May 2020 Recruiting Discourse Thread II

For higher-level discussion of Virginia Tech recruiting trends and broader conversation regarding the overall college football recruiting landscape and other schools' classes and commits.

The other monthly recruiting thread is used to share information regarding VT-specific targets, including PWOs, scholarship offers, visits, camps, and general news pertaining to those targets.

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Comments

I think this will be the recruiting cycle with the most "market inefficiencies" to exploit. I don't expect this to have too much impact on the powers that be, but I feel like there is going to be some opportunity for shake up in the 11-35 range this season depending on the number of additional changes to the recruiting calendar.

We've already lost the entire spring/summer camp circuit for both schools to get guys on campus and "camp" for them or test in person. Additionally, the recruiting services will not have their spring/summer camps to affect how they rate players.

Depending on if/how the college football seasons happens this fall, we don't know how in-season visits will be handled if we have them at all. Nor do we know if there will be an opportunity to get kids on campus again this cycle. If we do then there will be a premium on every weekend that visits are possible, and the fighting to get recruits on campus on that condensed schedule will be as wild and aggressive as it has ever been.

There could be opportunities for schools to capitalize on local recruits, and potentially schools who rely on recruits farther away geographically to falter. That's not a guarantee on either side of that ledger, but it will be interesting to watch it play out.

This may also be the least accurate top 100/250/etc recruiting lists in the last 6-7 years. No satellite camps, no The Opening, no Rivals or 247 events. This means we may see more opportunities than recent years to find those hidden gem guys that see their stock explode over the summer or late in the winter.

Different states' responses to high school football in the Fall may also play a big factor. Could be a situation where Georgia high schools play football, but California high schools do not, for example. Creating further murkiness without senior tape for a hot bed state of recruits.

Any way it shakes out I think it makes this cycle pretty interesting to follow.

I think this will be the recruiting cycle with the most "market inefficiencies" to exploit.

I'm really hoping that this lends to a season in the future with a ton of upsets. I'm not sure we'll ever see anything like 2007 again, but the last 4ish seasons have felt really chalky.

Twitter me

With Davis decommitting and possibly kicking off a bad ripple effect within our 2021 class, the writing is on the wall with Fuente and this staff.

They needed to knock this class out of the park, and this decommitment is a huge blow to that end goal. We had so many eggs in the basket for landing him, and now in all likelihood, that's gone. After last year's literal Worst in the P5 recruiting effort, we cannot afford this class to be a stinker as well, and its hard to have much faith in a significant turnaround after the events over the last few days. And with UNC currently sitting with the #2 recruiting class in the country, with more 4* commitments than we have ever had in any class ever, things the double whammy here could damage the VT program for a very long time.

I am starting to get the feeling that Fuente might not have been the right man for the job, and this era might end up setting us back quite a bit in the long term.

King Alum of the House Hokie, the First of His Name, Khal of the Turkey Legs, The rightful Heir to the Big Board, the Unbanned, Breaker of Trolls and Father of Gritty

Or counterpoint, its just early May in the middle of a pandemic.

I think people forget this is a really weird situation but I dont think regardless Fuente can afford another bad year. Whether its fair or not at some point you have to shit or get off the pot and he's had time and this team is finally in a good spot, if the product on the field doesnt improve regardless hes going to have a tough time staying around.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Counter counter point will be that other schools aren't having the same problem.

Counter counter counter point is Alabama has three commits right now.

I really should just leave. Every discussion on this site is going to be circular logic and snarky sarcasm until next spring when football starts again and the signing classes are in.

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

Come back to me in December signing day to see if UNC and Tennessee's classes held up. I think these kids are going to see others being recruiting and taking visits (hopefully) and the same thing is going to happen to them.

Tennessee probably will. I mean they pulled a top 10 class last year. Probably will be top 10 this year too

I do wonder if UNC will hold up just because almost all of their kids are from in the state. I wonder if the pandemic will hurt schools trying to recruit nationally as people try and keep their kids closer to home.

I think, if anything, this helps UNC. I think more kids are going to stay in-state to be closer to their families than travelling across the country.

I am the heartbeat of Blacksburg. A fortress built out of stone but made with champions.

Unless that state is Virginia. (/S....kind of).

STICK IT IN!
STICK IT IN!
STICK IT IN!

To add to this, the Vols and UNC are having really good recruiting classes. So going to be an interesting year to say the least. Was wondering if there was a movement by recruits to go to other schools rather than the top, to try and build something and become someone.

Guess we'll see.

Doesn't seem to be impacting our peers.

I'm tired of the excuses regarding this staff. I want to see results, and after last year, I really don't give a shit anymore. They need to show me the results or GTFO.

King Alum of the House Hokie, the First of His Name, Khal of the Turkey Legs, The rightful Heir to the Big Board, the Unbanned, Breaker of Trolls and Father of Gritty

Only took 3 minutes and 19 seconds for my prophecy to come true. A new record.

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

Time is a flat circle

Time only exists so that everything doesnt happen all at once.

My wife takes the kids and leaves the house while I watch my Hokie games.........nuff said

Counter-counter point, Fuente is not entitled to the benefit of the doubt anymore.

Nah, he still has that ridiculous extension Whit gave him so he is not going anywhere for a few years with our donor base.

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:
โ€œI served in the United States Navy"

KCCO

The owner of Grady White boats isn't walking through that door donating $25M!

Totally off topic but I read a background story on that and that dude seems to have had a miserable year. Wife died of Parkinsons and he named the field after his son with ALS. Can't even begin to imagine.

I am starting to get the feeling that Fuente might not have been the right man for the job

Riiiight. You had no doubts about Fuente until May 6, 2020?

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

Honestly, the Duke game this year was as close to a last straw for me as it gets, in my opinion. Watching us get thumped like that by Duke, I had some very choice things to say walking out of the stadium that night.

King Alum of the House Hokie, the First of His Name, Khal of the Turkey Legs, The rightful Heir to the Big Board, the Unbanned, Breaker of Trolls and Father of Gritty

i agree, the duke game was a freaking VT tragedy, we can look back on getting our asses thumped at LSU by 48-7 and not crawl up into a ball and cry- but when you get thumped by a basketball school, at home, and you cant do a damn thing to stop them , then that is a low point. the program entered another dimension, and I am not sure how our coaches will change this long term. short term, maybe, but we need a new identity, and it isn't enter sandman, and it isn't our old mantra of punching you in the mouth- but somebody needs to pull something out of their ass to make a change. And pretending that we are a lot better than UVA is not going to get it done.

I think I could name off about a dozen other games that I said the exact same things and more times then not, things turned out ok.

What was worse- getting mauled by Duke, or Fuente not making time for the 1999 team?

No contest - getting mauled by Duke is far worse for perception than not making time for the 1999 team.

Easy, getting mauled by the 1999 Duke team

VT nor any other school is going to have money for a buyout in the coming years. He's ours for the foreseeable future.

eric

"My advice to you... is to start drinking heavily."-John Blutarsky

And that's fine.

But that also comes with a cost of VT possibly becoming a legitimate bad program if this class misses the mark like last year. We're already struggling within a bad Coastal division, lost to ODU in 2018, got smoked by a bad Duke team this year, lost to UVa, and we responded by pulling in the worst recruiting class in the Power 5. And now we're seeing our peers legitimately turn it around on the recruiting trail, sometimes at the expense of our own local high schoolers. If this class isn't a major home run that fully makes up for just how badly we missed the mark in the 2020 class, we're in for some very rough years coming up. The kinds of years we haven't seen here since before Beamer.

King Alum of the House Hokie, the First of His Name, Khal of the Turkey Legs, The rightful Heir to the Big Board, the Unbanned, Breaker of Trolls and Father of Gritty

Yep. Seems likely. But, give me one thing that I can do to actually affect what happens, given that I already donate as much money as I feel I can. If you can name that thing, I'll do it. Otherwise, we all have to chill, because yelling in circles at each other isn't much fun.

Get Angry, Bud!

Situations like this aren't for us to solve. Its for our wealthiest boosters to get so fed up with things they write the check to foot the bill to make the necessary changes happen. And if they don't care enough to improve, well... this is where we are.

King Alum of the House Hokie, the First of His Name, Khal of the Turkey Legs, The rightful Heir to the Big Board, the Unbanned, Breaker of Trolls and Father of Gritty

Right, so if we can't do anything about it, why are we so mad and angry and yelling at each other? It's how you destroy a community. Look at Facebook. Facebook is the way it is because people yelled at each other, then self-segregated based on the results of the yelling. But they didn't stop there. This process continues until only the most radical/loud people are left in the room, and everyone else is gone.

I don't want that to happen here. We all need to chill out and recognize that it's not worth anger or argument if we can't measurable affect the outcome.

Get Angry, Bud!

Because people are emotionally and financially invested into this program? We literally wouldn't have made it into the ACC if it weren't for this program? Many of us wouldn't have attended VT if it weren't for the popularity the school got based off the run in 1999?

Virginia Tech's reputation, for better or worse, is defined by and tied to its football program nationally. Watching it collapse is going to cause people to be upset and frustrated.

I mean seriously, this site probably wouldn't have been created if it weren't for the VT football program. Posing the "why is anyone upset about this" question on a site that exists because of the football team seems a little tone deaf.

King Alum of the House Hokie, the First of His Name, Khal of the Turkey Legs, The rightful Heir to the Big Board, the Unbanned, Breaker of Trolls and Father of Gritty

Preach brotha.

I think being an older alumni I have a different opinion. I choose VT because it had a great reputation in my field of study. I knew next to nothing about VT football wise other than I saw them play a game once on ESPN when it was snowing and I thought that was pretty cool. And I'm from NC, it's not like I was coming from far away.

So, I see what you're saying. But really for the older alumni folks, It's not that dire.

Older guy here too. Honestly, when I was a student, Virginia Tech could have not even had a football or a basketball team and I could not have cared less. Went because they had a vet school (16 year old me wanted to do that), I wanted to come back east after my family moved to the Midwest, and the campus was gorgeous. Only started paying attention to VT football a couple years after graduating. I was also a dweeb.

Edit: It was also very affordable then, even for out-of-state tuition. That was a big reason too.

Recovering scientist working in business consulting

I'm from Cary, and we overlapped your senior year at VT. I just remember that the perception of VT had a drastic change from where it was around 1997-1998 and 2003 when we were invited into the ACC, and the majority of that momentum came off the popularity the school got off the 1999 season. I basically had advisors telling me I made a mistake by going to VT (they would have preferred NCSU, UNC, or Wake) to my brother being encouraged to go to VT only a few years later.

And I think I remember reading that applications to VT doubled or tripled from 1998 to 2000, and never looked back since. Our football program has had a significant impact on the current state of VT, largely for the better of the school, so it would be devastating to see it collapse.

King Alum of the House Hokie, the First of His Name, Khal of the Turkey Legs, The rightful Heir to the Big Board, the Unbanned, Breaker of Trolls and Father of Gritty

For clarifications, we overlapped during my super, super senior year. I started in '97.

I recognize why people are upset. However, they have been consistently upset for what seems like 2 years now. At some point it has to calm down. What more can we say that hasn't been said? Is anything new being contributed to this conversation?

It's a never ending cycle of raised (too high) expectations, followed by disappointment that breeds anger, resentment and insulting behavior on this site. We aren't covering any new ground here.

This entire topic is one of the permanent dirt paths on the Drillfield that they re-sod every year, but inevitably all the CS majors trying to get to McBryde recreate. At some point, you just have to pave it and move on.

Get Angry, Bud!

You are on a website that was created to discuss VT Football.

I can't bitch to my wife that Demetrius Davis decommitted today and we had the worst rectruiting class is P5 football last year.

gonna pop my head in here and say that i agree with both sides... we want this to be an avenue to discuss all things VT (the good and the bad) but to do it in a constructive way rather than a polarizing and divisive one. at the end of the day we all want VT to succeed and LOUD NOISES ON THE INTERNET because i'm upset that DD decommitted isn't going to accomplish much

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Donate money and voice your opinion

Recruit Prosim

I have already been on record saying I saw an inversion happening where UVA is on the rise while VT is trending down. As my Clemson alum father in law once told me, Clemson was down for a very long time and have enjoyed its success due to Dabo's ability to sell a vision to the administration and the fan base.

I think that has been VT problem, something this board long complained about, the inability to get the fans to do a complete buy in. That is squarely in a Whit and Fuente shoulders. The Drive for 25...the lukewarm response...some of the ulcer-including losses have done more to sour fans' perception of the program.

I don't know what the answers are. VT program may be in for lean times for a while.

Comment Disclaimer: My comment are meant to be take as-is. If you cannot handle it, do not hit โ€˜Reply All.โ€™

I posted this in the 80s movie thread but it seemed appropriate here too- for levity if nothing else.From the movie Meatballs

revised quote
"And even if we win, if we win, HAH. Even if we win. Even if we play so far above our heads that our noses bleed for a week to ten days; even if God in Heaven above comes down and points his hand at our side of the field; even if every man woman and child held hands together and prayed for us to win, it just wouldn't matter because all the great five star recruits would still go sign with Clemson and Alabama because they've got all the money. It just doesn't matter if we win or we lose. IT JUST DOESN'T MATTER."
(Unnamed) "IT JUST DOESN'T MATTER. IT JUST DOESN'T MATTER --"

From the 2018 VT-uva game-"This is when LEGENDS are made!"

So, let's talk Corny.

Had a great in-state kid decommit to Mich St, got a last second steal from JMU in Knox last year. Josh Jackson was a hey, stay committed deal, and Hooker has been a god send.

Meanwhile, we got JRod and Burmeister. Burmeister might not play at this point. Willis transferred in, and we got a mixed bag.

I've had my complaints about the offense, and there was serious talk of him leaving last season. But, this might be where our QB recruiting issues lie. Would I love for DD to recommit? Of course, but that may not be the case. I'm willing to bet, we scrounge for another QB going into the end of the cycle.

Disappointing, but all the other pieces are falling into place. Keeping things in perspective.

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

I think the biggest thing about the QB spot is that we need to nail it next year assuming DD doesn't get back in the boat. 2022 QB depth would be RS-SR QP who apparently can't throw, RS-SO Kadum, RS-FR or FR QB. That's a lot of eggs to be putting in the basket of hitting on a freshman QB or hitting on a transfer.

Worth noting that Noah "Ham Oink" Kim decommitting for MSU was directly tied to DD committing to VT

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Yeah, but just a few years ago, we barely had bodies to fill a QB room. That's on the staff for not keeping him, Especially since DD is a class behind, and at least 2 seasons from competing with Kim. Based on what I've seen of Kim, his injury kept him from being a rated higher. Would be a legit contender at VT.

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

Then we all complain when one transfers. It made perfect sense for staff not to take a class of 2020 QB with Hooker/Patterson/Kadum/Burmeister already in the program and seemingly counting on DD to be in class of 2021.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

A 0 Star TE just committed to Wake Forest over VT, too.

Paging 904

What are the chances we can get back in on Walter Simmons III?

Miss that guy. I was just wondering what he's been up to recently.

It is probably a good time to remember that Quincy has a lot of football to play yet. The problem with being so invested in recruiting is that we tend to forget that the product is years away. Don't get me wrong, it is of vital importance. But we still have a pretty good team to take the field with this year and a lot of great experiences to live through in the short term that have nothing to do with this recruiting class. That is my glass half full thought of the day for what it is worth.

"You don't stare into a rearview mirror"

I think he will transfer

Recruit Prosim

Hooker hasnt shown me he can put a full season together healthy yet. I would not be surprised of QP is starting games this year. Then who knows.

"You don't stare into a rearview mirror"

You're counting out the transfer

Recruit Prosim

I am (and probably shouldn't). I am going off of what I saw from QP, which to my eyes looked pretty good, especially if he gets more practice reps. Also, I am probably reading too much into the fact that HH and QP were the ones selected to do the hard hat series.

"You don't stare into a rearview mirror"

This is a fair take, but I do think QP is very much a prime transfer candidate, as are most talented QB's in college nowadays that are losing eligibility sitting 2nd or 3rd on the depth chart. I think it's more of a reality of current college football than a VT issue with QP.

The health concern for Hooker is legitimate. He started the season with lots of talk of a shoulder injury, which apparently was an issue all year for him. Then he had some knee issues. I think it's a very defensible take that QP will start a game (or several) this season.

That doesn't mean he won't come good and be healthy every game moving forward though. Tyrod's first two seasons both were marred by ankle injuries before having two injury-free seasons. Deshaun Watson had 3 significant injuries in his first year at Clemson before 30 uninterrupted and injury free starts.

I agree. I'm basing my thoughts off the expectation of QP's best being better than Hooker's best. There is a chance for QP to leap Hooker whether by injury or not. There is also the chance Hooker holds him off and QP looks for a path to playing time. I just think it is too early to project one way or the other.

