Justin Fuente Didn't Score Any Signing Day Surprises, But Transfers Still Bring Some Buzz

The Hokies didn't add any players beyond the early signing period, but Fuente still had plenty of news to share.

[Mark Umansky]

The days of waiting anxiously around the fax machine on National Signing Day seem to be pretty much over.

At least, there wasn't much drama in Blacksburg Wednesday, with Virginia Tech's 2021 class locked in for weeks now. The Hokies didn't add a single new player after the early signing day in December, ensuring no changes for a class ranked by most services toward the bottom of the ACC.

"It's been over for a long time for us," Fuente told reporters. "The first signing day has become the signing day....We have moved on for some time."

If anything, Fuente's biggest news came via the transfer portal, rather than traditional recruiting methods. In landing Texas A&M QB Connor Blumrick, Clemson DT Jordan Williams, Maryland OL Johnny Jordan and Vanderbilt S Tae Dailey, Fuente was able to address several pressing needs via the portal.

And between those transfers and his 2021 class, he said he has a total of 13 early enrollees to work with in the offseason, noting that he's "never had this many people in our program in the spring."

"Quite honestly, I expect this team to be good," Fuente said. "We have guys coming back at every position."

If he's right, it may well be due to the impact of those transfers. Landing Williams, in particular, was a big win for the Hokies — not only does the 6'4", 310-pound DT add a ton of size to the defensive line, but it must be nice for Fuente to steal away a Virginia player that Tech heavily recruited coming out of high school.

"He's just jumped in, and having some of that knowledge of him has helped us," Fuente said. "Obviously we have not been real big at defensive tackle, and that's been part of what we need to do. He certainly brings that first and foremost...He's a large man and he moves well."

On the offensive side of the ball, Blumrick could give the Hokies another option at QB, or the chance to move him around some. Fuente said he came highly recommended from Aggies OC Darrell Dickey (who goes "way back" with Fuente, apparently), particularly because he's "played several different spots" for A&M. Blumrick spent much of his time on special teams last year, in fact.

But Fuente certainly made it sound as if Blumrick would also get a shot at quarterback, especially after the room thinned out a bit with starter Hendon Hooker's departure. Fuente did not address the circumstances of his transfer except to say that he "wasn't surprised at all" to see Hooker go elsewhere.

"It's a unique situation with our QB situation, and Connor has played," Fuente said.

If Dickey led the Hokies to Blumrick, then it was former co-DL coach Darryl Tapp who connected Tech with Bailey. Tapp encountered the safety during his days as a Vanderbilt assistant, suggesting he could similarly beef up the team's experience in the DB room.

"We have a few older guys in the safety room, but a large number of young players are entering the room for the first time," Fuente said. "I really feel like Tae is a guy that's hungry to win, a guy who can not just play but add some depth and experience, and help us bring some of these young guys along."

Fuente is eager to bring all those players into the fold this spring, though he concedes he still has very little idea of what the coming weeks will look like.

He said he's planning for spring ball "with a pencil," considering there's so much left to be worked out by the NCAA and ACC — teams normally have 34 days to conduct 15 practices, but what if Covid cases force a pause? That's just one of the issues he's waiting for clarity on, but he expects to hold spring ball in the same mid-to-late March timeframe as usual.

"We've got the schedule written down in pencil and we know we need to be ready to adapt if things change," Fuente said.

A Defensive Shake-Up

Despite questions about his job security as the 2020 season ended, Fuente didn't call for a substantial staff shake-up in the offseason. Instead, circumstances forced his hand a bit.

First, LBs coach Tracy Claeys retired on Jan. 13. Then, Tapp landed a job with the San Francisco 49ers a few weeks later.

That forced Fuente to act quickly to fill two important vacancies in roles supporting a still-new defensive coordinator in Justin Hamilton.

One decision was an "obvious call, an obvious choice," Fuente said: promoting former player Jack Tyler to linebackers coach. He'd already spent time as a Tech GA and quality control coach, and Fuente felt the 30-year-old has a "bright future in this game."

"You don't want guys that pine to be the coordinator, you want guys who prepare and understand the big picture of things, and he's one of those guys," Fuente said. "I don't usually make those decisions that quickly, but this one was a slam dunk, a no-brainer. I'm glad he stuck around and he's a great example of hard work and perseverance, getting this opportunity."

Losing Tapp, a former player himself, was perhaps a tougher blow. Fuente said he was "awfully proud of what he did in a short time here."

Luckily, Fuente knew another Hokie who needed a job. He said he's remained close with J.C. Price during his Marshall days, noting that the schools often held joint practices together, so he "knew pretty quickly that J.C. would have interest in coming back."

Price will be both co-DL coach with Bill Teerlinck and the team's new defensive recruiting coordinator, a role Tapp would've filled had he stayed in Blacksburg. Fuente recently elevated RBs coach Adam Lechtenberg to the same position on offense, arguing that his own time as an offensive coordinator taught him the value of having assistants who can take charge of recruiting efforts to leave other duties to the coordinators.

"The way recruiting looks different now, there needs to be someone else in that room that has that on forefront of their mind," Fuente said. "As a coordinator, you can get tunnel vision. You're evaluating, preparing for spring, studying other people...There needed to be somebody else in that room that wasn't the coordinator that could help facilitate that side of the ball in a group effort."

Position Shuffling

Every offseason brings change, and perhaps the most regular changes are position shifts along the lines and in the secondary.

Even just a few weeks into the offseason program, Fuente said there's already been some shuffling. For instance, rising sophomore Lakeem Rudolph is moving to the "boundary or backer position," because he's already "outgrown" safety, Fuente said.

Then there's rising sophomore Derrell Bailey, who's moving from the defensive line over to the offensive side of the ball.

"It's just for Derrell's long-term benefit," Fuente said. "We think he'll be a really good offensive lineman."

Part of the decision was driven by need, as well. Fuente admitted that he's a bit concerned about depth on the line, particularly after the departure of once-promising prospects Doug Nester and Bryan Hudson, a development he called "very disappointing." He said he'd also be open to adding another offensive lineman before the season, should some scholarship room open up.

