Virginia Tech Football 2015 Recruiting Class First Look: Tim Settle

Blue chip defensive tackle Tim Settle signed with Virginia Tech in February.

I've often been amazed at how Bud Foster and Charley Wiles take defensive linemen that may not have elite-NFL caliber talent and turn them into incredibly productive college players. At the same time, I often lamented at the thought of how a premier talent would be elevated in a system which consistently puts players into positions to make plays. Since I started watching Virginia Tech football in 1990, only a handful of Hokie defensive linemen have made a successful transition to become defensive line starters in the NFL. Standouts like Cornell Brown and Jason Worilds moved to linebacker. Darryl Tapp was a productive depth player, and tweeners like Corey Moore and Jim Davis struggled to find a role. Defensive tackles have had even less success in the NFL. Jonathan Lewis was able to hang around the NFL for a handful of seasons but didn't start a game, while David Pugh only had one start for the Indianapolis Colts. Many Hokie fans search for explanations for this, but the root cause is pretty simple. The NFL defensive tackle spot demands players that have the ability to account for two gaps up front, and the Hokies have rarely been able to land those kinds of physically dominant defensive linemen. In lieu of getting those two-gap linemen, Coach Foster and the defensive staff have been able to identify specific players that execute in a slanting and stunting one gap defensive system. That system often takes kids who are good fits, can execute their responsibilities, have terrific twitch and motors and make them very productive football players.

At 6-3, 315 pounds, Under Armor All-American Tim Settle breaks the mold for a typical Hokie defensive tackle. Settle is a potential game-changer for this defensive staff. His skillset is a combination of the twitch, quickness and ability to fit gaps laterally from his original alignment just like some of the most productive Hokie defensive tackles in recent memory. He has a big, dominant frame that can eat up multiple gaps on the interior of a defense. I don't say this lightly, but I believe Settle is the most talented defensive tackle that the Hokies have landed since Bruce Smith. Settle is one of two recruits (the other being Adonis Alexander) that I had an opportunity to watch play in person, and his package of skills are absolutely perfect fits for an NFL future. He has a massive frame with a huge wingspan, but he plays with a low center of gravity and great pad level. He is huge, but he doesn't just overwhelm blockers. He does a fantastic job of getting his hands on blockers and extending to keep them off of his body, and he has great leverage moves to get into the backfield when a defensive call requires penetration instead of gap integrity. His feet are light and quick. As a younger player, he often showed off an incredible spin move, made even more impressive by his size. Settle also played both nose tackle and defensive end in Stonewall Jackson's 3-4 defensive scheme, so Bud Foster can feel comfortable with his ability to play a 1-, 3-, or 5-technique in his base, Bear, and 30 fronts.

On his highlight film, there are several plays where opponents try to cut block him, and he steps right over the block like he is stepping over a piece of rope laying on the ground. He moves laterally to make plays, and slides effortlessly off double teams. This play isn't the most dynamic that you see on his highlights, but it makes my heart flutter. The offense runs a wedge play where they double Settle and kick out the edge defender with a running back. Settle tries a swim move at the snap, which puts his pad level high. This is a bad spot for a defensive tackle facing a double team.

Despite facing a double team into his exposed chest, Settle's feet track the ball carrier perfectly. He slides outside the down block of the tight end and then recovers to squeeze back to the inside behind the two players that tried to block him! The poor running back ends up with Settle's facemask in the solar plexus for a one-yard loss.

On his high school film, Settle doesn't fall into the trap of fighting with the blocker and then beating him. He gets rid of blocks quickly or beats the blocker to the spot and makes the play. Here is a play where he is at defensive end, and the opponent pulls a guard to kick him out.

In high school, a typical defensive end would be taught to squeeze the play, which means he would step towards the pulling guard leading with his left (inside) shoulder to make the hole smaller. Settle uses proper technique, but when the back commits, he beats the pulling lineman to the spot and makes the play. That takes special talent and a knack for reading the play. Similarly, his film has other subtle plays that demonstrate tremendous football instinct. Several times, you see him in a defensive call where he has a contain responsibility and can't recklessly crash to the football. He pursues the play and makes an impact, especially with his knack for getting his hands on passes while he is being blocked.