"You don't stare into a rearview mirror"

Why is there an expectation that QP will be better than Hooker? 247 rated Hooker .89 and QP .90. Hooker was 24th over all QB in 2017 and QP was 25th in 2018.

Looking at the list of QBs rated higher than Hooker, 15 of the havent really done anything, one of them is now a Hokie.

It's atleast 17 higher rate QBs than QP that havent really done anything (not sure how to consider the Miami QB that threw 3 ints to us).

Tate Martell was a .97 and isn't a QB any more so the evaluation difference between a .89 and .90 isnt much considering most of the QBs rater higher haven't shown anything.

Why is there an expectation that QP will be better than Hooker? 247 rated Hooker .89 and QP .90. Hooker was 24th over all QB in 2017 and QP was 25th in 2018.

Not saying that I personally believe this, but I think that much of the fan base believes that due to QP's physical gifts and football IQ (we've heard a ton about how smart he is), he has a higher ceiling than HH.

Looking at the list of QBs rated higher than Hooker, 15 of the havent really done anything, one of them is now a Hokie.

It's atleast 17 higher rate QBs than QP that havent really done anything (not sure how to consider the Miami QB that threw 3 ints to us).

Tate Martell was a .97 and isn't a QB any more so the evaluation difference between a .89 and .90 isnt much considering most of the QBs rater higher haven't shown anything.

Related - there was a really good post on here a year or so ago about QB success rate by recruiting rating, by ShakeItAllAbout I think by Chris (but I could be mistaken).

Anyways, the post basically said that about 60% of 5-star QB's are multi-year starters, 40% of 4-stars, and then it drastically drops off after that. The big takeaway was that it's tough to predict QB success, even with high level recruits. If anyone remembers/can find the post I'm thinking of, please link it.

EDIT: Here's a table summarizing the findings, go to the post to read about the methodology:

Recruting Grade Busts Starters Studs
5-star 33% 67% 24%
4-star 63% 40% 14%
3-star 74% 32% 12%

Going further off topic - this is a good use-case for a TKP post 'hall of fame' - it would be nice to have the really good posts (like the one I mentioned above) 'bookmarked' somewhere on the site, even if it was just a separate 'forum' (just like 'French on the Bench')

Edit: plz put ShakeItAllAbout's post in the HOF

Twitter me

This post?

Can't imagine who would've taken the time to write that nonsense.

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

Why is there an expectation that QP will be better than Hooker?

My guess would be that Elite 11 and Trent Dilfer's comments elevated the expectations for QP.

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

QP has physical tools HH does not. He was also much more raw coming in. I think QP has a higher ceiling than Hooker. That is by no means a negative shot at Hooker, he may very well be the overall better qb.

"You don't stare into a rearview mirror"

Sure QP has a bigger frame being a inch shorter and 40lbs heavier coming out of high school but using ESPN's numbers, QP's 40 is 0.02 faster than Hendon (easily in the noise for hand timed routes by different people). QP's shuttle is 0.06 faster than Hendon. Hendon wins the vertical Jump by 3.5" and Hendon wins the power throws (medicine ball toss) by 5 feet.

So what are the athletic tools QP has that Hendon does not? 40 more lbs to let him dive into a pile?

If you don't think those 40 lbs are valuable when giving up virtually nothing in the speed department I don't know what to tell you. It isn't everything and Hooker may end up being better. But, I personally think QP has more potential.

"You don't stare into a rearview mirror"

Oh there is value as shown by the 3rd and Logan to win the Miami game in 2011. Buy if being able to use a QB as a battering ram is the only real physical difference, I am not willing to say one has a much higher ceiling. That's a nice to have. But Hooker has shown he can hit the hole in the pocket and make something out of nothing. He has had long runs. Yes the 40 lbs help for injuries, which Hooker had some issues with. And those 40 lbs probably are why Hooker out jumped QP. So their leg strength is probably comparable.

But my point was that QPII isn't so much athletically superior. It's not like either had a great 40 time, we're not talking about Andrew Luck type of speed. Were talking about slightly better than top NFL OLinemen speed. And really Hooker having that much more upper body strength is a bigger deal than 40lbs if that relates to his ability to fit the football into tight spaces and throw the deepball.

My point was that QP isnt just so much better an athlete that he should be so much better. Itdeep ball. is who can mentally process the offense quicker, make the reads quicker, and put the footbal in the right place. QP can run over some people that Hooker can't, but I personally dont see that as a ceiling to playing the position.

I think we just look at potential in different ways. I assume they both have the same potential for picking up the offense and making the right reads and so forth. The physical size is something QP has that Hooker wont be able to get. So when I look at their potential, it is pretty neck and neck except QP is doing it with a 40 lb larger frame. That is significant. But, like you say, he still has to realize the other elements of being a quarterback for it to matter.

"You don't stare into a rearview mirror"

But, like you say, he still has to realize the other elements of being a quarterback for it to matter.

That's the key point. There are QBs all the time that even get drafted to the pros based on more potential (Arm talent (most often)). The way the Hooker runs the offense it clicks and has the potential to be a great offense. QP as we continue to say didn't have enough development in HS and is slowly getting there through the coaching. As you've seen the difference in how the playbook is tight with QP. I hope we get to see him realize his full potential but I think Hooker will start the rest of his time as Tech unless he get hurt and Burmeister or QP really catch fire in his absence. Just to note QP is listed at 245, Hooker is 228. I do cringe when Hooker takes a big hit because his durability seems questionable.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

He was listed at like 214 last season so he's put on weight.

I looked at the rosters on Hokie Sports. He was 216 his freshman year. 225 as R-FR. 228 as R-SO. He does seem to have a smaller lanky build which is why I have concerns about his durability.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

i dont have a link to the article, but i remember reading that when QP was at the Elite 11, he had a 70yd pass. Thats incredible for a HS SR

Oh my.

That looks about 45 yards by counting the lines on the field. But I could be missing something from that angle

Does QP still have a redshirt to burn still? Maybe we could use Burmeister as the number 2 and that way have another year for QP after hooker if he continues to pan out.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

QP is a rising R-Soph. Presumably he would get his R-Sr. year to start if Hooker is the guy for the next two seasons.

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

Hooker will be gone if he has a great year in 2020. No #sauces, just makes sense.

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

if QP doesn't get a role this year I would be shocked if he stayed. Too much talent to sit around and chill.

it is too early for our season predictions, but when it's time, my bold prediction for the season will be...QP will be the starter by the end of the year.

Which is why I think if things open up to where visits can occur, you'll see a lot of decommits.

When do people think that the 2020 class and impending 2021 class will start to take the effect we all think it's going to have? Obviously it won't be this year because you rarely need more than one or two true freshmen playing a big role on your team. Will it be as early as 2021? Certainly 2022 and 2023.

I think 2020 is going to be a good year for us. I think we have the pieces in place to go 9-3 or even 10-2 if the bounces go our way. I think this will distract the fanbase from the subpar recruiting we've seen recently, though. I feel like coaches won't be held as accountable as they should be, and it will really get ugly in the future.

I guess my point is that we better enjoy the shit out of 2020, if it happens, because I don't think the years after that are going to be that fun.

Marshall University graduate.
Virginia Tech fanatic.
Formerly known as JWillHokieAlum.

Our 2012 class was one of the best signing days in our history. We finished 21st in the nation with a big class (28 signees). It was only the second time we had signed six **** recruits.

Joel Caleb, Ken Ekanem, J.C. Coleman, Jarontay Jones, Donaldven Manning and Trey Edmunds were set to usher in a new era of Virginia Tech football.

Unfortunately that era turned out to be a slump. The class was one of the least productive by starts and statistics. It was the first class since 1989 that didn't have a player drafted (Tre Edmunds at least kept the employment streak going).

The most obvious bellwether of this slump was simply the breaking of the 10-win streak.

Here's a scan from an old post-signing day ranking sheet:

Small class. Rated only above Temple (a team eventually kicked out of the conference for not even trying to field a competitive program). Getting big-dogged by Boston College. Rumors of the coach looking at other offers.

This was the 1995 class. We shot right on up to 4th in the Big East following our Sugar Bowl win over Texas. By contrast, the 1995 class ended up being hella productive. Only real star didn't even make the list. Post-signing day add, Pierson Prioleau, went on to have a long career in the NFL.

Recruiting isn't a sport to watch. Football is.

I honestly got no fucking clue how these classes are going to pan out. Maybe a couple of ACC Championships, one disastrous Playoff appearance and every last one of them taken in the draft.

Let's Go!

Chris Coleman at TSL is doing a very good write-up on that 1995 season. It's behind a paywall, though, so I can't link it. He highlights the disappointing end to the 1994 season and subpar 1995 recruiting class. You are correct that that 1995 season did jump start recruiting for Tech. With wins over teams like Miami, UVA, and Texas in the Sugar Bowl, you'll have that. That's what needs to happen this season if Fuente has any hope of turning this thing around. He has to beat Penn State. He needs a marquee win. We also have to make the ACC Championship, as well. Beating Ohio State in 2014 meant nothing when that team proceeded to go 3-5 in the ACC. Lastly, we have to win our bowl game. I don't care if it's the Belk Bowl or an NY6 bowl. We've lost three straight, two to programs that I view as similar to us in OK State and Kentucky. If Fuente can do that, maybe he can turn around recruiting in 2022 and 2023 and salvage the 2020 and 2021 classes with JUCOs and transfers. This is his make-or-break season, though, just like 1995 was for Frank, in my opinion. If that 1995 hadn't bounced back after the 0-2 start, I'm not even sure we would have joined the ACC in 2004. With the college football landscape changing drastically, what happens in 2020 might have an effect on the football program for years to come.

Marshall University graduate.
Virginia Tech fanatic.
Formerly known as JWillHokieAlum.

For the 7th best class in the Big East, Frank did pull in some real contributors in that class. "Jim" Kibble. Lol

Only way to disrupt the system that's in place that already favors the blue bloods is to have a mike-vick-type player again that just bedazzles everyone and takes Tech to 11-1 or something for a few years. After that, a la Clemson, you need to captialize and go from there. If we can't do that then we're doomed to be in the middle of the pack.

I hope that Sam Horn will become a Hokie. I think he's a sophomore in high school. He really looked good running and throwing in his highlight video.

feel free to throw a link to said video!

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Like his film. He's got a pretty strong arm, especially for a sophomore, and has some great touch when he needs it.

LB Danny Stutsman picked OU. Had us in his top six along with aTm, Minnesota, Ok St, and WVU

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Reading that Clemson spent 85,000 on 11 recruits for an official visit weekend spending. 20,000 alone on food just exposes the vast gap between the haves and have nots.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

Far be it from me to make bold allegations about recruiting impropriety by other schools, but $85,000 on 11 recruits? That's $7727.27 per recruit. $20,000 on food alone? That's $1,818.18 per kid in food. WTF are they eating down there? The money trail don't look right.

My guess is they have it catered, so add extra $$ there. Possibly have serving staff with catering (would get included in food budget). Probably breakfast, lunch, and dinner all catered. If I was doing that, I could blow $20 grand easy. Doesn't mean it's all that bright, but hey.

I bet the bbq cookout we were going to have for the recruits probably would have cost like $2-3k between food and drinks, and could (will?) be a great experience.

The article on the Athletic breaks it down. Won't share link but currently they are in a free trial.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

Just got a crystal ball for Landyn Watson to VT by LSU insider

Would be nice to have something positive fall our way.

I think if we could have another top recruit commit, then the sting goes away a little and shows we are still somewhat on track.

It's amazing how much people try to discredit him as a coach. There's no ground to stand on.

Except for kickers. Why can't Bama recruit a kicker?

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

Obviously they're getting BIG-DOGGED by the BIG DOGS.....

Seriously though, we all talk about DBU, QBU, WRU, etc. In all seriousness who is KU (kicker university)?

In college? Probably FSU. Ole janikowski. Both Aguayos, Graham gano

That KIcker U rep got Aguayo drafted damn high by Tampa to be a bust. Who takes a kicker in the 2nd round!

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

pretty sure it was karma for his brother killing that turtle. #justiceforturntle

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

It really is crazy but such a funny Achilles heel to have

Maybe he just hates kickers because back in the day one stole his girlfriend. Now he just uses them as a scapegoat and teaching tool for the rest of his offense. "If you guys scored a touchdown like you were supposed to then shit like this wouldn't happen!"

"Sooner or later, if man is ever to be worthy of his destiny, we must fill our heart with tolerance."
-Stan Lee

"Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing."
-Ron Swanson

"11-0, bro"
-Hunter Carpenter (probably)

Didn't that entire family move to Bama?

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

I thought this was a joke at first but then I realized this isn't Tua, it's Tau

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

You hate to see it.

You hate Tau see it

King Alum of the House Hokie, the First of His Name, Khal of the Turkey Legs, The rightful Heir to the Big Board, the Unbanned, Breaker of Trolls and Father of Gritty

This has potential to be not so great for us depending on how good he ends up being... He's likely headed to Miami because the family is super close.

Tua is in the NFL. This won't be his last stop. They better get used to moving.

At which point, Taulia won't be doing much for his career bouncing around. What if Tua gets traded next year? He's going to transfer again?

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

It's rather unlikely Tua moves before Taulia uses up his eligibility.

Heard Tau isn't nearly as good as Tua, so I think you see him at a non P5 option in south Florida like FIU or FAU.

Certainly in play as well. Everyone involved in his recruitment was upfront that he was not as a special as Tua, which to me is a given as I think Tua is the most talented passer I've ever watched in college, but it's very unclear how good Taulia will actually be. He was a solid 4* recruit, his size and physical look isn't particularly intimidating and doesn't scream elite QB, but it's way too early to tell yet. His late game snaps at QB for Bama as a freshman last year didn't scream boom or bust, so we will see where he ends up. I was just saying if (and big if) he's even half as good as Tua, then Miami has a better option than what's currently on their roster after King leaves. Like you said, he very well could end up at FIU, FAU, USF type school. I've also seen some (likely hopeful UM fans) linking him with Maryland because Locks, but haven't seen anything remotely concrete on that.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Well, poop.

Seeing Hunter that high and his production at VT is tough. Really hope he finds his grove this year and it works out. Kid really is all VT and it just hasn't fully clicked yet.

I thought I saw some buzz about Zachary Evans (a five star RB in the 2020 cycle) that decommited from UGa in December 2019. Well, he has now landed at TCU-not sure if we were ever really recruiting him. He is from the same high school as Dematrius Davis in Houston.

I can't comment on whether we pursued him or not, but I can say that there has been a lot of buzz about him having off-the-field concerns. Whether the buzz was warranted or not, I cannot say. But buzz nonetheless.

the fact that every program he seemed to be connected to seemed to distance themselves from him tells there was fire with that smoke

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Well, TCU - apparently the 10th best program in the Big 12 according to some on here- god forbid you place them in the middle like I did...- at any rate... that TCU had 3 of the top 40 NFL draft picks this past year coming off a 5-7 season last year. They are putting guys in the league. That's a HUGE recruiting factor, probably the biggest in fact.

I read a pretty interesting article yesterday that included an interview from an NC recruit (not one that it appears VT is pursuing) and he had an interesting comment about what he's looking for in a school. Basically, one deciding factor in his choice of school and whether the local schools will be in the running is the fan base and specifically whether the fan base is showing love to the program or bashing them on social media.

That's really the first time I've seen a recruit say this in an interview. I have to imagine that the same would probably apply to VT for 757 and 804 recruits in that for the in state school, fan base reaction on social media is a deciding factor for them, whereas an out of state school does not have the same issue in the recruits eyes. It's certainly an interesting take.

Sometimes, if you are close enough, you can smell the dirty laundry. My advice to them would be sometimes you are better off with the devil you know versus the one you don't.

"You don't stare into a rearview mirror"

VT fan social media has been absolutely embarrassing itself for several years now. We make so many excuses for it, we blame the other parties, etc., but other teams boards aren't getting into multiple fights with the father of a five star corner.

We've handled our recruiting misses and failures in equally embarrassing fashion from both sides of the recruiting argument.

Now we have some weird coordinated effort where we smother every tweet from Dee Davis with Turkey and heart emojis.

Just embarrassing stuff, and many cfb fanbases have bad twitter followings, but at some point we may need to acknowledge that ours is truly one of the bad ones.