The defensive line isn't exactly brimming with depth either, but Fuente said he still felt comfortable moving Bailey over because of the development of some other young prospects. In particular, he pointed to rising sophomore Justin Beadles as one to watch.

"He put on 20 pounds, he's changing his body every day," Fuente said. "Beadles knows it's going to be a process for him. We didn't take him for what he was, but for what he could be, if he continues to stay the path. He looks like a different person just from a physical standpoint, but still a very young, inexperienced player with a long way to go."

Comments

Aggies OC Darrell Dickey (who goes "way back" with Fuente, apparently)

Maybe I'm remembering incorrectly, but I thought Darrell Dickey was the other CO-OC with Cornelson at Memphis under Fuente. And based on how Cornelson has performed without Dickey I'd be willing to bet that Fuente brought the wrong OC with him to Blacksburg.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

You don't want guys that pine to be the coordinator

I wonder if that is a shot at anybody in particular, perhaps somebody who recently retired but left the door open for the "right" opportunity?

Edit: Meant to reply to OP...oops.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

Every time this comes up, I feel compelled to point out that Dickey (likely) never called plays - When Fuente gave up play calling at Memphis, he gave it to Corny (per a podcast interview shared here around 2017/2018 - I'll try to dig it up later). Dickey has since gone on to coach at A&M under Jimbo - It's well publicized that Jimbo owns playcalling duties.

Now, obviously, OC has responsibilities outside of just playcalling, but, if you're building a team, and you need someone to call plays, then you're going to take a person who has that experience over the person who doesn't.

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This is a fair point. I also think there are aspects of Cornelson's job that he's not good at outside of just play calling. QB development has been non-existent in his tenure. He doesn't seem to recruit. Breaking down film was apparently a real struggle for him. Overall game planning is questionable and half time adjustments are poor. As you already noted, there is a lot more to being an OC than simply calling plays. Cornelson doesn't seem to do any of them very well. I don't know much about Dickey, but surely he does at least one of those things well.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

Yea, I don't mean to defend Corny - Some of the criticism he gets is warranted. Some times he's just a scape goat for fans. But this idea that our problems on offense would be fixed if Fuente took DD with him instead of Corny is pretty baseless.

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I don't necessarily think our offense would be really good with Dickey. But it's possible. I'm not saying it definitely would be better. Just that maybe Fuente brought the wrong OC

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

I think it's more accurate to say 'Fuente brought a bad OC' - not that he brought the wrong one

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We'll never know for sure. More accurate? Absolutely. But "maybe" was the key word. Either way I think we agree that cornelson has failed to deliver.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

"Quite honestly, I expect this team to be good," Fuente said. "We have guys coming back at every position."

He better hope so if he wants to be coaching in Blacksburg after 2021

based on how 2020 ended I'd just assume that it doesn't really matter how well (or poorly) he does in 2021. He's going to have a job in Blacksburg for at least the next 3 years. He's going into year 6 2 according to Whit and realistically to do a proper rebuild he will need 4-5 years.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

He wont survive a losing season. Whit was banking on a recovery, not lowering expectations. Not to mention the numerous reasons pointed out repeatedly why this is a horrible year for hiring and establishing a new head coach. Don't take Whit so literally.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

I'll believe it when I see it

I don't necessarily agree that this is a horrible year for hiring and establishing a new coach but that is a moot point at this stage. I do think that if Fuente fails to win more than 7 games in 2021 Whit is going to have a very hard time keeping fans interested if Fuente is retained. I don't know that Fuente will manage to win more than 7. I have my doubts. If he doesn't I don't know that VT will be willing to part ways with him. I have my doubts. If VT does decide to do so, I don't know who will be available/interested. It will be interesting to watch develop.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

Agreed. I'm pretty concerned about Fuente getting a pass on 6-7 wins, again. For whatever reason - money, Sands, bad timing, etc. - Whit couldn't pull it off this year when Fuente gave him every reason to make the move. So I've now very much lowered my expectations, and envision that we are going to be stuck with an ironed-jeans-wearing head coach for some time.

Whit has lost the benefit of the doubt at this point, he can find shooty hoops and olympic sports coaches but obviously cannot succeed in the most important job until proven otherwise

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

The hire of CJF at the time was heralded as tremendous. He kept Bud on during a transition and managed to send out Beamer with respect.
While I will agree the ill fated press conference this off-season was abysmal, I doubt you or I really know what went on aside from internet rumor.
Cmon man.

VB born, class of '14

Yea, this is my opinion as well. I find it hard to believe that one of the most well respected ADs in the country, who is known for being thoughtful, calculated and tight-lipped, really believes what everything he said in his presser. Maybe we couldn't get the funding. Maybe we couldn't get a candidate we wanted. Maybe Whit got overridden by a superior. But I struggle to believe that Whit thinks 5-7 win seasons are just fine.

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It's possible, but you are making assumptions that go against what insiders as well as what the man himself has said

Removing features to get people to sign up for your service is something EA would would do.

that go against what insiders as well as what the man himself has said

I suppose it depends what insiders you speak to.

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I took Whit at his word in his presser, and at no point did he indicate everything was fine. The whole thing was an acknowledgement that expectations weren't being met, and he talked so long because he was defending his choices. Actually I kinda liked it, seemed like he was pouring his heart out. Given the backlash though he probably re-learned that all important lesson: Honesty never pays off when it comes to sports fans.

At any rate, I do suspect if we have another losing season he will let Fuente go. I just believe to him letting someone go under all of the circumstances wasn't the right thing to do.

The optimist in me wants to believe this.... but I've been hurt before.

I disagree. I walked away from that presser thinking that Whit had pretty much said nothing. When pressed about specific, measurable, attainable goals for the season, he wouldn't say anything beyond a vague "get better" statement. He promised a more engaged, fan-friendly head coach that until this week's signing period hadn't tweeted, re-tweeted or liked content in 35+ days. Overall, it just came across as ass-covering that failed to assuage an angry fan base.

Whit more or less told us in that presser to not believe our eyes.

