Familiarity Helps Tech's Position with Lauded DT Tim Settle

By now, the news that defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi won't be on Virginia Tech's football roster this fall has probably sunk in for Hokies fans. But a look to 2015's targets renews hope for a top-flight defensive lineman.

Stonewall Jackson (Manassas) junior Tim Settle — all 6 feet, 3 inches and 305 pounds of him — is a blue-chip recruit. According to the 247Sports Composite rank, he's a 5-star prospect and the No. 3 DT in the 2015 cycle.

He played about 60-percent of the Raiders' defensive snaps as a three-technique tackle and the remainder as a five on the outside edge.

Two years ago, Settle's speed opened eyes in the pass rush. Last season, his size helped anchor Stonewall's rush defense.

"He played at 280 as a sophomore and was fast," Raiders Coach Mike Dougherty said. "He was 320 this past year and was strong.

"He needs to combine the two better. He played both ways for us, so it took until about midseason for his conditioning to kick in."

Dougherty estimated 150 snaps per game for Settle last season. He also admitted the number took a toll on his star.

"He does take some plays off and we're not doing him any favors by playing him 150 plays a game," he said. "But, that's going to happen again this year. You want a kid like that on the field as much as possible."

It's easy to see why a coach would want someone of Settle's unique skill set on the field.

Dougherty frequently uses the same terms to describe the player who he believes will stay at tackle once enrolled in school.

The coach spouts out the words explosive, disruptive, a handful for linemen, size and speed.

"He reminds me of Warren Sapp," Dougherty explained. "You might look at Tim and think the same thing because he doesn't look like he can move as well as he can.

"You look at (2014 Alabama signee from Woodbridge) Da'Shawn Hand and he looks like a grown man.

Tim still has a little bit of a spare tire on him. But he's only 16 and more athletic than anyone trying to block him...Some schools have told us flat out, he's a first-round draft pick. You have 10,000 quarterbacks, 10,000 running backs but there are only 30 guys like Tim."

Settle worked on technique in the offseason. His repertoire evolved from a swim and spin to five or six different moves. Dougherty admitted the 16-year-old tries to do too much at times.

But he left no doubt when asked about Settle's top option.

"His best move is the straight bull rush where he puts you on your heels and gets rid of you," Dougherty said.

As a top prospect, Settle's offer list reads as a who's who of college football powers. He had the choices whittled to five before multiple postseason coaching changes.

He and his father will embark on a tour of the southeast on spring break. They will begin in Miami and "work their way up the coast" according to Dougherty.

Stonewall's break is slated for the third week in April.

Teammate Greg Stroman's commitment to Tech helps the Hokies' chances to land Settle.

However, his coach feels the tumultuous offseason pointed out the biggest reason the lineman could end up in Blacksburg.

"Tech's one of the few schools on Tim's list that didn't have a coaching change," Dougherty recalled. "The advantage Tech has is the familiarity with coaches...Tim's a pretty loyal guy. He was talking to some of those guys (who recruited and changed jobs) every day."

Settle squats 550 pounds and dead lifts 450. Despite only benching 300 pounds, Dougherty believes he could be up to 500 by next February.

The Manassas school's coach spoke glowingly about Bud Foster and Torrian Gray in their recruitment of Settle, especially Foster.

"Bud is cool; I don't know any other way to describe him. A lot of guys wear their college stuff here and just expect doors to open automatically but he's not like that at all," he said.

Chief concerns about Settle fall under conditioning and consistency. Dougherty believes a specific position and less time on the field will likely eliminate those worries at the next level.


The first highlight clip sold me.

I just sit on my couch and b*tch. - HokieChemE2016

If all 3 of those guys had a ball in that first play, all of them would have been dropped for a loss.

Hes a great player but I think we have a better chance at Darvin Taylor than Tim Settle. People are already saying Settle will more than likely go out of state. Would be happy if im wrong tho

I sure Hope VT gets More interest in a lot of DL players this year and not just one player and lock in on him. History shows that in VT. Either get one on board or get five on board, lets not have another Nnadi year ! Because he wasn't coming to VT to begin with, it showed last summer .

