.

Friends don't let 5 star friends commit to UVA.

I have inside info. - Whit

French talked about missing out on top in-state defensive talent; While it is frustrating to see these guys head OOS (or worse, LOLUVA), I have no doubt that Foster will put together another to top-10 defense, comparable to the Alabamas and FSUs. Foster just does it with less star power.
It was good to see that Seattle had success with a similar system as well; great DBs, lots of QB pressure, focus on assignments, know your opponent, and play with intensity. That whole defense is a cluster of scheme guys who work together.

Now on the other side of the ball VT had a different problem. The past offensive coaches didn't have a successful system, recruited athletes then switched their positions, then had to wait years for these guys to be productive. Rarely did anyone play offensive line before being a R-Soph. Painter was our highest-rated O-line recruit and didn't play until his 5th year. Scrambling QBs were a necessity at VT because there were so many issues with the O-line.

The new coaches seem to at least have a plan, are recruiting players to fit their scheme, and are having offensive recruiting success because their scheme translates well to "the league". Last year was a bit crazy, not having players that fit their scheme. Starting so many unheralded freshman against Alabama showed all of us just how thin this team was last year.

Next year promises to be a good one, and I expect to see lots of contributions from the incoming crew. Another thread mentioned we might have 10 incoming freshman who might play next season, which means they can make this offense (and defense) better right now.

Let FSU and LOLUVA have their Thoroughbreds, these players we got today are going to be some big-time contributors in the years ahead.

"When you're green, you're growing. When you're ripe, you rot." -Ray Kroc

"If you are telling me that the price of winning the ACC is entering a gray area, or even stepping out of bounds, as far as NCAA rules go, then count me as happy with 9-4."
Me too. I'd rather have a clean, decent program. College Football these days may be big bucks business, but I want my school to be honorable.

epitomizes the blue-collar mentality that I love about VT...don't go chasing the 'easy' dollar bills..work hard and honorably to do it the right way

"I like to hit a home run early" ~ Whit "knows how to create a Buzz" Babcock

Best of luck to those that decided not to attend Virginia Tech in favor of other programs. With this said I hope Revis, Fisher, Walker, Ford^2, etc. adopt the Lunch Pail mentality that has made previous Tech teams great and make those recruits that could have joined up with the good guys regret their decision when watching/playing against us.

Exit Light, Enter Night....Go Hokies

Excellent post French.

I'm very happy with this recruiting class because it addressed our biggest areas of need - which is playmakers on OFFENSE. Shai & Marshawn, Ford&Durkin, Ford&Phillips (4* WRs) and Holland&Bradshaw (3* WRs) - THAT is what this program needed. Hell, I was sold at Shai & Marshawn.

Obviously - the program also needs good OL : I think we have some good OL from this year's class and last, and we have a new OL coach who's recruited at tons of big schools and I'm hopeful can bring home even better OL at VT in 2015.

And then there's defense - which of course is where all the big in-state misses were. Like everyone else, I wish some of those guys had come here...but last year was a good class, next year will be a good class, and this year is pretty damn solid too. Let's face it - we all know Bud will work some magic here. My real concerns were on offense, and I was happy to see some big named brought in there.

People are so quick to forget some things after going 7-6 and 8-4. For years (roughly 12 of them), all ESPN and others could talk about is how great of a job VT did at ignoring * ratings, and finding and bringing in guys who fit their system, have the right work ethic, and develop them into great players. For years, we never had a top-15 class but were always ranked in the top 15. And we never had the ACC's #1 class (miami, clemson, fsu were always ahead of us), but more often than not we won the ACC.

So to me, what French is saying makes total sense. These coaches have perfected the art of finding & developing the RIGHT players, not the highest rated players, and winning a lot of games. And now we have a better offensive staff and the same great defensive staff. Sure, there were some misses - but every school has misses, including FSU and Bama. It's life when you recruit 18yr olds.

What FSU and Bama don't have is people saying it's time to replace their head coaches...those posts influence 18yr olds, so if you're posting that kinda stuff, then you're directly hindering VT's recruiting efforts.

Great class, especially on offense, and let's keep the momentum going for 2015

What FSU and Bama don't have is people saying it's time to replace their head coaches...those posts influence 18yr olds, so if you're posting that kinda stuff, then you're directly hindering VT's recruiting efforts.

