The Challenge: Fundraising and Millennials

Virginia Tech hiring Whit Babcock as its new Athletic Director brought great hope to Hokie Nation. By all reports his greatest strength was his ability to engage students, alumni, and the greater community to raise interest and, more importantly, money. Whether it's the new indoor practice facility, the small(ish) football staff (by SEC standards) or the ever-pressing need to keep up in the arms race that is major college athletics, Whit's prowess at opening checkbooks is a much needed addition to the Tech Athletics Department. Working in his favor is a sizable alumni pool that is one of the largest in the nation, many of whom reside within a 5-hour radius of campus. With that being said, Whit has been immediately tasked with re-engaging a fan base that has become frustrated with the recent performance of the two revenue-generating sports—football and men's basketball—while building a strong foundation for future giving throughout the Virginia Tech community.

Handicapping the Running Back Battle: Joel Caleb

Last week I discussed how the spring game format made it very difficult to get a good measure of the offensive position battles. Different personnel groupings focused on different offensive series. The maroon group featuring J.C. Coleman and Marshawn Williams, ran mostly power plays where the offensive line blocked down play side with the back sid guard leading around. As Joe highlighted, the white team featured much more zone read and bootleg action. Because the running backs were being utilized in very different ways, the tape doesn't provide a real "apples to apples" comparison.

DRAFT WATCH: Virginia Tech Edition

When I was younger, each year a new black and white covered composition notebook would be my "draft book". I would then steal the draft preview issue of my dad's Sporting News and start predicting. No lie, I would do multiple seven round mock drafts in that notebook. So many so that the magazine would eventually fall apart from wear and tear. Then I would have to staple it back together.

I think it goes without saying, I didn't have a ton of friends growing up.

Six Pack: NFL Draft Edition

I love the NFL Draft. I love the spectacle of it all; from the inevitable opening jeers of Commissioner Goodell to the inevitable cheers...or jeers...or whatever you call Jets fans' annual reactions (I could seriously watch this clip 1,000 times). The league used to have it perfectly set up, cordoning off an entire weekend. Then, a few years ago, ego entered the picture. Goodell & Co. realized that after years of printing money and dominating the airwaves, they had the ability to drag out the process over three days and cash in even more. Rather than dominate consecutive weekend afternoons, the league decided to go head-to-head with the Thursday evening sitcom juggernaut and Friday evening reruns of NCIS. Loved ones suddenly were forced to play the inevitable game of chicken with their spouses: convince them that you could DVR "The Big Bang Theory" in favor of viewing the Draft live, or ultimately being banished to the secondary television in the household. (Kudos to those of you that have a significant other that is an equally-rabid NFL fan.)

Virginia Tech is Hiring Two Recruiting Related Positions

If you recall in early March, during a discussion with Andy Bitter, Bud Foster noted Tech's small football staff size with regards to recruiting.

Yeah, and in my opinion, this is just my opinion, we need to catch up because of recruiting. Not so much the quality control guys and the football part of it, but in the recruiting part of it, that's where the Alabamas and even like Ole Miss, they've had the last two years, they've had two top-10 recruiting classes.

Spring Game: Wide Receiver Production

Very few position groups improved as much over the last season as wide receiver. We all know how much they struggled early in the season against Alabama, but they kept chopping wood and improved steadily from game to game. After spending time working with the JUGS machine catching balls after every practice, the receivers significantly reduced their number of drops. Willie Byrn, Joshua Stanford, and Demitri Knowles all ended up with over 40 receptions and 600 yards. In 2014, the Hokies will require even more production out of this unit.

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