Jack R.

last summer is where it turned from all UVA to trending to VT......

I think Tim would Settle in on our defense just fine.


Big time in-state recruit who shows initial interest in tech....

Virginia Tech '12
Go Hokies and Philly Sports

Too spoon

After reading French's comments in his "Gut Reactions" post, I've learned to temper my hopes regarding any Very Highly Touted (VHT) Defensive line recruits. The system we run under Foster is not only not widely used in the NFL, it's a different skillset than what they have traditionally been learning their whole pre-college football career. So they would have been learning one thing all the way up until VT, then have to learn something completely different, and then what they've learned wouldn't apply to their ultimate aspirations of playing in the NFL. Quite honestly, it doesn't make a lot of sense for VHT DL recruits to come to VT, if their ultimate goal is to play on Sundays. This Battle is already been labeled a first round draft pick, frankly, its not in his best interests to come here. Sounds like whomever does pick him up, though will have a good one if he can find more consistent motivation.

The system may be different but if you have talent, are a force, and are disruptive then the NFL scouts will want you. GT puts WRs into the NFL with a system that doesnt bode well for WRs because they are highly talented guys.

That being said, do we actually have a shot with Settle?

"I'm too drunk to taste this chicken" - Colonel Sanders via Ricky Bobby

The system may be different but if you have talent, are a force, and are disruptive then the NFL scouts will want you.

Sure, but the impression I'm getting is that it's not just that "the system is different" it's that the skill set that you spend 4-5 years developing to play DL in the BF system is fundamentally different from the one that you would use to be successful in most NFL teams, it simply doesn't traslate well. He used Derrick Hopkins as an example: three year starter, talented, big, and very disruptive...Probably doesn't have an NFL future.

I don't think your GT WR analogy is a cromulent one because the GT system just doesn't utilize recievers, it doesn't actually teach them skills that don't translate to the NFL. A better analogy would be GT QBs or even (I would guess especially) GT OL. GT needs a specific type of OL to be successful in their system, they teach them a very specific set of skills...I don't know that said skillset translates well to the NFL. I don't have any actual numbers with me, but I imagine the number of GT OL under Johnson drafted and/or playing in the NFL is not very high. If you are a VHT OL with NFL aspirations, it doesn't make sense to go to GT and spend 4-5 years learning how to chop block in a tripe option offense.

you know, i dont think i ever heard the word 'embiggen' before i moved here.

its a perfectly cromulent word.

"That kid you're talking to right there, I think he played his nuts off! And you can quote me on that shit!" -Bud Foster

ok, just saw the other thread, late to the party. stupid work

"That kid you're talking to right there, I think he played his nuts off! And you can quote me on that shit!" -Bud Foster

I think Hopkins will be in the NFL and I think Maddy will be there too. We haven't had a dominant DT in a very long time. John Graves was good but was not an NFL player in any system.

"I'm too drunk to taste this chicken" - Colonel Sanders via Ricky Bobby

I think you (and French) are blowing it out of proportion a bit. While we do run a lot of slants and stunts along the DL we do plenty of straight up D where the DT's attack the gap in front of them.

The only real fundamental difference is that we almost always run a single-gap, attack/penetrate assignment for our entire DL, where in the NFL the DT's are often tasked with holding 2 gaps rather than attacking one.

Bottom line is that our system gives DT's a chance to shine, a chance to make plays and get noticed by racking up TFL and sacks.

Wiley, Brown, Russell, Drakeford, Gray, Banks, Prioleau, Charleton, Midget, Bird, McCadam, Pile, Hall, Green, Fuller, Williams, Hamilton, Rouse, Flowers, Harris, Chancellor, Carmichael, Hosley, Fuller, Exum, Jarrett

You know, it doesn't hurt to have hope. Georgia Tech still recruits quarterbacks just like Pitt still recruits running backs, just like Stanford recruits wide receivers, just like we should recruit linemen and linebackers. If we see a good guy like Settle, heck yeah we should go after him, regardless of the system. Because a lineman is still a lineman no matter how you slice it... he may be doing things a little differently, but he's still a lineman, and we need to recruit defense either way; the potential to play right away is always a draw.