1. Did you see what FSU fans did to Bobby Bowden?

2. Fire Nick Saban

Bama fans on craigslist call for Saban to be fired

Here's an 113 post thread on firing nick Saban

And that guy won back to back championships in the last three years. Every school has psychotic fans, schools like FSU and Alabama where they have very high expectations they have many more and they are much worse, not fewer.

I'd argue that very few schools' fan bases at the level we aspire to be at would have put up with what Newsome/Stinespring were doing to the offense for as long as they were doing it. If anything, the VT fan base as a whole is disproportionately patient and forgiving, not the other way around.

There are idiots in every fan base. We certainly have our share. But on the whole, our fan base is probably tamer and more mature than most, especially your typical SEC fan base.

"People are so quick to forget some things after going 7-6 and 8-4. For years (roughly 12 of them), all ESPN and others could talk about is how great of a job VT did at ignoring * ratings, and finding and bringing in guys who fit their system, have the right work ethic, and develop them into great players. For years, we never had a top-15 class but were always ranked in the top 15. And we never had the ACC's #1 class (miami, clemson, fsu were always ahead of us), but more often than not we won the ACC."

Part of it is timing- the rest of the ACC was a mess for long stretches in the 2000s. Miami was being driven into the ground by Coker/Shannon, UNC run aground by Bunting, FSU and Clemson underachieving, and Groh alienated the high school coaches in VA. VT wasn't necessarily getting the most talent, but they were getting who they wanted and they weren't dysfunctional. Other than GT I don't think any of the notable ACC schools are in worse shape than they were in 2009.

I agree with that and I agree that every fan base has people who call for a head coach to be fired...I'm just saying the less of that we have, the better...for many reasons, but especially for recruiting

Like you said...Clemson, Miami, and FSU all underachieved during that era relative to their recruiting classes. I'd argue that VT overachieved during that stretch if you look at our recruiting class rankings vs our production on the field.

So all I'm saying is, similar to what French said...it's a good class and addresses our needs, and even though the in-state misses suck, we oughtta trust that the coaching staff that overachieved with lesser talent (compared to others in the ACC) can certainly do the same with this year's recruits.

I think the biggest problem with our lack of getting "big-time" players is Frank Beamer. No, I am not calling for him to be fired, but I think he has to change. For recruiting to be successful now-a-days, the head coach has to be extremely active in recruiting. We see pictures ALL THE TIME of Saban at the homes of recruits. The only time we see Frank at an in-home visit or visiting a school is when he is with his son, Shane. Even though London doesn't win, he has a point:

London is getting these studs because he is a focal point in the recruiting process. Recruits want to see that the head coach wants them. And it certainly doesn't help when London is at the homes and schools of these recruits and Beamer is deviating the responsibilities to Steinspring and the other assistants. Granted, I do not know what goes on behind closed doors, but Beamer needs to be more involved. Frank can call the recruits all he wants, but at the end of the day he needs to be visiting them in person.

So you want more pictures of Beamer with recruits when he is on in-homes? Or are you implying the winningest active coach has decided to NOT take full advantage of the ONE in-home visit a head coach is allowed to make per NCAA regulations?

I've been reading all over the place that this past year Beamer jumped back into the fray and became more active. That said, this class is awesome. We got at least one four star **** defensive lineman, linebacker and defensive back. As well, we pulled some more four stars in the offensive backfield and receiving corps. And it is my opinion that Andrew Ford should be a four star. As for the offensive linemen, , and it's been said time and again here and other places that offensive linemen are more difficult to evaluate. I'm guessing Grimes knew what he was doing and they will more than contribute.

Great class.

'80 Grad, beer was cheaper then, so was gas.

No, he's getting "these studs" ... all two of them ... because they were gift-wrapped and dropped in his lap by their handlers.

I think the Washington Post article gives a pretty clear idea how London is getting these recruits, and it isn't by "being the star of his staff." To use a language he may understand, Internal Affairs may come a calling if they can track any $$$ that match up with those 420 phone calls that are traceable.

