"And then the big dogs started coming in."

Dissecting Devyn Ford's verbal commitment to Penn State over Virginia Tech.

"His freshman year, he had five offers in December of his freshman year," Joe Mangano explained. "From UVA, NC State, UNC, Syracuse. By the end of his freshman year, he had offers from Tennessee, Virginia Tech, South Carolina, Rutgers, Boston College, West Virginia, Marshall, Duke, Temple. And then the big dogs started coming in. The Ohio States, the Clemsons, the Auburns, the LSUs, the Michigans."

That's the current perception of Virginia Tech football through the eyes of one Virginia high school football coach. To the audience at-large — an assembly of family, friends, teammates, coaches, and teachers waiting for Devyn Ford to announce his commitment — it was an innocuous comment.

And then the big dogs started coming in.

However, to Hokie Nation, it's a chop block to the soul. Even inside the Commonwealth, the Hokies currently play second fiddle to college football's elite.

There's a lot to unpack after the Ford's decision to verbal to Penn State over Virginia Tech. And that reality check was a great place to start.

Next is a multi-part reminder as to why Ford was extremely important to Tech's 2019 recruiting class.

For starters, the Hokies went all-in on the blue-chip, four-star running back. In a less than subtle manner, Tech sent out a slew of scholarship offers to running backs down their board ahead of Ford's announcement when it became obvious he was Penn State bound. 1) Nothing makes you feel special like knowing you're a backup plan. 2) All those offered are rated significantly lower than Ford according to the 247Sports Composite.

Tech doubled down in its pursuit of Ford because a dynamic running back is a glaring roster need.

"The bottom line is we didn't make the unblocked hat miss nearly enough at running back. We got the ball to the unblocked hat a lot last year; maybe more than any other year I've ever had. And yet, we did not have the home run runs because we didn't make that guy miss."

That was part of a response from Justin Fuente with regards to what held Tech's offense back last season. Here's eleven minutes and fifty seconds of the running back making the unblocked hat miss.

And then there's the blue-chip ratio; a subset teams with enough 4- and 5-star talent to win the national championship.

It boils down to teams that sign more four- and five-star recruits than two- and three-stars, over the previous four recruiting classes. That's an exclusive club, usually consisting of the top 10 percent of FBS programs. All of the national champs over the last decade-plus have accomplished it, and often, the team taking home the trophy has signed many more elite players.

The 247Sports Composite 4-star (0.9653) would have improved Tech's ratio.

Moving along now to the details of why Penn State over Tech. And prepare yourself, to read how masterfully Penn State recruited Ford is harder to swallow than a shot of Ten High.

As Ford recollected, Tech pitched being the big man on campus.

At Tech, I could come in, do some things, become a starter and be a stay-at-home legend.

The Hokies even won over dad.

His father, Anthony Ford, said he fell in love with Virginia Tech early in the recruiting process but understands it was ultimately his son's decision.

"Truthfully I wanted Virginia Tech," Anthony Ford said.

And Tech really went to great lengths to get its message across, e.g. utilizing Ford's fondness of Michael Vick.

The Hokies seemingly pulled out all the stops, but still ended up as the bridesmaid.

Meanwhile, Penn State cracked the code on this recruitment by leveraging relationships and selling dreams. 2018 Penn State signees, Nana Asiedu and Ricky Slade, a blue-chip OL and RB, respectively from Virginia, were in Ford's ear (a rather effective approach). And James Franklin related so well to Ford, the PSU head coach was able to sell him on helping Franklin achieve his dream.

"What took the lead with Penn State was James Franklin and what he dreams of. I hooked onto his dream and I felt it and I believed in it. That's what really got me.

"It's the family thing. I really enjoyed what he said when I went up there. I enjoyed every little bit of the visit with the time I spent with him. It was just amazing. It was family oriented."

There is also the matter of winning a national championship, and what it would mean to do it with Franklin at Penn State. Ford looked at it from a historical perspective.

"He's going to be the first black coach in NCAA history to win a national championship," Ford said. "That's what I hook onto."

If you made it this far, you read, among other things, about how Virginia Tech's perception in its own backyard is waning, how the Hokies do not have enough blue-chip talent to win a national championship, and for the third year in a row, an elite running back decided home wasn't Blacksburg.

When isolated, the loss of Ford is an unfortunate failure for Virginia Tech's 2019 class. From a panoramic perspective, it will not make or break the Hokies' entire class. Yet, in year three of the Fuente era, these are the in-state recruiting battles Tech's expected to win with more regularity.

Perception is reality, but only at a given point in time.

Rewind back to 2011. Clemsoning was still a thing. The Hokies hosted the Tigers in an early-season battle of undefeateds. Tech was a 7.5-point favorite fresh off an ACC Championship. The Hokies got whacked 23-3, and Clemson would drub Tech again in the ACC Championship. Looking back, it was a changing of the guard in the ACC. Moreover, that pair of marquee wins early on in Dabo Swinney's tenure were part of a string of high-profile Ws that changed the Tigers' perception from "Clemsoning" to "big dog".

Sidebar: I'm unsure what Fuente's biggest win as Tech head coach is. It's a debate between 31-24 over No. 22 West Virginia, 34-3 over No. 17 North Carolina, and the 35-24 comeback over Arkansas. Tech arguably earned its most credibility in the down to the wire ACC Championship game loss to Clemson. In any event, at the intersection of big stage and top-flight opponent, Tech's faltered under Fuente.

There are, after all, three pieces to basically any team sport: talent acquisition, talent development, and talent deployment.

That's the thesis from Bill C. when valuing recruiting rankings as part of the bigger picture with regards to on-the-field success. Case in point, Notre Dame met the blue-chip ratio in 2016 and lost 8 games. Talent is only one-third of the equation.

Fuente must close the gap on talent with development and deployment. The Hokies must chip away and change perception with marquee wins and capitalize on them when they reverberate onto the recruiting trail. It's a snowball effect. Blasting North Carolina for the third season in a row will not turn heads. Fortunately, out of the gates this season Virginia Tech has an opportunity to significantly enhance its profile. Beat Florida State in week one, and begin to change the narrative.

Comments

Since you agree I ain't gonna let you drive this car to dinner and I agree you ain't gonna let me drive this car to dinner, there's only one way to settle this.

"Here's to feelin' good, all the time"

"What took the lead with Penn State was James Franklin and what he dreams of. I hooked onto his dream and I felt it and I believed in it. That's what really got me.

"It's the family thing. I really enjoyed what he said when I went up there. I enjoyed every little bit of the visit with the time I spent with him. It was just amazing. It was family oriented."

Not a facilities discrepancy, not Saquon Barkley going #2, not piles of cash PSU has that VT doesn't.

It was a sales pitch that effectively resonated with the player.

There just isn't proof that this was a "sales pitch" over the basic fact that Penn State has a pretty good story to tell to begin with, and the fact that some of Ford's very talented friends were going there.

If it were Vanderbilt, then you'd have a point. But it is, in fact, Penn State, which does have a rich football history, excellent facilities, and other very highly-rated recruits.

Saquan Barkley's recent success probably pushed it over the edge, however the rest of the story stinks, especially the blind eye to child abuse.

Look we had the same thing going for us after the Natty appearance. Great RBs wanted to follow Lee Suggs & Kevin Jones. Something happened after David Wilson, I think we just rested on our laurels. I for one thought we would have another great RB follow in Wilson's footsteps.

Now what doesn't make sense to me, is if my boy, another great RB is already at PSU, why would I want to go compete with him, when I can be "THE MAN" at Tech. He would still have to earn it, but there would be no competition eventually, if he was as good as he should be.

What's
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Now

We had several 4* rbs that didn't pan out. Edmunds was probably the best replacement for DW but he got injured and JC Coleman saw a lot of playing time. Shai and Marshawn appeared to have potential but Shai got in trouble and Marshawn was injured multple times. Travon shows up and pulls a 1000+ yard season in 2015 under the old offense. The coaching change suddenly cut Travon's yards in half and showed that Fuente's system is based around personnel rotation.

With no proof yet that "If he gets the right guy who's good at everything he'll be the sole starter" I would be extremely nervous as a RB coming to play for this system if it's not going to showcase my talent.

I wouldn't count on landing "elite talent" until Fuente takes a diamond in the rough and turns him into a feature back. The best thing that can happen to us is Fuente decides to make McClease his work horse and generate some good stats and highlights to attract recruits. The worst thing that could happen is Dragon has a break out year for another 1000+ yards. Penn State or whoever else is going to have a field day with that.

Recruit Prosim

Agreed. We also need to start re-climbing the ladder. We're shooting for the moon which is not a realistic assessment of where we stand with running backs. Let's get some guys producing and get some guys drafted. Those two things and those two things alone are going to make the difference. We didn't have to win natty's or even conference championships to get good defensive players. That's because we have a pretty good track record with defensive players getting drafted.

I think we just rested on our laurels yannys.

FTFY but not really sure what you were getting at /s

I think you're both correct.

#FUENTEenFUEGO
Waho's suck
Uva swallows

No proof that is was a sales pitch? He talks a good bit about Franklin's dream and how he hooked onto that. That is 100% a sales pitch. Telling a kid that your aspirations, and therefore the aspirations for the team, are to make history and win a national championship and whatever other accomplishments he talked about is very much a sales pitch. So is talking about how family oriented the team is. Obviously their name helps, but they had been after Devyn for a while, and to just come in and snag him in the last couple weeks means there is more there than just the facilities and the name that he has known for a while now.

I'm not sure they just snagged him in the last couple of weeks, and I'm not sure of the benefit of trying to definitively identify his choice as solely the result of salesmanship. While I'm sure a sales pitch was involved, Penn State does have a thing or two going for it.

I'm not convinced of the utility of fans agonizing over it. Fuente's staff needs to analyze it, determine if there is something more they could have done, and move on.

Here's your rebuttal, if you can help Virginia Tech win a National Title, you will be forever immortal here in Blacksburg. People will role out the red carpet for you everywhere from that day forward.

Joe Pa has already done that at PSU and the only thing they will remember at PSU is that James Franklin won it (If he actually does).

What's
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Oh yea I'm not saying there is a huge benefit to mourning this loss, and I agreed that PSU has things going for it. But you said there wasn't a sales pitch and to me it sounded like there definitely was. While it was a long recruitment, he definitely flipped hard to PSU in the final hours of this 3 year long courtship.

I don't think its beneficial to just bitch and moan, but I do think there are some things people have realized because of this, like donating. Unfortunately, you will always get both sides of that coin whenever this happens.

The coach ultimately has to come across as authentic as well and it's important to recognize that there are significantly different factors at play. You don't think Fuente tried to sell the idea of a recruit like Ford being the missing piece of a national championship team? That's inconceivable to me. Franklin sold the idea of a black head coach having unprecedented success and that resonated strongly with Devyn. Here's the thing- Fuente couldn't play that card or anything close to it. "Come help me be the next white coach to win a national title" or even "help bring the first national title to Virginia Tech" doesn't carry nearly the same weight (not to mention it could be argued that it would be detrimental to point out that VT's athletic programs have never won a team national title in any sport).

We're acting puzzled at how Franklin could convince Devyn Ford to come to PSU when only a few years ago Mike London was able to convince top recruits to come to freakin' UVA over their pick of elite football schools. Honestly that should have been far more eye opening than the outcome Ford's recruitment. How did top schools lose Mizzell, Brown, and Blanding to UVA? How did Urban and Dabo lose Ford to PSU? Obviously there are some factors that resonate with some recruits that even coaches regarded as elite recruiters with national championships on their resume can't overcome.

I certainly agree the outcome sucks but I feel like we should be encouraged by Fuente's recruiting given that we landed Hunter, Hollifield, and Patterson and have a damn good idea of the lengths he went to for Ford, even if we came up short. Plenty of times in life you do everything that you can but things still don't work out. In my opinion, this feels much more like one of those times than an indication of some type of shortcoming regarding Fuente. I am beyond tired of this being rehashed already and doubt anyone is going to change their mind at this point, so for the love of all things Hokie, can we move on already?

Joffrey, Cersei, Ilyn Payne, the Hound, Jeff Jagodzinski, Paul Johnson, Pat Narduzzi.

'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'

I'm not sure why this doesn't have more upvotes. I logged in for the first time in probably a year, because this is the best comment I've read in a long time. Thanks for the realistic positivity. It's definitely a breath of fresh air over what has been said over and over for the last 2 weeks.

“These people are losing their minds. This is beautiful.”

3 day weekend, plus 2 sick days away from TKP...i come back, and going plaid literally means going plaid now.

Now finish up them taters; I'm gonna go fondle my sweaters.

...this has been implemented for almost a year at this point. 100+ legs=plaid

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

Really? I've heard reference to it, but this was the first actual plaid post I've seen....

Now finish up them taters; I'm gonna go fondle my sweaters.

yeah search "plaid" and you'll see all these reactions posts from people when it first got implemented last...fall maybe?

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

Yet somehow my continued "Fuck Pat Narduzzi" posts have yet to go plaid.

"Give me a fu¢king beer", Anonymous Genius

You know when one team is pushing three players for the Heisman, but the votes are diluted and none of them make the top 5 in the final vote?

That's why. ;^)

The Poster Formerly Known As The Spirit Of Bernard Basham

Isn't Fuente Hispanic?

We put the K in Kwality

Spanish, they think.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

Just because Saquon Barkley made it big there, that does not in any way mean he will be 'Saquon Barkley' v2.0. I can't imagine Penn State hasn't already brought in another recruit from prior years already ahead of him.

They have two backs ahead of him including Ricky Slade.

If you don't want to recruit clowns, don't run a clown show.

