Virginia Tech Football - Authentic ACC Hokies All Access Spring 2021

Just firing this up, what do you guys think? Watched the first five minute and Fuente says he likes watching golf, reading, listening to podcasts and watching his kids play sports so I'm assuming some of y'all are going to have a meltdown.

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Comments

Full disclosure --I am not a Fuente fan-- but beyond the football, he has got to be one of the most painfully uncharismatic people I have listened to.

I always call a T.O. before a field goal.

I really don't think he's that bad compared to other coaches in the league. Dave Doeren (dull) and Pat Narduzzi (douche bag) for example. He's no Beamer or Mack Brown but he's not bad as far as football coaches go.

VT could very easily have a worse guy than Fuente. That's for sure. I really am curious how this would come across in the alternate universe where VT has won 10+ games the last 2 or 3 years. I watched the video and sort of came away a little bit disappointed that it wasn't all that inspiring to me. But there's nothing in the video that is really worth getting mad about so that's good. Fuente is who he is. He's not a high energy salesman type. I don't necessarily think a coach has to be that way to be successful but it's easy to look at his recruiting record and point at his demeanor as a big negative. Is it actually a big negative? I don't know. For me personally, I wish the video had done a better job getting me excited for the season. It just didn't.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

Fuente is who he is. He's not a high energy salesman type.

And I think that's why he's done better with transfer portal guys than high school kids recently.

Wilton Speight, the former Michigan QB turned former UCLA QB, talked about the difference in how he was recruited out of high school vs. out of Michigan. He talked about in high school, he was enamored by the "superficial things" - facilities, program history, academic prestige, etc. When he was being recruited out of Michigan he focused on things that mattered - the quality of the coaching staff, scheme fit, NFL potential etc. (which is weird that he chose to play under Chip Kelly but that's beside the point).

I think after you spend a couple of years in college, you see through the bullshit recruiting pitches that most coaches spout. I think the transfer kids appreciate Fuente because he's a straight shooter that isn't going to waste their time with selling them on stuff that doesn't matter.

That makes a lot of sense. I also think for those reasons Fuente is a pretty good fit personality wise for the lunch pail/ hard hat image VT has of itself (and tries to promote).

When the right fit doesn't produce the results you want though, how much are you willing to compromise on those values? Or do you cycle coaches until you find fit and success? Or do you wait until fit finds success? I don't really know.

I'm in alignment with this take, it's something I've mulled in my head but haven't been able to put into words. Although, Fuente has missed out on some high profile transfers too.

Either way, Tech ain't gonna win a championship with a transfer portal roster. Supplement via the portal, but they need to recruit better at the high school level.

I'm really hoping the recruiting woes are behind us. The 2020 and the 2021 classes were being recruited during the dumpster fire that was the 2018 season and I'm sure that killed a lot of high-level guys from coming here.

Say what you want about the current state of the program, we don't have SI articles talking about how guys didn't want to win games, a coordinator using recruiting money to fund an extramarital affair, another coordinator getting rushed to the emergency room halfway through the season, three of our best players getting thrown off the team, etc. Even though we went 5-6, we're in a better place than we were two years ago. I'm hoping that'll help win the PR battle with the 2022+ kids.

Even though we went 5-6, we're in a better place than we were two years ago.

I don't think this is a given. Nor do I think it's something everyone would agree on.

It'll certainly be interesting to see what happens in the next year or so. If VT manages to win 8-10 games in 2021 and recruit a class that finishes in the top 4 in the ACC for 2022 that might be a sign of the tide turning in our favor. But what if those things don't happen? What if VT goes 6-6 and the recruiting class finishes 8th or worse in the ACC? What then?

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

I don't think this is a given. Nor do I think it's something everyone would agree on.

I don't think we're in a good place right now but the 2018 season may have set the lowest bar that I've ever seen as a Virginia Tech fan. We're better today but we still have a long way to go.

I suppose I can't really argue with you there. 2018 was dreadful. Here's hoping brighter days are ahead

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

so I'm assuming some of y'all are going to have a meltdown

Seriously? Why....just...why?

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

I come away further reinforced in my belief that Fuente is a tremendously awkward, un-charismatic coach. Maybe this changes when he knows he isn't being watched (and I should cut him slack for not being guns out at 5AM), but I just don't see how this coach is capable of selling the program.

I enjoyed it. If you want Fuente to be like Dabo personality wise, then yea he's probably gonna come off pretty dull to you. Dabo sounds like a used car salesman each time he's behind a camera so that's really just not my style.

Hamilton shined. I really hope our defense produces because he seems like a rising star as a coach.

Gobble Till You Wobble

Dabo's over zealousness is off-putting to me as well. Fuente may be dull on camera. Perhaps They're at opposite ends of the spectrum. Either way, I think you're right, if folks are expecting a Dabo-like demeanor from Fuente they're just not going to get that. He just isn't that type of coach, for better or for worse.