Sure it doesn't hurt to have hope...until you get your hopes up and then get crushed when Nnadi goes to FSU, Stephone Anthony goes to Clemson, Hand goes to Alabama, Kirven goes to Alabama, etc, etc, etc, etc...

So, hope all you want. All I was saying is that I've learned to temper my hopes significantly, and French really helped me understand why getting VHT DL recruits has been a problem for so long, and why it will likely continue to be a problem for us.

I'm not suggesting our school not recruit him. Shoot maybe he'll come. What I'm suggesting is that on NSD, we don't act all sad, crushed, and shocked when a 5* DT with NFL aspirations chooses a school that 's going to teach him a skill set and a system that translates directly to fulfilling those aspirations.

I get what you're saying, I'm just saying that I would hope at least that recruits don't come on our site and think that the skills they learn here won't translate to the NFL haha. I'd like to think that Bud's system highlights the linemen and linebackers in a way that other defenses don't... In a blitz-heavy defense, don't guys get pretty good at tackling in the backfield? I could be way off my rocker though.

You should go read French's comments in the NSD Gut reactions article. He lays out very clearly why we are challenged in recruiting VHT DL recruits (and LBs, for that matter). It's not an issue of them coming to a website and reading why. They know why. Coaches recruting against us know why and tell them. Both our history of recruiting these players and our record of putting DL in the NFL kind of speak for themselves.

True, thanks for adding some insight and clarifying.

Coaches recruit against every school with a reason why that player fits better in their system over another. Of course Saban will tell Hand he will fit in better as a 3-4 DE with his size and boast the number of teams in the NFL running a 3-4. That stuff isn't new. My point is tell me the last time we had a dominant DT before Hopkins or Maddy. Who did we have that has the skills they have? Our DT position has been subpar compared to the rest of our defense for a decade. The talent just hasn't been there. The point is you can argue that a 5* DT will get to the NFL through Bama better but odds are if he is really a 5* player he will get to the NFL off any team.

We have DEs in the NFL, Gayle will be drafted this year. Hopkins will be on a roster come summer if he isn't drafted. Maddy will be in the NFL the year after. Do you notice a trend there? They are the best players we have had on the DL for the last few years. We don't have as many guys in the NFL as Alabama, tOSU, or LSU but we haven't had players like those teams have. I am tired of blaming a system rather than the fact we have not had the talent that other schools have had because as a program we aren't at that level. We are a 2nd tier team currently behind the power houses. It takes a lot to get where we are at and it takes a lot more to get to the elite tier. It takes years of getting 4* guys at every position to get the success we need to get there. We aren't there yet but if you look at the recruiting, it is getting better. We are getting more of those 4* guys than ever. We are building talent deeper especially on defense. We will have seasons where we excel into the top 10 but a lot of schools do that aren't considered power houses. It takes time to get to that level and we are on the climb despite our last 2 seasons. The consistency of the 2000's is paying off now. In the 90s we weren't where we are now. We established ourselves in the 2000s as a perennial 2nd tier team. How long did that take before the run of 10 win seasons? We are doing the things off the field to get to prepare ourselves to get to that elite tier. The last thing to follow is the players. We are getting there but we aren't there yet.

Imagine the production of Bud Foster's defense if he had these elite level DL. You are going to tell me they wouldn't get into the NFL because it is a different system they ran?

"I'm too drunk to taste this chicken" - Colonel Sanders via Ricky Bobby

I don't disagree with you in theory, in practice this doesn't seem to be the case. French did a great job in his NSD Gut Reaction piece comments of explaining why. It makes sense to me. If it doesn't make sense to you, or you disagree, that's fine too.

That said, it's not an issue of "blaming the system." The system is what it is. The challenges facing us recruting VHT DL players is a result of that. The challenge is figuring out how to convince these recruits of what you just said. The reality is that this is much easier said than done, as evidenced by our success (or lack thereof) in recruiting these types of players over the last decade+.