"I want to punch people from UVA right in the neck." - Colin Cowherd

I appreciate the point you're trying to make, and this is only the 28th attempt to dissect this issue between all of the VT online communities (seriously, are we that bored?) but what issue do we really have with the coach's comments other than it hurts our feelings?

The Ohio States, the Clemsons, the Auburns, the LSUs, the Michigans

These are the "big dogs", would you honestly (not emotionally) put us in the category of those programs? and if so, why? What has VT done to earn that level of respect? One upset win over OSU does not put us there. We failed on the big stage time and time again throughout our prime years, so little remains in the collective sports analysts minds to mention us with those names, and I don't blame them. Until CJF wins some battles (multiple) against some of these programs both on the field and on the trail, we should always expect to see our name mentioned after theirs...

EDIT: this is a good write up, and has a lot of good perspective, but I guess the point I'm trying to make is that I'm more shocked at how shocked people are that we missed on Ford than I am that we missed on Ford to begin with. We aren't on par with these schools, and I don't really fault that HS coach for pointing that out.

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I agree. And, I don't think our program is trying to pretend any different. The pitch is This is Home. I'm not that offended.

"with all due respect, and remember I’m sayin’ it with all due respect, that idea ain’t worth a velvet painting of a whale and a dolphin gettin’ it on" - Ricky Bobby

What has Michigan done in last 15 years?

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

when I say on par, I don't only mean Ws and Ls, I mean on multiple fronts (success on field, $$$$$$, brand recognition, etc). Don't overthink this... If you think Go Blue isn't a "big dog" you're kidding yourself.

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I read your statement as W's and L's. Yes in terms of brand and money I agree.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

and this is only the 28th attempt to dissect this issue between all of the VT online communities (seriously, are we that bored?)

I publish a website that discusses Virginia Tech athletics. I'm going to write about things that are relevant to Virginia Tech even if they've been discussed 27 times elsewhere because: I want to share my thoughts, because again, I publish a Virginia Tech website.

These are the "big dogs", would you honestly (not emotionally) put us in the category of those programs?

A good chunk of this piece described (via the blue-chip ratio) why Virginia Tech is not an elite program capable of winning a national championship right now. What's ambiguous to you?

Also, what led you to believe my feelings are hurt? They are not. I described Mangano's statement as a good reality check for where the program is at right now, because it is, and that was the motivator for writing.

Understood, and you'll see my edit (before this reply) softened my response and gave props on the write-up. And my point was as a collective fan-base, the coach's comments got us worked up (plenty of whining is occurring about this on other boards as we speak). My comment was just a reflection on the points you brought up, not necessarily your take on them. I've legged you, and my reply wasn't meant to be an argument, just a comment.

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Respectfully, I think this is fair feedback from the readers (many of us customers) of the website you publish. There are multiple Ford related threads with close to 2000 comments in aggregate just in the past month. Help us move on.

It's May, the dead season there's really not too much else to talk about.

I appreciate everyone's feedback, including yours. This is the first time I've heard, "publish fewer things". (Although, I'm always open to articles TKPers want to read.) I didn't write this to belabor the point and I'm not personally saturated with the discussion because I don't read every other board as LawdHamGreasy mentioned.

This is the first thing of substance I've written in a long-ass time. I thought it was important enough to write about both in the micro (loss of Ford, coach's comments) and macro (Fuente tenure, state of the program) perspectives. To be completely transparent I made the time to write this over the weekend (stayed up to about 3:00 AM Sunday morning) while dealing with three water leaks at my house. (Eff you, rain and faulty plumbing.)

As far as moving on, that's what the final section about perception was intended to be.

I thought it was important enough to write about both in the micro (loss of Ford, coach's comments) and macro (Fuente tenure, state of the program) perspectives.

I was happy to see the TKP staff offer an opinion a few days removed from the event. You were able to succinctly weave through the long term and short term affects and provide a measured perspective. I enjoyed the piece.

Twitter me

I thought it was a good read. I enjoyed getting some perspective of how our program is seen nationally. Keep it up.

First Buzz then Coach Fu - In Whit We Trust

When I first saw the headline, I did groan to myself. However, this was a good, unemotional, factually based analysis of the situation. I appreciated the full quote from Ford's coach especially. All I had seen beforehand was people bitching about "then the big boys came calling." When you hear the lists of schools he puts in each category, he's largely correct. As you also mentioned, it's disappointing that Clemson has made that jump while we squandered the opportunity, but oh well.

I appreciate the post because so far the only other option was the wade through multiple posts with hundreds of comments, mostly made by people who are just frustrated and pissed off. This post doesn't make me feel better about the situation, but at least it doesn't make me want to jump off a bridge either.

I appreciate the post because so far the only other option was the wade through multiple posts with hundreds of comments, mostly made by people who are just frustrated and pissed off. This post doesn't make me feel better about the situation, but at least it doesn't make me want to jump off a bridge either.

Second. This is really the only site I frequent and this article effectively summarized an important, albeit unfortunate, event for VT football.

I welcome a bit of context and perspective from the big cheese on the issues of the day. Thanks for the post Joe.

I do not, however, welcome our nittany lion overlords.

Proud author of one plaid comment.

Nobody wants to hear that their baby isn't the cutest/smartest of all the babies

Water leaks suck. My wife called me at work last Monday to tell me water was coming out of a light fixture in the kitchen. I cut the heck out of the drywall on the back of the shower above until I finally figured it was coming from the attic. Anyone know a good drywall guy in Durham?

"We'll bring out the moonshine, start tellin' lies, and callin up the women..." Harry Hogge, Days of Thunder

Am I missing something about how any given user can choose not to read any given thread at any given time on any given site including this one? I would assume any one of us could move ourselves on. If Joe and the TKP have one prerogative I would assume that is to freely post thoughts and articles related to Virginia Tech sports.

Joe is a big boy, he can handle a little constructive feedback. It was very well written but I didn't think it offered any new info or perspective. Clearly I'm in the minority on feeling like we have already dissected the Ford saga thoroughly.

To answer your rhetorical question, no I can't not read every post and every thread. I TKP like David Wilson ran the ball; blindly but with maximum effort. My obsession with all things VT, this community, and OCD force me to click every thread until there are no unread comments.

Deleted duplicate of above post.

I saw the commitment ceremony and in my opinion, the damning part of this statement is that his head coach said it. From what I remember of his speech, he called Virginia Tech and UVA first, telling them about this special kid. Eventually word got out and Devyn could have gone anywhere. But how casually and matter-of-factly he inferred that VT is not one of the big dogs was the part that stuck with me.

Okay, but he is correct. It should stick with us. We as fans have high hopes and expectations. But I'll say it with total clarity... VT is NOT a CFB big dog... I hope that changes in the not too distant future.

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VT is not a big dog. agreed. Unfortunately, a Virginia HS coach, a coach who likely spends time at VT coaching clinics, VT camps, calls VT first when he has a great prospects also believes it. Not only believes it, but casually says it when handed a microphone and is live on the interweb.

I know what you're saying, but I still don't feel like the butthurt from our fan-base is warranted. He believes it because it's obvious and true. He doesn't have to say it, no, but if he chooses to make a factual statement that bothers us as fans we shouldn't blame him and bring out the pitchforks, either.

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Agreed that our fanbase needs to understand the reality of the situation and get motivated, not butthurt.

The other side of the equation is this coach. Did he say something incorrect? No. That being said, anyone who wants to be successful in life understands that just because something is true, doesn't mean you say it. There was a better way to explain to everyone that Ford's recruitment really took off after his Freshman year without insulting a large number of schools that he'll be working with frequently in the future. He just made the next meeting with recruiters from those schools awkward when it didn't have to be. So am I butthurt about his truthful comment? No. Do I think he stood up and made public comments without giving it much prior thought? Yes.

I also have to think that this will lead schools listed along with us to not put as much resources into recruiting A-list talent from this coach in particular. I may be incorrect, but my perception of him was that he would encourage the player to choose the "big dogs" over any of the other schools.

I don't know if I'd write him off, but you're right, he exhibited a little bit of "awestruckness" over the bigger programs that I'd prefer not to see in a high school coach.

And that does leave an impression on the kids he's coaching, whether we want it to or not.

I still wouldn't hesitate to recruit there if they have the recruit we want, but know what you're up against.

i completely agree with you...although, i didn't get to watch the announcement, so i can only go off of what has been posted on here. but i get the impression that coach takes pride in sending his athletes to schools he considers 'big dogs'. i wouldn't be surprised if he even tried to talk devyn into still considering ohio state after they apparently lied to him. i think recruiting his school would almost be a waste of time.

but I still don't feel like the butthurt from our fan-base is warranted. He believes it because it's obvious and true. He doesn't have to say it, no, but if he chooses to make a factual statement that bothers us 

I disagree. It still hurts when people tell me I'm fat and hideous even if it's TRUE.
In fact all the more so.

Lol, not sure I know how to respond to that tbh. Sorry?

It's not like the coach said something malicious or called us a name. He just didn't include us with the big dogs. I'm sticking with the backlash from VT fans on this is just sour grapes.

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What "fact"?

It was a personal impression, no facts needed.

Okay... maybe. But what does being a big dog mean? Competing for and winning conference titles? Winning 9-10 games a season? Winning big nonconference games in prime time? Going to a bowl every season no matter what 🤔🤔🤔👀?

"VT isn't a big dog" what kind of inferiority fetish nonsense is this? So we don't get as much attention lately. So what? If we aren't a big dog we were one only a couple years ago and we're pretty god damn close to it now!

Repeating negativity will never help our perception, and doing it to try and be "technically correct" about something subjective? Foreal dog, let the "butthurt" fans fight for positive perception, it's a hell of a lot better than fighting for a negative one.

Fighting implies taking action... What I've seen is bitching and moaning on forums about what some HS coach said or didn't say because his player didn't pick VT. There is nothing negative about recognizing that VT as a program is not on the same level as those he rattled off as "big dogs". I hope we get there one day, but if you're arguing that VT has achieved the same level of onfield success and/or mainstream brand recognition, then I'd like to see some real evidence of that. I love VT as much as the next guy or gal, but there is nothing wrong with having a realistic view on the current state of things, it's not an "inferiority fetish"... whatever the hell that means...

In fact, I'll argue that embracing the underdog mentality and using that to fuel our efforts on the trail and on the field can work to our advantage... but if we walk around with a false sense of entitlement, recruits will see right through that shit, I promise... they have before and they will again.

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Do we have the pedigree, no, but I would like to think being the top school in the player's own state would put us into "big-dog" territory more personally, and I think that is what Joe was trying to point out. Anymore though, proximity to home doesn't count for much, but it would be nice to get some bonus with the instate kids and have more of them consider Tech a major offer when they get it.

Come to Blacksburg and see what the Hokie Pokie is really all about

We will never bat 1.000 with the blue chip recruits. Fuente's recruiting legacy will be defined by how resilient the team can be with contingency plans while still putting in the effort to get a few pay offs with the elite. Its a challenge to now enter a running back's home or high school and explain how we need them after publicly putting so much emphasis on Ford. I would like to think any logical player would be self aware enough to realize why, but will they feel wanted enough to follow in the shadow of Ford's recruitment?

"with all due respect, and remember I’m sayin’ it with all due respect, that idea ain’t worth a velvet painting of a whale and a dolphin gettin’ it on" - Ricky Bobby

Not sure there is much we could have done with Ford himself. He said himself that either school would have been great, but it was his friends and Franklin's dream that put it over the edge. So I honestly don't feel bad about losing the kid. It's not like he said he picked PSU because they offer a degree he wants and then goes with something else, he picked it for genuine reasons that we could not compete with.

Perception for VT as a whole will change when we start winning big games and are consistent at winning them. Eventually, it will require a national championship or at least competing for one. 99 was a long time ago, and we need to be consistently at the top. So losing some of the games we have continues to feed that perception.

Agreed. I'm afraid one natty is not going to be enough. Consistently contending for a natty AND a natty may change that. And when I say contending that means winning the ACC and making a good showing at a CFP game.

"He's going to be the first black coach in NCAA history to win a national championship," Ford said. "That's what I hook onto."

This single statement has become something on a few social media and other less reputable fan sites. It's being used as a "should have hired and African American coach" argument.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

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I would really like to know what is happening in this gif.

All stop. Gotta poop.

Duck Donuts in the break room

Ew

The Poster Formerly Known As The Spirit Of Bernard Basham

This was posted on reddit awhile back. My understanding is it a training video that shows what a train conductor should do when they are about to hit a person. Basically hit the emergency brake and GTFO so you are not scarred for life by seeing a train you are operating kill someone in a gruesome manner.

People need to stop reading through the lens of race, and start reading it as "James Franklin reminds me more of myself." People like people who are similar to them, it's just the way humans have evolved.

Twitter me

How does one look at being the first black coach to win a natty, but not through the "lens of race"? You're assuming that Ford just sees himself in Franklin, and doesn't care about helping a black coach with a natty, which from what Ford has said about it, seems like the wrong assumption.

Hell of a sales pitch honestly. I had no idea there had never been a black coach to win a NCAA championship.

It's not true to word accurate, a certain former police officer accomplished the feat at Richmond.

Good read!

If the basis of the sales pitch is simply family atmosphere and winning a national championship I would argue VT has sold family atmosphere better and has an easier road getting to the playoff based purely on conference alignment. This may still be sour grapes, but I don't see PSU winning a natty any time soon, especially with only a four team playoff and them having to play OSU, Mich State, Wisconsin, and Mich every year.

If it was mostly Franklin's "history making" sales pitch that resonated with Ford, then there is literally nothing else Fuente could have done.

Kinda seems like sour grapes, PSU is going to be good for a while now, and I'd say they've got as good a chance as anyone not named 'Bama at hoisting a trophy within the next 5 years. I don't think there is a massive gap between them and OSU to be honest.