I respectfully disagree with you. And how do you control it, if so? Peer pressure? Twitter is the forum where the president of the united states is compared to Adolph Hitler regularly and it is not enforced. Twitter is the place where death threats are made on a daily basis. How do you get "VT fans" to not tweet at Demetrius Davis decommits? Like I said. Will did the peer pressure echo chamber thing on TSL and now he has 25 regular posters and the front page content doesn't move for 2 weeks. Is that what recruits want? 1/100th the presence now? I doubt it. Recruits share some of the blame here too. They beg for "follows/love" and get pissed when those fans who probably otherwise wouldn't engage, respond when they dump VT. Twitter is a cesspool in general. It's all about "receipts" and "cancel culture" and hot takes now. I will never endorse a fan tweeting trash to a recruit directly or mentioning him in a trash tweet- never. But you need to consider the forum here as well.

I agree Twitter is a trash medium. I use it for sports/movie news and basically partake in no discussions. It's occasionally funny, but ultimately a terrible medium for discourse.

I don't think there is a way to police it. A UVA fan could make an army of twitter bots to tweet garbage at every VT recruit posing as VT fans even if we somehow managed to get our own fans to stop.

My main point is that maybe it's time to acknowledge our Twitter fanbase can be "one of the bad ones" like we always say about Tennessee and FSU (which has a notably bad presence as well). I've seen multiple recruits tweet about how our fanbase is crazy, the fights with Grimes dad, etc. I think most kids have a short memory with this stuff, but I think the last two years we have had a very rough social media presence.

Agree. In terms of Grimes' dad, he had to see it coming. Fan is short for fanatic, so I'm sure sniping back at them was going to end well. LOL. Both parties share blame there.

"but other teams boards aren't getting into multiple fights with the father of a five star corner."

VT reached out and basically told him to move along (keep VT's name out your mouth) drama queen.. Hence his latest VT subtweet the other day.

I agree he was being ridiculous, but our fanbase leaned into it and made it worse. It spilled over onto every VT message board (it caused 100+ comment derailings on multiple TKP recruiting threads), and it got so big other fanbases noticed it and were using it against us. We made that situation so much worse for ourselves than it needed to be.

absolutely agree but it wasn't shocking. the family honestly put 70% of the shit talking on themselves. They dragged VT through the grass and said you're top 3 and pushing then released a top 6 with UVA no VT. I'm just glad most of it seems to be over now. VT has bigger issues that that family and the drama

I don't understand why people allow that guy to get under their skin so much. They'll never meet him, and I bet at least 75% of what he says is to get the attention those people were giving him. Some of it was legit critique too.

You and me both man. I cannot fathom why some people felt the need to feed his trolling by getting riled up and responding, but clearly many people did.

VT fans are some of the most sensible and tame among teams that want to compete for conferences, etc. Are we more passionate than Wake on social media? Probably. Do we have fans that would poison Auburn's trees? Hell no. If you are a big time player and can't handle VT fans on social media, you will never be able to handle SEC fans- any of those fan bases besides Vandy. Also, scan Ohio State's social media presence when they lose a recruit to any non blue blood school- it's lethal. VT probably has less than 25 truly abhorrent fans on social media that would slam or tweet directly at a recruit for not choosing VT. This is the fan base that yells at others for standing or saying "chicken shit" or booing in lane. Yeah, not exactly Michael Jordan intense if you ask me. I honestly think this is the least of VT's recruiting issues. Our fans are some of the most supportive in the P5.

I agree, I just found this particular case interesting in that for the local in state school, fan base negativity would be a deciding factor, where as it was not going to be a deciding factor for his other out of state offers.

It just makes me wonder if that's a factor for other recruits with their in state schools.

The article goes beyond recruiting, but thought this exchange might belong here:
https://www.dailypress.com/sports/college/virginia-tech/vp-sp-hokies-jus...

Given what's gone on in recent weeks with recruiting, and the various initiatives you've implemented in the last few years to try to draw talent from non-traditional geographic areas, are you comfortable with the direction of your program's recruiting efforts? If so, what gives you that confidence? (This question was asked an hour after quarterback Dematrius Davis officially announced he was re-opening his recruitment)

"Oh, hell yeah. We have hired an unbelievable staff that's doing a great job. We have players committed that nobody knows about, and we're in it on a bunch more, so I couldn't be more excited."

Why talk about silent commits on record? Any benefit to that?

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

Kids want their moment to shine, but also have fun with the process. They are kids after all. Even coaches don't want to spoil that.

The comment is for all the skeptics who think our recruiting sucks. Trust the coaches and let the results play out on the field.

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

I get it, but these alleged silent commits could start going public to get DD back on board - after all, part of his reason for decommiting was seeing how damn hard it was to get top 400 talent to join him. You'd think it would be in the interest of these silent guys to beef up their own class.

You'd think that if they weren't keeping that burner phone in case a better looking chick comes along...

There's two reasons to be a silent commit.

-You tell the staff you're in but want to wait until a special/specific moment to announce (ex. Mother's Day, spring game, with buddies at SD, etc.). Sometimes this is even staff coordinated. If four dudes want to go public at the spring game together to signal a big momentum shift the staff doesn't say no, and maybe tries to use it to land others.

-You want to lock in a spot at that school and keep your eye out there for that bigger offer to come/become committable.

Yeah, I'm at the point where I'm tired of hearing about all these supposed silent commits. I think the latter reason you listed is probably far more likely at this point. There are no significant events right now with everyone and everything shut down due to Covid. They want to lock in a spot with a decent team but at the same time hoping for a better offer to come along. It's the recruiting game, and they're playing it, plain and simple. A majority of these "silents" will eventually commit elsewhere and we will be back to options B, C, D, or beyond and hear how they are very underrated or have great film/scheme fit. Same old song and dance.

Realistically though, I don't expect Fuente to say anything different. But eventually you either have to change your methods or be held accountable.

I think the latter reason you listed is probably far more likely at this point.

I agree, if it was simply about them wanting their moment to shine, you'd think they'd be on the horn with Dee, letting him know they're all in. And who knows, maybe they are, and Dee decommitting is his way of trying to put some pressure on them, saying you need to announce it, or I'm out

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

But eventually you either have to change your methods or be held accountable.

And what does that look like? Do you start telling kids that they have to make an open proclamation to the world that they are committed to VT and that they can no longer talk to anyone else? Or do you not offer kids?

Seriously, this shit is getting old. All any coaches can do is extend offers. That's it. The coaches can't force kids to not talk to any other coaches. Nor can they force kids to sign on ESD/NSD. Unless you have better candy to entice them to come to your school, all the coaches can do is give them a sales pitch and "show them lots of love". That's it, unless you want to violate NCAA rules and get thrown on probation if you're Tech.

This constant bitching and moaning about how our coaches suck at recruiting makes this place unbearable.

THE F'N KIDS HAVE ALL THE POWER IN THE RECRUITING GAME!

What coaches can control is winning and selling your program. That's what they can control. That's what the best one's do. They win- they beat Duke and ODU and win bowl games, and they sell the program, the vision, the culture to kids that want to build something. You know what Buzz Williams said to NAW when he was recruiting him to come play for the 7-10th best "program" in the ACC historically? He asked him if he wanted to be the pillar building block of something special. That's selling. When Dabo signed Nuke Hopkins, Sammy Watkins and Stephone Anthony Clemson was getting crushed regularly by VT and FSU and choking - err "clemsoning" at the time. Dabo sold his vision and culture- he got horses in there that he knew he could win big with, and then recruiting would take care of itself- and he was right. Dabo didn't target diamonds in the rough or make excuses about Clemson's finances or remote location... he targeted a game changer in Watkins and sold him on the culture. Mack Brown hired Dre Bly- a great recruiter- because he went to UNC, played 15 years in the NFL and can sell the brand. Smart move. Brown also has a vision to sell- 1. I won here before, and 2. All we need is a "Vince Young" and I can get you to the national championship. Brown wins- something he absolutely controls. He won 7 games last year with a true frosh QB after spending 5 years on the couch. Fuente controls winning. He can win the coastal again- it's up for grabs. Playing a marquee game against Clemson on Dec. 5th helps recruiting a lot better than a cheesy sales pitch. Win games. Beat Penn State on ESPN. Beat Notre Dame on NBC. Beat a hyped UNC team and Mack Brown again. Beat overrated Miami. Then your path to Clemson is rebuilding GT, UVA, and Pitt. It's not impossible.

Dabo didn't target diamonds in the rough or make excuses about Clemson's finances or remote location

Because those aren't even valid things to say about Clemson. IPTAY took off before Dabo's recruiting (if I'm remembering correctly) and Clemson is just off an interstate directly between Charlotte and Atlanta, about 2h from each

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

I know this is semantics.... but have you ever tried to get to Clemson from said interstate? It's pretty remote. But yes I get what you are saying. It's not blacksburg

Having grown up on the other side of that interstate in Anderson, SC, a county of 200k+ people, a 15-20 minute drive from Clemson, a 2 hour straight shot to Atalanta or Charlotte, and 30 mins from downtown Greenville, the coolest and fastest growing city in SC, it's pretty tough for me to think of Clemson as remote, but it's definitely not a "big city" school. A lot of these elite GA recruits are between 20 mins to 3 hours from Clemson. It's just not very remote in comparison to Blacksburg in both terms of aesthetic or relation to recruiting hotbeds.

The actual city of Clemson is very small, but it also has insane traffic because it is right off 123 which is probably one of the worst roads to commute in SC. So that gives it a weird feel. You could be in this tiny ass downtown and look over at 123 and see cars bumper to bumper less than a mile away.

I just find talking about how remote something to be in 2020 a trivial detail. Clemson is a college town just like Blacksburg. The kids aren't going to Clemson to be a 30 minute ride from Greenville, SC (although I agree it is an AWESOME city) They are going to Clemson because of what Dabo has built.

I think Clemson's 2021 recruiting class has 1 kid from the area described above. 2020 has 3?

It's not just "kids from the area" and it's not just "what it's close to", but it definitely makes the OVs and unofficial visits much much easier. Even when I was visiting schools as a non-recruited non-athlete, I was thinking about "how I'm gonna get home for holidays". Let alone if family was ever going to come see me play. If I'm a blue chip recruit from faraway lands and I can get a direct flight to Atlanta and then drive two hours, that's a lot more convenient than having to lay over, fly into a regional airport, and then drive another 45 minutes.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

I guess I just disagree with how much of a factor this plays for a recruit like Bryan Breese or that QB from California. They are going for Dabo and what the Clemson football program can provide. It could be on Mars for all they care.

I also prefer a layover of 2 hours than a drive of 2 hours, but that is me.

Right. The point I always make though is from a the perspective of a recruit.

Not only is Clemson just 20-30 mins past the GA border, which has joined TX, FLA, and CA as an elite recruiting hotbed, but it's really not that remote. You'll drive past a few fields going through Pendleton coming up from GA whether you get off at 14 or 19, but the look of SC and GA is basically indistinguishable. These kids coming from GA don't feel any different driving 30 mins into SC as they do where they grew up.

When I come up from SC to Blacksburg, same route a GA, SC, FL, southeast recruit might take it, would take you to up 85 into NC, take 77 to 81 and a lot of that trip involves driving through rolling hills, seeing very little civilization once you get past Charlotte. It's a beautiful drive, going around the aide of a mountain and through the rolling hills, but it's a good ways without seeing many humans or cities. It makes Blacksburg feel very remote compared to what these same kids see on the way to Clemson. For a FL recruit you probably replace 85 with 95, but you still hit that same 77-81 stretch I'm discussing. From Alabama, Miss, or La you would probably go up through Tennessee I'd imagine but also spend a good bit of time driving through rolling hills on 81. It's just a different vibe surrounding Blacksburg from that side (as I've never driven to Blacksburg from north).

Clemson is a college town just like Blacksburg. The kids aren't going to Clemson to be a 30 minute ride from Greenville, SC (although I agree it is an AWESOME city) They are going to Clemson because of what Dabo has built.

Distance to a major city isn't a selling point for recruits; it's a selling point for coaches.

Typically, the most talent is nearby urban areas. Clemson being within 2 hours from 2 major cities makes it a lot easier (and cheaper) for coaches to recruit.

Now, Clemson has drastically increased their Athletic dept revenues, so they no longer need to recruit locally, but VT does need to recruit locally.

Twitter me

Yet our 2021 class was supposed to be #TX2VT. Our coaches have access to planes/buses/cars just like anyone at Clemson. We are not handcuffed to recruiting the southeast and that has been proven.

The above posters were referring to recruits so that was what I was answering.

Right, to compare Clemson is 10.7 miles and 14 minutes up US-76 from I-85. Blacksburg is 9.6 miles and 9 minutes up US-460 from I-81.

The roads are definitely different feeling, but it's not like Clemson is really that remote.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

This is why I think all offers should be commit-able/sign-able on the spot. Just like a job offer, you have an expiration date.

Twitter me

Opinions like "all coaches can do is extend offers, that's it" and "we need to quit bitching" are also making this place unbearable. I'm not one to excessively whine, but I'll vent or criticize when it's warranted. The DD decommit and the state of this class is a clear failure on the part of the coaches, and its their job to fix it or get the hell out of the way and let someone else try.

What is the state of this class?

"You don't stare into a rearview mirror"

Texas, I thought.

Currently ranked below 50, not closing on our top targets, massive decommitment, targets committing elsewhere.

Calmer than you are

Why does everyone who is even slightly critical of this staff or recruiting get painted as a hysterical whiner on this site? The things I listed are objectively true about our class to date. It's up to the staff to decide how this thing finishes. I feel like the true fan positivity police is out in force.

Sorry man, I was just being sardonic.

I had to google sardonic.

The same reason why anybody who remotely defends the staff or recruiting is labeled an apologist. Don't you know there is no middle ground on anything anymore. I'm just kidding. All I would say right now is that we are at a stage where a single recruit can significantly jump the rankings, so I wouldn't be too concerned by that. I am concerned that DD backed out. But I expect a 20-30 ranked class when all wrapped up.

"You don't stare into a rearview mirror"

You know why this is happening right now?

Cause its only May.

I would expect another reason is that these kids hope things open up and they can take their officials. It ties in to not truly being committed but I can't blame them for not wanting to enjoy it. I imagine it is quite the fun. Even if they have absolutely no interest in a school, they may tag along with a friend or teammate that is.

"You don't stare into a rearview mirror"

Edit: wrong thread

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

If you think recruiting sucks, Fuente saying there's a host of kids that are committed but not really committed right after the crown jewel of his class who committed a while ago and was rock-solid in his commitment isn't going to mean anything.

I don't think he means silent commits, I think what he is saying is that the people we have on board committed are being undervalued. I don't think a coach would ever come out and talk about silent commits

Go for it

Somehow this interpretation is actually worse. I'd rather have silent commits than not have silent commits.

I am really hoping for a season this fall cause if there is none and we have to talk (read: b*tch) about recruiting for a year and a half before the next meaningful game I am going to lose it.

there will be football... If I had to guess I'd say Spring time but conference games only.

If we do have only conference games, do we think they maybe figure out a way to have 10 conference games instead of just 8?

Throwing out a lot of new d-line offers. Wonder if that means Tech isn't positioned well with Brown, Watson and company.

Neither Brown or Watson are going to be DEs in college they will be OLB who can position on the line.

I think it was Watson that came out and said he would be playing OLB his senior year in High School so this makes sense.

Also NB is being recruited as a OLB.

This is the first I have heard of this. Has that been the stance of the staff all along? He didn't seem like a great fit for our OLB/ Backer role imo so I assumed he was gonna beef up and be a end for us.

I believe so. He would like to eventually be on the line but also knows beefing up maybe an issue for him. I think this is why we haven't been super active recruiting LBs because if we get Johnson, Jack, Watson and Brown we will have one hell of a LB core going forward.

At this point there will be zero camps for Juniors. This is going to impact next years class ALOT.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

More time for Carolina coaches to spend with their families and not on the road recruiting...

Yes,that's the Hokie Bird riding a camel. Why'd you ask?

I wanna know when we are officially changing our name to Virginia Tech University? My insecurities make me think kids from outside of this region haven't really grown up seeing much VT football, don't really know anything about the school, and basically don't want it to look like they are considering some second tier school that's not even a real university.

It doesn't bother me as much. I can see where some folks are confused with just Virginia Tech, and wanting to add the university to it.

Also, goes well when you think VTU is DBU.

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

If we are all cool with Virginia Tech then I don't really see the issue. University is at the end of the full name after all.

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

Of course, not really a big deal. But it is a weird trend, recruiting is the only place anyone ever goes out of their way to add University to the name. There is a reason for it, not really sure what it is.

It's more of a prestige thing than anything else. What sounds more prestigious; "I received an offer from Virginia Tech, or I received an offer from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill"? "Georgia Institute Of Technology or Baylor"? The recruits are proud when they have received an offer, and they want to share with their friends, family, and following how prestigious/notable the school that offered them is. My opinion. But from a contextual standpoint, I see where they're coming from.