On other plays, he is pursuing away from the ball and forcing fumbles or putting the KO on unfortunate ball carriers.

Sometimes I watch talented prospects in drills and then they go on the field and they just are not as productive as expected. Settle was productive in every facet up front. He wasn't just making tackles in the backfield, he was forcing fumbles or making those huge stops in critical down and distance situations. He blocked a punt. When teams ran away from his side of the field, he pursued plays from the back side. The kid has amazing ability. At his best, Settle could be the kind of player that can take away two gaps in the middle of Bud's defensive front. Eliminating a gap responsibility could free up an extra defender (most likely the mike linebacker) to play the alley. Against spread teams, imagine how effective the 30 front look could be with a nose tackle who takes away everything from guard to guard by himself. That means more bodies in coverage or available to blitz off the edge. Settle's versatility offers Foster more flexibility, and that can be a game changer.

Any worry about Settle starts and ends with his conditioning. Settle played both ways for Stonewall Jackson, and when I saw him live his level of play dropped off significantly after a couple of series. He rose to the occasion at big moments, but he was definitely taking plays off (especially on offense) to get his wind back. After his senior season concluded, he reported for the Under Armour All Star Game looking much heavier. 247Sports updated Settle's weight to 361lbs. The extra weight certainly seemed to impact Settle's level of play. He took a limited number of snaps during the Under Armour game and wasn't a dominating factor. He still had a great first step off the line of scrimmage and did a fantastic job of getting his hands into the blocker first. He just didn't have that second step to exploit the advantage.

On this play, Settle is aligned at right defensive tackle for his first series in the game. The opposing team runs an inside zone to his side. The center doesn't chip on Settle, leaving him one-on-one against the guard.

Settle is playing a two-gap technique, meaning he has responsibility for both the center-guard gap and the guard-tackle gap on his side. He gets tremendous initial extension into the guard and stands him up, leaving the running back nowhere to go. At this critical moment, Settle doesn't seem to have the next step to shed the block and make the play. Settle's feet are active, but he stays square to the blocker. The blocker's feet recover and he gets Settle going backwards (this looks like a pancake but it appears Settle gets tripped from behind). Settle does his job; by holding up the back from making a decisive cut he allowed the other defenders to make the tackle. However, with his talent, you want Settle to be a playmaker, not a space-occupier, especially in Bud Foster's one-gap defense.

The Hokies have more depth at defensive tackle than any other position on defense. Settle would need to make a major impact starting day one of training camp in order to break into an established top five (Maddy, Marshall, Williams, Walker, Baron) that Bud Foster trusts. That being said, Tim Settle has the talent to make an immediate impact. This offseason is critical for him to improve his strength and conditioning, learn the defensive system and be ready to dominate rather than learn when he reports to camp. If he needs some time to improve his conditioning and learn the system, Hokie Nation will likely have to wait through a redshirt season before Settle has an opportunity to start wrecking ACC centers.

Comments

Up to 361#'s concerns me but I am sure Gentry and company will get that weight under control. Hopefully he is busting his ass off in the classroom this semester so we don't have to hear about no prep year, because this kid is going to be a monster once he takes the field under Bud's tutelage. Excellent write-up as always French, and welcome aboard big fella...

I can imagine no more rewarding a career. And any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction:
“I served in the United States Navy"

KCCO

He is definitely an exciting prospect with the size and technique already there. Hopefully he will stay academically eligible is the biggest thing on my mind. He will be a dominant force for us for the next four years provided academics and his conditioning are kept in control.

Love the use of "solar plexus"; Makes me think of Gordon Solie back in the day.

This guy has the talent to anchor a championship DL.

Anyone know if schools can provide off-season conditioning & nutrition plans to incoming freshmen? Once he gets his academics squared away he's got to get in better shape.