The hire of CJF at the time was heralded as tremendous. He kept Bud on during a transition and managed to send out Beamer with respect.

And then remember when it was insinuated by the athletic director that somehow doing both of those things was a detriment for the Head Coach?

I think what he meant was that losing Bud during a critical stretch of the rebuild was the detriment. Nobody knew Bud's body was going to fail him.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

The best AD in the country (whoever that might be) is only going to succeed at a football coaching hire about 60% of the time at best. Whit hits a highly regarded talent in Fuente (who has not been the kind of bad we pretend he is) and homeruns in other sports, and you want to throw him out on the street? No damn way.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

I agree that Fuente won't survive a losing season, but what about a .500 or 7-6 win season? An 8 win season?

Fuente needs to give something for fans to be hopeful for (other than his replacement). It's difficult to see a realistic path to 8 wins right now.

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this is a great point.

Fans are always of the "what have you done for me lately" mentality and frankly Fuente hasn't done much to inspire confidence that this team is getting better since 2016. Recruiting, on field results, off season disasters have plagued his tenure over the last 4 years. Fans are itching for something positive and Fuente desperately needs to deliver. He didn't deliver with the 2021 recruiting class. So far this off season has been fairly normal so barring any disasters between now and August I'd say that's a net positive (but not much of one). That leaves him one option really. Win. A lot.

Unfortunately for Fuente the ACC is often looked down upon as a relatively weak league so winning 8 games against the likes of Duke, Syracuse, Boston College, Georgia Tech, UVA, Richmond, and MTSU isn't going to be viewed as highly praise worthy. Will 8 games be enough to get fans back on board? That's the 7.5 million dollar question.

I agree with Bar1990 here that Fuente needs to give the fans something to feel good about. I just don't think 8 wins is going to be enough to do that. 9? Maybe...probably depends on other things like if VT gets to Charlotte or wins the bowl game (something that, much to the chagrin of VT fans everywhere, he hasn't done in a long time). 10 wins is probably where you start to see fans get back on board. I was a Fuente supporter once upon a time (hard to believe, I know) but his failures culminating in the disaster of a season 2020 became soured me on him. I think I've seen enough to know that he can't succeed in Blacksburg. But if he proves me wrong I will gladly climb back on his bandwagon. I think 10 wins is the threshold for me.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

I think 8 keeps him around but it would take 10 to cool off the fanbase and even then many are lost for good. 7 is borderline and probably depends on circumstances.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

I think this is a fair assessment. 10 with a bowl win would help with the fan base. There are always going to be detractors though, no matter how good you are. I'll bet you can find Clemson fans who want Dabo gone for losing to OSU.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

There are Clemson game who wanted to get rid of Tony Elliott for his playcalling vs us

Outside it's night time, but inside it's LeDay

From most points of view, namely the fans, I don't think the exact number of wins is going to be a determining factor the next year, maybe two years. It should be how does the team look when it wins and loses. If we have a 12-game regular season, go 6-6, but play well in all of them (essentially losing games to 6 superior opponents), then we shouldn't call for Fuente's head. However, if we continue this roller coaster of losing badly and winning surprisingly, then it will show that Fuente still doesn't have the development and progress of the team under control. I, as a fan, can't take much more of heart-crushing disappointment and embarrassment mixed in with bewildered excitement the next week.

If we have a 12-game regular season, go 6-6, but play well in all of them (essentially losing games to 6 superior opponents)

If there's 6 superior teams on the schedule, then I would argue that means Fuente has failed to build a competitive program, and is falling behind. Obviously, if we wind up losing to 6 ranked teams by less than a score and we have the hardest SOS in recent history, I'll adjust my stance, but that's not likely.

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It should be how does the team look when it wins and loses.

This has long been where I am coming from. When we are scrappy and well-prepared but still lose by a close margin to a ranked (& non-liberty opponent), that somehow doesn't seem as damning as even a win when we look like we don't know what shape a football is, and against what 'should' be an inferior opponent. (Example: that 27-0 shutout of Delaware where ineptitude loomed large and where Fuente's famous sideline head shake gif originated).

It's telling that Tech avoids the Atlantic Division heavys, has a challenging but manageable out of conference schedule, and the absolute ceiling for the season is 8 wins.

If Fuente has a bad year, him and Whit will both be job hunting. Whit's job security is tied to Fuente. Whit admitted as such, and it showed in his anxiety during his very ugly press conference. Whit needs Fuente to succeed.

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

Whit's job security is tied to Fuente

I disagree. I don't think Whit's seat is at all hot. He may have to deal disgruntled fans, but I think Sands will be happy with the direction of athletics in general, and he'll stick around regardless of football success.

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I don't think Sands gives a rat's ass about athletics!

Even when you get skunked; fishing never lets you down. 🎣

Exactly why Whit's job isn't in danger.

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If that's the case, why would Whit want to continue to work here?

Removing features to get people to sign up for your service is something EA would would do.

I think this could be an 8 win team, and possibly a Coastal champion. But we are 1-3 to Pitt and GiT over the past 4 years/times we've played. We even lost to UVA at one point. That has to change.

EDIT: I know we didn't play GiT last year, but Fuente was winless against PJ.

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

We're 1-2 against GT in the last 3 years, and 1-0 since PJ/the triple option left.

That said, I'm very afraid of GT becoming a power in the Coastal. If Justin Simms stops making freshman mistakes, GT will quickly become dangerous - more dangerous than UNC IMO.

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I'm worried about GT too, but as far as the two biggest factors for program elevation (imo), QB talent and overall talent acquisition, UNC has a huge head start on GT. I like Jeff Sims a lot, but Howell is better by a wide margin, and they will have Sop/r-Fr. Drake Maye waiting to take over for him. Additionally, their last two classes have had plenty of DL and skill talent. They are stacking up at the right positions the last few cycles and seem to be showing no signs of slowing down in 22, where they are already off to a hot start in the 757 and have given no reason to think they will release their grip on NC.