100% agree. And its no big deal to add university to our name to add prestige to the offer, that doesn't bother me. What I worry about is we are losing recruits, or perhaps not getting that second look from some because they don't see university in the title. I'm not suggesting we actually change our name or anything, it just might be one of those silly little things that makes a difference in the crazy world of recruiting. The fact that we see it so consistently though makes me think its not trivial.

Seems Auburn picked up a couple of linemen (brothers Johnson) and a WR. Of course, Dee liked all of them.

Anyway, looks like they got a bunch of quick pickups at one time.

Maryland lands Taulia. Connection with Locks here shines through. Originally there was a lot of speculation that the family would stay together and all head to South Florida, but now I'm hearing they may all go to different spots (Tua to Miami, Taulia to Maryland, Family stays in Alabaster). We will see.

He's probably not that good. But I'd still rather him not be at Miami

There's a chance he was overrated by being Tua's brother but he was a middish 4* who took his team to state title game in the highest or second highest (I'm not sure) division of Alabama football.

Good for him. At his age, I would have transferred to the same city as my multimillionaire brother and lived the baller life. Speaks volumes to his maturity that he didn't want to go down that route.

See also Cautionary Tale Marcus Vick.

"Sooner or later, if man is ever to be worthy of his destiny, we must fill our heart with tolerance."
-Stan Lee

"Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing."
-Ron Swanson

"11-0, bro"
-Hunter Carpenter (probably)

Could you point me to the years Frank " cleaned up the state" the best ever was 5 of top 10 in state kids according to 247, jwillhokiealum?

* Moved from commitment thread.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

"Cleaned up" maybe wasn't the correct term, but there was a time when more kids in VA went to VT than anywhere else. We haven't been close to that in a long time. Jones is a step in the right direction, as would Stroman. If Devon Hunter can have an impact this season, that will be huge. I would like to see us start getting those 4 stars from VA, but this is where Fuente needs to start in my opinion to build relationships.

Edit: This does a good job explaining what I meant.

Marshall University graduate.
Virginia Tech fanatic.
Formerly known as JWillHokieAlum.

I have to disagree with that also. Now going back too far there are not reliable records but UVA, PSU, UF, UNC, Clemson, FSU, anOSU and Michigan have all come into VA pretty regularly and taken the best kids out. Percy Harvin, EJ Manual, Tajh Boyd, Patrick Estes, Hackenburg, Mike Glendon, Morgan Moses the list is long.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

Estes is the only player on that list who was playing for his respective school before Tech even joined the ACC. Tech prioritized the state of VA in the 90s and early 2000s. They did will doing it. While they weren't signing every player in the top 5 or 10, they were signing more players from the state of VA than other schools, and it wasn't close as far as out of state schools go. That isn't the case anymore. Tech lost that towards the end of the 2000 decade.

Marshall University graduate.
Virginia Tech fanatic.
Formerly known as JWillHokieAlum.

The landscape of CFB has changed since the advent of social media. We used to do very well in VA before kids could put their videos up on Twitter, YouTube, etc and make it a lot easier for schools across the country to see them.

If SM had existed as it did when Vick was being recruited would we have still landed him? Maybe but quite possibly not. I was the same year as Vick and my freshman year was the first year that computers were required at tech.

The world of recruiting has changed with technology.

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

You are exactly right. Someone like Kam Chancellor would not be a 0.8333 on 247 these days.

Marshall University graduate.
Virginia Tech fanatic.
Formerly known as JWillHokieAlum.

I think he probably would be about the same these days - he was a QB who only had offers from us, JMU, and Kent State - and had significant injuries his junior season which kept him under the radar. Even he admits he wasn't very good going into his senior season. If anything, seeing how this message board acts sometimes, they'd probably be pissed we offered a guy as low as .8333 with no P5 offers.

He played a little defense too. I think it's more than social media as well. I think kids have more opportunities to showcase their talents than they did back then.

Marshall University graduate.
Virginia Tech fanatic.
Formerly known as JWillHokieAlum.

I disagree with this. If he goes to camp (he almost certainly would) in today's climate his athleticism and size/speed is getting ranked higher from that alone. He's also probably playing in a spread offense where he is able to showcase his athleticism even more from the QB position.

He rises up during the post junior year camp circuit showcasing his athleticism, is almost certainly recruited as an ATH -> likely runs a better offense his senior year and his film is widely available to all coaches via HUDL (he also played safety in High School so it's not like nobody knew he was likely not going to be a QB in high school) -> not a low ranked 3* by the end of his senior year.

I just don't buy Kam being a diamond in the rough in 2020 with his size, speed, athleticism, obvious frame with room to grow. He also played basketball, which the 247 guys drool over multi-sport guys, he'd get a bump probably from that alone. I'm not saying he's accurately rated a 5* based on his NFL career in today's climate, but I bet he is a high 3* to mid 4* tweener high upside project ATH that gets a lot of P5 offers.

It's probably worth noting that we will never know so there's no right or wrong in this argument but I have a few extra points to add as well.

Kam's 247 high school profile states he was 6'4" 200 lbs and ran a 4.6 sec 40. Well at the combine Kam measured 6'3" and ran a 4.69 sec 40. The data was notoriously erroneous for recruits and even collegiate athletes back in those days so honestly we don't have an accurate benchmark for his stats coming out of high school.

The other thing I'd note is that fans love to talk about Kam because of his NFL success, but he had a better pro career than collegiate. Yes,
he made an impact as a freshman and was an unquestioned starter for multiple seasons but he never made an All-ACC team and I don't believe most fans at the time would have said he played up to the hype from Torrian Gray as potentially "the greatest safety in Virginia Tech history." The NFL success caused fans to completely reframe his time at VT.

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

I agree with all of this. However, all it takes is a glance at the 2020 ATH class on 247 to reinforce my suggestions. You look at a guy like Kristian Story, or five or six other similar players, to see where a Kam Chancellor would have been rated in the modern day.

For the 2018-2019 seasons, the 247 Composite curve displaying the scores of all the FBS signees (Orange) is almost identical. In most season prior to this, these values are typically well below what we see in a current class.

I agree with your take on this- 247 didn't even exist until 2010. The pre-2010 composite is just an exercise in converting somebody else's evaluations, and it doesn't appear to have been a great effort.

Based on this curve adjustment, Kam Chancellor would move from an 83.33 to about an 85.15. (You can see these plateaus in the 2006 graph).

A little old, but some data to illustrate your point. This is from a thesis project a kid at Oklahoma State did in 1983:

It's comforting that we were a mid-major Independent, and we signed the same number of Scholastic/Parade All-Americans in Virginia as ACC member UVA did in the 1970's.

One.

In 2003, 2004, and 2005, we land 5, 4, then 5 of the top 10 recruits in the state (respectively). I'd consider that 'cleaning up the state.' Things started changing drastically in 2007 or so.

Twitter me

Damn, in 06 we got out recruited by Florida of all teams. Jelani Jenkins from the DMV and Good Counsel, and Percy Harvin out of Tidewater.

I don't know if we ever tried with Harvin cause 247 doesn't show an offer from VT. Would love to hear the back story on that one. Tyrod and Harvin on the same team....

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

Florida was coming into VA long before that. In '02 class they took committed QB Patrick Dosh away from Tech.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

Going off memory but Harvin was, uh, problematic in high school and VT wanted nothing to do with him. Urbz was never concerned with stuff like that.

Reading through the history of his recruitment, suspended multiple times in high school and almost didn't graduate.

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

Feels sometimes like this guy is running the recruiting operations for Tech

via GIPHY

Missing out on DD is pretty tough, especially considering the type of shade he threw out on VT (stuff Joe posted). But if this class can be at the same level as the 2018 & 2019 classes I'll be perfectly satisfied (as that is where VT should be on a regular basis).

2020 was a huge swing and a miss, and this year is looking very similar. I'm not saying our average ranking will be the same, but we are missing on a bunch of key targets... again. Hopefully the staff can be very focused and strategic the rest of the way out.

Is coronavirus over yet?

Looks like Ahmari Huggins-Bruce is slipping away from us as well.

I won't post too much second- hand insider stuff but it sounds like the coaches told him to go public or move on.

Well this is fun...

He's one of the silents the staff has been pushing for a while now.

Another solid job by this staff. Push them....onto another team...lol. Well done๐Ÿ‘Ž

Fuente and Co. just don't get it in Recruiting...and it's not going to get better this far in.

I mean yes they didn't seal the deal which is worthy of criticism but we've had people complain that the silents are using us as placeholders anyways so the idea that the staff pushed them to either go public or move on if they weren't serious doesn't bother me

VT '17

Why so negative. Imagine a girl you're dating casually has been stringing you along. You say you want to make things more serious and she says she is waiting to see how things work out with another guy. Do you say "Oh, ok. In that case give me a call when you are feeling bored next weekend"? No.

"You don't stare into a rearview mirror"

But that's completely normal in job searches (from both employees and employers).

Twitter me

To an extent. Any employer would recognize the importance of the decision, but at some point a decision has to be made.

"You don't stare into a rearview mirror"

There is a point at which a decision must be made: December 18th, or February 3rd. Which is 6-8 months from now. This is why college football needs to get rid of 'commitments,' 'commitable offers,' and the like, and move to immediate signing, which must be completed by February 3rd.

Steps on soap box

Here's my plan:

  • Scholarships can be 'promised' at any point in a player's life
  • LOI's cannot be given out until August 1st of a recruits senior year
  • All LOI's must have an expiration date earlier than or equal to February 3rd (current NSD)
  • If an LOI expires, schools can issue a new one.
  • LOI's cannot be retracted unless there's an issue with grades or a legal issue

Steps off soap box

Twitter me

I don't love the system either. But until it changes, every school will put out more offers than slots. Some kids get to wait and we wait. Some kids have a commitable offer, but only so long as the slot remains open. It sucks. It is slimy. But it is the current system.

I would like to think that if he had committed, we would honor it through signing day. But, we know that isn't always the case. I do like that the staff has stated that in-state offers are solid. I wish we had a system that allow that to be the case across the board. But as long as the kids have the freedom to change their mind, the schools have to do what they can to protect themselves.

"You don't stare into a rearview mirror"

If you're silent committed, you're not committed

Some would go so far to say that if you're publicly committed you might not be committed either.....๐Ÿคทโ€โ™‚๏ธ

Well then - see ya later pal. If he was silent awaiting other things did he ever really want to come here? I've been thinking a lot about recruiting and the different sides of things (whose fault, what there is to sell, etc) and at the end every school is selling the same nuts and bolts - football. if you excel at football you will get drafted no matter what school and how nice their meeting rooms are or whether they feed you with a spork or a fork. Calvin Johnson - GT won over 7 games with him once and he was drafted #2, josh Allen, Carson wentz etc. I'm not going to argue with folks over the examples, but my point is if you go to any college and excel at what you signed up to do - play damn good football you will be drafted. They found You in PO-dunk high schools so you will be found at the college level. CJF can only sell so much before it turns into lying. Just like no one can force any of us to take a job we didn't like, the staff can't force a kid to take their offer. So hopefully we can go out there this season drama free, win some big games and get some forward football momentum.

The DD flip kinda put it all in to perspective even he thought he is/was a better recruiter. Makes you appreciate a coaches job a bit more. On to hoping this ship turns around and we look back on these days and just shake our heads.

What the staff is trying to sell is that you fit our system; so you will get a chance to stand out playing for us. Our staff seems to have a problem convincing recruits that we are the best place for them. Is that because we are honest with them? Did Auburn win this one because they painted a rosy picture for an impressionable teenager? I don't know; but I do know it really irritates me that there are no checks on coaches lying to these kids.

Doesn't matter if it's cake or pie as long as it's chocolate.

I've heard from some South Carolina fans that he has been holding out hope for a SCar offer. Makes sense for proximity reasons and he comes from a very, very tough part of SC. I was really hoping we would land him, but we will see how it plays out I guess. We probably lost momentum with most WR's we were recruiting after losing DD. Hopefully we can get Coley or someone on board soon and we can try to "reconfigure" this recruiting class to get back on track. We don't have much of a choice anymore.

Latrell replaced his pinned tweet, which was his VT commitment video, with his recent personal vid.

Sooooo, are we about to go through this again?

Replaced it with a birthday video someone made for him, and still has

Wide Receiver @ Virginia Tech ๐Ÿฆƒ

in his bio. I wouldn't worry about him right now. I believe I saw somewhere that he worked out with Robert Wooten (2020 DE) today, not sure if that's true, but it would also indicate he's still on board.

He's not drowning in committable offers at the moment. We may yet lose him, but it's not like he's an immediate take at Auburn or Oklahoma, etc. type schools.

Robert Wooten had that tweet the other day that suggested he was good w VT, but we will see over time with Neville. No use worrying about changing a pinned tweet.

The only prospects that will truly define this class is whether or not VT is able to sign any of the following: Leigh, Brown, Gilliam, Tyleik, and Watson AKA the best OL/DL talent that are even remotely warm towards VT. If Leigh and Brown are indeed now a package deal according to Brown's social media, then I will assume that means LSU won the battle as a lot of the recent chatter surrounding Brown has him leaning more towards the Tigers.

With Gilliam looking strongly at OU, that leaves Tyleik and Watson as the primary focus of the staff. If VT misses out on both, then it will definitely be another class ranked in the 60-70s range.

Sadly, after getting a better look at VT's dearth in recruiting capacity (Sons of Saturday podcast), knowing how far ahead the truly elite programs are in terms of funding, marketing, graphics, staff, facilities, etc., the debacle over the winter with Fuente and Baylor, how even the mid tier ACC teams are performing better, as well as the downward trend of the program over the last few years, VT will probably end up at or possibly even worse than the final 2020 recruiting rankings.

Sons of Sat did the podcast with the Iezzi interview right? That was a really informative one.

I agree that building the trenches is critical to long-term program stability. Great line play both keeps any given team's floor high, and raises the potential height of the ceiling. You can have lackluster skill position/QB play and finish with a winning record if you have a strong OL and DL.

That's why one of the primary ways we can hold up this class is to make sure we retain Tyas Martin, land Tyleik or a similar style player, and land some of top DE targets.

Then landing a few of our top OL targets like Pounds and Bounds. Pounds recruitment seems to be blowing up right now which gives me pause on our chances. Leigh I refuse to get my hopes up for, but that would be an incredible pull.

Agreed. Vance Vice has truly elevated the floor of the OL, not only by raising the average recruit rating along the OL over the last few classes (Nester, Hudson, Culver, and Hanson) but he has also helped quickly develop some of the more unheralded recruits such as Darrisaw, Dzansi, and Tenuta. All of a sudden, the VT OL is stacked with young talent. Adding Bounds and Pounds (who I really like) to the OL room would continue to sustain the current pipeline of elevated OL recruits AND would be an incredible marketing tool if both end up manning the LT/RT positions.

Put any talented 6'4 225lb dual threat QB behind that OL and the production will come. Even more so with a better 1/2 RB tandem which I believe VT has with Herbert and King.

The same needs to be done to the DL. I truly believe that Teerlinck and Tapp can pull higher upside DL. Both are charismatic and can also translate what it takes to get to the NFL considering their backgrounds. However, it takes time for new coaches to build relationships and the pandemic restrictions only made the probability of a year 1 turnaround less likely.

That is why overall, I do not feel total doom and gloom if VT falls in the rankings again (which I believe will happen if we miss on the 'warm' OL/DL recruits). The talent and/or staff is either already in place (OL) or has been addressed (DL).

Great line play both keeps any given team's floor high, and raises the potential height of the ceiling. You can have lackluster skill position/QB play and finish with a winning record if you have a strong OL and DL.

You are spot on. A lot people on here want 4/5 star skill positions because those are the sexy positions and easy to get excited about. A really good O-line can make a 2-3 star RB/QB/QB play well above his projected skill level. Do highly skilled/rated WR/RB/QB's help? Sure, absolutely... But those 4/5 star RB/WR/QB's aren't going to make many plays if the O-line can't (run or pass) block. That's why I am excited for the future of the offense since we have recruited very well on the o-line as of late.

Now there outliers with freakish athletes like the Michael Vick's, Saquan Barkley's, Adrian Peterson's, and Reggie Bush's of the world who can out run or truck anybody.

Bleeding burnt orange and chicago maroon

The Iezzi interview was really good. Very informative. The fact that he has ascended to that position at such a young age is extremely impressive. He is extremely sharp, diligent, and the fact that he wants to be at VT long-term, with no desire to go anywhere else sets up well for us in the long term. BUT, the other flip of that coin is that we are at an extreme disadvantage relative to other schools, and it remains to be seen whether Iezzi's work ethic and Hokie pride can close that gap with an admitted dearth of resources. Keep in mind, by his own admission, one guy left our recruiting department and it decimated our entire year of recruiting. That is completely unacceptable. So, while the coaches no doubt share some blame on recruiting misfires, the system we had in place (and I would submit that we continue to have in place) leaves a lot to be desired. Until we see some significant changes to the recruiting structure, some of our criticisms are a bit unrealistic.