If he enrolls at 315-325lb I think he will be in the rotation at DT immediately. Otherwise we'll have to Settle for seeing him in 2016.

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Turkey Leg for seeing what you did there...

I can imagine no more rewarding a career. And any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction:
“I served in the United States Navy"

KCCO

They certainly talk to them about nutrition and conditioning, whether or not they provide them with a detailed plan I don't know.

Yes, they are allowed to provide them with diet and exercise plans.

I don't say this lightly, but I believe Settle is the most talented defensive tackle that the Hokies have landed since Bruce Smith.

Bruce likes.

The Orange and Maroon you see, that's fighting on to victory.

He's going to really hurt some offenses, and I love it.

VT '10, Born & Raised in the 804.
Rockin the Bakken.

I find myself saying this about a lot of these top prospects this year (Settle, Lawson, Mook) but it's really up to him how good he wants to be. If he works hard and smoothly transitions to college, the sky is the limit. The next couple of years will be really big for him.

there are several plays where opponents try to cut block him, and he steps right over the block like he is stepping over a piece of rope laying on the ground.

Paul Johnson, take notice. The dive is dead.

"I liked you guys a lot better when everybody told you you were terrible." -Justin Fuente

First thing I thought of too IH.

"Hey Bud, you wont have to hold the opponent to 17 points anymore."

I'm so excited by "Big Tim" joining the Hokies! What a beast this guy is, and his speed (even when over 350lbs) is amazing. This guy is gonna be bursting through Olines like the Kool-Aid man!
OH YEAH!

"When you're green, you're growing. When you're ripe, you rot." -Ray Kroc

The ballooning weight is a big concern to me. It doesn't sound like he put on "good" weight. Hopefully the spring program and conditioning will get that either slimmed down or teach Tim to handle the weight better and more effectively. That said, I am really excited to see what he can do with Bud and Charlie coaching him.

yeah kid needs to work on discipline diet and excercise. Definitely not a guy needed to gain size. NfL ready NT size. potential off charts. Could make guys forget about Nnadi, Brown.

I'm not going to down vote this BUT opinions about recruits grades are way off base. We don't need that on here.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

Down vote if u need it wasnt meant to be negative but its definitely been a question. see DBUs comment "hope he gets his academics squared away") I would give the same advice to any student athlete. Discipline is needed for anyone to fulfill their potential.

Well known fact? Have to seen his report card? Since VT can't talk about it I doubt it, the "well known fact" is rumors out there that #sources have said are true. It is not our place as fans to questionma students grades.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

It's been reported he needs to raise his SAT scores, hasn't it?

It's been reported, and a few months ago prep school was all but guaranteed. Settle's done a great job getting his stuff together academically, and he's a lot closer now to making it to Tech over the summer. Not out of the woods yet, but if he finishes his senior year strong and puts in a good SAT, he'll be here and wrecking people in July.

Straight from his own mouth in an interview with a recruiting site, he has stated that he needs to improve his SAT but is confident that he will be able to do so this spring. He's been working hard on academics this year

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The issue I have, not just with the one person I responded to, is a) the kids read this site, why is it our no business to speculate about grades B) SAT scores are not grades, the way it comes across from a lot of people (not just on TKP) is these recruits/kids are failing or close to failing school and need to get grades up to get to VT. The way I look at recruits is unless they commit a crime their life outside of football is none of my damn business.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

I think anything that affects whether a prospect actually enrolls at VT is discussion-worthy as long as facts are known. I don't like speculation either, whether its about grades, courses, offers, or what have you. But if there's solid info I don't think it should be ignored. And in this case we have solid info - the player himself made it known that he has work to do academically. That's it. No speculation. .

BTW, SAT score and core curriculum grades are linked in a sliding scale for NCAA eligibility, and both fall under the 'academics' category in my mind since one affects the other. Lower grades means a higher SAT/ACT is needed. Higher grades mean a lower bar for the standardized test scores.

I'm glad Settle has recognized the importance of academics and is taking care of business, so that he can take care of business as a student-athlete at VT next year.