Bacon strips &
bacon strips &
bacon strips &
bacon strips

If the basis of the sales pitch is simply family atmosphere and winning a national championship I would argue VT has sold family atmosphere better and has an easier road getting to the playoff based purely on conference alignment.

VT sells family atmosphere, but I'm not sure you can say we sold it better. If we did, Ford would've verballed here.

As far as 'easier road to the playoff', let me offer you an analogy - a super fit, well trained person is trying to climb mount everest. An obese, untrained person is trying to climb McAfee's knob. Who has it easier? Person #1 has a more challenging 'path', but person #2 has more challenges to conquer. Now I understand that the analogy isn't perfect, but you get the idea; The next step for PSU is a playoff appearance/NY6 bowl. The next step for VT is a division/conference championship.

Twitter me

Making a college decision as a student athlete is arguable the single biggest decision that they've had to make in their life so far. At the end of the day, it comes down to what is best for them.

Doesn't help the sting when it doesn't go our way, but it does serve to put it in perspective.

Wish Ford all the best, and I'll be pulling for him at Penn State.

Wish Ford all the best

Yup.

be pulling for him at Penn State

Bacon strips &
bacon strips &
bacon strips &
bacon strips

My wife is a Penn State grad - so we're a two-school household. She got her Master's degree at VT to 66% of the our collective degrees have come from Virginia Tech, but we still pull for Penn State.

"we"

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

I hope he rushes for 400 yards/game on the way to an 0-12 season

Danny is always open
23 can't read

I'll be pulling for him at Penn State.

Um...why?

Do you have a prior relationship with him? He trolled the VT fanbase and he'll be running against us in a few years. I don't need to spew venom at him, but he's done nothing to earn anything from us, or the rest of the VT fanbase.

Can't fault you for that. Leg

Don't get me wrong - it still stung that he wasn't going to be a Hokie- but selfishly, I'll still get to see him play. I'm not a die hard PSU fan either, but have to be somewhat a PSU fan to support the wife.

No. My wife went to clemson. In no way do I support them!

He trolled the VT fanbase

Compelled to say here, Devyn did not and would not troll the VT fan base. He's a hell of a football talent and an even better person.

Retweeting "Rep ya state" was.......something else?

He can rep his state at PSU. You and I may disagree with him as to whether that is the "best" way to rep his state, but that's not our call.

Yes he can. I'm sure thats EXACTLY how it was meant to be perceived....

Listen, don't get me wrong, he is free to troll us. I'm just not going to be grateful for it

That isn't a fair assessment of his character and we would do well to leave those assumptions at the door.

A kid trolling a school leading up to a self-aggrandizing decision ceremony isn't character assassination. It's practically par for the course nowadays!

I don't hate the kid. I just have no particular reason to LIKE him (unless he gives me cause otherwise). Not entirely sure why this is such a horrible thing...

He didn't though. He retweeted a Tech fan who asked him a question using his tweet from 2016.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

I think his tweet was December 2017

Obviously you know Devyn in some capacity. I don't think he deliberately trolled VT. I'm wondering how upfront he was with the VT coaches after his PSU visit, though. Was he telling the VT coaches they were still in it? All I heard from the PSU side is that he was a silent commit after his official there. I have no doubt that Slade and/or the The PSU coaches told the national analyst and PSU site analyst on 247 that Ford was a silent verbal. Those guys flipped their Crystal Balls immediately, and Wiltfong flat out stated numerous times that Ford was going to PSU- 100%. It wasn't the best looks, at least to VT fans, that Devyn complained hard about OSU not being honest with him and then made a silent to PSU and let the VT coaches dangle in the wind for a month. I think that is what the VT fanbase sees, imo...

Thanks for the read. Solid. However, continued review of this process is like intentionally stubbing your own toe. I can't help myself. I keep reading and keep kicking the wall. Damn it!

via GIPHY

JP

I've lived my entire life in PA and grew up a PSU fan. It wasn't until I started looking around for schools that I fell in love with VT. Unfortunately, the rest of my family remains PSU fans and I regularly talk with my brothers about college football. We were emailing back and forth this morning about Joe's article. Here is a little perspective from a PSU fan that also dabbles a little in Hokie Nation thanks for yours truly... (take it for what it is, a PSU fans perspective of VT)

"That is an interesting read. If it were just any high-profile recruit, then okay, you win some and you lose some, but it is certainly more notable since he's a Virginia kid, and there are a number of them that you guys are missing on."

"Kind of crazy, but I don't think most would have considered Penn State to be one of those "big dogs" until just the past year or so. Until that time they were still faltering a bit and trying to find their footing, and many would have said that Franklin's seat was getting warm. Just goes to show you how quickly you can gain momentum. I think you guys are on your way though. I really like Fuente and his ability to do more with less. Once he gets his guys in there, then it will continue to take off. Plus you have a stud young QB to build around. They are starting to spend some more money too, and your AD seems to understand what it will take to get to the next level. If you can't get all the VA boys, then go steal all the talent out of TN and drive the Vols fans crazy."

Can you really drive Vol fans "crazy" - does anyone remember Greg Schiano?

. Just goes to show you how quickly you can gain momentum. I think you guys are on your way though. I really like Fuente and his ability to do more with less. Once he gets his guys in there, then it will continue to take off. Plus you have a stud young QB to build around. They are starting to spend some more money too, and your AD seems to understand what it will take to get to the next level. If you can't get all the VA boys, then go steal all the talent out of TN and drive the Vols fans crazy."

Not to get too off-topic, but this is a gap I see between the national media and VT fans. National media/CFB fans seem to think we'll be fine and JJ is a stud. VT fans are concerned with JJ, late season losses, recruiting misses, etc, and fear that the program is not trending up. Hopefully the national media is right.

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We won't turn the corner unless we start pulling off some big wins in the recruiting game. Even with the uptick we're seeing, we're letting far too much talent leak its way through our fingers, ending up at some of our closest competitors, like Clemson, Florida State, and Miami, who are going to be in the way of where we are now and where we want to be. The problem is, as they get stronger, the hill to climb only becomes that much steeper, further complicating the perception issue we currently have with recruits.

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

Even with the uptick we're seeing, we're letting far too much talent leak its way through our fingers, ending up at some of our closest competitors, like Clemson, Florida State, and Miami, who are going to be in the way of where we are now and where we want to be.

Good lord - Miami has been killing it on the recruiting trail the last several seasons. If we want to contend for championships, beating Miami on the recruiting trail and on the field is the key.

MIami has been recruiting well the past 20+ years, but considering the number of lackluster coaching staffs they've had, it didn't always equate to wins on the field. Talent alone doesn't win championships. I think we probably have some of the best coaches in the conference, so hopefully we'll be able to coach up our 3 and 4-star talents, and set ourselves up for stronger recruiting each year moving forward. Keep winning 9 to 10 games per year on a consistent basis, and Fuente will get us to "Big Dog" status.

I really don't know how legit the Franklin "dream" is, and if it was the most prominent reason for Devyn picking PSU. I do think Fuente's reputation with RBs is not stellar, so I think from that standpoint, it will continue to be tough for us to get the 4- and 5-star backs until we start producing some all-conference type RBs, or better. If we were talking about losing any other position player to PSU, I'd be a little more upset. So, in terms of RBs, we have to take what we can get, and make the most of them.

"That man was violating a city ordinance, and I was just doing my duty to enforce it." - Mike Curtis

"You boys in there smokin' rope?"-Johnny Unitas (circa 1973) to his San Diego Chargers teammates

Until that time they were still faltering a bit and trying to find their footing, and many would have said that Franklin's seat was getting warm. Just goes to show you how quickly you can gain momentum.

I regret not pointing that out along with my Clemson analogy, because it's another good one. That take home point is perception can change, and at times a team can catch lightning in a bottle and it'll change fast. The Franklin era got off to a bumpy start with a pair of 7-6 seasons, but in year three they knocked off Ohio State 24-21 and won the Big Ten championship.

Penn State average recruit ranking per class 2012-16:

2012 0.8499
2013 0.8620
2014 0.8682
2015 0.8905
2016 0.8808

Ohio State average recruit ranking per class 2012-16:

2012 0.9147
2013 0.9314
2014 0.9059
2015 0.9031
2016 0.9156

Penn State developed and deployed its talent better to win that game. Virginia Tech is going to have to do that and punch up to change its perception.

Assuming we do get that big win, the most important thing is that we have to follow it up with a good season without any WTF losses. You start dropping games you have no business losing, any success you have will be written off as a fluke and you're right back to where you started. Its all about building upon and maintaining momentum, and that is something we have just historically struggled with.

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

Yes, because we also beat Ohio State.

Problem is, we self-destructed that season after that, losing games that we ALWAYS win.

Self destruction is something we've been doing for a long time. When natty return hype was at it's biggest for VT, we'd lose to Temple. Ever since I became a Hokie fan in 1989, being a Hokie seemed to be synonymous with occasional big underdog wins and some mandatory WTF losses. The examples are numerous and span the entire time I've been a fan. More recently though, it seems like the occasional underdog wins that helped fans cope with the WTF losses, have been less frequent. Bottom line is that elite recruiting is inevitably tied to program success (past or present). Unfortunately, VT doesn't have the past glory year's nattys to reference to counter the lack of current year success (like Michigan, Miami, ND, etc...). In that case, if we want to bump up the recruiting we've no option but to start winning bigger.

HTHokie93

We always had the WTF losses, but didn't always have the big underdog wins.

The key to relevance is both winning and consistency, though. Ya gotta have both. You're right, though, you have to win the big games.

We had relevance earlier with consistency and playing tough in big games. To get to the next level we have to win them. I think the problem we have had is when ESPN jumped on the Blacksburg express we almost always derailed. It can't feel good to watch VT beat OSU, say something like, "These guys are for real", and then have us drop a game to ECU.

Unfortunately we seem to have perfected the art of the WTF loss. I think CJF is going to eliminate it, but not sure if this year is the year that happens.

21st century QBs Undefeated vs UVA:
MV7, MV5, LT3, Jerod Evans, Michael Brewer, Tyrod Taylor, Sean Glennon, and Grant Noel. That's right, UVA. You couldn't beat Grant Noel.

That's nice - and true to some degree - but PSU's $$ ceiling at that moment in time was considerably higher than VT's is now or will be in the forseeable future.

Lots and lots of schools have gotten lucky and drawn aces for a class or two (does anyone really think Central Florida will sustain their success or move up in the hierarchy?). But having the resources to continue and even build upon that momentum to get to the next level is an entirely different animal.

Those that have it, know this. Those that don't, keep pretending it's big wins, recruiting strategies, offensive schemes, a coach's race, player development, etc, etc, which will get them to the next level. Until VT and its alumni/fanbase gets to that next $$ level - assuming it and they even really want to do what it entails to get to that $$ level - these conversations will continue over and over.

The wishful optimism is cathartic, I suppose - and good for clicks if you run a message board - but they're ultimately just a mouse on a treadmill until the fundamental revenue challenge is met.

I've been wanting to make a post along these lines but just haven't had the time. I think Washington is the ultimate example of this, especially because I think Fuente is much more akin to Chris Petersen than James Franklin/Dabo Swinney. Washington's recruiting rankings were consistently in the 20-30+ range, both before Petersen and during his first two 7-win years. Then they make the CFP and suddenly they pull in a class ranked 13th and look poised to dominate for a long time to come.

More than ever, I think it's possible to capitalize on short term success and sell that in the recruiting game to elevate a program, you just need to prove you can do it before the blue-chips buy-in to what you're doing. The good thing is I think Whit and Fuente are building a program that could capitalize on a run like that. The bad thing is we haven't seen this staff get that kind of marquee win/season yet...but then again the same could could have been said about Petersen and Franklin and countless other ultra-successful coaches after their first two years on the job.

Do you realize UW has athletic revenues which are something like 40% more than VT?

Even in the highly unlikely event VT's revenue grows at 2x the rate of UW's, it would take something like 20 years to catch UW.

I mean, you'll never find a perfect match, every school is unique. But it's a head coach who is known for his tactical, player development, and program organization skills over recruiting acumen/energy, at a non-traditional power that has to compete with blue-bloods consistently. And while they have a money advantage, (a) I have a hard time believing they have anything close to the staffs of Clemson/Ohio State/etc. and (b) we have a location advantage, being in a more talent rich state with easy access to mid-atlantic and southern hot-bed, while they have to go into SoCal for all their top recruits and compete with blue-bloods from across the country as well as in-conference powerhouse USC.

You'll never find a perfect match in terms of school profile, but UW I think is close enough it provides a far better model than Clemson or Penn State. We just have to figure out if we are closer to them, or to the Oklahoma States and Wisconsins of the world, who find great coaches that are also perfect cultural fits and carve out a ridiculous level of consistency while hoping for a magical run to the playoffs (a level which I think is both highly attainable and fun as hell, but some might see as settling).

VT has a location advantage? More talent rich area or not...UW is in Seattle. Virginia Tech is in Blacksburg.

It's all about money. And UW has a lot more of it.

What is the point of adding that to every discussion? I mean, what is it, exactly, that you are hoping to achieve?

Somehow, even with less money, VT has attracted you as a fan. So there must be more to it.

Because it is almost entirely about money. The better question is what is the point of the mice-on-the-treadmill crowd who keep saying "if only..." about every conceivable thing under the sun except money?

So being delusional - and not something like, say, being an alumnus - is now a pre-requisite to being a fan? Sure, I'd love to see VT in the top football tier and I get as momentarily crazy as the next guy when someone misses a tackle or drops a ball or the team loses to Georgia Tech.

But I don't live vicariously through the football team and my life doesn't get turned upside down when VT misses out on a 5* recruit or "only" goes 9-3 with a trip to Orlando instead of Miami - because I'm not delusional about what VT's limitations are (at present anyway) in a sport which has an inherently uneven playing field.