GT will never be better than UNC because of their academics as well as ALWAYS being a distant second to Georgia... also Jumpman which I personally think is dumb

Removing features to get people to sign up for your service is something EA would would do.

I don't think being a distant second to GA matters much. The Metro-Atlanta population is growing rapidly, so there's enough recruits to share, and Geoff Collins could be a lifer there. The administration will give him at least 4 years. Collins also doesn't need to be as good as UGA; he just needs to win the coastal every 2-3 years, which he is more than capable of doing.

Re: UNC, I'm not sure anyone other than Mack Brown knows how to win consistently there. I obviously could be wrong, but I don't know what they do once Mack moves on. It will be interesting to watch.

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I think he meant the Academics at GT are far more stringent than at UNCheat. No matter how good Collins is coaching, he is going to be restricted somewhat in what players he can get in the door. I don't think GT is going to relax their academic requirements for an athletics program. That is part of the reason ole chinballs lasted as long as he did. He had lower physical requirements for his system.

I agree - I got my master's at GT and live in Atlanta, so I understand the culture there. There's a reason all of their degrees are Bachelors of science, and not BAs are offered.

That said, I think GT could fill the power vacuum in the coastal, regardless of their academic prowess.

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"It's been over for a long time for us,"

This explains alot. I know that the vast majority of players sign in Dec now but to freely admit that you pretty much packed it in after ESD says alot about why our Recruiting is what it is.

Although, this statement could also be a very apt description of the Fuente Era as a whole.

But it is only year two, how can you judge?

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

LOLZ. I knew someone was gonna jump on this quote & run with it...

I'm sorry, but unless you have some specific recruits in mind that we were hot on the heels of - that we subsequently just gave up on - this is just more negative noise. You can't just manufacture players to sign. You can't sign guys if there's no schollys available. There are limitations outside our own ceiling for pulling top talent. We'd do well on here to be mindful of the difference.

I'm not a Fuente apologist by any stretch but man, I'm so sick of the shitposting on here.

You're the only ones that I can talk to about this, you guys.

It definitely feels like the post-Early Signing Day window was reserved for transfers and some potential JUCOs, which Fuente didn't rule out today.

It's kinda crazy how that quote is used to minimize the additions: namely a defensive tackle with the measurables that we've coveted but not signed, a backup quarterback (with question marks but also some really intriguing qualities), and quality depth at OL and Safety.

Maybe it moves the needle, maybe it doesn't. The hard part for me is that I can hypothetically see where this team could overperform relative to last year, and I can see where the bottom can fall out. How you read that quote, and the press conference as a whole, drives which of those two camps you fall into.

So you have the 11th best Class in your Conference, lose 2/3 QB, and 3/5 of your Starting OL. With 4 guys (at least 3 of whom were expected to start) announcing their intent to transfer before ESD. And you whiffed on every top level target at DT--- clearly your position of most significant need.

And your response is to announce publicly that you pretty much quit 3 months early on even trying to Recruit guys for '21 in the light of all of this. Criticizing that isn't legitimate?

You're 100% right that you can't manufacture players to sign.....you have to put in the EFFORT. And more than anything else, that is what is missing with this staff. Fuente isn't going to budge an inch from doing things how he sees fit even with the obvious evidence of diminishing returns hitting him in the face.

This year more than any other offered the opportunity to find guys that were overlooked or undervalued. And VT will never have a scholarship problem under Fuente---the annual Hokie Migration to the Transfer Portal will ensure that.

The Twitterverse is littered with stories of Fuente not even putting in the minimum level of effort in Recruiting--ignoring Grimes dad, not even bothering to make a phonecall to Zach Rice's mom, yet we're supposed to be excited because he brought in a Center from the Transfer Portal (the one OL position that has an established starter) and a QB who hasn't actually taken an snap in a half decade? Williams hopefully is a big contributor, but he's a stopgap at DT, and is probably hoping for a one-and-done. This isn't how you build a successful Program.

The overriding and most significant "negative limitation" at VT is the Head Coach and his disregard for putting forward the basic level of attention and effort that is required to even have a chance of being successful on the Recruiting Trail.

I don't disagree with everything you say, but I think context does matter here.

First, 10th ranked class in the conference, not 11th (a small difference, still not great) but that doesn't factor in transfers whereas the Composite Team Talent ranking will.

Second, when talking about the QBs leaving and how Blumrick doesn't replace Hooker/Patterson, I agree. At the same time, there is this weird hypocrisy to talk up Hooker and QP3 when mentioning the transfers and talk down about their play and development. I like both of them and wish they stayed, but QP3 isn't even the presumed starter at an FCS powerhouse after leaving. To me, there isn't much that separates Blumrick from QP3 in terms of potential other than their heraldry coming out of high school.

Third, saying we're losing 3/5 of our line makes it seem like Fuente drove them out when really one of them is leaving to be a projected first-round pick.

Fourth, we whiffed on DT but still ended up with a big-time transfer from Clemson to fill that need. He might be a stopgap but there are young guys who can develop currently on the roster: Wooten, Beadles, Fuga, Philpott, Bryant, and Mamudi are a lot of lottery picks at this point for Price and Teerlinck to play with.

Fifth, I agree that this is the year to find undervalued recruits and we'll learn more once the Virginia spring season happens.

Sixth, you might disagree with who we signed but we've signed 31 scholarship players (27 incoming freshmen + 4 transfers) and a ton of walk-ons (including some 3* PWOs). Fuente even mentioned they still might pursue some JUCOs and transfers before the season. So sorry that wasn't good enough for you.

Uh, not sure if it has anything to do with effort. Teams are limited to signing 25 freshmen in a class. I think we signed 25. So no amount of effort allows us to take any more unless one of our early signees somehow becomes ineligible or gets a release. The quote was given, but not with the context of having hit our scholarship limit on ESD.

You can always find better ones

Removing features to get people to sign up for your service is something EA would would do.

Not after you've already signed people. It's probably next to impossible for a school to get out of their side of a NLI.