"That's it guys. Let's get out of here. That cold drink's waitin' on us, let's go." - Mike Young after win no. 300.

the system we had in place (and I would submit that we continue to have in place)

i don't know how you could listen to that pod and think that's still the case. much better communication amongst the recruiting staff and the overall strategy and the day-to-day/week-to-week doesn't just exist in Diethorn's head like it evidently did in Cantor's

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

I should clarify. I'm not saying that we haven't made changes (the HUDL subscription was a good start. /s), but, we would be naive to think that we still don't have a LONG way to go, or that the other programs remained stagnant. In sports, you're either getting better or getting worse, there is no "maintaining." So again, I'm not throwing off on Iezzi. He is genuine, likable, true Hokie, etc. But make no mistake about it, he is/we are at an extreme disadvantage based upon the resources we currently have devoted to recruiting, so to get complacent with the marginal changes we've made or pretend it is anything other than an uphill battle would be a mistake.

"That's it guys. Let's get out of here. That cold drink's waitin' on us, let's go." - Mike Young after win no. 300.

yes - 100% agree with this

just didn't think it was fair to say that we have largely the same system in place as we did with Cantor

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

I get where you're coming from since these prospects seem like our best chances just from looking at 24/7. But there is still 6 months to go and knowing how tight lipped this regime has been there are probably other targets that we aren't even aware of yet. I know I'm just pulling out the optimist card here but remember when we flipped Dylan Rivers and Doug Nester (both 4 stars) pretty much out of nowhere late in the cycle? Anything is possible

as well as the downward trend of the program over the last few years,

Results: We went from 3/4 straight 6-6 seasons, to winning the Coastal, going 9-3, one bad season, going 8-4. We were literally inches from beating top 10 ND to go 9-3. Please tell me why this is a downward trend.

Recruiting: We had the 4th or 5th best class in the ACC, and top 25, in 3/4 years, with last year being an anomaly. We're seeing 4-star talent starting for our program right now. We land even 2 of our top ten targets, and we'll be in the top 30 (Brown and Leigh, pls), and top 5 in the ACC. Again, please tell me why this is a downward trend.

And yes, I get we are agitated at how we got to where we are today, but this year is shaping up to be special, if it's played. The following year, too.

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

I agree that this year is shaping up to be special. I also agree that there is significant nuance to the team's results both on and off the field (injuries, turnover in staff and players, etc.) over the last few years that either fairly or unfairly contributed to the downward perception.

But you cannot ignore the fact that currently, there is a perception (both nationally and among the fan base) that VT is trending downward which is a result of the team's on field performance, recruiting, negative media attention, and the Baylor drama.

If you want details, well here you go.

2016 - Yes, winning the Coastal and finishing 10-4 was solid.

However, it was followed by:

2017 - 9-3 season. Not bad but also not the VT standard, which should be 10+ win seasons, which could have happened but the team fell short with a Bowl loss. Say what you will but 10-3 looks a lot better than 9-4, especially when you consider the previous season and the added momentum of having back to back 10 win seasons.

2018 - Summing this up as 'one bad season' is whistling past the graveyard. 2018 was by all accounts an absolute disaster. Even putting the team's final record aside, which included a humiliating loss to ODU and another Bowl loss. The off field issues and player attrition significantly contributed to the negative perception of the program.

2019 - Its one thing to say we went inches from going 9-3 which included a close loss to ND. Its another to not even mention the embarrassing 45-10 loss at home to Duke which brought even more negative perception in addition to how the season ended with back to back losses to UVA (broke the streak) and another Bowl loss to Kentucky who basically did not have a QB. Factor in the 2020 recruiting class which fell to #74, good for dead last in the ACC, the Fuente drama with Baylor, and you have your national perception of a downward trend.

I'll give you perception, and yes, 2018 was downright awful, but we're not giving the staff credit for turning things around after Duke, 2 shutout wins, and going toe to toe with ND. The last 2 losses didn't help with perception, but we didn't get run off the field either.

I fear we're getting into Nebraska territory as a fan base. They ran Solich and Pelini out of town, and it's resulted in mediocre results. We don't need to be that fan base. I'm still uncertain just as everyone else about Fuente, but we've elevated the program from 6-6, and he deserves that credit.

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

I see where you are coming from with the Nebraska comparison. But you also have to look at the process of how we got the results. 2018 we were two remarkable bounces on the goal line from finishing 3-8, 2019 we went toe to toe with ND, even though we were obscenely lucky to be in a position to win the game, but we were also goal line stands away from losing to UNC and blowing a 28-0 lead in Miami. Does your outlook on the Fuente tenure change if 2 plays in a whole season change and we go 7-5 or 6-6? I don't think Fuente is a bad coach by any means, and am actually super bullish on this years team if we play, but I think its totally fair to question a lot of things about his process around the program.

The whole 1 or 2 plays is such a double-edged sword, though. I'll give you an example: if Ryan Willis makes 2 more correct reads in the opener at BC last year, he throws for 400+ yards, 6TD, 1 INT, and we're all saying Fuente is the QB whisperer we knew he was all along, Willis is a dark-horse Heisman candidate, we're headed to the playoffs, etc. But, your point is well-taken.

"That's it guys. Let's get out of here. That cold drink's waitin' on us, let's go." - Mike Young after win no. 300.

i know the Duke and BC losses sucked, but didnt we kind of need them in order to get HH starting? Personally, i feel like had we won those then we just lose a few games later in the year with Willis and we prolong HH becoming the starter.

Unless of course there was some master plan we were all unaware of- like HH starting after Duke regardless due to health reasons, obv just speculation

I think we needed Jerry kill to start hendon hooker. He was the guy who said switch

2019 - In the spirit of what-if's:

Willis doesn't throw the redzone pick at the end of the 2nd quarter against BC, we kick the FG. After the TD in the 4th we go for two and make it, then punch out a tough win. 1-0.

Duke happens 3-1.

We get one fourth down stop against ND in the final drive 7-1.

We get a FG on the final drive vs UVA to go up 33-30. They answer. We go into OT. They get jitters from last year and cough up a fumble. We win 11-1

We get boat-raced by Clemson because come on, but we manage the Orange Bowl bid, don't lose to Florida and find Tech's first 12 win season.

Do we get the same recruiting class for the 2020 class? Yes. Most of the players had committed by the time the season really got underway.

Does it help with the current 2021 class? Maybe, maybe not. After the 10 win season, the bump we got in class average (.8648) was not outside the norm of average classes under Beamer.

In the 247 era, Beamer's classes (2010-2015) were .8694, .8499, .8657, .8708, .8640, and .8654. Good for an average class ranking of .8642.

Fuente has, data-wise, even paced Beamer during the 247 era with classes of .8518, .8648, .8779, .8757, .8543, .8613. Good for an average class ranking of .8643.

Never Forget #1 Overall Seed UVA 54, #64 UMBC 74

please tell me why this is a downward trend.

First of all, I think you're over valuing the ND result. Unpopular opinion here, but that game was more a result of ND playing atrocious than VT playing lights out. We won the field position battle, and the turnover battle, but ND doubled or nearly doubled our total yards, total first downs, and 3rd down conversation rate. Despite us giving up >50 yards in penalties, ND gave up 75. It was a valiant effort by our boys, but we can't win game that type of game consistently. If had less turnovers and less penalties, I'd be more inclined to agree with you, but as it stands, ND tried as hard as possible to lose that game, and still couldn't.

Second, (and most concerning IMO) our rivals (both geographic recruiting rivals and division/conference foes) are on the upswing, while we are taking baby steps at best.

  • UNC is looking better on the field than they have in a half decade, and have the best recruiting class in the school's history.
  • UVA, while they lost their best QB in 15+ years, is looking to be on solid footing for the first time since... 2003?
  • GT has improved their recruiting, and their coach is embracing new NIL rules, positioning the school to be a great place to build your personal brand.
  • Penn State is taking virtually every 4-star+ north of Richmond
  • Miami, who has been a quarterback away from being a 10 win team, has just landed the best QB on the transfer market.

It's impossible to know what these teams' new ceilings are or how sustainable their recent success is, but it's enough to be very concerning.

Third of all, JF has not done well against P5 competition. The last 2 years we had some of the easiest schedules, but yet lowest P5 win totals:

  • 2016 = 8 P5 Wins
  • 2017 = 7 P5 Wins
  • 2018 = 4 P5 Wins
  • 2019 = 5 P5 Wins

Fourth of all, the eye test tells you that this offensive hasn't looked consistently good since 2016. For the last 3 years, this offense has (at best) looked like gears on a bicycle that won't click into place. SP+ rankings back that up - our offense has never been hire than 39th in Fuente's 4 seasons at VT (39th, 71st, 41st, 56th, respectively). Unless JHam can produce a peak Bud Foster defense, we're not getting back to the top 25 without a top 35 offense.

Fifth of all, it's too early to know how much of an abnormality last year's recruiting class was, but I'm concerning about our recruiting. Last year's class was small, so it's not a big deal that it had a low ranking, but this year's class is big. If we fall outside the top 30 on this class, there will be some bad football in our future, or there will be a ton off attrition as we make room for transfers and new/better recruits (or both). One disclaimer here - COVID has created a potential market inefficiency - it's possible that for the first time in the last 10 years, 247/rivals are not able to correctly identify and rate high school talent to the degree that they had in previous years. If that's the case, it's possible that Fuente can capitalize on that by 'out scouting' the competition. But that strategy is not sustainable.

Finally, I think it's unwise to overestimate the ability of an unproven defensive coordinator. This is a shorty term and long term concern - we don't know how this team is going to do with a new DC, nor do we know if JHam is a good DC. Time will tell.

To be honest, I'm optimistic. I think Fuente is a good coach. I think what he did at Memphis was one of the most amazing feats in the last 20 of college football, and I think he can win hear. But he's asking the fans for a lot leeway. For every positive over the last 3 years, there's been just as many, if not more, negatives. That ratio has to change soon.

Twitter me

Thank you for this thoughtful and nuanced write-up Bar. It mirrors a lot of my thoughts, concerns, and points of optimism for the program at the moment. I'm sure many other VT fans feel the same way. Not everything has to be Pro/Anti-Fuente, and we don't have to be locked in a rigid dichotomy between those two.

The only thing i want to point out is that with HH at QB, we scored 30+ points every game except Pitt (28), cant argue with the rest, great writeup.

247 has added "confidence" levels associated with crystal balls. This ought to add some more hilarity to this already hilarious tool.

Pretty big news, we made Austin Pendergist's top 184:

That guy is an insufferable Clemson homer.

Clemson fans in general are pretty insufferable.

Nobody has to tell me that haha. I've been surrounded by them my whole life. That does mean that I do get to know the good ones as well, but the overall trends within the fanbase make them truly insufferable to be around. The two most annoying ones are they are constantly being victimized by sports media, and that they have all these moral superiority takes that they actually believe...

Some guy got downvoted to oblivion on r/cfb because he talked about how other elite schools recruit talent first and Clemson always recruits high character first (Their current avg recruit rating is like .95 right now, but they definitely go for character first and foremost...). The guy at no point understood why he was being downvoted and cried about how Clemson fans are victimized (hitting both annoying trends at once).

The stakes are not remotely similar, but it's the same kind of propaganda controlled insular bubble around here I imagine you'd find in tightly run government controlled countries. You'd hear some things Clemson fans actually believe (like above) and you'd think they were crazy, then you turn on local sports radio, listen to Dabo press conferences, and see Clemson related social media and you realize they are being force-fed propaganda at every turn.

Yep, Dabo is quite the propaganda master. It's almost run like the mob. You keep up appearances, have some clever reverse money laundering going on so under the table money can be funneled in, and have a big enough circle of people around to take the fall and plausible deniability so nothing leads back to the head people. And everyone just thinks they are little old Clemson doing things the right way, so why bother them?

Narrowed to 151, made the cut!

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

Is this a joke? 1. 80% of those offers aren't commit-able... 2. I wouldn't recruit this kid.

DC, this is this kid's life, man. He's about to make the biggest decision of his life! Why you gotta be so negative?

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

Of course it's a joke. The guy isn't a kid. He graduated from Clemson in 2016.

LinkedIn Profile

I'm sad to say it took me entirely too long to see our hat (because it's orange) and BC appears twice

The 247sports VT Podcast "Inside the Tunnel" had an interview with Derrick Hopkins (who is the DL coach at Highland Springs) today. He mentioned how dramatically different recruiting is today compared to when he was being recruited only 10/11 years ago. One of the first things he talks about is how important/crazy the camp circuit has become compared to back in his time.

I listened to the podcast as well. Very informative.

It just goes to show why having a robust recruiting support staff is so critical. Everything is about having more eyeballs since access and exposure are far greater today than in previous decades and how its now a 24/7, 365 day grind. Hudl, social media, the camp circuit... it all means that in order to consume the massive amounts of content, evaluate talent, plan the offers, extend an offer, compete against other offers (sometimes for almost 2-3 years in advance), all before signing day, in addition to the qualitative stuff like marketing, graphics, videos, etc., it has fundamentally transformed recruiting into a more quantitatively driven operation/business more so than the relationship management, salesman, insider secret process that was more of an art form.

There are very little 'insider' secrets these days. Everything is about managing volume in the most systematic and efficient way possible in order to best apply the coaches evaluation framework on as many available prospects as possible, then managing the relationship with each recruit with an extended offer while fending off the herd of competition.

Its one thing to have the best team of salesmen for a small successful local business located in a small geographical area. It is entirely another beast when you are 'selling' at a Fortune 500 level in a national arms race of which you only operate at ~50% of the total expenditures of those teams competing at the top.

Gone are the days of Stinespring and his 'ownership' of the 757 and it is exactly why Iezzi mentioned seeing recruiting staffs of 10+ per college at their annual trade conference and feeling so far behind the power curve. The problem wasn't that we needed a guy like Diethorn and Iezzi in the first place to help establish a better process. The problem is that VT needs like 10+ Diethorns and Iezzis operating at full steam in order to just compete in what already is and always will be an uphill battle.

This. Exactly this. As I said elsewhere, what Iezzi has done at such a young age is remarkable. But, unless he figures out how to clone himself, we're going to need to a few more guys.

"That's it guys. Let's get out of here. That cold drink's waitin' on us, let's go." - Mike Young after win no. 300.

Can we just establish once and for all that "silent commit" = waiting for a better offer?

UNC is going to be a hell of a team then next half a decade :/

Recruit Prosim

It's kind of funny, they're in a position where they took too many people last cycle and next cycle where they can take 25 or so isn't nearly as good in NC. If they were taking a full class they'd probably have taken Colby Smith and offered Jordan Poole or gone after Tyleik Williams harder. But their class does look dynamite. Here's to hoping we can get Malaki Hamrick from them in 2022.

I bet they don't get past 8 wins a year for the next half decade

I hate to say it but I think that won't ring true unless VT, and Miami mainly; but also Pitt start to step it up

Go for it

Two CB's for Grimes today. Mack has built himself a real deal recruiting staff and Bateman is a very solid DC. It's pretty difficult for me to imagine they do not have a good next few years. One or two more elite classes and the next 4-6 seasons will be tough even if Mack retires. UNC is committing resources to football more seriously than in the past.

I'll believe it when it happens, but I've heard this same story when Mack was first there, then when Torbush took over. Then Bunting, they were really committing to football, then Butch where they were really, really committing to football, and then Fedora, they doubled down on really committing to football, and Mack again, where football, they're really committing to it.

FYI, they will never fully commit to football because the majority of UNC fans/donors only care about beating NC State/Duke in football and having a championship basketball team. The first part is easy to do without really committing to football.

The commitment to UNC football is so strong, they had to reduce their seating capacity by 12,000 so that they could "sell out" the stadium.

I mean I hope you're right but they just got a $40m donation last year. We would kill for somebody to be that committed to football. As long as boosters keep pumping that money in, what they are doing is sustainable. Our main problem is we can't keep up in the arms race because we don't get enough donations/fan monetary support. If our fans ever want us to reach the heights they say they do, they need to put their money where their mouth is a la UNC.

We would kill for somebody to be that committed to football.

I'm not sure its a lack of commitment as much as its a lack of deep pocketed donors.

Hokies United l Ut Prosim

I think this is a dated hottake that will not age well.

This is the same kind of aughts thinking that tells us VT is an elite program and things are fine because we beat Miami, won 10 games and an ACC championship

A real hottake is not being happy about beating Miami, winning 10 games and 4 ACC championships.