So when the discussion comes up and the wishful rationalizations and expectations - which largely ignore it is a wholly unlevel playing field - are thrown about, I'm going to continue to point out that money is still THE root of success and evil in college football. And if people don't like it because it upsets their romantic notions of how VT can move up the college football ladder, that's too bad.

And if people don't like it because it upsets their romantic notions of how VT can move up the college football ladder, that's too bad.

Virginia Tech has ALREADY moved up the college football ladder, and it wasn't due simply to more money invested in the program.

Did it ever occur to you to read the entire point and discuss it, instead of nitpicking on the phrasing so you can wring negativity out of it? It's even worse because you clearly understood what I meant (VA+region is more talent-rich than WA+region). And while money is obviously important, if it was the only thing, Texas A&M would be unbeatable, Kentucky and Arkansas would be a perennial top-10 teams, and West Virginia would be Washington's peer (difference in revenue is < $2mil). Other factors matter, and the whole point was that in many ways our profiles intersect.

I look forward to your rebuttal in which you continue to miss/avoid the point and argue that Kentucky and WV's cases are obvious exceptions.

Athletic Operating Revenue FY 2017:

Washington: $133.1 million 2017
Virginia Tech: $87.4 million 2017

Recruiting hotbeds? Yeah, Blacksburg is right in the middle of one - but about 3-5+ hrs drive from most of it and having to compete with about 15 or so P5 programs within a 5 hr drive of at least part of it.

So yeah...Washington clearly doesn't have the regional talent. But getting kids to come to Seattle from California (or wherever) is not a hard thing to do - athletes or otherwise. Nightlife, restaurants, young population, new construction everywhere, mountains, water, outdoor sports, mild-ish winter temperatures (albeit with a 50% chance of rain all winter). It's not a hard sell to an 18 year old.

And being a 2 1/2 hour flight or a 4-5 hour drive from home...does it really make that much a difference in 2018? And how many P5 programs is UW fighting with for that California talent - and how does Seattle stack up location wise with those programs?

I consult to universities for a living (not in athletics). One of the most amusing things is when you ask administrators who they see as their peers. Rarely do that school's perceived peers see them are a peer...

The funny thing is I think VT has had amazing athletics success - on and off the field - given its inherent challenges. Yet folks think I'm the cynic because I simply acknowledge those very real challenges rather than the apparently acceptable rinse and repeat approach of ignoring them, complaining and rationalizing.

As I said before, there is no perfect match that relates to our specific case, but when trying to determine what is possible and what factors exist that could elicit change, you look at what has worked for other programs, consider how their case is similar to yours, and hopefully glean insight. It doesn't have to be a perfect match to learn something. Other great examples would be a case where a school experiences an influx in revenue (but not wins) with the same coach sees a dramatic increase in recruiting. Or maybe a program with a similar revenue as ours hires a dynamic recruiter and sees their rankings increase in the long term. Those would be interesting cases as well that we could learn from. In the meantime, Washington is interesting because they are a school with a non-recruiting focused head coach whose rankings increase dramatically after on-field success. Doesn't mean it's exactly repeatable (maybe it's only possible if you have >$100 million in revenue, who knows), but it's at least another case we can look at and learn from.

Does that make sense? I'm really not sure where the disconnect is but I don't think we disagree on anything, the thread just keeps getting pushed off track.

Maybe I read it wrong, but you're original post seemed to expressing the sentiment that PSU is not a good comparator to VT, but UW is (and explicitly mentioning location as a rationale for that sentiment).

While UW might be a closer comparator to VT than PSU, my point was UW is still not a good comparator to VT either - and it shouldn't come as surprise they've been able to make serious recruiting inroads once they got their ducks (or huskies, as it were) in a row. They have money (and that money is growing rapidly) and a great destination (albeit not for local talent).

I said this:

But it's a head coach who is known for his tactical, player development, and program organization skills over recruiting acumen/energy, at a non-traditional power that has to compete with blue-bloods consistently.

I think if I led with that and you led with this:

While UW might be a closer comparator to VT than PSU, my point was UW is still not a good comparator to VT either

we could have just moved along. I don't think the comparison is that farfetched, but I totally see where you're coming from, and you have a good point.

For some added context though, in 2015 (before recent success), UW's athletic revenue was ~$107 mil, while VT was sitting at ~$84 mil. Since that time, we've increased by $3 mil and they have by nearly $30 mil. Again, that probably has a lot to do with the fact that they were already pretty well off, and maybe they were just a big dog who needed a wake-up call, but I don't think it's farfetched to say that winning drove revenue, which both worked in tandem to drive recruiting. Again, I seriously doubt we would see an increase of that magnitude, but even on a smaller scale, there is a blueprint to improvement, even if it's not to the "big dog" level some might like.

Huskies / Hokies pretty similar if you ask me.

"It's always great to beat UVA, that makes us all smarter and better looking for a couple days".

They do both have feathers.

We were outsold by a coach with a pitch that we literally could do nothing about. If he wants to ride the bench for a few years to play with the "big dogs," I'm fine with that and wish him a successful career (except for when he plays VT).

We will go into the season a legit Top 20 team. We have a coach that will be going into his 3rd year with 1 ACC coach of the year title under his belt, a red-shirt Sophomore QB that he trusts to run his offense, and a more skilled play makers (albeit unproven) then we have had since I can remember.

As a fan base, I've been very surprised how we are looking at this as a time to hit the panic button. We have had the best recruiting years we have had in a long time the past two years and it is only looking like it will get better. Ford was a miss, but let's remember how far we have come since 2014-2015. If you would have told me in year 3 that VT's program would be where it is right now, I would have been pretty pleased.

I appreciate all the support, and I appreciate all the hate I am getting. I will continue to work as hard as I can to be the best I can be and bring this team a championship. Go Hokies 🐔 - Josh Jackson

a red-shirt Sophomore QB that he trusts to run his offense a junior that sat out last season after transferring from Kansas.

In Fuente I trust, if that's the case, fine with me. Until otherwise stated, I'll back the starter from last year.

I appreciate all the support, and I appreciate all the hate I am getting. I will continue to work as hard as I can to be the best I can be and bring this team a championship. Go Hokies 🐔 - Josh Jackson

As I said the other day... Its all about REP YA STATE right up until the minute its time to put on a hat, and then its "Virginia Tech made a good push, but...."

If you aren't humbled by this past week, I don't know what to say. This was a kid the coaches made very clear was their top, and absolutely most important recruit, and we failed. One recruit does not make a trend, and we have been recruiting better overall than we were late under Beamer, but it is a troubling warning shot across our bow that we aren't a top player in our own state. Don't know how to change this perception, and won't profess to say I have any magic ball that will tell me how, but until it happens, we as fans just need to resign to the fact that the top players of this region are not coming here, no matter how well or perfectly we recruit them.

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

You can rep your state anywhere. I forget who it was, maybe Laborn, said Virginia kids like to go out of state, to represent Virginia, and show Virginia kids are as good as Fla, Tex, or Ga kids.

Sounds cool, except when they put on a FSU, UGa, PSU uniform 99% of the country thinks they are Florida, Georgia, and Penn kids. Hardly anyone knows where the stars are from. Where is Baker Mayfield from? I dunno, but I know he played at Oklahoma. Couldn't tell you where Cam Akers is from, but it sure looks like he is repping FL.

Come to Blacksburg and see what the Hokie Pokie is really all about

One of the fastest ways to change perception is to finally pull off some statement wins. We've got to steal a few away that we weren't supposed to win AND avoid the WTF losses as you mentioned earlier. Fuente still has not won on the big stage yet in his tenure in Blacksburg, and he absolutely has to with the roster he has now in order to start rebuilding perception. We will be regarded as second tier until we make some noise.

Secondly, and I know a lot of people disagree, but we need more energy on the recruiting trail, period. We have been recruiting better and with more effort, but we do not have an ace recruiter on this staff currently.

We need to reach outside the immediate family tree and bring in someone with demonstrated success in this regard and who is also good fit with the program (not saying go hire a bunch of sketchy people who will run the program into the ground with scandal, and not saying we have to break the bank on the hire either.) I love Fuente as a program builder and tactician, but recruiting energy is not his forté. He needs to get a specialist in that area to add to our arsenal.

I'd argue that playing West Virginia at FedEx was a win on the big stage, and there was that Belk Bowl comeback against Arkansas, but your point is well-taken.

Upcoming opportunities to improve this stat are FSU, Notre Dame, and Miami.

Also let's not lose to GT at night.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

Better still, let's not lose to those yellow jacket bastards and their stupid cpj-run offense ever again.

It's all about The VPISU
VT '10, Born & Raised in the 804.
Rockin in The Bakken.
GO: Freeman Rebels, Keydets, Black Knights (the VMI of the North), NY Rangers & Giants, and ATL Braves.

We did beat the golden domers @ touchdown jesus albeit they didn't have the greatest year.

I just feel like sometimes we (VT) are in a no win situation. The year we went to Columbus and beat the buckeyes, we were in it for a pretty big recruit. Can't remember who it was, think it was a high 4* DL that was down to us and osu. Shortly after that game he committed to osu and said his reason was that VT and their fans acted way too big after that victory and that turned him against going there.

Burrell is now transferring though. The REAL miss of 2014 that came from not capitalizing on the osu win was Josh sweat. Dude was a 5 star de from 757 and was #1 overall in the country before hurting his knee. He still went and played as a true freshman at fsu less than a year after the knee blowout.

If we don't poop the bed against the likes of gt and ecu that year and win like 10 games (including one in the shoe) we probably land sweat and probably some other guys either that year or the one after. Or who knows. Sweat was a game changer and could have been a perception changer. I believe a few stupid losses dropping us to 6-6 is what did us in with him (yes yes lots of other things like freshman living situation matter too but if we had a solid year and stayed ranked he buzz around the program may have been enough) and our problem wasn't about the big dogs because we beat the biggest dog we could that year. It was losing to the small time football schools like wake and bc and gt and ecu. And fucking pitt.

Losing Ford sucks but I remember how it felt to lose out on sweat and I recall it being worse

Virginia Tech School of Architecture Class of 2014
Fan of Hokies, Ravens, NY Giants, Orioles

I believe his comment at the time was that VT fans acted "entitled", which is why he picked OSU.

The irony of that simply blew me away.

Yes, thats it. I was paraphrasing because I couldn't quite remember what his exact spill was.

FYI both of those teams finished 7-6....not really big time wins on the national scale

Yeah, I was wondering how long it would be before someone brought that up.

Virginia Tech and West Virginia were both ranked in the top 25 when they played, so I'm going to have to say we count that as "a game on the big stage". Arkansas had a sizeable lead in a bowl game at half time, and VT came back and beat them, so while it isn't a playoff matchup, I'll give Fuente a little credit for pulling that one off.

I wouldn't exactly call them "statement wins", and we're going to want Fuente to do more. But in the short time he's been at Virginia Tech, I say we give him credit where credit is due. VT beat a West Virginia team that was pretty well thought of at the time it was scheduled (and played) in a nationally televised season opener, and an mid-level SEC team in a bowl game after going in a pretty big hole early in the game. A lot of teams don't come back from that.

He'll certainly get tested this year, in the three games we've mentioned already.

Let's not forget one of the really important things he's done which is beat bad teams badly. I love not having close "rivalry" like games with ECU. I would like to see this happen consistently and the last two years I'd say it has. Next for me is to start dispatching teams like Georgia Tech on a regular basis especially at home. After that I want to see that games played at Lane are generally a win regardless of opponent (with clear exceptions like Clemson). The last step is bring back the "terror dome" and start winning away games against top competition. I think this can happen within 5 years. If it does happen within 5 years I would expect an ACC Championship in that time frame and potentially an appearance in the CFP.

Also, WVU ended the season poorly because Grier had injury problems. With him healthy, their only three losses were to us, @TCU, and OKST. Those are solid losses and Grier is widely considered one of the best returning QBs in football so at the time that was actually a solid win. Not amazing, but still a good win and they were truly a top 25 team.

Damn we need some good news as a fan base lol....

Seriously though, this article was a more well written opinion of what I've had in my head since I realized Ford was Penn St bound. Well done Joe! I'm ready for this season to get going...
It's time to get positive vibes back, and as a great man once said, "Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?!"

Yes, we need a new commitment to focus on. Insiders have stated one may be on the way shortly.

two things that irritated me

1. Coach grandstanding
2. Coach belittling our football program intentionally

HS kids will do whatever makes the most sense in their mind. I'm upset, but I'm way over it. Lets move on and please no more Ford threads.

Coach belittling our football program intentionally

This is what I have a problem with. Even IF him not including VT as a "big dog" was an intentional backhanded comment, it's true... why should we get so worked up about it? Whining about not getting more props than we've earned makes us look really entitled, and we have nothing to support that sense of entitlement. Simply put, it's a bad look that we are whining about the comments of a HS coach, and if nothing else, supports his comments...

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Coach belittling our football program intentionally

Virginia Tech has 0 National Championships and has only been to 1 ACC title game in the past 5 years, in what is widely considered the 'weaker' division, has only beaten one Top 10 team in the past 15 years, and followed that win up by promptly losing to ECU and BC. We're not a big dog. Its not belittling us to say that. Sometimes the truth hurts.

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

Appreciate both your comments but my post was geared more towards the fact that he took his air time as a chance to rub our nose in it. It didn't need to be said or at least in that manner.

This should be more irritating to the coaching staff who invests so much time in recruiting these HS coaches' players and have stated since day 1 it was their mission to serve as a resource to VA high school coaches. It should be really irritating to them that these coaches have this perception of our program, and they should work to fix it quickly through on-field results.

Agree.