You'd have to tell someone we don't want them and try to get them to leave, get them to leave, freeing up a scholarship, then hoping we're somehow able to sign a better player or risk only being able to get someone worse than what we already had. Players better than what we have aren't going to consider us with no open scholarships, which pretty much means we have to get rid of someone first. So no, I'd argue signing better players now is harder to do than before ESD, when we weren't able to sign them to start with.

You can always find better ones

Pulling offers from committed kids because someone "better" came along is something that Virginia Tech has done under Fuente and it has soured our relationship with some high school coaches in Virginia. We are not a professional team, we're a college team and I personally believe that there are more important things than winning football games.

Fucking over a teenager because some kid with more "stars" showed interest is shady as hell and I'm ashamed that VT has engaged in it, and you should be ashamed for advocating it.

Criticism is legitimate when you bring receipts. Show me where he "quit 3 months early". Tell me what players we "quit recruiting" that hadn't signed an NLI to attend another school. Think about how quiet the recruiting boards have been since ESD. These kids want to get on campus: Early Signing Day, for all intents and purposes, is National Signing Day.

I'm not forgiving the results. We swing and miss a lot. Too much, if you ask... any of us. What you're implying, though, is that Fuente isn't swinging. It's simply not the case. We are routinely among the first offers on a big percentage of our targets. Part of what makes the misses so painful for us fans, in fact, is because we get in on them early and the staff has had them as a focus for so long. We love on these kids just like other programs love on the kids they're trying to land.

But you clearly still think this is all just about EFFORT. Chasing down nonexistent recruits just to show The Effort Police how much effort they're putting forth is just silly. It's meaningless busy work - unlike the announcement this week that we now have dedicated Recruiting Coordinators on both sides of the ball. It's not enough, but it's a bit of progress and a tangible sign of intent.

While we're on the subject, I'd encourage you to consider what VT has working against it on the recruiting trail re selling points:
- no real national relevance since most of them were 9 years old (we haven't been in a consequential bowl game since DANNY CAUGHT THAT FUCKING BALL in January of 2012);
- secluded, rural location with crazy weather (lots of these kids are either coastal, from warmer Southern areas, from less rural areas - and in some cases, all three (a certain area code in eastern Virginia comes to mind);
- close proximity to multiple national brand programs (Clemson, PSU, UNC) that can swoop in anytime they want, do almost no actual recruiting and still flip a kid just by flashing a Tiger paw or a Jordan logo;
- and frankly, a self-perpetuating program stink - created by diminished recent returns, a small but vocal (and in many cases, overly entitled & overly expectant) fan base clamoring for the coach's head and wholesale changes. (I'm not saying it's not warranted, but it is a "chicken vs egg" vicious circle that's likely very unattractive to a recruit.)

Brass tacks: our recruit wheelhouse is 1) kids (of a wide talent spectrum) who have always been VT fans/followers who are familiar with the program and love everything we have always loved about it, 2) mid-to-high three-star kids for whom a program like VT might be the ceiling, and 3) higher-rated kids who don't get "the call" from Georgia or Clemson or whoever because of numbers etc and see VT for what it is right now: an upper-middle program in a P5 conference that would be thrilled as hell to have them.

Your argument about how VT pours players into the portal might be contradicted by:
a) looking at portal numbers across college football;
b) looking at where the vast majority of portal players land - if they land at all - and how they perform once they land there;
c) looking at how we found new presumptive starters at OL, DT, and Safety - wait for it - through the transfer portal;
d) any combination of the above because - for the thousandth time - portal giveth and portal taketh away. (Previous works cited: Herbert, Hoffman, Evans, Hazelton, Burmeister, Blackshear, Reed et al.) Hate to break it to you: not accepting the portal as a major facet of college football is kind of like not accepting high tide or the sunset. It's happening - whether you're into it or not.

So, can we all agree that the results on the recruiting trail are very disappointing? Of course we can. And if you have some insider info on Fu & Co. not recruiting, bring it & I'll stand down. If not? Then you're just throwing a fit because things didn't go our way. I'm tired of it too. But it's still just noise.

You're the only ones that I can talk to about this, you guys.

NC2VT, TX2VT...the first one kinda worked, the second one didn't really work outside of Alec Bryant. I think we're finally making more concentrated efforts in VA again if the "insiders" are right, and with enough time, maybe we make it so the "big dogs" can't just swoop right in. A beard can dream, at least.

sidenote, I understand your frustrations with bad shitposting, but if 247 is any indication, TKP is tame compared to most every other online Hokie fan community. Those people are, for the most part, a miserable bunch. Masthead treats them all with casual disdain. It's just a very toxic place. I couldn't unplug from VT sports entirely during my hiatus, so I wound up spending some time there. It was a mistake.

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

February Signing Day is going the way of the dinosaur. We finished in December with transfers filling in some gaps. Recruting 2020/21 was over. It's been over for Clemson, Alabama, and the majority of P5 schools. Let's not read anything into it beyond that.

I was scanning the comments to see if anyone had said what you said at the end :D I already had that quote on my clipboard

"Quite honestly, I expect this team to be good," Fuente said.

I hope you're right Coach.

Great write up Alex, really enjoyed this one.

Twitter me

the sad part is that he's in the minority now :(

I don't know many folks who expect the 2021 Hokies football team to be very good.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

Recovery not going so well?

haha, very funny. But be honest: do you really believe VT will be good in 2021? Honestly?

Perhaps we need to clearly define what good means. Do you think winning 7 games is good? 8? 10? Where do you draw the lines between bad/mediocre/good/great?

I think anything less than 5 wins is bad. 5-7 wins is mediocre. 8-10 wins is good. 10+ wins is nipping at the heels of great.

By my (admittedly completely subjective and opinionated) metrics VT would need to win at least 8 games to achieve the status of "good team". VT has only managed 8 wins in one of the last three seasons (and that was against arguably the easiest schedule in the P5....and it was a struggle). Talent hasn't exactly been pouring into Blacksburg. With the negative trend in recruiting coupled with losing some big pieces from the best offense we've seen in a while (Oline departures, Herbert, Hooker) I find it hard to believe anyone can realistically expect VT to come out and win 8 games against a bunch of teams that are out-performing VT on the recruiting trail these days.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

10+ wins is nipping at the heels of great.