This is by far the most annoying Tech fan opinion and one would think that after 8 years of mediocracy, we might appreciate that 2004-2011 run just a little bit more than we did in the moment.

Gobble Till You Wobble

This is the same kind of aughts thinking that tells us VT is an elite program and things are fine because we beat
Miami, won 10 games and an ACC championship

Emphasis mine. I don't think he's saying 2004-2011 wasn't great. I think he's arguing that we chose to react to that success with a lot of complacency and contentment with "the way things were," which allowed us to fall behind. Which I absolutely agree with. We now know the extent to which we were slow to adapt to the changing world of recruiting, support staffs, and loyalty to assistants who were not keeping up with the changing landscape of football. I often defend Stiney, in the sense that the numbers weren't always bad (and were sometimes better than our best Fuente offense in 2016). However, we were slow to react to the changing tide of offense, and that hurt us on the recruiting trail big time in the late aughts and early 2010's. Thats how we ended up with Logan Thomas responsible for 90% of our offensive production surrounded by the worst group of skill players we have had in my lifetime.

Then I think he is relating that sense of complacency and lack of urgency to basing all of our views on the progress that UNC is making. Saying "well they've never been good before," but ignoring that they are taking steps and building the infrastructure to change things moving forward and get ahead of the curve is not a smart strategy.

Complacency, hubris, being stuck in the old, previously successful way of doing things has seen multiple huge companies crumble as they fall behind more innovative peers. I think that is more what he is getting at than "2004-2011 we deluded ourselves into thinking we were good."

If he is saying that, then I disagree. I will cherish that period of VT football forever, because it's the majority of what I grew up on. 2004-2011 was 6th grade through freshman year of college for me.

1995-2011 was a great time to be a hokie fan. But the writing was on the wall once we moved to the ACC and failed to improve recruiting accordingly or capture any marquee wins outside of OSU in the shoe. And by the time that game happened it was already too late in Frank's tenure to capitalize.

Your point is right, but your message a mixed bag. We didn't adapt to the changing times and it cost us.

Too say our only marquee win since we joined the ACC in 2004 is a 6-6 team that won at Ohio State is just an interesting thought process.

Gobble Till You Wobble

What would be some other marquee wins? Maybe I'm forgetting some. But then, being forgettable wins, they might not be "marquee."

Edit: I'll say that we As Hokie fans have many great, unforgettable wins since 2004. But a marquee win would be considered great and/or unforgettable by folks who aren't Hokie fans. How many of those do we have?

1

"That's it guys. Let's get out of here. That cold drink's waitin' on us, let's go." - Mike Young after win no. 300.

I honestly don't give a crap about a win over Ohio State in a season we ended 6-6 versus our 3 ACC championship games and our 2004 win over Miami to lock up the ACC.

Gobble Till You Wobble

And that's a perfectly fine way to be. It's just too bad you're not a 5-star recruit, or a 4 star recruit, or even a 3-star recruit, or a journalist, or an espn analyst, or somebody who isn't already a Hokie.

I personally enjoyed the OSU win way more than any of our ACC championships or bowl wins... except maybe the Miami win in 04. That was a great win by a great team.

I have some shocking news for you man, nobody besides our fan base remembers that game against OSU 6 years ago unless we bring it up to them. I mean can you list every team off the top of your head that OSU has lost too since 2014? Plus, as a former recruit and having been around plenty of others in the process, I'll go ahead and tell you, recruits would find a history of sustained success more appealing than "Hey remember that 2014 Ohio State team that won a national championship? Yea? Well we beat them. Yes we lost to ECU the following week and ended up 6-6 but that was cool, right?"

Gobble Till You Wobble

I think your missing the point and we've lost the plot from the original post about dated and complacent thinking. And you never answered my question about marquee wins. But enjoy your green and go hokies.

I think it's quite possible to have a middle-of-the-road opinion here. One can believe that VT had a really good run from '04-'11, but also believe that a lot of success, while impressive, was due to a weak schedule/conference.

Chris said it better than I could, but I did want to share that I just discovered that the term 'aughts' is used to refer to the first decade of a century.

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Our schedule is no weaker now than it was then and i would shit myself in public for just 5 straight 10 win seasons and 1 ACC championship.

However yes I get the point that Tech seemed to get complacent and didn't adjust with the times and that (along with obvious monetary differences between us and schools doing above average) may have set us back some.

Gobble Till You Wobble

I don't know why people believe that UNC is incapable of finding sustained football success. When Mack first coached there, he finished with a top 25 ranking in 6 of his final 7 seasons, including back-to-back top 10 finishes in 96/97, losing 3 games in 2 last two years as coach (96 and 97). Hell, if UNC had been able to close Beamer, they might be in a completely different place today.

FYI, they will never fully commit to football because the majority of UNC fans/donors only care about beating NC State/Duke in football and having a championship basketball team. The first part is easy to do without really committing to football.

There's a chicken/egg problem here - if UNC proves that they can be good at football, the boosters will invest.

The commitment to UNC football is so strong, they had to reduce their seating capacity by 12,000 so that they could "sell out" the stadium.

Very few teams are selling out stadiums nowadays. I think says more about the quality of live TV than it does about UNC.

TL;DR - the 'UNC can't be good at football mentality' breeds complacency. Our staff (and AD, and donors/boosters) need to understand that UNC is quickly gaining momentum in the power vacuum that is the ACC Coastal. Hoping our competitors will continue to trip over their own feet is not a viable strategy for success.

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I regularly wonder if we are the same person.

El. Psy. Kongroo.

I don't know why people believe that UNC is incapable of finding sustained football success.

Probably because they haven't had sustained success ever.

Edit: Not saying they can't get there either...just saying history is why people don't believe in UNC.

Mack brown can coach, he is relevant,and by God, someone on his staff can get cruits. Dude hasnt forgotten football,and with the right staff, he will succeed.

The donors ARE pushing more money towards football. I'm not speculating that, I'm telling you that is happening. They did not push this much money towards football when Fedora got there.

FYI, they will never fully commit to football because the majority of UNC fans/donors only care about beating NC State/Duke in football and having a championship basketball team. The first part is easy to do without really committing to football.

It's very true that the animosity between the big NC schools is substantial, and those rivalries are important, but the talk from UNC fans that I interact with and their online presence/message boards seem to have much bigger ambitions this time.

The commitment to UNC football is so strong, they had to reduce their seating capacity by 12,000 so that they could "sell out" the stadium.

Metal bleachers are easier to fit more people into. They replaced a bunch of metal bleachers with 35,000 individual seats, which naturally reduced the total capacity. You're spinning a substantial investment of cash to modernize their football stadium into them not caring about football? That doesn't make sense to me. If they can more easily fill 51k seats, then that's a PLUS for them in the short term. If their football following increases substantially that creates demand for their season tickets. That means bigger donations for priority seating. There is a long term strategy there that can work.

The way I see what UNC is doing is quite simple. There has been a power vacuum in the ACC Coastal since 2011. We haven't been able to reclaim it, Miami has been their same erratic self where the football program and the school have struggled to align themselves properly, while making multiple poor coaching hires. UNC finally realized someone could come in and fill that vacuum, take advantage of the easy path it provides, and try to become the dominant team. They invested heavily into a staff that recruits, and we've seen the results already. They have the second best QB in the ACC, they signed the 2nd best DL class in the ACC last year, and they will sign the 2nd best class (in the ACC), and their best ever class, this cycle. They are going to elevate their talent above ours substantially. Does that mean they will beat us next year, or the next year? No it does not guarantee that, but if they keep recruiting at this substantially elevated level? Yes, it will become a similar situation to Clemson. Eventually, the excess talent becomes too much to consistently overcome. There is never a guarantee that something like this will work, but they are certainly on the right path to pulling it off so far.

Everything you said is accurate...very good post...and i still had an urge to downvote while reading because i hate unc, and really wish we could've capitalized on a down coastal. also, i'm jealous of the talent they are bringing in, i admit that.

There was a good post on the VT 247 board comparing the number of GA's, analysts and support staff between VT, UNC, and Clemson and it was shocking. UNC has like one less analyst than Clemson and as many or more of everything else. It's not just them throwing a ton of money at flashy coordinator hires, they're building out the infrastructure.

UNC has 2 Grad assistants more than VT has. I completely discount Moody and Woods, they're there to strictly play golf with Mack. I don't see all this support staff and analysts that VT doesn't based on the staff directories for both schools.

Go to this UNC Staff Directory and scroll down to football. I count 54 staff members (including coaches, 4 GA's, 5 Analysts, 2 QC, 4 Strength/Conditioning, and a variety administrative roles) who help football. Compare to VT, we don't have anyone with an Analyst or QC role.

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Compare to VT, we don't have anyone with an Analyst or QC role.

Honestly I think we do and they just aren't listed for whatever reason. The athletic department seems go be pretty terrible at updating the staff directory. I'm almost certain Beau Davidson was just in a QC role but it like he was promoted to 'Assistant Director of Player Personnel'. I will say this is all my guess on trying to put the pieces together on staff roles but it seems that Prioleau and Davidson might be assuming Lechtenberg's responsibilities after he moved to RB coach. We used that extra coaching slot to have 2 DL coaches.

Anyway I've seen twitter accounts from 'Coach So and So", whom I've never heard of, with VT football listed in the details and would guess these are analysts/QC guys that fans mostly don't know about.

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

Honestly I think we do and they just aren't listed

You must've missed the John Lezzi podcast interview, where he literally talked about how short staffed VT was.

In all seriousness, I recognize the titles might be different or Hokie Sports may have failed to update the page, but unless you believe that the page (which has obviously been update since the new defensive staff was hired) is missing 10 different people, then there's still a somewhat significant discrepancy between the two schools.

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I agree we are woefully short staffed and the discrepancy is important. Just pointing out we have had analysts and QC staff over the years even if none are currently listed.

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

This isn't even a shot at UNC but wow I can't imagine going UNC after appearing to be a Georgia lean. That's an SEC and national powerhouse, that pumps out NFL players...versus an ACC coastal team. Mack Brown must have a hell of a pitch.

Why? The ACC puts DBs in the league yearly. The kid will get to play 3hrs from home and get coached by someone who is from the 757 and played 10+ yrs in the league....

The top of the recruiting boards is dominated by teams that are perennial playoff contenders. Those are some good points and UNC is probably on the rise but they still are just not close to a program like Georgia in terms of on field success.

I would pump the brakes on Dre Bly's coaching attributes.....

He hasn't been a coach nearly long enough to say he's good or bad -- but we can't be excited about Tapp joining our staff and then pump the brakes on Dre Bly's coaching abilities. All the same things that apply to what Tapp can sell in recruiting (alum, all american, second round pick, stuck in the league for ten-plus years) also apply to Dre Bly, plus he was a Pro Bowler, All Pro, and SB Champ.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Except Tapp worked for directional Michigan and Vandy before coming to Tech staff.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

And Bly has an extra year on him as a position coach at a P5 program.

Yeah, plus that experience with the San Diego Fleet

One, Fleet Forever, and two, that's arguably better experience that our current DC has.

Also, Bly is showing that you can hit the ground running in recruiting without needing years of relationship building. This seems like a real blind spot for Fuente. Zohn never paid off on his 757 connections, and it's not like 250 talent is lined up to commit to TnT.

LOLOLOLOLOL, we'll see how awesome Bly is at recruiting when he runs out of kids who he coached in Charlotte. Every kid they got that Bly recruited is the antitheses of that statement. Hell, Downs is his nephew!

Grimes play for him in Charlotte?

I'm sorry, did he sign scholarship papers already?

We get it, you're skeptical that the UNC coaching staff won't translate the talent to wins. The rest of us are worried about the "what if they do". But the more recruits that UNC is getting (perhaps at Tech's expense, see CRS etc), the more you seem to be doubling down on that and getting more and more snarky/antagonistic.

There's no basis to say that Bly isn't a good coach, just as much as there's no basis to say he is a good one -- we don't know yet. As far as recruiting, I'd say he's working the connections he has to pretty great effect. The fact that he signed to coach in the AAF and then left for UNC before coaching a game doesn't change the fact that he has an NFL resume that he can sell to the kids he is already connected to.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

I don't think I'm being neither snarky or antagonistic. I deal in what I see and what I see at UNC is nothing that I haven't seen in year 2 for every coach they've had since Mack Brown was the coach the first time. I find it amazing that there isn't the least bit of skepticism by anyone else here that UNC will be awesome besides me.

I just want to see it before I believe it. I've seen Larry Fedora pull in a top 20 class coming off a 2 win season there. Larry Fedora. I don't understand why everyone has their panties in an uproar over UNC landing the same guys they've always landed in state.

Like I've said before, call me when they win more than 8 games and I'll start drinking the blue kool aid. For now, I don't buy into the hype and noise that everyone else seems to be big believers in.

I'm skeptical too -- but it's also difficult for me not to be concerned about UNC's recruiting just because this always seems to happen. Currently sitting #4 - that will change, but a top-10 class is in a different stratosphere than a top-20 class and isn't really business at usual no matter how many coaches back you go.

As far as snarky and antagonistic, "dismissive" is a better way to put it. Starting a post with LOLOLOLOLOL isn't exactly the best way to have a constructive back and forth

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

There is a difference between drinking the blue kool aid being realistic and giving some credit where credit is due. Your stance is essentially everything that has happened positive at UNC since Mack got hired has been purely blind luck.

Also, the guys that UNC is signing this year is not "the guys they have always gotten." That is not an accurate statement.

Dating back to 2005, UNC has only been in the top 10 Nationally once---2007 (they were 10th). They are currently #4 and if they do indeed land Grimes, they will almost certainly finish in the top 5.

The difference between a top-20 Class and a top-5 one is very large in terms of the amount of talent; its not really a reasonable comparison at all.

If you look at UNC's OOC schedule going forward from this year, predicting even the possibility of as few as 6 wins is just silly. By 2023, most of the talent from the '20 and '21 classes will be on the field---at that point, you could bring back John Bunting and he could coach them to 6 wins.

Nobody is asking you to paint your house Carolina Blue, but you have to have some ability to occasionally admit that UNC might be doing some things right. There is legitimate reason to believe that they will be a very good team within the next 2-3 years. Nobody here is hoping for that, nobody is granting them that, but to completely ignore the momentum that they have and shoot down even the notion that they are building something simply because they haven't succeeded before is pretty damn arrogant.

Hey I'm a VT fan but Dre Bly is my boy....we grew up together...not sure about his coaching ability but I will always root for people from the 757 and especially "The Lot"....

Mack Brown must have a hell of a pitch.

I have no sources or any knowledge at all about UNC recruiting but as a rather biased fan, my assumption would be something like this.

/s

Tennessee, USC, Florida State, UCLA, and Miami fans probably thought the same thing 5 years ago. And yet...

Look, UNC is recruiting at an insane level at the moment and that does raise their potential, but history has shown that you absolutely cannot assume that will translate to on field success.

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

But you cannot assume that it won't happen either. Past performances don't always predict future success in football (with the caveat that championships are only won by past champions). Nebraska used to be fantastic, now they are crap. Clemson wasn't considered an every year powerhouse, now they are considered elite.

This also only focuses on one of the two issues VT faces from UNC's increased recruiting prowess. Regardless of on-field success, if kids routinely choose UNC over VT, then VT's talent level will suffer.

"Sooner or later, if man is ever to be worthy of his destiny, we must fill our heart with tolerance."
-Stan Lee

"Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing."
-Ron Swanson

"11-0, bro"
-Hunter Carpenter (probably)

I hate to break it to you but historically UNC has recruited better then VT. My belief is there is zero correlation between UNC recruiting success and VT recruiting success and zero correlation between UNC recruiting success and UNC winning more than 8 games, something they've only done twice in a 24 year period.

And this isn't complacency on my part. I just choose to look at substance over hype. Sure UNC won 7 games last year. They barely did it, and that was with a historically good season for their QB. There best of the 7 wins was probably Temple. I do not understand why everyone assumes they'll be even better next year. I just don't see it with the parts and pieces they have returning, plus no one is going to overlook them next year, and there's more film on Longo and Bateman with their players.

I am the Dennis Green of UNC takes.

But again, there is a counterpoint to nearly everything you posted.

Howell had a historically good season as a Freshman and he has almost his entire offensive unit back. His numbers could take a step back, but there equal reason to think he could have an even better year.

Defensively, they have to replace DT but otherwise return most of their contributors back and much better depth in the Secondary.

Typically, barring injury, college players get better with more reps and time together and this is a team returning most of their important contributors on both sides of the ball.

There will be more film on Bateman and Longo, but they will also have more film on everyone else and Bateman won't have to be filling out his D with failed QBs and patching the secondary together with true-Fr.

