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.

TKP Community Interview: Harry Lewis

Phoebus standout Harry Lewis was the Hokies' second defensive line commitment of the 2015 recruiting cycle (Michael Barnett verballed, but decided later to open up his options). Defensive tackle and end are two positions of need the Virginia Tech coaches are looking to address this recruiting class. Lewis' verbal, and the one from Eric Whitehead a week later, has Tech positioned well to replenish talent along the defensive line.

Zone Read Refresher

The Maroon–White game was the first time I got to watch the Hokies scrimmage this spring. The four-hour down-and-back I-81 to Blacksburg isn't as doable with a three-month-old as it once was. Even though French and Mason were at the open scrimmages and told me Loeffler had incorporated more zone read into the playbook, it still popped out on film for me.

The zone read series is something Tech fans clamored for during the Tyrod Taylor era, but never really saw much of in Blacksburg. The logic back then was something like, "Hey, we've got a fast and elusive QB, why aren't racking up yards like WVU or Oregon." Easier said than done. Like the inverted veer we saw Logan Thomas run so much last season, the zone read is a play that requires good ball skills and decision making by the quarterback. However, the quarterback won't be trying to hammer through the heart of the box.

The Power Play, a Maroon O-Line Film Review

A top priority for the Virginia Tech coaching staff this offseason was to reinvigorate the power rushing attack that the Hokies had been known for, for most of Frank Beamer's tenure. Spring football gave us a glimpse into Scot Loeffler's, Shane Beamer's, and Stacy Searels' scheme for running the football more effectively. However, thanks to injuries on the offensive line,Trey Edmunds being sidelined, an over-abundance of other running backs who did little to separate themselves enough to get the carries needed to establish a rhythm, and a quick, aggressive defensive front that matched up well with some of the new blocking concepts, it is still difficult to ascertain if the Hokies have the personnel and the scheme to meet Coach Beamer's mandate for an improved running game. There is, however, a ton of potential that will only get better with experience.

DT Eric Whitehead Commits to Virginia Tech

Eric had originally planned to commit on May 30th, but accelerated his timeline. I spoke with him a few minutes ago, asked him why he sped up the process, and he told me, "When I first got the offer I really wanted to commit then, but decided to wait. ... I always wanted to go to Virginia Tech, so it was never a question".

Houshun Gaines Talks Recruitment, Hokies

It wasn't long after Rocky Mount, North Carolina native Houshun Gaines arrived in Blacksburg for his first visit on April 5th that he received his scholarship offer from the Hokies. Coach Charley Wiles, Houshun's primary recruiter, had a bit of a surprise for him.

"When I got to Virginia Tech for the junior day, he [Wiles] told me that after I got signed in for registration and everything he wanted me to meet somebody.

"He ended up taking me down to Coach [Frank] Beamer's office. Me and my dad, we sat down in Coach Beamer's office with Coach Wiles sitting there, and Coach Beamer actually extended the offer to me."

It was a moment Houshun won't soon forget.

Spring Recap: Quarterback Battle

Heading into the spring practice, there were several important personnel questions that the Hokies were hoping to answer. Would any running backs emerge to push incumbent starter Trey Edmunds for playing time? How would new offensive line coach Stacy Searels affect the run blocking scheme? Just how good was Bucky Hodges? Of course, all these questions were secondary to the granddaddy of them all... Who is going to be the starting quarterback?

Projecting Bucky Hodges, Review of the TE's Spring Game

A major storyline this spring was the transition of Bucky Hodges from quarterback to tight end. Coach Foster raved about Hodges performance last season as the Hokie scout team's version of UNC's Eric Ebron, and the coaching staff awarded Hodges with the Coaches Award (exceptional spring) on Saturday. On this website we've had discussions about the possibilities of everything from three tight end sets, to having a Virginia Tech version of Jimmy Graham creating matchup nightmares on the edge of the defense.

Monday Mornings Can Be Rough, Let's Have a Laugh at @UVAFBRecruiting

@UVAFBRecruiting has been on Twitter since April 2nd of this year. I'm disappointed in myself that it took me almost a month to find out about it. Among other things, it (re)-tweets the requisite motivational messages from coaches, silly things the long snapper says, local media coverage, and Photoshops. Hilariously bad Photoshops that have been created to, I don't know, relate to high school kids, encourage them to commit to UVa, keep the program relevant? Perhaps high school kids do gravitate towards this sort of thing. If so, I'm as old and out of touch as a 30-year-old should be.

Let's Talk About the SEC Schedule. Wait, What?

This evening the SEC announced its format for future football schedules. SEC teams will continue to play 8 conference games, 6 against division opponents, 2 against non-division opponents, and one of the latter two will be a permanent annual opponent. More importantly, the league mandated each school to schedule an ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, or Pac-12 opponent on an annual basis. The SEC referred to it as a "strength-of-schedule component".