I think I'm starting to see what might really be the leading cause of your pessimism. Unrealistic standards. 10+ wins is a great season. Period.

Gobble Till You Wobble

No, winning 12+ with a playoff appearance is Great. Lots of teams win 10+ games. Very few make it to the Playoffs. But you're beyond good when you're winning 10+

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

LIke I said man, your pessimism is a you problem at this point.

Gobble Till You Wobble

Lol. Debating the difference between really good and great is pessimistic in what way exactly?

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

You're putting our standards for a "great" season at the same level as Alabama and Ohio State's standards for a "great" season. If you're setting our bar for success at the same level as Alabama's, then yet again, that's a you problem.

Gobble Till You Wobble

A) what's wrong with setting the bar for great on the same level of teams that are great?

B) Where exactly did I say that VT has to be great in order for me to consider the season a success?

You're manufacturing claims just to try proving that I'm pessimistic. And then you're trying to make me feel bad about it. Like, why?

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

I'm not going to drag this thread down with another conversation about why Tech fans having unrealistic expectations is frustrating. You do you.

As for the "manufacturing statements" comment, good, very good, and great are levels of success so I don't really get your point there.

Gobble Till You Wobble

So you don't want tech to get 10 wins? Ok

Tears in my eyes
Chasing Ponce de Leon's phantoms
So filled with hope
I can taste mythical fountains
False hope, perhaps
But the truth never got in my way
Before now, feel the sting
Feeling time bearing down

The mental olympics it took to come to that conclusion is impressive

Gobble Till You Wobble

Ok so you backhandly called me retarded wow you're so cool😁

Tears in my eyes
Chasing Ponce de Leon's phantoms
So filled with hope
I can taste mythical fountains
False hope, perhaps
But the truth never got in my way
Before now, feel the sting
Feeling time bearing down

Lol chill on that one. I disagree with him, but he definitely did not call you that

Removing features to get people to sign up for your service is something EA would would do.

I'm not even sure how I got dragged into a semantics debate. I expect VT to win 6 games in 2021. If you think that is unrealistic then I don't know what to tell you.

When VT is good I think it is fair to expect between 8 and 10 wins. I also don't know why you find that frustrating.

Great teams win most of their games. There are only a few great teams each year. If there were too many then there wouldn't be any, if you get what I mean. This day in age teams have the potential to play 13+ games if they win at least 6. The teams that win 10+ are really good to great. The teams that win 13+ are most definitely great.

Great teams win lots of games. Good teams win quite a bit too. VT is not great. That's pretty unequivocal. The debate seems to be whether VT is good or not. I don't think they are. You seem to think that is unrealistic? I'm not sure why.

Edit to add: also, I find it very rich that you started by gaslighting me for being a pessimist and then argued that I was contributing to the problem of unrealistic expectations just because I expect a team I believe will be bad to win no more than 6 games. What world are you living in? What is a realistic expectation to you? Where do you draw the line between optimistic and realistic?

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

A great season for tech is not equal to a great season for Alabama. I don't understand how that is a complex idea and how so much offense has been taken by me telling you to do you.

Gobble Till You Wobble

Actually a great season for Alabama is 12 wins. we want 10 but with this staff I don't see it. 8 is the ceiling for this staff which is mediocre

Tears in my eyes
Chasing Ponce de Leon's phantoms
So filled with hope
I can taste mythical fountains
False hope, perhaps
But the truth never got in my way
Before now, feel the sting
Feeling time bearing down

you have not answered any of my questions

A great season for tech is not equal to a great season for Alabama. I don't understand how that is a complex idea

It's not a complex idea at all. I just happen to disagree with it. And my counter-argument is also not complex at all. Great is a standard that Alabama currently lives up to. If VT were ever to make the playoffs (I'm not saying win, I'm saying make) that would be considered a great team by pretty much everyone. If VT wins 10+ games that is going to be considered a really good team. You and I just happen to disagree on the meaning/value of great. That's fine. But just because we disagree on that doesn't give you license to arrogantly dismiss me and my perspective.

how so much offense has been taken by me telling you to do you.

If you don't understand why this is offensive....well, then why don't you just do you

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

I tried to do me and end this conversation 3 comments ago so we didn't drag down another thread with a conversation about unrealistic expectations but apparently was unsuccessful

Gobble Till You Wobble

conversation about unrealistic expectations

you have still failed to point out where anyone is talking about unrealistic expectations. Stop repeating the same lines without adding context. Especially when those lines aren't even relevant to what I'm saying.

I tried to do me and end this conversation 3 comments

if you tried to end this conversation why do you continue to comment? Maybe you're not intending this but you're coming across as pretty arrogant and it's super frustrating to me that you're not even addressing any of my questions or points. You're pretty consistently repeating the same refrains about unrealistic expectations and saying "you do you". The lack of substance to this conversation is on you. This could have been an interesting debate but you just keep throwing out weird assertions that are only obliquely related to the topic and not backed up with any additional commentary.

I sort of feel like I'm talking to a wall...a wall with graffiti on it...graffiti that says "people who talk about unrealistic expectations are super frustrating" and "you do you"

you may think you're not dragging down this thread but by refusing to engage me in a meaningful way and instead repeating the same things over and over you're doing exactly that.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

I find it funny that this subthread began over an argument over pessimism while you have "recovering pessimist" on your banner. Carry on.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

I know, right? Am I really being that pessimistic here? I think saying VT will lose 8-10 games in 2021 would constitute as pessimistic. Saying VT will win 8-10 games is optimistic. Anything in between, I think, would be relatively close to realistic. I think 6-6 is a) realistic and b) not unreasonable

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

Dude wants to argue, he hasn't beaten the f out of the dead , rotting horse yet to satisfy his time on the "great" issue . I can end it here- if Fuente wins 10 games next year with our roster- sign him up for COY. done.

