2013 Signee Profile: Cequan Jefferson

With Antone Exum's health now a concern, Virginia Tech suddenly has a hole in the secondary that might provide an opportunity for a young player to have immediate impact next season. Kendall Fuller seems best suited to fill in at Exum's spot at boundary, but third corner remains a question, especially with Detrick Bonner desperately needed at free safety. While Donaldven Manning, Donovan Riley, and Davon Tookes have experience, recruiting expert J.C. Shurburtt seems to think that Cequan Jefferson could fill that role.

Initially, Cequan Jefferson was a bit of an unknown quantity when he committed to Virginia Tech (his only offer) early in the 2013 recruiting process. After reading Shurburtt's comments, I decided to take a look for myself. What I found was an incredibly polished defensive back, whose highlights demonstrate the ability to play all three critical techniques for a Virginia Tech cornerback (off-man, inside out press, off-robber) right now. He also has incredibly fluid hips that allow him to be beaten and recover, and a natural aggressive ball-hawking ability that lends itself to playing disguised zones from the field corner position, read the quarterback, and then leave his man to make a play on the football.

2013 Signee Profile: Bucky Hodges

Editor's Note: In order to bring you the best coverage and analysis, we're not just going to post a capsule for every prospect that signs today. Instead, French is going to watch all the film available for each signee, and he is going to write a more comprehensive film review. This is as time intensive as it is in-depth, so expect these posted periodically as spring practice approaches. --Joe

With the hiring of Scot Loeffler, Bucky Hodges would appear to be the quarterback prospect with the best chance to succeed Logan Thomas. Hodges is a prototypical Virginia Tech quarterback. He isn't a prototypical pro-style drop back passer, nor is he a system oriented spread-option QB. Instead, he an athletic quarterback who wants to do most of his damage in the pocket, but is athletic enough to extend plays and still make throws downfield.

Hodges is a physically impressive 6-5, 220-pounds. When I watched film of his play as a junior, I had immediate concerns about his arm strength.

Taking Stock of the Offense

I listened to new offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler talk about his offense, then immediately thought about the pieces he'd have to work with.

A summary of his own words of what his offense is all about.

  • Protect and run the Football
  • Balanced Attack
  • "Very multiple", "Big formation movement team"
  • Multiple Personnel Groups
  • Quarterback will run the ball

That sounds a lot like Stinespring's philosophy, even though both he and Loeffler may have tried to accomplish the same goals different ways. Either way, all along Tech's been recruiting players that fit to a multiple, pro-style attack that features a running quarterback, so let's look who is gone, back, and might play a bigger role on offense.

They Gone

These guys saw the field in 2012, but won't be back in 2013. My list is in order of most to least significant loss, but not necessarily decreasing by any real order of magnitude.

VT 60, UNC 72

Welp, that was an extremely frustrating loss. Another hot start and big lead that slowly dwindled away. You can't say the team didn't give effort, though. At no point in the game was I like, "They're not even trying." That's impressive for a noon tipoff on the road. Hopefully it wasn't just because we were playing up to Carolina, and we give that effort for the rest of the year.

Quick thoughts: Everyone is talking about how good our defense was. Honestly, I thought it was pretty similar to previous games, guys were a little more active but UNC flat out missed shots. They had plenty of wide open looks but couldn't get them to fall. I thought this was pretty interesting:

14th Ranked 'Canes Come to Cassell

After last weekend's loss at Clemson, Virginia Tech fell to 2-4 in ACC play. Unfortunately, the schedule isn't getting any easier. The Hokies take on #14 Miami at 9 tonight. If you hadn't already heard, the Hurricanes are pretty darn good. It's their first time being in the top-15 since 2002, and a talented veteran roster has helped them get there.

The Hurricanes have an experienced team with six seniors on the roster, including four starters. That savvy, and the team chemistry that has formed over the years, is a big reason for UM's success. But there is more to it than that, said North Carolina coach Roy Williams, whose team lost at home 68-59 to the Canes earlier this month. UM's talent, he said, is underrated.

"Having veteran players is a tremendous asset, and some people say that's the only reason UM is winning, but the truth is, they're pretty doggone good," Williams said Monday on a teleconference. "You've got [Shane] Larkin and [Durand] Scott in the backcourt, [Kenny] Kadji presents such matchup problems. You go down the line, and they've got all the parts. [Julian] Gamble makes fewer mistakes, and I'm just looking at it from a distance, than almost any of those quote role players. He dunks the ball every chance he gets, plays great defense. ... Bottom line, he's pretty doggone good."

The Week That Was: Antone Exum

Everyone has those moments when they see something on Twitter, but it's so terrible that they hang in a highly tense balance between not believing it and not wanting to believe it.

One of the best examples of this individual sway of emotions was a story told to me by my friend Kevin. On the night former Oklahoma City Thunder shooting guard James Harden was traded, Kevin—a die-hard OKC fan—was at a bar in downtown Blacksburg. After he saw it on Twitter he immediately bought a stronger drink simply out of disbelief. Then after seeing the story break on the bottom crawl of ESPN, he set that (barely touched) drink down and immediately walked home to sit in silence.

He just couldn't handle being around people.

That is exactly how I felt when I saw the news that Antone Exum tore his ACL. I just sat on a couch and stared at my computer screen, hoping it was some sort of hoax or poorly sourced report. It just couldn't be. The guy that had adopted the previously vacant "vocal team leader" role just blew out his knee playing pick up hoops? It simply sucked too much to be true.

Is there any player not named Te'o that has gone through a larger roller coaster than Exum? Over the first four weeks of the season no one was more scrutinized and criticized than him. Critiques of his play ranged from mild displeasure to absolute vitriol, all coming to a head after an absolutely BRUTAL game against Cincinnati (2 face masks, 2 pass interferences).

Three-Point Analysis

Here's something I don't do too often around here: basketball statistics. After the Clemson game I followed up on a hunch that I've had since the middle of the season, teams shot much better than their season average against us from downtown.

3FGVT% - 3FGS% is the money column. It's the difference between a team's three-point percentage against Virginia Tech and its season average. A positive number indicates a team shot better from behind the arc against Tech than they did over the course of the season (through 1/27).

Antone Exum tore his Right ACL and Lateral Meniscus

This evening Virginia Tech confirmed a rumor that had been circulating over the weekend.

Virginia Tech did not state how he injured his knee, or when it happened, but the rumor was it happened playing a game of basketball yesterday at McComas.

This is just devastating news for a kid who worked "his nuts off" last fall. In my opinion he was the team's most improved player, and he finished the season in the discussion as its top defender. Exum announced on January 9th that he would return for his senior season with goals of, "working towards ACC and National titles!".

Hokies Host 'Hoos in Hoops

UVa comes into tonight's matchup at 12-5 overall, and 2-2 in the ACC. That sounds pretty good, right? Well, they've beaten some alright teams, but lost to some bad teams as well. Their strength of schedule ranks 255th (RPI) in the nation, while Tech's 11-6 record ranks 129th. That's a pretty big difference if you ask me. Although the Pomeroy rankings have Virginia 37th and Virginia Tech 152nd.

The Cavaliers have a lot of confidence going into tonight's game after holding the Seminoles to 36 points. Not only did they play well defensively, but they shot 48.9% from the field and converted 7 of their 13 3-pointers.