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

His HS coach admitted as much but also commented that he was doing a good job of improving.

"Hey Bud, you wont have to hold the opponent to 17 points anymore."

Agreed, hence why I didn't mention it.

His weight wouldn't be an issue for me either, except it clearly limited his on the field effectiveness in the UA game. For better or worse, I will always try to be honest about on the field performance that can be shown on tape.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

I think you are looking into the comment a little too much. He wasn't bashing him for grades, just stating he needs to keep discipline up which every kid that signs his NLI needs to do. I didn't think anything was off base and it is a fact he needs to stay discipline about his weight and size getting up to 360. IMO anyways.

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

correct! I took it out anyway

I would prefer we wait til he has enrolled and is on the team before we start questioning his work ethic and desire to succeed....

"I regret nothing. The end." - Ron Swanson

On his highlight film, there are several plays where opponents try to cut block him, and he steps right over the block like he is stepping over a piece of rope laying on the ground.

Yellow Jackets, beware.

No, I *don't* want to go to the SEC. Why do you ask?

We don't love dem Hoos.

definitely nimble for a big guy.

Keep him around 315 and we will be sitting pretty hopefully

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

RIP Stick It In

Some call him Tim.

This is going to be great for the ACC.

"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 liked you guys a lot better when everybody told you you were terrible." -Justin Fuente

"We judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their behavior" Stephen M.R. Covey

“When life knocks you down plan to land on your back, because if you can look up, you can get up, if you fall flat on your face it can kill your spirit” David Wilson

Any man this big, with these moves, must be an enchanter.

The Orange and Maroon you see, that's fighting on to victory.

Damn, that's terrifying.

"Our job as coaches is to influence young people's lives for the better in terms of fundamental skills, work ethic, and doing the right thing. Every now and again, a player actually has that effect on the coaching staff." Justin Fuente on Sam Rogers

He's lined up on the OL's right shoulder and beats him to the left. Dang

'Its easy to grin, when your ship comes in, and you've got the stock market beat,
but the man worthwhile, is the man who can smile, when his shorts are too tight in the seat'

That first step...

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

Grades, weight... Blah blah blah
I have to assume that it's Tim's work ethic that helped him hone his skills to the high level that they are today. I imagine that withThe excellent strength and conditioning program that tech offers, as well as the structured educational support opportunities that he can take advantage of, Tim settle will push himself to be an absolute star.

What's Important Now
The Lunchpail.
The Hammer.
BeamerBall.

Yeah Manassas what

I was going to describe him as a wrecking ball but that doesn't do him justice. More like radar guided nuclear wrecking ball with blocker-avoidance system.

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

I saw him play in person in the first home game of his junior season. He looked to be about 290-ish and when the coaches moved him from DE (where he was very good) to nose, the other team couldn't even make a handoff. He was a wrecking ball. I immediately told Joe that Settle was a kid that had SEC written all over him. He looked much more impressive in person in every way except photogenics than D'Shawn Hand (who also played DT when we saw him play as a junior.)

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

I think Settle is going to be a force along the Tech Dline, however, I think a lot of people are forgetting about Ricky Walker. I thought he looked very impressive (granted in limited time) as a true freshman this year. Seems ideal in Bud's system. Depth at the DT spot looks solid for the next several years.

I agree... Walker is going to be good. The Hokies are VERY well off at the defensive tackle position.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

A difference maker! Cool to see how excited his dad is for him, I hope Tim becomes an all time Hokie great.

He is young for his grade I believe, I wonder if that will have any impact on whether he plays this year or not.

He is gonna make us all forget about Wahoo Brown or Nnadi. Settle's tape is way more impressive.

I found this interview on Hokie Haven to be pretty entertaining. I really hope he qualifies and makes it down this year!

https://virginiatech.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1763767

A few tidbits I liked:

How would you describe your playing style?
Unexpected. It's kinda hard to describe, but explosion. My playing style is crazy. I don't know how to describe it. I don't what to call it. Disruptive, maybe?