In most walks of life you do not have to be in the top 3% to be considered great. But, it is all very subjective, as is Fuente's "good" expectation.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

Michael Jordan was great. Lionel Messi is great. Tiger Woods was great. Tom Brady is great. I absolutely think it's fair to say that being in the top 3% is an indicator of being great. You start to open up the definition of great to include the "really good" and you devalue the greatness of the truly great. I'm not advocating that VT should, or ever will, be great. I'd be very happy with really good. 10 wins would make me very happy. But let's not devalue the meaning of great.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

It is all semantics and based on your personal outlook. There are plenty of great players that don't approach the GOAT status. Their greatness is transcendent and likely once in a lifetime talents. If VT needs that type of success to have a great season, we are screwed.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

This is how it ought to be around here, for sure. The fact that I'd be ecstatic with a 10 win season, satisfied with an 8 win one, and fully expect 6 or fewer speaks to how far the bar has been lowered. And it looks even worse next to the Alabamas of the world raising the bar for competitiveness so high.

I better start buying lottery tickets I guess

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

I think the fan base should have been ecstatic with 10 win seasons all along, but I think i've made that pretty clear with my time on this board.

Gobble Till You Wobble

I gotta admit I would've appreciated them more if I'd known how fast they'd dry up. Somewhere in the back of my mind I just thought we were always gonna be good

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

Depends on who the 10 wins are, who the two losses are, and how we got there. Getting over the hump to beat Georgia tech and liberty in the same year doesn't do much for me

Removing features to get people to sign up for your service is something EA would would do.

I guess I have a different view of this than you.

Here are the last 5 regular years (2015-19) for FBS football. Other than 2015, of the P5 + ND (66 teams), it's somewhere around 15 teams a year that win 10+ games. And usually, not always, the B1G has the most teams that win 10 or more. (Most people would probably guess it's the SEC.) For all of FBS (130 teams), the percentage is around 20%, and that includes a boatload of crappy teams.

For P5, you can take out Bama, Clemson, Oklahoma, and anOSU because they all won 10+ every year. And there are some outliers in there too, like Syracuse winning 10 games one year. So while there are teams that win 10+ a year, it's not as common as you might think, unless you play in the B1G where they have a bunch of crappy teams too.

So I wouldn't say lots, more like 10-12 P5 teams and ND out of 130.

Year 10+ P5 % 10+ P5 ACC Big XII B1G ND PAC-12 SEC 10+ FBS % 10+ FBS
2019 15 23% 1 2 5 1 2 4 28 22%
2018 14 21% 2 2 2 1 2 5 25 19%
2017 16 24% 2 3 5 1 2 3 26 20%
2016 15 23% 3 3 4 0 4 1 26 20%
2015 20 30% 3 4 6 1 2 4 29 22%

This is pretty cool, thank you for putting it together. I want to clarify that my stance on this isn't that 10+ wins isn't good. I think it's really good, in fact. My stance is that the definition of "great" should be limited to truly great teams. The smaller that pool, the more value the term "great" carries and I think that is important. If roughly 20-25% of teams are winning 10+ games each year that means that almost 1/4 of the teams are really good. I'm fine with that. Maybe it was a little unfair for me to say "lots" of teams win 10+ games each year but 1/4 isn't a small amount either.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

I've had a similar discussion with my friends about this. We agreed that each year there's probably 1-3 'elite' teams, 5-10 'great' teams, 20-25 'good' teams, and everyone else is either mediocre or trash.

Looking at the 2020 season, Alabama was elite, Florida was great, UNC was good, VT was mediocre, Syracuse was trash.

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Lakeem Rudolph to Backer seems like an extension of how we recruited the position this past cycle, and perhaps the type of build/profile Ham wants there. Tall, long, rangy S/LB hybrids for that spot. Other recruits like Keli Lawson, Jaden Keller, and Isi Etute are of a similar profile though perhaps some end up elsewhere (Maybe Etute becomes a Mike, for example).

The defensive line isn't exactly brimming with depth either, but Fuente said he still felt comfortable moving Bailey over because of the development of some other young prospects. In particular, he pointed to rising sophomore Justin Beadles as one to watch.

"He put on 20 pounds, he's changing his body every day," Fuente said. "Beadles knows it's going to be a process for him. We didn't take him for what he was, but for what he could be, if he continues to stay the path. He looks like a different person just from a physical standpoint, but still a very young, inexperienced player with a long way to go."

Beadles coming good would be great. He has such a freaky build.

Great work, Alex!

I had heard Alex Bryant was getting a look at DT, but no mention of it here.

Apropos of nothing, Bryant played exactly one play this year, the last play of the year he was in at DE when Armstrong threw a duck out of bounds near the pylon.

Sooo Alex Bryant's stats are:

- Offensive yards gained while on the field: 0
- Offensive points scored while on the field: 0
- Victories over LOLUVA: 1

This guy sounds like the maybe the best player we've ever had. Throw time of possession out the window, these are the real stats we need to be paying attention to.

"Quite honestly, I expect this team to be good," Fuente said. "We have guys coming back at every position."

No excuses.

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

Plaid right here

Outside it's night time, but inside it's LeDay

2020 was supposed to be a No Excuses year, then there were excuses.

Agreed, but now Fuente himself has erased all potential excuses (unless we're hit with a ton of injuries)

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

His own boss came out after the first losing season in decades and said that it was somehow "year one" for Fuente, and that keeping a HOF defensive coordinator had been a burden to him.

I am confident that there are plenty more excuses to be had from Whit, Fuente and company if they flip over a few more rocks in December 2021 after a six win season.

6 wins in 2021? When did you join TKP's Optimist Brigade?

Sadly that at was Fuente's second losing season. 2018 was the first losing season since 1992.

QB depth is going to be a huge concern. When Burmeister gets hurt, and in Corny's offense he will get injured at some point, who is ready to be even remotely productive at QB? I predict this will be Fuente's go to excuse of a below .500 season for 2021.

Probably Kadum. Hopefully he puts on some weight though.

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

We don't love dem Hoos.

He said he'd also be open to adding another offensive lineman before the season, should some scholarship room open up.