It becomes an issue of what came first, the chicken or the egg. We get top DB talent because we put out top DBs.

We need a top DL talent to come and be successful to get more to follow, we need success to get the top talent. How do you get one without the other? We are getting there by slowly getting better talent than before. We were very close to landing Nnadi. We got Walker who may be even better. If Hopkins and Maddy go to the NFL, then the argument that our system is not set up for NFL players starts to be broken. It is just a matter of time. When you complete a puzzle, there has to be a last piece. The DL might just be our last piece to figure out.

Wiles is a great coach, is he a great position recruiter? I don't know the answer to that question.

"I'm too drunk to taste this chicken" - Colonel Sanders via Ricky Bobby

Like GT and WRs, I don't know that our system teaches DBs an inherently different skill set than what is utilized in the NFL.

The differences in scheme and how they impact recruiting seem to apply specifically to the front 7, which would explain our success in the back of the field and our (relative) failures when it comes to recruiting and placing in the NFL players in the front of the field.

I think sometimes it gets to the physical attributes of the players that we've had. If Vince Hall was shorter than prototype he would've had a better shot at being in the NFL. If Xavier Adibi weighed more than 220 lbs at the NFL combine we would've been drafted higher. If Jason Worilids was bigger then he would've been able to stay at DE in the NFL.

In regards to recruiting it does limit VT to offering the front 7 guys with the quickness required for the scheme and those guys typically aren't as big unless they are one of the full package elite guys like Hand.

I agree and disagree.

French is absolutely right in the fact that Foster's system asks DT's to shoot gaps, not take on multiple blockers (Alabama and NFL style). However, what he's failed to mention is VT has never had a NFL-caliber DT (at least by size and weight). Hopkins and Maddy are not as tall as the typical NFL-DT, however their size is the closest we've had in a long while (Graves was tall, but super skinny). It will be interesting to see how they translate, as I think they're the two DTs that have gone through VT with close to NFL-size.

So yes, what is the reason VT has not had very successful DTs in the NFL? Is it the fact VT has never had a DT with prototypical NFL size? Or is it due to Foster's scheme? Only until VT has a 6'5" 310lb ahtletic monster go through the system and fail in the NFL, I will say Foster's scheme is untranslatable.

As for DBs, Foster's scheme puts them on islands with a lot of single coverage. NFL GMs love how prepared VT's DBs are for NFL style defenses. So, for VT DB's they are not only super-athletic, prototypical NFL-DBs, they are also super prepared by Foster's scheme.

🦃 🦃 🦃

Only until VT has a 6'5" 310lb ahtletic monster go through the system and fail in the NFL, I will say Foster's scheme is untranslatable.

I just upvoted the crap out of this

Fortune Favors the Bold

Acree. Teller. There have probably been other tall DTs go through only to not get playing time. I believe big time tall DTs get told they won't get playing time at VT because they place a premium on pad level.

I don't know if it is true or not, but it is undeniable we don't produce very many tall DTs who get playing time in our system.

Teller was a true freshman that weighed in the 270 range when get got here? He is tall but he wasn't DT ready and then he got moved. He is not a Nnadi, Brown, or Settle comparison.

"I'm too drunk to taste this chicken" - Colonel Sanders via Ricky Bobby

On the recruiting trail ... 6 foot 5 DT that got moved cuz VT wants short guys who shoot gaps, but have a hard time sticking in NFL because they can't beat blocks straight up.

Lots of tall NFL DTs, but we don't produce many. Not saying I buy it, but FUD works.

I did read French's comment and here's the link:


It definitely is a hybrid defensive system that places a premium on speed but there are plenty of other systems that aren't typical in the front 7, I believe USC-E has some similarities (Spur vs Whip in their D). I still believe that if the underlying player matches what an NFL team wants that the player will be found but I do see how a player might want to play in a defense that matches more to the NFL.