If we want to run with the big dogs, and be a big dog, I think it starts with the Hokie Club. There is a reason why we are shooting for $25m in donations. According to BI, Penn State has $26.2m in donations. One could argue that many of these schools would classify as big dogs.

Of the 27 schools on this list, 3 have donations of less than $25m (of those that reported it).

Top 27 Programs in College Athletics that generate more than $100m annually

I really do not believe he belittled the program intentionally. It was candid, impromptu, and a splash of cold water on the face.

And frankly stupid. I wouldn't want a guy who can't recognize that in an industry of relationships, a little coachspeak isn't the worst thing in the world. Sadly, in theory, we need him more than he needs us, and he doesn't think too highly of us

I'm not so sure he doesn't think highly of us. It's just that he has a hierarchy of football programs, consisting of "big dogs" and everyone else, and he was a bit star struck with some of those brand names that he probably doesn't see every year.

Ford was heavily recruited.

He should still have a little self awareness, or maybe that's asking too much? He is a HS football coach after all

Correct.

He was just relating his experience, and got carried away. He didn't mean to slight anyone, he just didn't think it through.

Do we really need him more than he needs us?

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

No. There are far more high schools and high school athletes than there are FBS schools and FBS scholarships.

Exactly my thoughts. This coach is kind of a moron. Maybe he meant to or maybe he didn't mean to, but it certainly sounds to some like he took a shot at VT and doesn't seem to have much respect for the program. Good for him for the apparent splash of cold water, but I guarantee at some point there will be some players that will want to play for VT and may be borderline prospects for us. If I was Fuente I would probably have some reservation offering those kids given how their coach publicly knocks VT. A sour relationship there isn't a good look for this coach who should be doing everything he can to help his kids succeed at what they want to do/where they want to go play football, whether it's a VT, PSU or South Dakota State.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Yes, we're going to refrain from from offering a prospect a scholarship because his coach once insinuated we're not a "big dog." Get a grip.

We are the Hokies. We will prevail. We will prevail. We will prevail. We are Virginia Tech.

I've got quite a strong grip, actually, but thanks.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Is it just me, or have comments like "Get a grip" become a lot more common these days? No need to be ugly to each other, this isn't Yahoo.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Personally, I really don't understand why a HS football coach would have that much influence on where one of his players ends up playing at the next level. I mean, the college coaches can ask the HS coaches about the players' skills, attitude, academics, etc., and may have a little influence on where the player ends up going, but I think more often than not, it's the player's family and relationships that seal the deal. It's not like the kid's recruitment goes through his HS coach, right?

I'm sure Fuente & staff have plenty of solid relationships with VA high school coaches, so to have a few that are aloof to anyone but the "Big Dogs" is normal, I guess.

"That man was violating a city ordinance, and I was just doing my duty to enforce it." - Mike Curtis

"You boys in there smokin' rope?"-Johnny Unitas (circa 1973) to his San Diego Chargers teammates

he had offers from Tennessee, Virginia Tech, South Carolina, Rutgers, Boston College, West Virginia, Marshall, Duke, Temple. And then the big dogs started coming in. The Ohio States, the Clemsons, the Auburns, the LSUs, the Michigans."

This should not be surprising. We have work to do to get back to where we want to be.

"He's going to be the first black coach in NCAA history to win a national championship," Ford said. "That's what I hook onto."

How is Fuente supposed to compete with this? We don't need to burn the house down. We did all we could and the kid identified more with another program. Let's move on to what we can control, such as winning the winnable games (Syracuse, GT, Miami, OkSt) and hopefully stealing a high profile one or two.

Proud author of one plaid comment.

How is Fuente supposed to compete with this?

Find something else Ford would 'hook on to.' In establishing that relationship with a player, the coach and staff needs to recognize what may resonate more with the player and cater the sales pitch to that specific player's desires.

I don't get why so many look at this in a binary fashion. There is clearly stuff that resonates more than others, but it's not like they 'first black coach to win a Natty' is some ultimate trump card that should force our staff to lay down and submit. He's selling the vision of a national championship just as much as we are. Franklin doesn't have a NC. He's not Saban.

This isn't meant to be a direct reply to Joe's column, but while we're touching on what differentiates Tech and the 'Big Dogs' it's worth rehashing why we're perceived the way that we are even by in state folks.

Want to know the last time we beat a team ranked in the top 10 not named Ohio State? #9 Miami in 2009. The next highest ranked team we've beaten since then is #14 Miami in 2013. Throw in the ACC Championship game win over Florida State and that gives us 4 big wins in 8 seasons.

The other ranked teams we've beaten since 2009 are #19 Nebraska, #23 NC State, #24 Miami, #20 Georgia Tech, 38-0 Bro, #19 Duke, #17 North Carolina, and #22 West Virginia. Very few of these would be considered notable results outside of Blacksburg.

In the same time we've lost what might be considered big games against #5 Alabama, #3 Boise State, #5 Standford, #8 Clemson, #21 Clemson (ACCCG), #13 Michigan, #14 Clemson, #8 Florida State, #1 Alabama, #1 Ohio State, #12 North Carolina, #17 Tennessee, #3 Clemson, #2 Clemson, and #9 Miami.

We need to start going .500 in these kinds of games. The perception of our program will not change until we're making Sunday morning headlines at least once a year. It's a hell of a chicken/egg situation to be in, and the sometimes lackluster schedule doesn't help. We don't get those kinds of opportunities very often. Fortunately we'll have two or three good chances this season with two of them being at home against Notre Dame and Miami.

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

I'd throw in FSU as a game we need to win this year. We have no idea what kind of season they're going to have, but it's a nationally televised game against a traditional football power, and knocking them off on labor day would earn some good media coverage, as well as help build excitement for the Notre Dame game.

Absolutely, I only mentioned Miami and Notre Dame by name because they're at home, but we do have three chances total to get some nationally televised airtime against a big name program. I just hope we won't be on the losing end like we were in all three of our ABC games last season.

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

To be fair, we won against West Virginia in the opener. Not ABC, but ESPN.

It was ABC, just on a Sunday.

To be fair everyone has a hard time beating highly ranked teams... even highly ranked teams. Statistically that has to be true, it's why they're ranked.

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We've gone over this in other threads and I had stats posted in one of them, but we are historically bad on the big state against top 5 or top 10 competition. There are several non blue blood schools that have much better records against top competition than us, even while they were not ranked high. We could barely beat top competition even when we were a top 15 team.

I'm all aboard this argument for top 5 wins. I think our poor record against top 5 teams is more a function of top 5 teams being very good than us being poorer than average at beating them. I do however think we should be better at pulling off games like @Miami last season and Florida State at home in 2012.

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

We'll get a shot to make our case at FSU in September.

Except the national perception of FSU is as low as it's been 6 or 8 years.

If VT wins? FSU wasn't that good last yr, new coach, blah, blah.

If VT loses? VT can't even beat an average FSU team with a new coach, blah, blah.

I'm OK if people want to naysay FSU.

I still want to beat FSU. And Notre Dame. And Miami.

"Winning is always better than losing" - Me

Beating FSU can only have a positive impact on recruiting, no matter their excuses. Having a high profile coaching change will keep their program in the spot light this year, and their perception will likely be set by this year, not the past year. We beat them and it will be mentioned every game they play until they lose to someone with a worse perception. Will it be a good win or a bad loss? No one will know until the rest of the season is played out, but to call it no-win at this point seems a little pessimistic.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

The perception of our program will not change until we're making Sunday morning headlines at least once a year. It's a hell of a chicken/egg situation to be in, and the sometimes lackluster schedule doesn't help.

Fuckin THIS all day... and it's not looking to improve any time soon. Over the course of 2 seasons (2022-2023) we will play AT Liberty, ECU, and ODU... what big dogs go to schools like that and play that often?

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It all goes back to the money. The true big dogs can afford to pay mid majors 1 million plus to come take a beat down. We can't.

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I think it's a combination of this and the Weaver/Beamer attitude that they needed to 'pay back the football gods' by giving 'up and coming' programs a chance. I'm really hoping that attitude goes away with Fuente/Babcock, although no sign yet. Clemson and Alabama are either playing their conference slate, another national power, or truly the worst teams they possibly can at home. It really wouldn't surprise me if Saban scheduled a high school team if he thought he could. Of course they have to pay those teams, and we have funding issues, but there's a multitude of reasons why playing VMI at home is better than ECU away (and even more when ECU was halfway decent).

Miami played @App State in 2016, but their budget isn't the same as your typical top 25 program.

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

I'm not saying it doesn't happen; it does. Miami plays at Toledo this year, and at FIU in a few years. OU plays at Army in a few years (that's a little different in and of itself) but again, hard to find anyone on the level that we aspire to be playing at smaller schools with the frequency that we are. Again, I get there are $everal reasons for this, but I'm just saying it doesn't help perception, or recruiting much at all.

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Personally I think the major schools that refuse to play at other schools is lame, and takes away from the game. It's also extremely ineffective cost-wise. I'm glad we play away games at some of these places (Liberty excepted), and frankly, those bigger schools may be following suit soon. It makes no sense to pay someone obscense amounts of money to travel to your school when you can do a 2-for-1, and make more money for everyone. The payouts are getting out of hand, and the landscape may very well be changing to become more in line with what we are doing now.

I have to disagree here. From a fan perspective, sure I hate that the blue bloods can get away with this, but it makes all the sense in the world for them.

-The biggest part is that they can afford it anyways. So the only real downside is pretty well negated. Plus, a team like Alabama plays roughly one more home game a season than us directly because of this practice. I don't know how the math ends up, but they're going to make some money through that home game that at least helps offset the cost to the other school.
-As stated in the first point, one more home game means one less road game. I think that makes a difference by the end of the season.
-In the end, a win over ECU on the road (or at home) looks no better than a win over the Citadel at home as long as you have some truly marquee games to balance it out. The difference is you actually have to try to beat ECU (at least until recently). Alabama can use these games as an extension of practice. They're barely game planning for them, resting starters by halftime, and not traveling. It's almost like they're playing one less game, and that definitely makes a difference by the end of the season. As I mentioned above, Alabama is either playing their SEC slate, other top teams (almost always at a neutral site), or the worst teams they can get away with scheduling.

I would rather see more competitive games too, but the schools who can get away with this (and to your point, afford it) have no incentive not to do it.

Excellent points.

It's like an extra bye week.

I absolutely get why it's done, I just don't like it much, and it certainly gives them an unfair advantage (that said, we finally have 7 home games this year in a season that we travel to ODU, so it can work). Thing is, this practice was largely set up when getting a low-level G5 team to visit only cost a couple hundred thousand. LSU is paying out $1.4 million to Central Michigan and ULM each to visit their stadium. That cost is getting excessive, and while I'm sure they can afford that, pretty soon it's going to be much more cost effective to do 2-for-1 deals, where instead of paying out the nose, you agree to travel to the other team's stadium once. The bigger program still makes tons of money, but doesn't have to outlay a bunch of cash.

While most SEC fans are likely a touch too arrogant to ever stomach traveling to a smaller school, the rest of the college football world will be able to do the more cost effective (and probably more profitable) arrangement.

Yes, all of these things. I don't see it changing for the true blue blood programs anytime soon. They're not nearly as concerned with saving an extra mil as we are.

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Two questions:

  1. What are th odds we can flip this kid before signing day?
  2. Who else do we look at now?

2. Tahj Gary, Jamious Griffin, Jordan Houston, Deondrick Glass, Zonavan Knight

You put those words together, those are my favorite words, Popeyes and bahama
- Mike Burnup

In reading through these comments, I'm really not sure what people's expectations were.

VT, under Fuente, is a solid Top 25 team. VT was losing that status in Beamer's final years, and Fuente got the program back there very quickly. VT wasn't competing with Clemson before Fuente, and is still not there. Disappointing, yes, and VT does need key players like Ford to get there, but it didn't happen. The coaching staff needs to get back to work.

Yes, one recruiting loss hurts, because VT really wanted Ford. It is a position of need, and the program does need to win recruiting battles like this one in order to get to the next level.

One thing I will agree with is that VT needs to win some marquee games. FSU, Notre Dame, and Miami are on the schedule. VT also has to win the games we're expected to win. (I'm looking at you, ACC Coastal.)

Fuente has his work cut out for him, and is going to need ALL the fan support we can give him. I'm not sure all the constant self-doubt about his ability to sell the program is all that productive. I never thought of Beamer as that much of a salesman, but he manage to recruit some very good players as he was building the program. Beamer had four losing seasons in his first six years as head coach (1987-92). The Hokies won a total of 24 games. The Hokies went 2-8-1 in 1992. He was lucky he was still there in 1993. Were the fans complaining about losing a 5 star recruit to Penn State? No. They were screaming for his head.

What do you say we give Fuente the chance he deserves? I think he gets two more years of unconditional fan support. During that time, I'm going to feel free to point out when fans are being bitchy little girls.

I don't have any doubt at all that Fuente knows what he needs to do. Does he really need us to tell him he needs to win games? Does he need us to remind him that he needs to recruit better players? Does he need advice on how to sell the program to high school players?

So fans, feel free and complain all you want. After all, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But don't forget, recruits read these threads, particularly the recruiting ones. Does a hyper-melt-down (5 threads and counting, some before the announcement) when you lose a recruit to Penn State help sell the program? Do be aware that fan support is a real thing. Throwing in the towel because we whiff on one recruit isn't doing your part.

But that's just my opinion, man.

Does a hyper-melt-down (5 threads and counting, some before the announcement) when you lose a recruit to Penn State help sell the program? Do be aware that fan support is a real thing.

Yeah, no... you're right. No other online forum ever has a negative reaction to losing one of their top in state targets. Especially the fans of those 'big dogs', they're always the most reasoned and calculating when it comes to online chatter.

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

Yeah, they all do that.