We are expecting a storng year because of how many starters and major contributors we have back, but that doesn't apply to UNC?

There is another ACC team that was continually known for lots of hype, top recruits, but falling short in the end. They are now planning on their 6th CFP appearance, how long did we sleep on Klempson? And how many jokes did we make when they hired Dabo?

Sure but I didn't say I guarantee UNC will suck (that's a debate to have with Dave as he seems more confident in that outcome that I would be). It's at the very least equally premature to say things like "UNC is going to be a hell of a team then next half a decade," which is the comment I replied to.

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

Supremely confident

What's your definition of suck? I don't know that UNC is doing anything to become a super power, but the way that they are recruiting the most important positions (QB, OL, DL) makes me think that they will consistently be in the above average to very good range.

For some reason, people on here think that UNC is going to become this 10 win juggernaut. I think they'll be somewhere in the 6-8 win range for the next couple years until Mack retires again and then the rails will come off again with the next guy. Unless they hire Dabo, then all bets are off.

Yeah I mean I think they have a shot at 10 wins the next two years with Howell. Kid has an it factor, and that offense is really dynamic and shockingly young, they could only lose one-two starters after this next year. Obviously the question is can they stop anyone from scoring on them, but I think the potential is there for them to go 9-3/10-2 in the regular season.

I think the thing you are underestimating is the amount of money their boosters are throwing around and their desire to win, the 12 mil to buy out Fedora and then bring in this staff is impressive. The 40 mil worth of donations they've gotten this offseason alone gives them some room to make improvements on the coaching staff, in support staff etc. And we already saw with their DC hire that the guys with the money are demanding a good product. Heck, they even took Longo from Ole Miss where he had put up consecutive top 10 offenses. We're not on a shoestring budget by any means, but I get the sense that they're about as all in as they have been since I can remember. I wouldn't sleep on them.

Would like to go on the record and be one of the first to say that the class of 2022 is going to be our mf year. You can take that to the bank and cash that.

Sort of recruiting related, since it is a transfer in....but not good news

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

Yep based on track record a waiver isn't looking good. But I bet the UF OL who transferred to Miami will get his pretty damn fast.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

Do you really believe NCAA has some sort of agenda or is this TIC?

"You don't stare into a rearview mirror"

Our history with waivers tells you everything you need to know. Tate Martell and Justin Fields did not deserve to get a waiver if Brock Hoffman didn't get one.

Mattel and Fields were some of the reasons NCAA realized the floodgates were about to open and took a more strict stance. I dont think it was intentional, but their good intentions backfired and they had to put a halt on it. I dont think we are getting singled out or anything.

"You don't stare into a rearview mirror"

Yes, I really believe NCAA has some sort of agenda. Looking at the approvals/disapprovals last year, I am confident in my belief. And that isn't an agenda against us, but for certain schools.

I think the agenda is for the teams that hire the best lawyers tbh

If you have to hire "the best lawyers", then the rules suck and need to be fixed. Either the rules apply to everyone, or they don't.

See also, the American Justice System.

"Sooner or later, if man is ever to be worthy of his destiny, we must fill our heart with tolerance."
-Stan Lee

"Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing."
-Ron Swanson

"11-0, bro"
-Hunter Carpenter (probably)

At some point you gotta stop chalking it up to luck or favoritism. It sure seems like the competition has updated to the latest macs while VT athletics is still pecking away on a gateway 2000 running windows 95.

Recruit-Chart"

Possibly beating a dead horse here, but I was interested in seeing if the commonly repeated phrase here that "UNC has always recruited better than us," holds its weight.

The crude chart here is a listing of 247 class rankings dating back to 2005. What it shows is that if you exclude 2020 when VT Recruiting fell off of a cliff, at worst UNC and VT have been pretty equivalent over a 15 year period. The net actually shows a very mild advantage to VT.

If you look from '13 to '19; its pretty much a dead heat. I understand that there is much more to Recruiting that Class Rankings, but overall I think this demonstrates that UNC has not had a head and shoulders advantage over us in Football Recruiting.

I'd be worried about UNC but that's just me. There's a lot more of that 40M cash lying around. An 8 even 9 win season and they could takeoff for sure.

The UNC folks I know look in at VT and see the writing on the wall. What writing is that? The same writing that was on the wall when Larry Fedora was the coach at UNC. So many similarities... The major difference is that UNC has money and VT does not.

Is coronavirus over yet?

The UNC folks I know look in at VT and see the writing on the wall. What writing is that? The same writing that was on the wall when Larry Fedora was the coach at UNC. So many similarities... The major difference is that UNC has money and VT does not.

So a 2-5 record against VT? Sounds like a plan

the OP is comparing the similarities between CJF and Coach Headcheeks, not "they feel the same way about their program relative to ours now as they did when Fedora was around".

you can't just evaluate UNC-vs-VT head-to-head results on the field and use that as justification to say we're in a better place overall, for the same reason it was a little pathetic when some fans were claiming "the transitive championship" because we beat anOSU the year they won the natty.

beating UNC is nice and I'd like to think it "should" happen very year (but 5-of-7 isn't atrocious), but it just doesn't mean that much if we can't beat Duke or BC or UVA.

i want a coach and a program that consistently shows it can put its foot to the throat of programs it should beat, not one that struggles with ODU and Furman, gets blown out by Duke, and then puts together a run at the end of the season to "salvage" it.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

I know what he was saying, and honestly if they think Fedora is comparable to Fuente(s), I definitely disagree with that sentiment. I don't see any scenario where VT goes to a 2 or 3 win season.

It was very nearly reality in 2018. Though I don't see the wheels falling off to that extent any time soon. We have good qb depth the next two years (which is the true make or break time for Fuente imo) and the thing that killed them is they never replaced Trubisky, if you give them halfway competent qb play in 17 or qb health in 18 they probably go to a bowl.

The QB wasn't as bad as the defense. Fedora paid no mind to defense what so ever. He thought he could just out score everyone.

And I'll say it again, cause we are way too pessimistic of a fan base. Yes, I'm upset about the program perception, but we went from 6-6 program from '12-'15, to competing for coastal titles, 2018 aside. We are set up for a hell of a run in 2020.

The only writing on the wall is beating on UNC.

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

Outside of 2016 I don't see a ton of difference between those two eras. We had much tougher ACC slates in some years (2012 we got FSU and Clemson), in 2013 we played Bama OOC and were one fluke game against Duke (190 yards allowed, not ONE single third down conversion given up, intercepted four passes and we LOST) from winning the Coastal. 2014 we were good enough (when healthy) to beat national champs tOSU, then we got ransacked by injuries. Similar story in 2015. We also didn't get blown out to the point where I had to cut the game off like we did in 2018 multiple times. 9 of our 12 losses in 14 and 15 were by one score. In 2018 we took FOUR consecutive double digit losses (21, 10, 30, 24). If you extend that stretch backwards two weeks you capture our 22 point loss to Notre Dame and our 3 point win over 2-9 UNC after a miracle fumble into the EZ saved us from 6 consecutive losses.

2017 was basically similar to 2013, 2018 was far worse than ANY year in 12-15, so many embarrassing blowouts and losing to ODU. 2019 was a step in the right direction but we also had one of, if not the easiest schedules of any P5 team in the country, and that didn't save us from having our worst blowout loss at home in 50 years or something to DUKE.

But what about after 2020? Do you think VT is in a good spot to compete for NY6 bids in the next 1, 3, 5, and 10 years? I agree that we're set up for success in 2020, but I'm concerned about our outlook for the 3-5 year range.

Twitter me

Specifically, what has you concerned about the 2021 season? IMO, 2022 and beyond are too far out to have any specific concerns just yet...lots of time for development and transfers.

I'm not too worried about 2021, but there's a lot that could wrong. Simply put, we don't have depth. Say Farley, Hooker, Hoffman go to the draft, then there's 2 injuries on the OL and some of our transfers don't work out. All of a sudden we're in a very very different spot.

IMO, 2022 and beyond are too far out to have any specific concerns just yet...lots of time for development and transfers.

Seasons start being made 2-4 years prior. 3 of the recruiting classes who will be on the team in 2022 are already on the team.

Twitter me

Do you think VT is in a good spot to compete for NY6 bids in the next 1, 3, 5, and 10 years?

ABSOLUTELY

I'll preface by saying, a LOT has to happen this year and next, namely results on the field, and controlling attrition. We can't lose the good players, especially possible NFL talent that's leaving after this year.

We have good coaches. We're in the 8/9 win range right now, and we got to get over that hump. I think these coaches can do that. UVA/Kentucky/ND were all close, tough, emotional losses. 11-2 sounds way better than 8-5, but that's the way the ball bounces.

OL play. Hats off to Vance Vice, I like him, and I like his results. So far.

Playmakers. We are getting playmakers on both sides of the ball. Right now, recruiting is slow, but many of the 4/5 star players we got the last couple of cycles are playing now. With a big class this year, we have an opportunity to bring more in. We have a couple committed, and we need to keep them.

I mean damn, we're all so negative, but it's really not that far fetched to see us start making some runs in the coming years, starting with 2020.

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

Two seasons ago we were two literal fumbles into the EZ bouncing our way (UNC and UVA) from being 3-8, and not even scheduling Marshall.

In 2019, we had close losses to ND, UVA, Kentucky, but you can't just ignore close wins. one TD wins over Furman (very fortunate onside kick ruling for us), Miami, and 2 point win in 6OT vs UNC. You can't just swing that pendulum in one direction.

This is not meant to be anything other than allowing that logic to apply to both sides of the coin instead of just the optimistic one.

What's the adage for coaching changes...lose big, lose close, win close, win big...?

We are in the lose close/win close range. I'm really looking forward to 2020, and beyond.

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

Playmakers. We are getting playmakers on both sides of the ball. Right now, recruiting is slow, but many of the 4/5 star players we got the last couple of cycles are playing now. With a big class this year, we have an opportunity to bring more in.

This is where I have concern. I honestly have a lot of faith in our staff, and I think they're quite capable but they haven't yet proven that they can recruit at the level necessary to consistently win 10 games/seasons and contend for an NY6 bowl.

Here's a comment I made last week about the importance of recruiting. The TLDR:

  • VT has had at least 4 eventual all-americans on every 10+ win team in the Beamer era
  • If we want to create 1 all-american each season, statistically speaking, we need to land about twelve 4-stars each recruiting cycle, OR one 5-star and nine 4-stars, OR two 5-stars and six 4-stars... etc

In 4 years, Fuente hasn't landed more than seven 4-stars in a single cycle. That number needs to double.

Twitter me

No, you can have 30 4 stars sign, but if you do nothing with them, then what **cough**Miami**cough**? Beamer's classes comprised of 1 star recruit, and a hodgepodge of 3star and unknown talents. Those classes won 10 games from 2004 thru 2011 because of coaching.

Fuente has had a couple of decent classes so far, and those classes are currently major contributors. You have to do something with that talent. We went from 6 win seasons to 8/9. I see us crossing that hump to ten wins, and 2020 is shaping up to be special.

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

Beamer's classes comprised of 1 star recruit, and a hodgepodge of 3star and unknown talents. Those classes won 10 games from 2004 thru 2011 because of coaching

Emphasis mine - there are very, very few 'unknown talents' today; that's why we went from winning 10 games 9 times in a decade to doing it once. Recruiting rankings are more accurate than ever before. There are significantly fewer talented players that no one else knows about. It's been discussed ad nauseam; if you don't think that recruiting is important, or that, at the macro level, it doesn't correlate to better play on the field, then I don't know what to tell you.

2020 is shaping up to be special.

2020 is shaping up to be a good season, not a special season. 10+ wins is good. Special is better. Regardless, as I said above, my concern is after 2020. Our rivals are improving drastically faster than we are. Need to see more progress on AND off the field.

Twitter me

I don't know how I missed your previous post about this that you linked here. That was awesome work, and really interesting. I had no idea we had at least 4 eventual AA players on each 10+ win team. Thinking back though it really made a lot of sense. I remember in the mid 2000's getting mad because our best players (Adibi, Flowers, etc.) were only 2nd or 3rd team, or only made the 1st team on the AFCAA AA list and not the AP list, etc.

That '4 eventual AA players' is definitely finessed - I just went off VT's list to determine who got some sort of AA recognition (first through fourth team, from any outlet), and went off memory of what years each of those players was on a roster. But intuitively, most 'good' teams have at least two playmakers on offense who can really hurt you, and 2 guys on D who can make big plays.

That said, I actually did take the time to do the remainder of the math. I've long felt that recruiting rankings should be interpreted as an 'expected outcome,' and the numbers tend to support this theory.

Twitter me

The way most people are acting about our FB team is rough. This site really needed the spring game to lift spirits, if I didnt know any better I wouldve thought theres a bunch of UNC fans on here these days.
Take a deep breath. Stop nit picking every little thing, sit back and remember we have a good experienced team that I'm sure is ready to get back at it and get out there in the maroon and orange and rock out to enter sandman.
The recruiting took a hit with the DD news but hopefully we can pull in a few good cruits, there is still plenty of time left and with all the covid stuff going on theres gonna be plenty of flips and twists when kids start getting on campus. Its memorial day weekend folks go grab a beer and find a personal beach somewhere.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

I can't remember, was this expected?

He was an early South Carolina lean but he's been all UNC the last couple weeks.

WVU was also an early leader, I recall

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

UNC came in and wow'd him, good job recruiting by them, but if Clemson ever were to offer he will flip to Clemson.

"Look JJ, nothing but respect for those other schools and programs, but here in Chapel Hill, you will get to play high level football, earn a respected degree from a prestigious university, AND never have to step foot in a classroom! Does it get any better?"

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

Another CB for Chance Black - Running Back out of Roebuck, SC. Isn't as highly rated as his initial ranking when we offered him (.87, high 3*) but did switch from WR to RB his last season. Had a high number of receptions for a high school RB, and 5 receiving TDs last season. I still think he could be a very versatile player if he comes here.

I always really liked how New England has always utilized less traditional running backs as a weapon and think it's a good rinkle to add in if youre not running the ball as well as you should

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

I've always loved watching those RB/WR hybrid types, but I feel like it is one of the more difficult positions to effectively and consistently utilize. Every team has had a player or few that they thought would be their Percy Harvin, but never materialized.

Needless to say, I remain excited about these types. I just have over time learner to temper my expectations.

That is a fair assessment. I think what is most interesting about Chance is that he's just a hell of an athlete by the sounds of it - finished fourth as a sophomore in the triple jump (47 feet, 7 inches). Those are the kinds of guys who find a way to make an impact on the field. If he could find a way to learn from players like Tre Turner and Raheem Blackshear, I think he could make an impact quickly.

Raheem could provide the blueprint on how we will utilize a player like Chance for sure. The only issues with Blackshear right now is if he will be eligible this year. I really hope he is.

i thought blackshear was a grad transfer?

Danny is always open
23 can't read

Khalil Herbert is

No, unfortunately. He redshirted at Rutgers as soon as Chris Ash was fired and then entered the portal. He'll require a waiver for immediately eligibility

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Troy Everett, thought a strong Tech lean, just committed to App State.

F-ck around with the....[checks notes] Sun Belt and find out.

They got the other guy from his high school we were looking at as well. No idea where they were on the board for us.

According to 247, we never actually offered the other guy from Lord Botetourt (Colston Powers) even though he was originally rated as a 4* recruit. Even though I was high on Everett, offensive line is an area we have young depth in. Obviously we need to need to get some bodies every recruiting class, but considering guys like Jesse Hanson, who went to Lord Botetourt, are pumped for him on Twitter so should the rest of us.

Although I would have liked to see a good Virginia OL prospect choose VT, Congratulations Troy on your committment to App State.

SandbridgeHokieFan

Bad, bad loss. No way around it

How so, out of curiosity?

He's a kid that's been a Tech fan for life, came to many games, and wanted an offer from my understanding. It's looks worse from that standpoint than a pure talent standpoint but either way, it's not great.

It appears to me (and I have no knowledge of anything) based on past experience and his offer list is that it looks like an offer was extended with the caveat that more evaluation needed to be completed (whether it be camps or more game film). If that's the case, then it looks like he took the best of the available committable offers he had. I don't really see that scenario as a huge loss.

Again, I don't know any of the above to be true, but it surely makes sense.

I don't know how much faith to put in the Iezzi sons of saturday pod anymore if an offer went out to a VA kid and it wasn't committable from our end. In Feb, Iezzi said all VA offers going forward would be committable, and Everett was offered on Apr 9. I wonder how much of a package deal he and Colston Powers were.