What player or team are you most looking forward to going up against?
Ohio State. We're gonna dice them down and I'm gonna slam their quarterback on his neck. I'm looking forward to Bristol and the Miami game.

and my favorite:

If you could go toe to toe in the ring with anybody, who would it be?
Wyatt Teller. I'm calling out Wyatt Teller on Rivals, every social network. He's gonna be the one who makes me successful.

Shots fired!

I'm calling out Wyatt Teller on Rivals, every social network. He's gonna be the one who makes me successful.

This is a bold strategy.

if he can get used to wyatt though he'll be in good shape versus the rest of his competition. I like the attitude. go against the best to be the best.

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

6'4" 348lb hoss.

I like his plan to burn some weight over the summer

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

Also hearing from #sources (247) that his grades picked up enough this spring that its looking pretty promising that he'll be able to qualify and enroll this fall.

"I regret nothing. The end." - Ron Swanson

I may be misremembering here (and it may not matter since much of this is speculation about rumors), but wasn't the concern test scores more than grades?

All I know is that the #sources are saying its looking promising he'll be a Hokie in the fall.

"I regret nothing. The end." - Ron Swanson

This is a sliding scale. The better his grades, the lower his test scores need to be. So grades going up is a net positive even if the concern is/was test scores.

"I liked you guys a lot better when everybody told you you were terrible." -Justin Fuente

There are still minimums though...and GPA is cumulative.

I get that, but when I hear that someone's "grades picked up," I'm assuming we're talking about GPA. As for minimums, I know our test score threshold is higher than the minimum NCAA clearinghouse requirement (which I wanna say is 900 if a receipt has a 4.0 GPA). But at this point Settle should have already taken the SAT or ACT and know his score, so now it's a matter of getting his GPA to the point that his test score is acceptable, if it isn't already. So grades improving can only be a good thing under any scenario.

"I liked you guys a lot better when everybody told you you were terrible." -Justin Fuente

400 is the minumum if the student has a Core GPA above 3.55. Core GPA refers to the GPA of the 14 core courses the clearing house requires.

Source (PDF)

Edit: I realize you're referring to the VT minimum, not the Clearinghouse minimum. Just posting this so everyone can see how the sliding scale works.

HokieSpider

Can you even score a 400 on the new SAT? I thought it started at 600.

Never mind. I see now it says math and verbal only.

"I liked you guys a lot better when everybody told you you were terrible." -Justin Fuente

I see my strategy is paying off.

"I liked you guys a lot better when everybody told you you were terrible." -Justin Fuente

Ha ha.
Classic.
Jobu is strong.

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

Crisco. Bardol. Vagisil. Any one of them will give you another two to three inches drop on your curve ball.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

I love that movie. "I hit straight ball very far."

Same for maybe one out of a thousand golf drives off the tee for me.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Absolute classic movie,
"Yo bartender - Jobu needs a refill"

HH4455

Same for Lawson, it seems.

In light of today's news, I think this deserves a bump.

"We judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their behavior" Stephen M.R. Covey

“When life knocks you down plan to land on your back, because if you can look up, you can get up, if you fall flat on your face it can kill your spirit” David Wilson

agreed...heres to hoping he followed the plan to get on the field against osu...

“I remember Lee Corso's car didn't get out of the parking lot.” -cFB
TKPC #666 ...man that was long wait...

the only way I hope he sees the field is if they think he'll be gone in 3-4 years for the NFL. DT is probably our deepest position on the team if maddy is healthy and we burned some RSs already recently at the position.

Only 4 out of the 15 DLs on the Hokie Sports roster are listed as not having taken a redshirt year. Woody Barron (JR) and Ricky Walker (SO) are the only two DTs and Melvin Keihn (SO) and Laird Gardner (SR) are the only DEs. Also Laird Gardner joined the team as a walk on the Spring of his SO year and didn't dress for any games as a Junior, so if he's probably technically a R-JR, but is classified on the Hokie Sports roster as a SR since he doesn't expect to return for a fifth year.