Not that they should. We're not going to get where they are by adopting their bad habits.

I always think we'll handle success better than them.

So give him a pass?

/s

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

That's all great and mostly true. But Notre Dame tickets are $165.00 face value and seat licenses..errr "the hokie scholarship fund" for the lower west side are $600.00 each. I think "investors"- which we need more of and less talkers - being called bitchy little girls if they complain about a 4 win Pitt team nearly beating us at home is insane. The "Big Dogs" have big donors- which VT does not in comparison. We can make excuses for losing Ford all day long, but until we improve our donating to the program, and all that goes with it, the Fords are going to keep going to the "big dogs".

Buying tickets to games isn't "investing", it's buying tickets to a game. I suppose some people attend games in order to donate money to VT athletics, but they are also attending an athletic event, which is why sales go up when we play Notre Dame.

I could see an argument for calling "donating money" (above and beyond buying tickets) as investing in the program, but a good bit of that money is going for scholarships, which is investing in education of the athletes who are attending Virginia Tech. That's the return. The education of those athletes, and maybe the good feeling you get from donating to a worthy cause. That much is required just to be in a P5 conference. THAT's the return.

Does donating give someone a right to complain if they don't like something that's being done? Sure. Does it give them the right to complain about a "near loss" of a game VT should win, or a recruit that they think should have chosen Virginia Tech? Sure, OK. They could do that even if they didn't donate.

But here's the real distinction.

If someone is complaining that the staff of Virginia Tech did something that was obviously wrong, or if VT should be doing something differently, then that person may well have a legitimate complaint. If they're complaining just because VT almost lost to Pitt, or lost a close recruiting battle to another top-notch football program, they may look like a bitchy little girl.

If someone is complaining that we (the royal we) aren't donating enough, what can they do about that? Their complaint should be in the form of a donation. If they're complaining that someone ELSE isn't doing their part, then they may look like a bitchy little girl.

So I suggest this remedy. Every time someone complains about VT athletics not having enough money, they should send a $50 check to the VT Athletic Fund. Then, their complaint might accomplish something. It's even tax deductible. After all, if everyone were doing their part, we wouldn't have a funding deficit in relation to other programs.

Complaining about donations isn't all that useful. Donating more, or encouraging others to donate more (if done in an effective way) is useful. I've never seen any organization use a "complaining campaign" to raise money. People are more apt to donate to an organization that looks like they're having fun. So let's stop the pity party and have more fun. You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.

Let's enjoy where the program is, because as much as we hate to admit it, our return on investment in the VT athletics program is pretty damned high.

I think we're in a bit of a state of flux here.

Virginia Tech football under Beamer was Beamerball + Lunchpail defense and generally overachieving with lightly recruited guys. Weaver was never a big spender and obviously VT athletics didn't do the best job of fundraising (and still struggles in this area).

We were never really sexy, right? I mean Mike Vick was a phenom but the VT offense was very conservative during Frank's tenure which makes recruiting elite offensive talent pretty difficult.

Fuente is a great offensive mind and VT has done some impressive things but I think losing Isaiah Ford, Bucky Hodges, and Jerod Evans after a really impressive first year of Fuenteball slowed our movement into a new era even more than just Wins/Losses. Had they stuck around and had a really prolific offense in Year 2 the transformation of the program's perception could have been pretty significant.

We're never going to be the same brand as the OSU/Auburn/LSU/Michigan. UM hasn't really been a contender in years but their overall success has buoyed them enough that they're still seen as 'elite', fairly or not.

I love Frank Beamer but the stagnation of the program late in his tenure had some lasting damage. It seemingly took Herculean efforts to drag this program into the 21st century. How long ago was it that Beamerball.com was the site where official news was released? I have never built a website in my life and I guarantee I would have done a better job with it.

Outside of the obvious flaws in Hokie Club/VT Athletics fundraising I don't really understand why we struggle so badly to fundraise. We have 250,000 alumni, and with the size of our Engineering program its not like they're all broke. VT fans travel well to both Lane, away games, and bowl games but I couldn't tell you why the dollars aren't flowing into the HC coffers.

The gap is pretty decent right now between us and the 'big dogs' and with the recent departures from our recruiting staff and the lack of money rolling in....I'm not sure i see it changing.

Hokies United l Ut Prosim

The "offensive style hurt offensive recruiting" point never washed with me for two reasons. 1. We have signed just as many 4-5 stars on offense as we have defense over the years. and 2. If that theory was true, VT has had an "elite" defense/defensive scheme for 25 years... and there is a huge list of 4-5 star key defensive players from VA or nearby that went elsewhere anyway.

TL;DR for comments

We don't have a salesman of a coach (for better or worse). We need to beat some big dogs in order to get blue chippers to take us seriously; just start winning the big games and we'll be back to being in the picture again just like PSU was able to.

Tbh I don't think Virginia Tech will ever be considered a "big dog" until we win a national title. Plain and simple.

I just sit on my couch and b*tch. - HokieChemE2016

Anyone else ready to move on?

On Ford? Hell yes...

On what it takes to put Blacksburg back in the map (not recruiting only), Fuck no :)

Keep calm, Gobble on

How's everyone's Monday going?

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

My roof is leaking, my wisdom teeth have to be removed tomorrow and I'm actually upset over what college a 17 year old chose. Not great Bob.

It must be a full moon because the kids at daycare were off the hinges when I dropped mine off. And then the plotter at work was just hassling me for no reason. I hate printers.

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I am looking very forward to VT stopping this inevitable NCAA championship run by PSU in 2020 and 2021(?)

Me, too.

I'd have liked our chances a little more if Ford were wearing Orange and Maroon, but it is what it is.

We still have an opening for a premiere running back to fill.

Some inspiration for us, Fam, and all of Hokie Nation

Let's Go

HOKIES

Got a link to where you found this? I would like a printable version

Come to Blacksburg and see what the Hokie Pokie is really all about

I was upset by this, not because we lost a recruiting battle, but because the coaches put everything out there to get this kid and we came up short. Its the feeling that we just can't compete even with our best. That's the kick in the pills! I am inspired that perception can change in a hurry when I look across the practice field to Cassell and Buzzketball being ranked 11th!!! preseason and I know that the right people will get things going in the right direction again, and I know Fuente and Foster are those people. 1 step backwards does not undo all of the other recruiting strides forward.

Come to Blacksburg and see what the Hokie Pokie is really all about

PSU was a great 2 loss team last year. Their RB was a phenomenal physical freak. He played in an offense that made him look special because he was special. The coach says we want to win MNC but we gotta replace our #2 pick. It is a great speech. Sometimes you win sometimes you don't. Nothing disgraceful losing to a program playing that well with a clearly identified guy they want to replace, make some history with the first aa coach winning an MNC.

We'll get ours. We are a season removed from playing the MNC very welll in the ACC CG. If not for a few bad decisions 2017 would have been better. JF just needs some WR talent and our RBs are going to look better. Crossing fingers we stay healthy at WR this fall because we might have just enough talent to open the running lanes. 2018 is gonna be tough unless we can over achieve, but these are the right coaches, the right approach, the transition could hardly have gone better.

Fuente said it his interview with Alex, and the relevant quote is cited above, but there were plenty of running lanes in 2017. Tech didn't have a back to consistently take advantage of them though.

Paging Fox, McClease, and Wheatley. It's your time to shine!

So does this mean Vice is finally solving the long-standing issues at OL in your opinion?

"I mean, you know, fuck them, but good for them." -Too Druck to Funk

I think I remember French also doing a piece on RB opptys, but IMHO we didn't stretch the field against better teams and we didn't have the juice to get separation against better DBs / better teams. I could care less what a coach says in an interview as he has to speak his book. Imagine a coach saying yeah boy we can't keep the Safeties out of the box against the good teams on our schedule, so our RBs get smashed. Or we don't have an OL opening holes for our RBs so we just can't get enough sustained drives. Seriously? If we had WRs with juice as we were breaking school records at WR, our kids would have been getting drafter (higher). Not sure I have time to find the French piece but a French piece with tape would be enough to convince me. As long as the tape wasn't against the MudHens, Retrievers, whoever the heck else we pad the schedule with.

With that said, we aren't getting RBs who are getting a sniff at the next level as far as I can remember, so yes I do think there is room for improvement in terms of talent coming in. And yes I am cheering for the WRs who are flirting with the NFL rosters to stick and earn some next level spots.

The coach says we want to win MNC but we gotta replace our #2 pick.

You know, this is where it finally clicks on how the last RB going #2 in the draft actually plays into the recruiting.

I figure that RB is the one position that is more talent based than anything, and it's the easiest position to plug a new player in as they transition to a new level. So what does it matter what the last guy did? If you're that good going into college, you're going to get recognized by the NFL no matter where you go to school.

But the thought process isn't "the last guy went #2 in the draft, so I would too". It's "the last guy went #2 and they want me to be the replacement."

Here's my whole take on the entire situation. Grew up (from what I've gathered) a VT fan. PSU just had a running back go second in the NFL draft. Now, kid made a choice. It wasn't us surprise surprise as if anyone thought we weren't gonna be a bridesmaid on this one too. Highly recruited kid with talent through the roof. Could have came here and been a 4 year star. He had connections and aspirations to ride the bench (possibly start) over like 1347362 other 5* running backs. Same as we see with any other school. So just like Sweat and Nandi. Why would they go somewhere knowing there are only gonna play 5 games their senior year? Because they keep making the league playing 5 games at FSU and the like. For the record I don't hate/like any of this. But until other schools stop playing people for 11 seconds and putting them in the NFL nothing is going to change. That is my entire Ford thoughts and crootment summed up into one.

I think the argument could be made that at running back, it is probably a good thing to share the playing time to avoid wear and tear on the body.

"with all due respect, and remember I’m sayin’ it with all due respect, that idea ain’t worth a velvet painting of a whale and a dolphin gettin’ it on" - Ricky Bobby

I agree completely. The whole 1 2 punch still applies. I should also note I'm on vacation and will be at varying levels of drunk. More or less frustration but I also understand why he made the choice he did. Want to just move on. Maybe he trolled us, maybe he didn't. Only person to know will be Mr. Ford himself. He could have been a star here. Very well may be one at PSU. Either way we have to move on.

I think if we all stepped back, took a good look at the college football landscape, and drank a dose of reality, we could be honest about where we are. What the coach said:

when the big dogs came calling

This wasn't perception, it is reality.

VT football isn't in a completely different world from "the big dogs", but it certainly is in a different place.

Frank Beamer caught lightning in a bottle with Mike Vick, but sadly couldn't keep up with the momentum that the program had through the mid to late 2000's, especially as it relates to recruiting. I suspect Fuente will have to do the same (catch lightning in a bottle with some once in a generation recruit) to get things back to where they were for a few years under the Beamer regime.

Is it football season yet?

Lightning in a bottle

Quincy Patterson

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Frank Beamer won 84 games in an 8 year period - after michael vick was long gone. He is a hall of fame head coach. Michael Vick was a great player. All of these big schools have had great players help them win- none of their coaches are criticized or minimized for it though.

Brandon Smith to PSU

Sean

A few years back Andrew Brown, Quin Blanding, Jamil Kamara, and Steven Moss from the state of Va. Those guys were #'s 2, 3, 6, and 8 in the state. Va Tech got the #9 and 10 guy in the state. McMillian and Mihota. Sad when U.VA beats us in recruiting the state. We still had the higher ranked class, they were 33 and we were 28. We have beat them every year since then and even before then. They had nothing going for them, and yet they out recruited us even though the coaches were different.
Edmunds was a first round draft pick and Blanding was not. As long as we can find gems hidden under rocks I will be ok, but stars are nice.

FIRST DOWN, HOKIES!

As long as we keep measuring ourselves against UVA we won't move up in college football

Seriously. Setting the bar at 'beat Virginia' is far too low for this program anymore. We can and should have our sights set higher than not worst in the division.

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

Yep, beat UVA, the triple option team in our division that nobody else really has trouble with consistently, and beat perennial medicore sinking programs in Pitt and UNC. VT should be at a point where we can do all of those things easily and regularly. But we are not there. We don't have the depth needed and our roster is uneven. If Fuente is here 4 years from now and continues to improve recruiting a bit, we will dominate the coastal again. Barring GT or UNC hiring Nick Saban

This was a specific issue where some folks no longer believed Beamer would ever have an offense necessary to win a MNC. They thought Virginia kids were all that were needed and they tried to steer kids actively away from VT.

Things have changed. We don' t have enough proof for JF/BF to do better in state, but it is coming. I think Virginia kids no longer think they are key to an in state MNC, they dream of going out of state to do that. There we certainly have work to do despite not being that far away.

Just curious... Didn't Dylan Rivers completely commit to Penn State and then right at the end decide to flip to Va. Tech? Is it reasonable at all to retain some hope for a similar outcome here? Just askin'.

Long live Rasche Hall

I think with the amount of all-in effort invested and the follow-up offering that has occured and the way all of this went down; pretty safe to say he burned that bridge with every match and lighter ever made.

Oof, man how shook is this fanbase by missing on Ford lol? Oh well, I guess it's a better outlet than shouting obscenities at him on twitter.

Fuente also told Ford that he wanted to be the first black coach to win a national championship, but the message just didn't resonate with him in the same way.

The Dude Abides

Username checks out

I appreciate all the support, and I appreciate all the hate I am getting. I will continue to work as hard as I can to be the best I can be and bring this team a championship. Go Hokies 🐔 - Josh Jackson

Gold stars for both of you. Leonard is proud.

Leonard. Duh.

We missed this and it sucks cause it's the same thing that's happened for years. Young 5 star from VA likes VT but then sees a new shiny program with more money, more prestige, and that gets more blow time from ESPN.