I was really hoping we'd land him because the program needs these kind of players to come in and really push the established players. Everett's got offers from five Ivies and a few other really competitive academically schools not really known for football (Georgetown, Lehigh), so you know he's bringing more to the team, program, and school than just a big body, as well. Also it'd be nice to have a Lord Botetourt-to-VT pipeline on the OL -- big time 4* OT prospect Gunner Givens is in class of 2022.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

I know to all of us a choice between Tech and App State looks easy but to a lower end 3-star recruit, it really isn't. With our recent success pulling in some quality offensive line recruits and not hesitating to play them early (Hudson, Nester), he has a good reason to believe we would recruit over him and at best would not play until late in his career. If he's looking for the opportunity to compete and possibly play earlier for a quality program, have less of a chance of getting recruited over, and doesn't want to go to far away then App State makes sense.

Gobble Till You Wobble

But if this were true, shouldn't some of the prospects that are choosing more prestigious programs than VT choose us because of better opportunity for playing time?

We're not seeing that in the last two classes. So either we are targeting the "wrong guys" or we just aren't doing a very good job of getting them excited about playing for VT.

My point is, you can't have it both ways. It can't be okay to say Player X chose SEC, BiG10 school because they have a "better program" than us and then also say Player Y went to a G5 school because they had a more clear path to playing time there. The fact that your Program is having trouble attracting both X and Y suggests that there is something wrong in your recruting operation. It's not sustainable.

Yes, this is one individual player, but there is no way to reasonably deny that there is a trend in VT Football Recruiting and it isn't a good one. If we really did want Everett and he chose AppSt. over us, that is not a good outcome and there's really no way around that.

I have no way of proving it, but I suspect that is a reason we get some of our recruits. I say some because each person values different things. We must stop viewing these recruits as some kind of one size fits all personality type.

"You don't stare into a rearview mirror"

Didn't we just flip Doug Nester (4*) from Ohio State and held off the likes of Florida, Notre Dame, Tennessee, and Ohio State to get Bryan Hudson (4*) last year and they both ended up starting for us a majority of the year? While we've had frustrations with recruiting, we also have a very selective memory that blocks out the positives.

Gobble Till You Wobble

But we're losing a lot more of those battles than we're winning.

Twitter me

Maybe so, but I feel like OL recruiting is a different animal. A lot of schools do the type of scenario with guys with the type of offer list that Everett had, and slow play them through the summer to get them through camp to complete more evaluation.

I'm not trying to be mean, but I don't understand the point in taking the time to create this optimistic head canon when LA, who we know has inside connections, is saying it's just straight up bad.

LA has always called it like it is from his POV, and he has gone against the negative crowd and the positive crowd consistently with both his eval opinions and his thoughts on recruiting/transfer issues. If he says it's a bad look, that's enough for me.

Grew up a huge VT fan, along with the rest of his family. We were actively pushing for him and he committed to a school that is farther away, in a worse conference, with less history of putting OL in the league, has less tradition than VT, worse resources, etc. Pretty inexcusable loss IMO.

In Fuente we trust, regardless of all evidence to the contrary.

Gus Malzahn and Mack Brown both have room on their bandwagons for Hokies to jump on board. It's getting pretty crowded with all the folks here kissing their a.. um, singing their praises, but they'll gladly take the money folks aren't giving to the Hokie Club to help Awburn and UNC. They appreciate all the free support too, but buying players ain't cheap, so please send your checks today! War Eagle! Tar Heels! /s

Plus, if you act now join the Rams club, you get a free buffet ticket good for the K&W in Chapel Hill and the opportunity to hang out by the golf cart for 10 mins while Mack schmoozes you.

The whistling-past-the-graveyard tendencies of a large portion of the fan base, after losing a high priority in-state target to a G5 school, is something I'll never understand.

Youre right- if only more message board posters were outraged, things would be different!

El. Psy. Kongroo.

Isn't the whole point of the internet that people get to rage about things they cannot control? I mean, that and cat photos?

Cats have been replaced with baby yoda.

El. Psy. Kongroo.

How do we know he was a high priority? This seemed like the type of. Recruit where there were stipulations to the offer. Good on that kid jumping on a good opportunity

It's especially embarrassing/insane coming on the heels of a poster mocking Jalen Stroman committing to VT over Duke and UVA.

If this kid committed to VT, a poster would be mocking the commitment of an unranked player with G5 offers. So the kid commits to another school and guess what? The kid is suddenly a high priority target and we're mocking the staff for missing on him. Funny how it works.

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

- 75th ranked class in 2020 (14th in ACC), worst in P5
- Currently 53rd ranked class for 2021 (13th in ACC), and (IMO) unlikely for a top 35 finish
- Top three nationally for P5 transfers out of program, including multiple tiers of WR depth this off-season
- Losing 41% of last year's offensive contributions when 40% had eligibility to return
- "Silent commits" right off camera per Fu but for whatever reason not jumping on board
- Seven commits for current class when national trend shows overall commitments are 2x as high now as this time last year, and this staff has been focused on 2021 for some time
- Recruiting staff has perception of getting circles run around them by competition with same amount of experience
- Lost key building block of 2021 class

via GIPHY

Okay. So what are you going to do about it? Are you going to fork over the $12.5M to buy him out? And what are you going to do to fix the facilities issues? Recruiting staff? Plus it's going to take more money to hire a new head coach and staff. Unless you think you're going to find someone on the cheap. I know, maybe we should follow the UNC route and hire a retired coach who worked for ESPN. Lou Holtz should be available! So now your $12.5M is looking more like $50M if you want to be serious about fixing things. If you're not THAT serious, then you can go on bitching about things. Don't accuse others of burying their heads in the sand or whistling past the graveyard because we're not sitting on what it would really take to make us competitive enough to even challenge for the ACC on the regular.

PS. The Hokie Club took in $32.8M TOTAL donations this year (3rd highest all time). Maybe that will help put some things into perspective.

Our facilities are good enough to recruit in the top 20. Full stop. It's a lame excuse.

Once in it's history has Tech done this. ONCE

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

You know what else Tech has done once ever? finished 78th in recruiting since the rankings became a thing.

Cool is that only options god awful or going above weight class? Or is it more realistic to expect and demand classes in 20-35 range every season?

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

I think the average composite rating is better metric than overall class rank because the former doesn't penalize for class size. That slipped last cycle, and doesn't seem to be rebounding to previous highs. Also, neither class had those "stud" recruits that Tech used to snag a couple to a few of each cycle. Measuring against itself, Tech is underperforming.

It's a whole hell of a lot easier to fall down than move up in recruiting rankings.
Last year, the points difference between #1 and #10 was 51.84. The difference between #11 and #20 was 19.33. Between #21 and #30 was a bit more, at 26.46.
#31 to #40: 14.72
#41 to #50: 11.93
#51 to #60: 8.64
#61 to #70: 8.5
and #71 to us at #75: 1.67.
As you move away from the top end, everyone gets closer and closer (logical given the limited number of four and five star recruits, typically poached by the top recruiters).

I'm not defending our fall. It's not a pretty thing. But any expectation that we're going to make a magical jump from low 20s to teens isn't all that reasonable without a drastic change to our draw.

Can you show any list that has VT in the top 20 for facilities?

An objective one? nope.

I would put facilities pretty low on my list of things holding VT back. If I had to pick the biggest thing, it would be playing the most boring conference slate imaginable. You won't hear me say easy, but it is not exciting.

"You don't stare into a rearview mirror"

I'm not gonna tell you your concerns aren't valid if things play out that way. But there's still 6 months to go before the early signing day! Have a little patience

Can you pull the quote where Fuente said "silent commits"?

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

"Given what's gone on in recent weeks with recruiting, and the various initiatives you've implemented in the last few years to try to draw talent from non-traditional geographic areas, are you comfortable with the direction of your program's recruiting efforts? If so, what gives you that confidence?"

Fuente: "Oh, hell yeah. We have hired an unbelievable staff that's doing a great job. We have players committed that nobody knows about, and we're in it on a bunch more, so I couldn't be more excited."

Link

We have players committed that nobody knows about, and we're in it on a bunch more

He doesn't say "silent commit", but it's definitely understandable to read it that way. Could he have meant that early commits like Jalen Hoyle and Nykelius Johnson were unknowns and eval wins by this staff? Hoyle only has 3 reported offers and Johnson only has 5 -- part of that is obviously influenced by the fact that both were committed by mid November, but that's still not a lot of exposure at that point in their recruitment cycle

(light edit for clarity)

bonus edit: Jalen Hoyle got his GT offer in January, around the same time Nyke got his from NCST -- months after their commitments to the good guys. We were in on them very early, made them committable offers early, and sealed the deal on those offers very early.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Fuente is certainly no master of public speaking, but that would be a real round-about way of describing guys that have already committed to the class. But it's possible. And to be fair, you're right about the post-offer P5 offers, which is a bigger indication of player prestige to me than national ranking. Seth Dooley and Caleb Farley were both three stars - one just had about 40 additional offers.

yeah, it's impossible for me to parse whether the "nobody knows about" is supposed to be describing the players or the commitments. it's a clunky description, but the fact it's so clunky makes me think it's more likely to describe the guys already on board publicly than silent commits. But it's definitely ambiguous enough to think about silent commits. And it dropped right around when it was obvious the DD situation was that nobody was announcing, which doesn't help.

We were also in early on Will Johnson -- offered him in June, he had a UV in July and was back for Junior Day in January. We were his second P5 offer after Rutgers, and after we offered him, it was basically no more offers for months until the season started when he starting picking up other offers. P5 offers were Wake, NW, Cuse, Pitt, Minnesota, Louisville, BC, and Maryland (plus us and Rutgers) before announcing for us in March. He is another one with several Ivy offers, smart kid.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

I get why you're frustrated. But if you look at the 247 Class Calculator, picking up Landyn Watson, Jack Hollifield, and Donovan McMillon would move us up to 6th in the ACC in total points, and 5th in average recruit ranking (all with three star prospects). It would also mean moving up to 27th nationally, behind Oklahoma. Sure we wouldn't actually move up that high because it assumes all other schools stay static. But it builds momentum. It changes the narrative, maybe not necessarily for every recruit but at least for some.

Maybe it swings a Jordan Poole, DJ Harvey, Tyliek Williams, or someone who isn't even on message board VT's radar. Maybe it doesn't. But ranting daily doesn't help us. Constantly bemoaning our situation doesn't help us. Making a 400+ comment thread on a high school kid choosing another school and being vaguely immature doesn't help us.

We should celebrate the people that want to be here and still be supportive of the ones who choose not to (or at least stop being over-reactive, reflexive dicks about it). We should push the athletic department to be smarter about fundraising, not blame Babcock and Sands for every misfortune (btw, is Sands really the problem Hokie Sports Twitter? This is a thing now?).

Negativity breeds negativity, and it's so damn easy. But what does it actually get us? As RocketHokie said, "if only more message board posters were outraged, things would be different!"

And this isn't directed at you, just something I've been feeling lately. Since COVID started, I've been more interested in recruiting since I've got a lot more free time on my hands (turns out finally finishing your masters degree isn't great when everyone enters a hiring freeze).

for whatever reason i thought donovan mcmillon was a 2022 recruit??????? does anyone know if he reclassified? that was the only reason i didn't include him in the list of targets at the front of the VT news thread. i'll add him now

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

You make a good point, but my issue is never with the kids and their decisions. My issue is with the staff, because going into year five, I think they have to take responsibility for some serious, glaring deficiencies within the program...most of which I listed a few posts above. The DD issue is a failure of the coaching staff not being able to convince him of the reasons to stick with Tech

Yeah, the staff (both coaching and support) hyped this class as one of Tech's best ever. It's a big swing and a miss if it's just in-line with typical historical expectations (#22-28)

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

The DD issue is a failure of the coaching staff not being able to convince him of the reasons to stick with Tech

I never agree with takes like this. Your judgment of the recruiting success overall may be warranted but to lay all blame on coaches for any single recruit removes the absolute fact that the player has free wil to make his own decision surrounded by quality institutions delivering nearly identical or more appealing sales pitches.

"You don't stare into a rearview mirror"

Came here to echo this as well... It's so impossible to know what goes into any single decision made by a recruit. Each recruit's academic situation, family situation, financial situation, etc is so different from the next.

The DD situation was somewhat catastrophic, but it's impossible for us to know what actually happened.

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I hear what you're saying. To me, it's a pattern over the last two years that causes a lot of concern for the health of the program, both short-term and long-term. And at the end of the day, these coaches are paid millions to be good at their jobs, and to close on players. In a couple podcasts I listened to about the DD issue, the facts were sifted through a bunch of times, but there was no discussion about who ultimately takes responsibility for it. We all have jobs that hold us accountable for our results, and if a huge portion of my work had been at the near-to-very bottom of my peer group for almost two years, with no upswing in sight, I'd be responsible for it.

The staff will definitely be held accountable for the collective class. I just cringe anytime I hear of an individual recruit being a failure or miss without knowing what that recruit is thinking. It is almost an insult to insinuate that these kids can just be persuaded by talk. I know when I am making a purchase, most of what a salesman pitches me goes through one ear and out the other, and I rely on my own research and judgment. (Sidenote: just made a large furniture purchase in which the salesman proceeded to show us about six couches that were the most comfortable in the store)

There is also another thing we must come to terms with. If VT is in fact not a big dog, and we are going to pursue big time recruits, we have to expect a certain amount of second places. I personally believe that we need to drastically increase our manpower so that we can reach a larger pool of athletes. Imagine about a half dozen more Beaus strategically placed in hotbeds.

"You don't stare into a rearview mirror"

I personally believe that we need to drastically increase our manpower so that we can reach a larger pool of athletes. Imagine about a half dozen more Beaus strategically placed in hotbeds.

+1. Everyone talks about 'closing the deal,' no one talks about the top of the funnel work that goes into recruiting.

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It's hard to argue with somebody for getting angry at the weatherman when the forecasts are wrong.

It's every bit as hard to defend the guy who complains about the weatherman because the weather is shitty.

If ADs were concerned with recruiting metrics, they'd add incentive bonuses in coaches contracts to emphasize it.

So here's a riddle: Why doesn't Whit Babcock give a damn about Dematrius Davis' college decision?

If ADs were concerned with recruiting metrics, they'd add incentive bonuses in coaches contracts to emphasize it.

They do. It's uncommon, but far from unheard of. Source

Bonuses connected specifically to recruiting success rarely are built into coaches' contracts. But Purdue's arrangement with Brohm is not unprecedented. When Mike Locksley worked for Maryland as an assistant coach from 2012 through 2015, his renown as a recruiter resulted in his deal including two bonuses -- $25,000 if a Terrapins class was ranked in the top 40 nationally by at least one of a specified set of outlets and/or $20,000 if a class was ranked among the top four in Maryland's conference by at least one of the outlets.

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"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Maybe he should wait until after he attends a game up there in late October and see if the plan of going from FL to Mich still holds water.

Whatever. It was one bad year.

Seasonal Brew means High ABV for football season and standard the rest of the year.

Quick Google search of average October temps for Ann Arbor and Blacksburg:

Ann Arbor: 62/43
Blacksburg: 67/45

All other factors included, that 5/2 degree difference won't mean shit to a Florida kid hoping to make it to the league.

"Sooner or later, if man is ever to be worthy of his destiny, we must fill our heart with tolerance."
-Stan Lee

"Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing."
-Ron Swanson

"11-0, bro"
-Hunter Carpenter (probably)

Michigan has a pipeline going from IMG academy in Florida, ever since Harbaugh went down there and practiced a few years back with the team they've been pulling in players from there.

Go for it

Just read the Devon Hunter workout article and these paragraphs stood out to me

He's seen fellow Tech teammates Keshon Artis (Oscar Smith High alum) and Armani Chatman (Catholic High), as well as former Tech teammates Deshawn McClease (Oscar Smith) and Trevon Hill (Virginia Beach native) drop into the gym, which features a small turf field and an area with weights.

There have been frequent visits from North Carolina wide receiver and return specialist Dazz Newsome (Hampton High), UNC safety Cam'Ron Kelly (Oscar Smith), Notre Dame linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (Bethel), Clemson cornerback Sheridan Jones (Maury), Old Dominion cornerback Elijah Blue (Norview) and Hunter's little brother, Cameron Hunter, a class of 2020 Indian River High alum who's still considering college options.

UNC, Notre Dame, Clemson - Just goes to show that the 757 is not a hidden recruiting area anymore and hasn't been for a long time.

It's an unwritten law that it's my lunch pail. I've issued the challenge. If someone outworks me, they can get it.
Darryl Tapp

I've also seen a lot of people more familiar with the area suggest there is less overall talent there than there used to be as well because of people leaving the area/other natural progression of population issues.

I think on the flip-side the areas surrounding the Triangle and Charlotte are going to become even more fertile recruiting grounds moving forward. Definitely important that we continue to recruit NC well in the future.