As for Frank "being the problem," he picks his spots. He has closed guys (see Ryan Williams) but I think he is smart enough to know where he can help, and where he needs to let his assistants do the work. The real problems are:

1) The staff isn't willing to take the steps that schools like Ole Miss, Oregon, and now UVA have taken to get elite recruits. You read between the lines. Best case, that means being buddy buddy with the football equivalent of AAU coaches. Worst case, well, you know what that is. Regardless, it means those kids are being shielded from the message of VT. When they get the chance, those kids are usually impressed: see Andrew Brown being very complimentary of his visit. (He is going to be angry now. I can't stand UVA but I don't blame him for hating VT now after reading some of the nonsense people have posted on his twitter feed.)

2) Perception- The loss to JMU. The narrative about the team that "loses big games." It has had an impact. Oddly, I guess not winning an ACC game in 2 years and losing to powerhouses like Ball State, Louisiana Tech, and Southern Miss is less embarrassing. (Remember all those kids he promised would be stars in 2011? WELL HE IS PROMISING THESE FRESHMEN THEY WILL GET YOUR JOBS.)

3) Resources to stay in the ear of the guys that they want out of state. Just like Jimbo spending most of last week in Virginia with Nnadi, Eberle, and 2015 targets.

Viva El Guapo

Thanks for the reply. With just looking at UVA's commit list, they may have a few five stars but not nearly the depth we have. You caught my curiosity with the mention of internal affairs. Do you have an article link that goes into further detail?

The perception I got out of that article was that Coach Cutler is selling thos e players on being able to play with eachother in college, and the college he has picked for them to play together at, and around his QB son, is UVA. London is selling them with "yeah, my team sucks now, but you guys are such great players that just being at UVA will change that." And after seeing how poor a coach he is at developing players I really think Super Cop believes it too.

He is going to be angry now. I can't stand UVA but I don't blame him for hating VT now after reading some of the nonsense people have posted on his twitter feed.

That kind of thing makes me so angry. Idiots undermining the school they claim to support.

'problem...Beamer'? more like: 'Problem...YOU!'

Commonwealth Cup Champions since Sat, Nov 27, 2004 at 4:05:00 PM EST

With regard to Javon Harrison, it really should be noted that he has a young daughter in Florida to whom he probably wants to be at least reasonably close. Not really sure that VT could have done any more than they did.

Besides, if you take a look at his Facebook and Twitter pages, you tend to come to the conclusion that maybe it's not such a bad thing that he's going elsewhere. If forced to choose between Harrison and Isaiah Ford, I would most definitely choose Ford.

The one that stings for me is Derek Nnadi. He could have been in the 2-deep from Day One and his Dad is a VT grad. But we lost him to the national champions and we lost DaShawn Hand to the program that had won three of the previous four national titles before that. Right now, VT simply isn't in that league.

If VT can get back to being relevant in the national title picture, then it will make it a lot easier to keep these kids of guys at home. I think that we took a big step towards that goal with this class, especially on the offensive side of the ball where help is needed most.

Personally, I prefer to evaluate a recruiting class by who we got, not who got away.

One of the best and most logical posts I've seen.

Personally, I prefer to evaluate a recruiting class by who we got, not who got away.

And yes, we got a heck of a lot. Honestly, I'm riding the 2016 bandwagon, with or without Nnadi or Hand or anyone other than the guys we got, because Virginia Tech attracts talented kids and coaches them to the best of their potential. IMO, between this and last offseason, the seeds have been sown for the most talented offense we've seen in a while.

This is my thoughts exactly. I didn't want to put it to words because I was afraid it would look to much like trying to justify a miss. But this is dead on.

If forced to choose between Harrison and Isaiah Ford, I would most definitely choose Ford.

Why? To me this just sounds like you're trying to justify it and make it feel better? I feel pretty confident in saying that Harrison is a better WR than Ford. Are you saying you don't like Harrison because of the baggage he may bring? Because sadly most top athletes nowadays bring personal baggage - they're all divas. We can't keep not wanting these players because of that, we have to trust the coaches more that they wouldn't allow it to get out of hand.

#38-0

There's a big difference between Baggage, Diva's and SWAG.

"I'm high on Juice and ready to stick it in!" Whit Babcock

I just want to say this: We are going to smack the sh1t out of some teams this year, and next year is going to be even more impressive. This whole thing is back on an upward trajectory, and I am stoked about it. I really feel that a good majority of the 4 star recurits we signed today have the potential to be absolute MAUL SACKS. Remember it. Write it down. Take a picture. I don't give a fvck what you do, but just know this class is freakin stout and it is gonna be rememberd.