But overall the trend is still up. We have a fantastic coach who has just reeled in two fantastic recruiting classes. We need as much positive energy as possible to back him and the guys up because we are right on schedule for what even the most optimistic fans predicted. This year we win 10 games and an ACC championship, next year we win it all.

Fuente is a fantastic coach. That just reeled in two average power 5 recruiting classes- 5th or 6th in the ACC by the numbers. Let's keep things in perspective.

My take on this is that when the big dogs start coming, and they don't stop coming, and we're fed to the rules, we should hit the ground running.

Not the bagman VT deserves, but the bagman VT needs right now.

I'll have what you're having!

I'll be ready when the moment comes

I appreciate all the support, and I appreciate all the hate I am getting. I will continue to work as hard as I can to be the best I can be and bring this team a championship. Go Hokies 🐔 - Josh Jackson

Didn't make sense not to live for fun: your brain gets smart but your head gets dumb. So much to do. so much to see. so what's wrong with taking the backstreet? You never know if you don't go! You never shine if you don't glow!

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

Hey now!

That team sure did suck last night. They just plain sucked! I've seen teams suck before, but they were the suckiest bunch of sucks that ever sucked.

Who glows?

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

And that's why we always miss out on the all stars

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

But who let them out?

Hokies United l Ut Prosim

Smashmouth football, it will get after ya

The Dude Abides

Maybe part of his decision-making process included VA Tech's past ineptitude in fully utilizing and placing highly touted recruits in their proper position (due to lack of recruiting / position needs). See Logan Thomas, Bucky Hodges, Devon Hunter, etc. Understand he would have been a true back but who wants to share carries in a run and gun offense.

What was Bucky Hodges proper position? And Devon Hunter has not earned the starting spot at safety....maybe Whip is better suited for him?

VHokie

QB

See: retired memes

I cannot imagine with a full stable of capable receivers Bucky would have stayed there. Maybe Devon is another Joel Caleb - seems capable but never finds a good fit. Or maybe we are just not good at developing/placing blue chip talent sometimes depending on the athlete, position in question, or due to the circumstances.

I do not think we can deny a few blue chips flops due to down hill issues being pushed from other position needs.

Did I miss something where Devon Hunter switched positions?

Hokies United l Ut Prosim

Bucky is literally the opposite of the point you are trying to make. He was made to be a tight end, coaching staff realized it and put him there. Putting him at QB would have been a text-book example of the point you are trying to make. Devon is way too early to make any judgements, but if you're trying to argue that he's changing positions based on need, why is he playing behind a 3-4 year starter? Logan Thomas is the only slightly decent example, and he was a 3-year starer who carried the team and holds most of the team's career QB records, so it's not like the switch didn't work out.

I disagree completely. Bucky was never a legit qb. Logan got drafted as qb and carried our team. Hunter is TBD. I believe Trey Edmunds would have been a great LB but I can't argue with his results at RB either. Joel Caleb was an athlete without a home. I think every school in the country does all the same things, you only know it because you follow VT so closely.

"with all due respect, and remember I’m sayin’ it with all due respect, that idea ain’t worth a velvet painting of a whale and a dolphin gettin’ it on" - Ricky Bobby

Proper position according to who?

What you call "ineptitude" is a hall of fame coach and very well regarded coach trying to win college football games. Which is what they are paid to do. Frank Beamer wasn't paid to groom Logan Thomas as a TE because the fans on this board thought it was his "recruited" position. Beamer was paid to win games. Fuente is not paid to keep Devon Hunter at free safety because that's what he played in 11th grade. Fuente is paid to win football games at VT. This argument is insane. These coaches want to win- not follow rivals magazine or peek 6 years into the NFL.

It's true coaches get paid to win games, but from a recruiting perspective football recruits want to make sure they are being properly prepared for the NFL. Recruits will absolutely measure VT's success with highly ranked players when considering a commitment. The "shut and and be a cog in the legendary coach's machine" argument is not likely to win over many recruits. They have to be sold on how VT's success and their future are one in the same.

VT just had 2 first round draft picks and several others drafted. VT is in the top 20 IIRC in players drafted the last 20 years. So if that is a black eye, we are doing pretty well with our approach to put players in the best position to win games for Virginia tech as it also relates to the NFL draft.

Devyn Ford is a running back. The last time we had a running back go to the NFL was 2011. That was a lifetime ago. We are clearly not having these issues with defense recruits because, like you said, two went in the first round. We have a reputation for being a defensive school. Bud Foster is a future hall of famer. On offense we still have a lot to prove.

(for clarity, 2011 school year, 2012 Draft)

Chem PhD '16

Leg for the assist.

From 2007-17 UVA and VT had the same number of 1st round draft picks. In 2017 VT had 14 active players in the league, 4th worst in the ACC.

https://n.rivals.com/news/acc-spotlight-teams-that-have-produced-most-ac...

So no, I don't think VT is doing that well when it comes to getting guys drafted and into the NFL. You can argue that it's not VT's job to get guys ready for the NFL, but there's good evidence to suggest that getting guys NFL ready helps win games.

From 2007-17 UVA and VT had the same number of 1st round draft picks.

You're nitpicking one statistic, and it isn't even that relevant. The question was how many draft picks Virginia Tech produces overall.

So no, I don't think VT is doing that well when it comes to getting guys drafted and into the NFL.

Demonstrably false over the past two decades when measured against peer programs.

http://www.maxpreps.com/news/Y2EOI034nUmTwSniLT6gFQ/colleges-that-have-produced-the-most-nfl-draft-picks-in-the-last-20-years.htm

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

No one cares about 7th round picks. The money is in the top rounds and VT hasn't produced a lot of those.

"Demonstrably false over the past two decades when measured against peer programs."

Fewer guys currently in the league than UVA which has been a dumpster fire the last decade. The numbers speak for themselves.

You replied to a post saying that we're doing well at getting players drafted claiming that we aren't actually getting players drafted, which isn't the case when you look at the number of players drafted over the last 20 years. Now you're moving the goalposts.

Active players is another matter, and you're right about that.

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

This argument is insane.

False. Your argument is subversive actually. Yes coaches are paid to win games, so players do get shuffled around sometimes. others are advised that they may be better at a new position. However, blue chip recruits DO NOT want to be moved around. Most have been groomed to play the position they are at for a long time. Have paid dues in blood, sweat and tears as well as money for private training in many cases and they are at the top of their level for that reason. So suggesting that it's completely ok that a coach move players around is false. Recruits of that caliber do not like it, and as I have pointed out many times previously, during Beamer's tenure this was actually something that recruits specifically mentioned they do no like about VT. Other posters here confirmed that.

The reality is that being a HC is about much more than simply winning. It's about establishing a culture, connecting to recruits and donors, etc etc... AND win.

Take for example Logan Thomas. He was specifically told during recruitment that he would not be moved from TE, which he was on record as having said he had no interest at all at playing QB and had discounted other schools that said they wanted him to at least have a try there. He wanted to play TE and Beamer told him he would. Then he was immediately moved. That guy gets mad respect in by book because what happened during his recruitment was not ok, yet he did it for VT and his team.

If you keep doing things like that, or keep moving top recruits around that is quickly known with other top recruits and they will stay far away.

Nonsense. Respectfully of course. Bama moves players, FSU moves players, OSU moves players. If you really believe that 5 star players wont come to VT because the coach might move them from their HS position, I have a bridge to sell you. And Logan Thomas was so pissed he transferred to a school that would let him play TE- oh wait, no he didn't - and he is on record as saying he loves coach beamer. And for every Logan Thomas there is at least one Duane Brown at VT... where if by your theory we leave him at TE- because big recruits don't like to move- well VT would have cost him millions of dollars he made as an all pro LT. VT does not "move" players any more than any of our peers in terms of their HS position. And if they did- in an effort to help the team and win games- then kids that don't want to win, we don't want anyway.

Nonsense... lol. ok. Let's go down your rabbit hole. Go ahead and count up the amount of blue chip recruits Bama, FSU and OSU have compared to VT. Prove that VT has the luxury of moving around these top recruits the same way these programs do.

Logan is a great guy. Beamer is a great guy and coach. I never said Logan had bad feelings toward Beamer, but that doesn't change what happened in his recruitment.

While I was at VT I met several D1 recruits and that's the reputation VT had then. Another person on TKP once recounted his cousin, a D1 football player from VA, having the same opinion. It was most certainly a concern.

You're kidding yourself if you think moving kids around as you suggest has no negative impact on recruiting.

Let me know when you're done counting recruits...

You're acting like every position change is a detriment to the player. That's rarely true. I'm not even convinced it is true in Logan's case, but we will never know for sure. Edmunds just got drafted high because we were able to show his versatility in multiple positions in the secondary.

"with all due respect, and remember I’m sayin’ it with all due respect, that idea ain’t worth a velvet painting of a whale and a dolphin gettin’ it on" - Ricky Bobby

You're acting like every position change is a detriment to the player.

When did I say this?

I didnt say you said it I said you were acting like it. You wrote multiple paragraphs about how players don't want to be moved and VT does it too much. I just don't see it. If a player is moved, it is much more likely to benefit the player than hurt. If a recruit thinks that is a bad thing, oh well.

"with all due respect, and remember I’m sayin’ it with all due respect, that idea ain’t worth a velvet painting of a whale and a dolphin gettin’ it on" - Ricky Bobby

Well, I am mostly talking about Beamer's time which I have personal knowledge about. But also that it's not as welcomed as dcwilson is making it out to be. Recruits don't like it and unless you are a Bama, FSU or OSU where you have the luxury of moving a blue chip to a new position because you have the next blue chip to take his place it just is not comparable.

VT doesn't have that luxury so taking his strategy is a losing proposition.

Take this comment by LAHokie
http://www.thekeyplay.com/comment/680555#comment-680555

he's not wrong, but then what 5 star blue chip DE kid wants to be moved to DT? I am not suggesting the move wouldn't be good for them or shouldn't be made. I am talking about recruiting. Recruits at that level believe they should be a DE and ONLY DE, and it you take a step back and try to look at it from a recruit's perspective I believe you will see what I am saying. That if you're ultimately considering between 2 programs, both offering you as DE but one has a tendency if not a trend of moving your size to DT, then you choose the other school.

I would and I wouldn't blame any recruit for doing the same.

This.

...and if you take a step back and try to look at it from a recruit's perspective

And isn't this the whole point? This isn't about dissing Tech or not dissing Tech or money, location, night life or restaurants. For a top ranked recruit it's about one thing: Playing in the NFL. The last time a VT running back was drafted was 2012. Devyn Ford was 11 years old. The last time a Penn State running back was drafted was 2018 as the second overall pick.

After David Wilson VT has not had a great track record with running backs (coincidently 2011 was Billy Hite's last year). I understand that it isn't the school's fault that Williams was always hurt and McKenzie had behavioral issues but Devyn Ford probably doesn't know that. What he may have seen was a 1000 yard rusher stop getting carries and eventually transfer.

It's so much easier for Penn State to say, "You can be the next Saquon Barkley" than it is for Virginia Tech to say, "You can be the next... "

Do I think there are plenty of reasons Ford should have committed to VT? Sure. But I'm not a 16 year old running back who wants to play in the NFL and that just visited the school that the number 2 OVERALL draft pick just played at.

Getting a top ranked running back is probably dependent on having a running back drafted and having a running back drafted is probably dependent on carries and yards. It will probably take a few seasons to build that part of the game back up.

Billy Hite didn't coach the 2011 season. Shane Beamer was the RB coach for the 2011 season.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

Okay. True. Wilson joined the team in 2009 so I would say much of his development was under Billy Hite.

Billy Hite was still heavily involved with the team and was like "Assistant to the Head Coach" or something like that

Recruit Prosim

...but then what 5 star blue chip DE kid wants to be moved to DT?

A 5 star blue chip DE wouldn't necessarily be moved to DT, because they would most likely have the speed necessary to play DE in Bud's system. If we got a 6'4" 270lb DE with speed, my bet is that they would be terrorizing opposing OTs off the edge, because Bud would keep them right there. Just like Fuente says about RBs, we just haven't gotten the blue chip DEs with size AND speed to leave at DE.

The Poster Formerly Known As The Spirit Of Bernard Basham

I hope the "peers" comment was not referring to Bama, FSU, and OSU - hardly our peers as the title of this article notes.

Ok - ive bought in to this blue-chip ratio theory. Has anyone done the math to see where we are currently?

"It's always great to beat UVA, that makes us all smarter and better looking for a couple days".

SB Nation releases it periodically. The playoff introduced more variance to the equation. I don't expect it to hold at 100% forever (at one point 100% of No. 1 seeds in the NCAA men's basketball tournament beat No. 16 seeds, then UVA), and it will get stressed more if the playoff pool expands.

at one point 100% of No. 1 seeds in the NCAA men's basketball tournament beat No. 16 seeds, then UVA

Bacon strips &
bacon strips &
bacon strips &
bacon strips

I think EVERYBODY is blowing this coache's comment way the hell out of proportion.

The gist of what he's saying is Ford is a standout talent, and the dam broke in his freshman year with everybody wanting him to be on their team. There's not too many kids who are holding 4-5 ACC offers when they're 15 years old. Coach is just proud of his star.

Move on. Le Sabre called, and is asking for their meltdown back.

Leonard. Duh.

Move on. Le Sabre called, and is asking for their meltdown back.

Best TKP burn yet and so accurate

This is just my opinion and doesn't matter to anyone and I know it. HOWEVER.... The taxpayers of Virginia pays the high school coaches salaries and they should promote kids to stay in state as part of the job of a Virginia state employee. "Unless it's a private school". I see it as a stab in the back by the coaches of the state to encourage kids to leave the state that pays their salaries. If that coach loves the "Big Dog" states so much he should go teach their since he likes recruiting for them so much.