I don't really care all that much that Fuente isn't on Dabo's level. But I will say that this film did not inspire me in any way. I came away from it feeling very 'meh'. Nothing to love, nothing to hate.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

I don't know how you walk away from that not excited about Hamilton's future in coaching. He checks all the boxes.

Gobble Till You Wobble

He checks all the boxes

I'm not sure I know which boxes you're referring to. Everyone probably has different boxes.

I don't know how you walk away from that not excited about Hamilton's future in coaching.

I didn't really see anything that truly gets me excited about his coaching prospects. He told younger players that it's going to be tough for them starting out and that's how it is for everyone. He said that when watching film at 2X speed looks like slow motion you're getting there. He walked around asking several players which coaches they liked to see if he could find any "snitches". He has respect and adoration for Bud Foster and learned from Foster that he got to be as good as he did by staying late on Wednesday nights. He's a family man who loves his children and he wants to be as much a part of their lives as possible.

Justin Hamilton is obviously a great guy. But nothing in that video really tells me that he "checks all the boxes" of a great coach. Only time will tell. I'm optimistic that the defense will improve. It was pretty awful last year so improving is a low bar at this point. But he had the deck stacked against him last year so I'm giving him benefit of the doubt. I fully expect our defense to be improved in 2021. But I expected that before this film. Nothing in this film made me any more (or less) excited about 2021.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

^^ He had a decently experienced defense last year and they shit the bed in 2/3's of the games. There are a lot of reasons contributing to that and he definitely says all of the right things. But until it's proven on the field for multiple years I'll be somewhat skeptical. The guy had absolutely zero P5 coaching experience prior to 2019.

That said personnel wise we are stacked on D this year, he won't have to be a great coach to field a productive unit.

I haven't watched any other episodes in the series, so I'm not sure what to expect. I however took away from this is that Fuente needs a good PR person around him. I think to him the sales pitch comes last and it has shown so pay someone to do that for you and keep focusing on what you are doing. This would probably help Whit in the long run too.

I also noticed that he wants to make sure you are engaged in the conversation he is having with you, as shown by him looking at the person in the back seat who he is speaking with. I think this is a good trait to have if you are trying to educate the youth and help them grow. I can see why the players love him.

I liked the idea behind this video. There is nothing about it that inspires me though. Also, nothing to really be mad about. Net neutral IMO. I didn't really learn anything here and I'm not any more or less excited about the season than before watching it.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

Definitely Enjoyed this one...i need some Hokie football, maybe I'll go check out Bill Dozer's Hokie Power hour

Hokies, Local Soccer, AFC Ajax, Ravens

Maybe they should have played "Eye of the Tiger" as background music. Would have changed the entire production. It was a little sleepy.
JHam is a good guy - I'm sure he'll develop into a fine role model for the players, and I'm sure he is for many already.
Fu isn't flashy...but you don't need to be flashy to be a good coach.
The entire staff needs to continue learning ways to effectively teach the fundamentals and build a strong team unit. If they care about the players, and the players understand that they care, the team will respond. It's not year one...but will always be a work in progress.
Frank Beamer wasn't flashy - he became an institution (and loved by all) through consistency and generally winning most games. Keep in mind, it was season 7 when the winning got rolling.

JP

I see the tone and message of this piece as a failure of the Sports Information Dept. The coaches were just being coaches. And that is the problem. ACC Network was just trying to make a "Day in the Life" show. The SID should have huddled the coaches up and discussed messaging - WHAT and HOW they wanted to come across. They could have provided the direction that allowed the network to get what they needed in a way that helped send a specific message or messages to players, fans, recruits.

If "Hard, Smart, Tough" and "GRIT" are supposed to be our brand, what in that story sent that message? Get up early and don't snitch on your position coach? Should have shown more weight room, more hitting drills, etc. Think about a "Big Squat Friday" sequence on the ACC network. Would have been a nice PR piece.

The disaster would be that maybe they DID try to do all that, and it still fell flat.

I do like JHam....but agree with you on the snitch game. A little PR help with this production would have given both coaches some tools to project something positive on the field or in the weight room.

JP

I guess I'm in the minority here, but I really enjoyed this inside look. Fuente showing passion on the practice field, and giving us a look into Jham's family since we didn't know them previously (or at least I didnt). I really enjoyed that and I'm hoping for a good season to keep these dudes around.

"What are you going to do, stab me? - Quote from Man Stabbed

Football Fuente is much more energetic than real world Fuente. Off the field though, he seems like a pretty introspective person. I actually loved the idea of starting the day with a little bit of reading to get it in.

J-Ham has a magnetic personality. I'm really excited to see what he can do on the recruiting trail this cycle. And I really hope the lack of spring and summer practices last year was why the defense was meh. How can you not root for the guy?

I thought the content was great, but as part of a total package I don't think it met the expectations to fill the void of not having a spring game because Tech's shown little to no actual practice.