Fortune Favors the Bold

I believe that too. You get my vote.

'80 Grad, beer was cheaper then, so was gas.

This

21st century QBs Undefeated vs UVA:
MV7, MV5, LT3, Tyrod Taylor, Sean Glennon, and Grant Noel. That's right, UVA. You couldn't beat Grant Noel.

Its EZ to get caught up in the hype of the moment and, if for no other reason than national exposure its always great to land a big name recruit. However, it has taken more than a few seasons for me to realize and understand the volatile nature of recruiting in terms of overall universal rankings. Let's remember, these kids have yet to graduate high school. Ten years ago they were in 2nd grade (hopefully) (that's 2004). The pedestal for being a 'national talent' has been so distorted that its basically fictional. How can you compare stats of a WR in Nebraska to one in North Jersey. Apples and burnt oranges.

I have concluded that recruiting is the WHOLE PICTURE- school, major, location, climate, closeness to home, uniforms, social life, etc... Our HOKIE program has created, and is aware of its own identity. We attract the highest level of talent regardless of location. Its the other factors, listed above that become critical in the home stretch of the recruiting process. I find the best answer to "Why?"(a recruit chose Tech) is: "because I felt at home". GO HOKIES!!!!!

Commonwealth Cup Champions since Sat, Nov 27, 2004 at 4:05:00 PM EST

im actually really happy about this class. there are misses every year but this is a solid class of young men. i cant wait to see these guys in maroon on saturdays. like so many people have said these guys want to be hokies and thats damn awesome

tyrod did it mikey! tyrod did it!

I like what this class brings athletically. I feel one of the major problems (due to poor recruiting etc) for the past couple years across the board has been athleticism.

Eventually at one point in a game you have to have someone lineup wide and beat press coverage one on one, make an unaccounted defender miss in the hole as a RB or lower the boom, and make a one one one tackle in space as a safety or linebacker.

On film this class is the first in a while that excites on their potential. I hope this class coupled with last years class can re-establish that edge that made Tech so successful.

UVA: Jefferson's biggest mistake

@pbowman6

Gut reactions, Ford, Ricky Walker, hair.

True Hokies STICK IT IN!!!

STICK IT IN Army of Virginia Tech

Fosterball

Slightly off-topic question...does Durkin being here actually help Leal's case to be the 2014 starter?

I've heard that SL is very high on Ford, but even higher on Durkin. However, Ford is considered to be more polished and ready to play right away, and is also enrolled early. If he were to start Ford over Leal, then we'd have a situation where the starting QB (Ford) could be benched in 2015 in favor of Durkin - a situation I'm guessing all coaches would want to avoid. So does all of this serve to help Leal's case?

I've always wondered if we'd ever experiment with some 2-QB trick plays? Lefty has shown his craftiness at times.

The U invented Swag, but UVA invented Smug.

VT '10, Born & Raised in the 804. Hokies, Keydets, Army Black Knights, NY Giants, NY Rangers, and ATL Braves.

Andrew Ford takes the snap, hands it off to Carlis Parker who then hands it off to Sam Rogers on a reverse. Rogers throws a 30 yard pass to Durkin who, to avoid being tackled just outside of the goal line laterals the ball to Mark Leal who then fumbles it into the endzone where it's recovered by Bucky Hodges who is by now 8 feet tall.

Just another gut-wrenching, can't breathe, I lost my voice, not now, did that just happen, just gimme this one, Virginia Tech Saturday

I think we are pulling a Seattle Seahawks here with this class. We have some big corners coming in, most are at least 6 feet if im not mistaken. Our d line will be fine and backers will be great. I think we got some good offensive weapons and some good o line recruits.

There are wolves and there are sheep, I am the sheep dog

I'm assuming you mean a real X-Wing that operates; not a toy.
XWing
If so, I wished for the same thing.

-@no1hokie86

While I think we had some misses i think this is a class that will help us to continue to improve and get us going in the right direction again (10+ win seasons, ACC title contention, etc)

@VTimHokie85
#BringBackTheTerrorDome

I would have loved to have gotten Nnadi and Harrison...but oh well...Next man up!

I like this class alot...Qb's and Rb's...Holland Fisher...
Heck, we even have 3 kickers coming in. (Nina, Pinta, & Santamaria)

Good work coaches.

