To All 2014 Virginia Tech Signees:
First of all, congratulations! We here at Thekeyplay.com community are thrilled to have you aboard, and think you have really made the best choice possible. Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, HokieNation, are all anxiously awaiting your arrival.
I realize that the transition from high school superstar to collegiate freshman can be challenging, and thinking about all of the forthcoming changes is probably quite intimidating. Lucky for you, I'm here to lay out some of the basics. You see, I've been to college, I've been to college quite recently in fact. I know the do's, the don'ts, the ins, the outs and really most of the things that you'll want to do, but probably shouldn't. I'm basically like a combination of Tinkerbell, Van Wilder and Jimmy Turk.
(Don't know who The Turk is? Hopefully you never will.)
Anyways, let me walk you through the three basics: food, fans, and class.
Let's start with the food. Now, this isn't going to be the average lesson taught to all of the normal freshmen. Those plebeians are told to watch their weight and to make sure that they don't over-indulge in the numerous goodies all over campus in order to avoid the dreaded "freshman 15". You guys? The expectation is that you gain that much weight, and maybe even more (**cough, Andrew Ford**)! You have a team of nutritionists trying to help you out as much as possible, so if anyone can afford that extra cookie, it's you. I mean, this is some of the greatest grub found on any college campus across the country, I think it's your duty to indulge a little (but seriously, Andrew, can we get you anything? A cookie? A piece of pizza? Maybe an entire roasted chicken?).
I do want to mention the difference between good eating and bad eating. Good eating? Basically anything you will be given on campus. Seriously, the food specialists will pump you full of the right calories for proper Gentrification to take place. The bad eating though, that's the tricky part. There's going to be a time where you'll be at Taco Bell around 2:00 AM and want to eat one of everything off the menu for an epic FourthMeal. Contrary to what you may think, FourthMeal weight is not good weight, trust me, I speak from experience.
The next thing I want to walk you through is the support system. You see, the Virginia Tech fanbase is one of the most loyal and supportive groups of people that you will even encounter. They've wanted you to come here, and when you decided to their expectations will be quite high, and won't let them come down. Seriously, these people are still waiting for a guy that committed almost two and a half years ago to show up on campus (here's a hint: he's not coming to Blacksburg).
They will slap you with comparisons to players of yesteryear, whether you know who they are or not. Are you not a highly touted defensive lineman? Well you're the next Luther Maddy (looking at you, Sobczak). Are you an electrifying running back? Well if so, someone will probably see a little Kevin Jones in you, or if not KJ, maybe some Lee Suggs (what up, Shai McKenzie, Marshawn Williams). Are you a white receiver? Well actually, scratch that. Are you even remotely thinking about playing the receiver position? Well then there's a good chance that you could be Danny Coale-esque, right? And if you play defensive back, there is about a 120% chance that you will be compared to someone with the last name Fuller. Yeah, some people have a thing for Fullers.
Does it matter if you know who any of these players are that you're being compared to? Of course not! They only compare you to former greats because they want you to succeed. And if you don't, let's just say that no one is really quick to judge. In fact, the only thing you can do to break their trust and love for you is do something insanely selfish and outlandish. You know, something really REALLY crazy. For instance if you...oh I don't know...hold up a basketball player with two of your buddies and get booted off the team before the Sugar Bowl. Anything short of that and the court of public opinion will give you five strikes. For your sake, though, don't use all five strikes. I know I've mentioned The Turk already, but let's just not go down that road.
The last big thing to cover is class. This is probably the one part of college where the average student has the upper hand. You see, the whole thing about higher education is that no one technically makes you go to class. Should you? Of course. Do you always? Of course not. Now, thinking like that generally leads you to a six-year plan, but it's still technically the truth, and I'd be lying if I said that I didn't skip a class here and there to (THIS SECTION HAS BEEN DELETED DUE TO THE FACT THAT THE AUTHOR'S PARENTS READ THIS SITE).
Yeah, don't do any of the stuff that I just talked about because there is a person that makes you go to class and his name is Frank "The Tank" Beamer. Okay, no one actually calls him The Tank, but you get my point. He's the man that plays a really big role in deciding whether or not you stay on scholarship, not to mention the whole playing time thing. Sorry bros, class is not optional, who do you think you signed with, North Carolina?
Here are some quick hitters to make sure you keep in mind during your first year:
- Smile, nod, and "thank you" on repeat can help you with any overzealous students or alumni you encounter unless the conversation begins with, "Hey, want to drive this leased car for a while?"
- You know the scene in Space Jam where Michael Jordan gives the Tune Squad his secret stuff? Wait, you don't know what I'm talking about because you all were barely born when that movie came out? Well that's just...whatever, it doesn't matter. The point of the story is that if you happen to stumble upon a dusty old water bottle labeled "Marcus' Secret Stuff" DO NOT DRINK IT, THIS IS NOT A DRILL.
- A lot of people will tell you to try to experience a ton of different things in downtown Blacksburg. It's no big city, but it's restaurant game is pretty solid for a small town. If you want to think big picture, however, I say figure out your favorite sandwich place immediately and try to get a sandwich named after you over the course of your four years. Vincent Mihota may only get four years of eligibility, but the Vinny Mi-hoagie? That's what we call leaving a legacy.
I guarantee that college is the freaking best, and from the moment you step on campus you'll have a great time. That is, unless a man in a straw hat is screaming at you from fifty yards away.