Having a unique defensive system that doesn't match to the NFL isn't unique to VT and as well a lot of teams that have offensive systems that don't match the NFL can get good talent. Teams like Clemson, Texas A&M, and Ohio State can still get elite offensive talent even though they have offenses that are very different than NFL schemes.

That leaves so many questions. Just a couple for now.

If we had a dream team of DL. Take Nandi, Hand and add it to our class this year. How would that DL perform in college? How would that DL look stat wise in college? How prepared would that team be for the NFL? How high would those guys get drafted? How would all that change if they played in an NFL like situation.

Just as on the O-Line there are ways to build a team with guys that are not complete players. Why hasn't Bud's scheme been picked up in the NFL as a way to build an awesome defense more cheaply? Then you could overspend on OL, QBs, etc?

The knocks we've discussed aren't the only ones. Such as: If you're a big DE, you'll be forced to play DT at VT. If you're a tall DT at VT, your pad level will get you pushed to the OL or worse you'll never see the field.

Wish I knew the answers. Like another poster above I have to think its a little overblown. If you get NFL ready talent in and force it through the system and it gets drafted this system will look just as good as any other. But I have no idea whether that is correct. Like Nicholson said, not sure I can handle the truth. Perhaps I should just live in blissful oblivion.

He has AllMaroonEverything down pretty good.

VT '10 #AllMaroonEverything

#AWESOME! and GO Hokies!

Go Hokies!

This would be a huge get for VT. This kid's workout numbers are insane. Hopefully his old team mates can sway him and he doesn't get plucked by FSU or the SEC.

The Dude Abides

Let's start chopping wood.


I would love for him to end up at Tech.

I expect him to end up at someplace like Alabama, Ohio State, or Florida State.

optimistic you must be

The Dude Abides

Unfortunately, more like realistic

Historically, we struggle with the true elite talent in the state on an annual basis. They get poached more times than not. After the Hand debacle, where we were the odds on favorite all along until we weren't, using his favorite coach in football to recruit him, and doing everything we could to bring him in, only to see him eliminate us before his Top 3... Yeah, I'm not getting my hopes up for in-state talent anymore.

Had a Bama fan at work voluntarily inform me that this guy is already on Nick Saban's Radar and he is pursuing him already. I wasn't even trying to have a conversation. Hope our coaches don't drop the ball this year and that he does follow the trend of all blue chip DL in the past 3-4 years.

And by radar, he meant any of the first 100 recruits of the ESPN 300?

The Dude Abides

No I am talking about Saban putting in the time to develope a relationship with the player now.

yeah guys i wouldnt get your hopes up here. We dont have a good history (not really any history) of signing highly rated lineman, even when they are in state and we have great connections. Most of our great lineman werent even highly touted (gayle, hopkins, dadi, maddy, cornell brown, corey moore). For whatever reason we are able to pull in some highly rated qbs, rbs, and dbs. But when it comes to linemen, the SEC and FSU gobble them up.

According to D'Shawn Hand, Tim Settle is picking Virginia Tech

Screw you, D'Shawn Hand!


"I'm too drunk to taste this chicken" - Colonel Sanders via Ricky Bobby

Picture this:

Oklahoma Drill: Tim Settle vs. Sam Rogers.

And Boom

Tim Settle vs Wyatt Teller

"I'm too drunk to taste this chicken" - Colonel Sanders via Ricky Bobby

Guys, there is no reason to start such an aggresive arms escalation. Chill out, people's lives are at stake here. No one really thinks these powers should collide. Discussing the possibility is irresponsible and outrageous. I am now going to rock my lil baby child to sleep. You crazy monsters!

Fortune Favors the Bold

Go big or go home

"I'm too drunk to taste this chicken" - Colonel Sanders via Ricky Bobby

Think Tech has the best shot with Ferrell out of Benedictine and Sweat out of Oscar Smith. Both are highly rated 4 star defensive ends. I think Stroman will do his best to recruit Settle to Tech, but whether he will come here is another question.

In Sam Rogers we trust.

Apparently, Tim Settle plays with VT. It may be looking into things too much, but this has to be a good sign, right?

pretty cool. wish he would've won with the Hokies though