It's Sunday night, Game of Thrones is on in 5 minutes, and for some reason I'm writing about another conference's scheduling. Why?

Harry Lewis Commits to Virginia Tech

Defensive lineman Harry Lewis committed to Virginia Tech this afternoon. Lewis informed Thekeyplay.com's Mark Trible of his decision. The 6-foot-2, 260-pound Hampton, Virginia (Phoebus) product finished with 60 tackles and 11 sacks last season. Lewis is rated as a 3-star prospect by the 247Sports Composite. Cornell Brown was instrumental in securing Lewis' verbal pledge.

"Foe"Rensics: Virginia Tech

Hello. Welcome to the latest edition of "Foe"Rensics. While we spent the fall expanding our knowledge about our opponents, it's only fair to turn our gaze inwards at this time1. On Saturday, we shall watch what happens when the greatest football program on Earth does battle against itself. Today, we shall learn about the greatest university on Earth, Virginia Tech.

Spring Ball: What's Left to Answer?

It's finally here! After months of wading through the collegiate albatross known as "basketball season", there's finally a football game to be had. Well, kind of. It's the spring game, which is actually an inter-squad scrimmage that has rarely given us much insight as to how Virginia Tech will play four months later.

Not hating on it, though. Whether you use it to scout the footwork of offensive linemen, as an excuse to drink excessively in a tank and cut-off jorts, or anything in between, a fun time will be had by all.

Going into the game, though, we still have some questions about the team. (For the record, the team is all of those blurry maroon and white dots that you see if you happen to leave your tailgate on Saturday.) Here are the five questions that I have been asking myself for the past week going into this glorified scrimmage.

Six Pack: Spring Game Edition

Rejoice, fellow Hokies! We all survived Easter and the required ingestion of jelly beans and chocolate eggs. Tax Day has come and gone (I still have no idea where my tax dollars are going, exactly. I mean, my street looks like something straight out of Beirut, with 47 potholes and nothing but two City Street Department workers with shovels and a whole mess of asphalt), and our reward is (hopefully) a beautiful sunny spring Saturday in Lane Stadium with tens of thousands of our best friends.

Scot Loeffler is "Super excited about the tight end position"

Virginia Tech offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler spoke with the media yesterday evening after practice. The following three quotes gave some insight into the role and importance of tight ends in his scheme.

"We've got some older tight ends, we've got some talented tight ends. We've got some guys that can help us on the perimeter that got experience and that's what's got to happen."

"I'm super excited about the tight end position. I'm super excited about that. That room could be really good in my opinion, and they'll be used. They'll be used for sure."

Breaking Bud: The 33 Defense

A significant amount of my columns have been devoted to explaining Bud Foster's defensive scheme. I've discussed the basics of the base 4-2-5, detailed the 46 front that was so prevalent at the end of 2012, and highlighted the unique ways that the Hokie secondary defends the pass without dropping 7 defenders into coverage. There is a single constant across each piece I write; Coach Foster keeps me on my toes. During Saturday's scrimmage, Foster rolled out a rarely seen defensive set, a nickel package that featured a three-man defensive front and keeps the Whip on the field.

Felton Davis III Brings Size, Upside As WR Target

Felton Davis III didn't catch many passes last year for Highland Springs High School's football team.

He knows the number of grabs - 18. He knows the yardage amount - 466. Of course, he knows the touchdown total - 10.

The 6-foot-3, 180-pound target also understands his abilities can't be defined by statistics alone. He loves another part of his game, a dimension that opened eyes in his recruitment.

Logan Thomas Career Highlights

The NFL Draft is only a couple weeks away, so I wanted to take a look back at Logan Thomas' career at Virginia Tech. Let's face it, he WAS the offense for a good portion of the time he was in maroon and orange. His flashes of brilliance and combination of size, speed, and arm strength kept the scouts drooling and the fans polarized. Here's a collection of his best plays. Let's all wish him luck, wherever he ends up.

Third Scrimmage Observations: Blocking Scheme, O- and D-Line Performance

Not having the opportunity to watch either of the first two spring scrimmages, my biggest focus watching Saturday's scrimmage was how the offensive blocking scheme had changed under Coach Searels. Saturday presented two radically different answers to this question. Before the defense came out of the locker room for warmups, Coach Loeffler ran a 3/4 speed walk-through reviewing the offensive playbook with the scout team O serving as defenders. Gates opened at 10:30 AM, and the offense appeared to already have run through a significant amount of playbook. Once I was settled I saw the first team offense use the pistol formation to execute a power series, a counter series off power action, and a play-action series off power action. One principle thing stood out, every play featured at least one offensive lineman pulling and man blocking at the point of attack. This is a radical departure from the zone blocking scheme used last season by Coach Grimes, who only pulled a guard on inverted veer and quarterback counters.

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