It is a natural gift I posess to create friction in sensitive situations.

I've always thought the NCAA should do something to restrict the number of out of state recruits a school can have. They should promote kids staying instate

Recruit Prosim

This is a bad take. The NCAA has no business dictating where certain kids get to go to college just because they're athletes.

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

Yeah, "promote" is one thing but "restrict"? C'mon man who the hell are you to say where other people should or should not be able to go to school as a student athlete simply because they live within certain imaginary lines? This is a ridiculous notion.

Bacon strips &
bacon strips &
bacon strips &
bacon strips

I mean they charge regular out of state students extra tuition. I don't see why scholarships should be different. It's not about telling the kids where they can't go, more about telling the schools who they can't recruit. Public state funded universities should be prioritizing and promoting student athletes from their own state.

Recruit Prosim

bitch-please-blank-stare-seriously-are-you-serious-stare-staring-the-rock-rock-dude-wtf-wtf-what-the-fuck-dafuq-gif

How would this benefit anyone?

It would help protect the kids that want to go to stay in state but can't because their state schools fill up on national recruits. It would also help keep parity instead of this ever worsening consolidation of talent we're seeing

Recruit Prosim

Consider the amount of high school football talent in a state with a program like WVU and tell me putting a governor on out of state athletes will promote pairity. You're dooming programs outside of the south, California, and a couple of midwest states to irrelevance.

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

Wah????.... You're not thinking this through.

You're proposing to "protect" one group (in state students), which it does not, at the detriment of another group (schools). How would that ever make things better?

What happens if the talent level in state drops for several years, but schools are restricted and must take in state kids?

What happens if a state has more universities become D1 level and the amount of talent in state is spread too thin, but state schools must take in state kids?

What happens when football first families of recruits see this happening and simply move to another state while in high school, or are recruited by out of state high schools, to states that have blue chip football programs?

What happens if you are a kid from say North Dakota and are really that good and could normally have a chance to play for a Bama or Florida or some traditional powerhouse, but those school's are all full up because they had to take only in state kids first?

This makes parity so much worse than now and would kill college football, and likely several if not many universities along the way. This would be a death sentence.

Yeah, I'll just echo the other replies above mine... I don't think this point is even worth arguing. Point blank this is a bad idea from many angles and even more true is that it will never happen, so let's just move on...

Bacon strips &
bacon strips &
bacon strips &
bacon strips

even more true is that it will never happen, so let's just move on...

truth

Even more than a bad idea, it's almost certainly illegal.

Virginia taxpayer here.

The high school football coaches of this state have zero obligation to me to try and keep their students in state simply because I happen to be a fan of a college football program that can't win recruiting battles in its own backyard.

The high school football coaches of this state *do* have an obligation to the high school students of this state. They have an obligation to help their students develop the skills that they will need to succeed in life. Part of that is teaching them and encouraging them to make decisions that give them the best chance at success. If that means leaving the state, so be it.

Do you seriously want high school coaches to pressure their students into decisions that may not be in their best interest because Virginia Tech missed out on some recruits that we would've really liked to have?

Haters gonna hate, potatoes gonna potate, and hetzers gonna hetz

Look it's your opinion but I'm going to be painfully honest with you. This is ridiculously stupid.

No kid should be pressured to go to any specific university by any coach or teacher. hell, ideally even by family.

If your son was a D1 football recruit and had his heart to play for his dream school out of state you honestly would pressure him to not go there? And you honestly would be ok with what constitutes as harassment by government paid employees on a minor?

Step away from the cliff man. NO ONE should be pressuring these kids for ANY reason.

Along the lines of school perception:

Here's Wake for reference in terms of raising money for the athletics department. VT is around 1.6 Million.

We gotta take an honest look at ourselves

Keep calm, Gobble on

Less than 6 years ago, their program was exposed for being a pedophile ring for 25 years. They are a "Big Dog" though. Awesome. VT's football program wouldn't exists if Bud Foster raped boys in the shower for 20 years and Frank Beamer covered it up. LOL- Imagine that- we would be in CUSA at best right now. Remarkable the free pass Penn State football got in the minds of HS coaches and future recruits.

Remarkable the free pass Penn State football got in the minds of HS coaches and future recruits.

Chem PhD '16

Penn State is not a big dog, they had barkley, big deal. We had Williams, Wilson, and Evans all at the same time.

FIRST DOWN, HOKIES!

This is why the comment gets to me. I get that Ohio State and Michigan are big boys, 2 of the biggest brands in the sport with a crazy number of championships between the two. Penn State is not the same as them.

Recruit Prosim

If I recall correctly, his comment about big dogs did not include PSU.

Bacon strips &
bacon strips &
bacon strips &
bacon strips

You're high if you don't think Penn State is a big dog. They're top-10 in all-time wins, have 2 National Championships, and not only survived the biggest CFB scandal in modern history, but came back from it even better. No school that's not a big dog would have been able to rebound from that, including VT, like a commentor above already stated.

Even high, PSU is still a big dog.

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

Do you mean when THEY'RE high? /s

So? Virginia Tech is #15 all time wins in the FBS. Michigan and Ohio State have 11 and 8 claimed titles respectively. It would take over 4 years of Michigan going winless and Penn State going undefeated through the Big10 championship and CFP to catch up in wins. There is a significant drop off. Obviously the title of big dog is subjective but to say that Penn State is on Michigan or Ohio States level is wrong

Recruit Prosim

Yep exactly the difference is solely how good ESPN makes their program sound

What do PSU, Michigan and Ohio State have that VT doesn't?

About twice as many fans, nearly twice as big stadiums, and twice as large alumni bases, each.

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

probably a shit ton of money and blood blue status.

Penn state has a couple national championships and Michigan and Ohio state have many.

Recruit Prosim

Exactly. It is delusional to believe we are on the same level of these programs. I mean please, I love Va Tech and my years in b-burg and Pamplin were amazing, but we are only a top 20/25 school. When I think of big time football, top 10 college football, Va Tech does not register in my brain until a minute later, no matter how biased I want to be.

You know who does: BAMA, UM, Texas, FSU, OSU, Michigan, USC, Georgia, LSU, Oklahoma, Auburn, Notre Dame, Clemson, and on and on and on before our school registers. I am sorry but some folks need to face the facts. And please do not respond with but Texas, LSU or others have stunk for....I DO NOT CARE, their programs are still way beyond ours....

As much as I don't want to, you also have to go include Miami in that list.

For what it's worth, Michigan has 1 national football title in the last 70 years - and even that one was very debatable.

So which of you guys will be buying "Big Dogs" t-shirts for the games against PSU in a couple years?

If we sweep the series, I'll buy one. You know, afterwards.

I have no faith in PSU goung through with the series. Don't know how or when, but they'll back out.

We put the K in Kwality

well, with the garbage buy-outs we negotiated, I don't blame your skepticism

If not for Saquan at #2 in the draft, we have a chance....

Hey writers - I love this website it's among the best for VT sports, but I have to know, why would you ever post something like this? "And then the big dogs came in"

Recruits read your articles. This is a huge knock on your own team, even if you think it's true then it's self-deprecating and a self-fulfilling prophesy. I'd just ask that you guys consider that when you post out an article.

What would be the alternative?

@hokie_rd

I'm not sure I get the question. My point is that they writer shouldn't publicly knock the team they love because recruits read these articles, and it colors the team wrong for battles with teams like Penn State in the future.

They could report it any other way, just get out of your own way if you love the team you're reporting on.

So not report the truth of what was learned to the benefit of the readership? He didn't say it to hurt the fans, he articulated opinions on the perception of the program, I think accurately. My question is the same, what is the alternative to writing the truth about a situation?

Is your point it should be a fan website first, and honest writer perspective second?

@hokie_rd

I think this writer is pointing out that it's one coaches subjective opinion, and doesn't necessarily reflect some universal undisputed truth, so why highlight it? Makes sense to me. On the other hand, part of the attraction of this site is that anybody can bring up anything, and we can debate it relentlessly.

Joe's piece brought up an interesting point, "What teams are big dawgs?"

The question "which team is in a particular category is by it's very nature a subjective opinion, and you can come up with different opinions about how to determine an answer, and different answers.

In my opinion, any top 25 team is a "big dawg", as you can get to the NFL from any of them if you're good enough. VT had two players go in the first round THIS YEAR.

Why title it so negatively? The article is great, but the title sets the tone on the wrong foot. My two cents worth anyway.

"with all due respect, and remember I’m sayin’ it with all due respect, that idea ain’t worth a velvet painting of a whale and a dolphin gettin’ it on" - Ricky Bobby

It's a quote from an in-state HS FB coach. The whole point of the article (imo) is to reflect on in-state and national perceptions of VT from different points of view in the wake of a prized recruit flipping late in the process. I gave constructive criticism on the article when it was posted, but mostly because the points therein had been thoroughly discussed in most VT online communities before it was written. I don't think; however, that Joe deserves flak from this standpoint. He didn't write this to crap on the program or paint a negative picture, it's an honest self-reflection. Many times, taking a hard look in the mirror and being brutally honest is the best way to refocus and move forward with improvements.

Bacon strips &
bacon strips &
bacon strips &
bacon strips

I'm not the one who colored this site maroon and orange.

If this was writen by the washington post, I'd remorse the article because its bad press, but I would have no qualms. He's a VT fan, and he just took one negative vt quote no-one has heard of and magnified it to the world.

You also say honest, but the last week we just stole a recruit back from PSU, and landed another top 5. At best it's a reaction, opinon post, but not necessarily an honest one.

Obviously the post reflected how many VT fans, probably even some of the more optimistic ones, felt in the aftermath of Ford's commitment. The entire saga was exhausting and I certainly don't blame Joe for providing his take on all of it considering he runs a major VT fan site.

However, I do think the commitments of Kelly and Payoute have revealed the sentiment expressed in this article to perhaps be overblown. Opinions that were formed regarding VT's staff in the wake of Ford's decision, including those based on public comments from him and his coach, were seemingly contradicted or dispelled by some of Kelly's post commitment comments. Recruiting is enigmatic and perception can change in an instant. Ford's recruitment drew an unusual amount of attention and interest and the fallout among the fan base wasn't pretty. The good news is that the staff was unphased by it all, continued to believe in their message, and kept working to make the team better.

Joffrey, Cersei, Ilyn Payne, the Hound, Jeff Jagodzinski, Paul Johnson, Pat Narduzzi.

Totally agree with this comment and thought the exact same thing. We don't need to put a negative comment from a coach as a headline of an article. Something like this from our own site could stick in the back of a recruits head. You have to act like what you want to be and basically admitting we aren't a big dog doesn't help us become one.

You don't think recruits already know who the big dogs are?

From a 4 star who just committed:

"Every school sells you this, sells you that, but you got to look at the real, and who's not," said Kelly. "Because everybody's trying to show that perfect pitch. Honestly, Tech let me do my own thing, and then I always had a relationship with them. Everybody else was too busy selling their dreams. Selling this, selling that, selling that. I knew from personal experience with my relationship with the coaches at Tech, that this was real.

"There's no sale, no nothing. Come in and work, and do what you got to do, and put on for the state."

That suggests that having a realistic view of ourselves and being authentic is important.

I love VT Football, but as of now, we're not a big dog. Trying to convince people who are not VT fans we are is going to come across as fake or delusional. Nobody wants to trust their future football career to a staff that's either fake or delusional.

Authenticity is shown through honesty not through self deprecation.

Penn State just a few years ago was not a "big dog," they were fighting for attention on the national stage, only this last year or two has put them back on the map.

This post is like intentionally crapping yourself in public. Save it for another place

Penn State hasn't not been a college football blue blood in decades. Even in "down years".

Chem PhD '16

The issue is our fans are sometimes so quick to think we're some huge underdog they make weird excuses for us to tamper expectations. I get they have a bigger stadium, larger alumni base, and are getting B1G Network checks. That doesn't mean they're some untouchable program.

PSU is a 'big dog,' yet over the last 25 years VT has:

  • More wins
  • Higher win %
  • More conference championships
  • More AP poll appearances
  • Equal number of bowl wins
  • Very similar number of draft picks (106 to 93, PSU)

We need to get past the 'well in my day, we lost to VMI' attitude. We're a major program, should treat ourselves as such, and have expectations in-line. They definitely have more history, but we don't need to submit to them like it's just a given we'll always be an afterthought.

I get what you are saying. We are a pro VT community by definition, and that is the glue that holds us together even when we don't like pie, or cheese, or are tired of seeing Emma Gifs posed when they are not very fitting, so why would "A writer" post something that could make a prospect think VT is not a big dog, or otherwise think less of the school. Reading that does not make me feel good (though not nearly as bad as the RUMOR thread). Give me a few lines to explain why I am okay with this. 1. We are FAM, and This is Home. We are not perfect, and we can talk about our problems and still love each other. The VT fans need to give more to the hokie club, what QB should start, what coach to hire, and many more threads would need to be eliminated if we only wanted to say things that put a positive spin on the Hokies for recruits. I come here to intelligently discuss, not a group hug. 2. I do not believe those who work for TKP as writers should be held to different standard than the community. They are the foundation of the community we latched onto, and should strive to follow the guidelines, but if its an opinion on VT, especially football, whether they or I agree with it or not, or you think recruit should, would or could agree with it or not, should be reason to keep from discussing it. 3. We are public site to discuss opinions, not a marketing tool of VT. ALL fans sites will have stuff that is not positive, just as all people have different opinions. Understanding differences makes us better people, while silencing different opinions does not make ours right or better. I do not think we are in the same league as Alabama when it comes to recruiting, but do not think PSU is any better than us. Feel free to disagree, but l like to be able express my opinion, and appreciate the writers being able to set a precedence for this, whether you, I or a recruit agree with it.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own