VHokie

French, awesome as always. You piss Excellence!
I'm always excited with the players that choose to join our program and represent the University as citizens, students and athletes. I can't wait to hear about their first game experience in the Lane.
Regarding the recruits we did not get:
1. I am happy to not play in the 7-7 sandbox. I see no good coming from that. Developing good relationships with the HS coaches I believe is the right way to do it. Not sure why these 5 * sold on UVA vision think things will eventually change there, but that's their loss, not VT
2. If Javon Harrison wants to be close to home because of kids and family. Don't blame him. Good luck and God Bless. I probably would have done the same.
3. I would really love to know the real story why we lost Hand. Everything seemed gold, then out of nowhere, it seemed, VT was not on the final 3. I remember talk of him not hearing from Foster for awhile, the major was not a good fit, etc. It just seems very strange. If it turned out to be the "Foster Scheme" was a bad fit, fine. I just think there is more to it. Either way, Good Luck and God Bless.
I look forward to seeing all the recruits who went elsewhere to regret their decision when they meet VT on the field.

Always a great day to be a Hokie!

twitter.com/bmdvt90

If I had to guess... I'd say it was a case of Bama being Bama, and Saban showing him all his rings and the trophy case. There was probably also some talk about defensive schemes, and how they would be more likely to prepare him for the NFL than we would. There are a lot of factors that could play into it.

The thing is, Hand isn't a fit at all with what Alabama does. He is a dominant 4-3 defensive end. If scheme was what he was worried about, he should be at South Carolina or Michigan or some team that uses four man fronts exclusively. Saban's defense makes stars out of outside linebackers. I have no idea if Hand is comfortable standing up at OLB (he'd be huge), but if he plays DE his job will be to eat blocks. It is similar to the Redskins. They have two premier 4-3 DE's being wasted as OLBs. I am not even remotely a Skins fan, but living in the DC area it is so frustrating to see two guys that are so talented at one position look so out of place at another. It is a specialized game.

Viva El Guapo

It is similar to the Redskins. They have two premier 4-3 DE's being wasted as OLBs. I am not even remotely a Skins fan, but living in the DC area it is so frustrating to see two guys that are so talented at one position look so out of place at another.

I am a Redskins fan, so it's even more frustrating. As was the announcement that they want to continue with the 3-4, and retained Haslett. I have a bad feeling they're going to overpay Orakpo too, and continue to play him out of position as you mention.

You, sir, have my proxy for any future posts in this thread or on this topic. This is exactly what I've been thinking.

I LOOOOOVE the group that we brought in. I think offensively, we're going to be straight up rolling in 2015 and onward.

With that said, it just SUCKS to see the quality of players that slipped away at the last minute and to know just how much better this class could have been over what it already is.

It feels like we lost out on Cushman the night before the draft but we still got Rod Tidwell.

http://31.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lzctt8R7gE1qdg9v3o1_400.gif

Go Tech

I think this analogy is dead on target. We have talented, passionate players, with TONS of upside. Plus, they WANT to be HOKIES. And they are going to leave a path of destruction and broken dreams scattered amongst their ACC foes and not a few non-conference unfortunates (Looking at you Ohio and Tennessee).

Fortune Favors the Bold

We focused on offense for this class out of necessity and I am very impressed with the results. Because of this class, I am sure we will have big-time WR threats and a legit featured back for the next few years. We got a stable of O-line guys so we will no longer be worried about disaster if 1-2 guys go down. On defense, I will be conservative and say we have two guaranteed multi-year starters in Walker and (post-prep year) Fisher. I see that potential in a handful of others on D as well.

When considering a) all the experience that some Freshmen got this year, b) the quality of the current coaching staff, and c) the results of this recruiting class, I feel it is safe to say that 2015 might be the first year in a long time where both sides of the ball are strengths. 7+ returning starters on both sides is entirely possible, as is our BEST-EVER secondary.

The future is bright, and this recruiting class is certainly one of the reasons for that. Good luck to all those getting ready for 4-5 of the best years of their life and GO HOKIES!

Something's brewing in Blacksburg...

I have to say that every year of my life since I became a Hokie has been my best!

Pain is Temporary
Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever
Let's Go Hokies!!

Same here, and tweaked the wording accordingly #hokie4life

Something's brewing in Blacksburg...