Color me confused, but does Fuente think there's a pool of free agents out there that he can sign off of the scrap heap between exhibition games two and three? How do you just "bring in another lineman" before the season? Don't these kids need to be in enrolled in school and on the team by a specific point to be able to play?

#MakeVTFootballFunAgain

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

FWIW, I was listen to Sark get interviewed on the Audible, and he said the same thing - He plans to leave 5 or so scholarships open after NSD each year to fill with potential transfers. I know VT isn't Bama/Texas, but I think that's the reality of college football these days.

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The timing of it all just seems so weird.

#MakeVTFootballFunAgain

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

Sark just hired probably the top 4 or 5 coaching and recruiting staff in the nation, most of which people didn't think would leave (Washington, Alabama). Including one of the best OL coaches in the nation with Flood. Insert Tommy Boy quote involving a ketchup popsicle.

@hokie_rd

VT will not be landing the same type of player via the transfer portal that Texas did, but let's not act like VT can't land transfers. I'm all for critisizing Fuente, but this is one (of the few) areas in which he's exceled.

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Sark will pull transfers out of luxury. Fuente requires transfers out of pure necessity to avoid complete break downs in his 1st or 2nd level talent.

Herbert was a star and others have been ACC average at best or just a body (Devin Taylor) to fill a huge hole .

Sark will pull transfers out of luxury. Fuente requires transfers out of pure necessity to avoid complete break downs in his 1st or 2nd level talent.

I kind of disagree. Sark is going to be changing scheme, so there is some necessity there. Sark isn't inheriting a perfect roster. The difference is, Sark is inheriting a roster, and Fuente has had 5 years to build his roster, and there's still holes.

That said, leaving room for transfers is the reality of college football now. For some schools it's going to be 1-2 scholarships, for others it's going to be 5-7. Fuente likely made this decision months ago based on (1) his inability to land the high school talented he needed/wanted and (2) not knowing who would be entering the portal/draft leading up to ESD.

IMO, the strategy of leaving space for transfers is fine; the problem is we're not landing enough talent through high school recruiting. Both of these things can be true.

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I think we said the same thing without me directly acknowledging the obvious need for most everyone to save space for a few transfers unless they have a perfect roster.

I expected nothing!

Even when you get skunked; fishing never lets you down. 🎣

@hokie_rd

Keeping some real good company on the recruiting trail, that's for sure

"I have a PLAN. You just need to have a little goddamn faith, Whit. I just need. more. MONEY." - Justin van der Linde

That list is right in line with Whit's press conference. No real expectation to win the ACC, compete with Clemson, etc. Everything is fine, recruiting is fine. Adjust your expectations.

Best developmental team in the country.

but what does that even mean though? Has VT truly actually developed any players? From where I sit, most of the players who have been great were great when they got here. Most of the players who had potential but weren't great yet never really developed. O-line is probably the only group that has shown some amount of development over the last 5 years. None of the skill position groups have developed. Defensive line has been too hard to evaluate with the coaching change. How can VT aspire to be the best developmental program in the country if we're not even developing half of the players we have?

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

Deablo, Farley, O line (you mentioned), The entire secondary really, Holston, Rambo. We have developed players. If we would have hit home at the qb position, the tenure would look much different. It is always the qb.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

I'm not sure I'd agree with Holston. But I'll give you the rest. Defensive Backs and Tight Ends in addition to the O-Line. But WR development (or lack thereof) is a pretty glaring weakness considering that it's been touted as one of the most important positions since the beginning of Fuente's tenure (I seem to remember something about needing to have 8 starting caliber receivers). QB (you mentioned) is another big one. Also, running backs and linebackers. And this is where I'm not sure I agree with you on Holston. Did he really show marked improvement? I'm not sure. The best RB we've had since David Wilson is Herbert and by all accounts he was just as good when he got here as he was when he left. One year isn't indicative of development so we can throw that out altogether. Otherwise, I'm not sure we've had any RBs clearly improve during their time here.

So yes, we've developed some players but I don't think we're developing enough of the right types of players to call ourselves the best development program in the nation. Or the state, for that matter.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

I tend to agree with VTCivEngr - I think this staff is actually decent at developing talent. My complaints are with roster management - it's seems like every season, there's 1-3 position groups that are just cratered. I can think of instances where the DT, DE, RB, WR rooms have been way to thin for a P5 team. I'm okay taking the development program route, but if we want to do that, we need to raise the talent floor somewhat dramatically.

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whether it's roster management or player development there is a real problem when in five years you can only find one good QB (Evans) and one good RB (Herbert) to go with 0 good WRs, 0 good LBs. And those two studs came straight from the Portal and lasted 1 year each. It's not a very inspiring track record for someone trying to build a developmental program.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

Yea, I agree. I feel like this staff has no choice but to be a developmental program because they can't recruit. Nobody here really cares if the staff turns top 45 talent into top 30 talent (and they're struggling to do that right now) - we want to see top 30 talent develop into top 20 talent.

I've said it multiple times in the last week, but I don't see any (realistic) way that this team makes it beyond 8 wins. The only way I see us doing that is if all of the below happen:

  • King and/or Blackshear play at a Khalil Herbert level
  • BB makes a sizeable leap forward at QB
  • JHam is able to coach at a Bud Foster level

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I have reached a very strange part of my fandom where I'm more interested in what happens after next season than during. The last 3 years have been so maddening to watch as a fan. I feel like I know what we're going to get with a Fuente team. We'll look really good in a couple games. We'll look really bad in a couple games. We'll look very disjointed in several other games. Overall very inconsistent and, relative to the standards set by Beamer, underwhelming. I'm not interested in watching a boring, predictably inconsistent team slog through a season en route to 7-5 or worse. I am, however, interested to see what the overall fan response is to whatever the results of 2021 are. Whether its 2-10, 6-6, 10-2 or anything in between I'm very much interested in how the 2021 season will be viewed by VT fans at large. I know how I would feel about different results but it will be fascinating to see how the rest of the fan base reacts. And, should we end up having another sub-standard season (according to Whit) what will come of Fuente and Co.? Then how will fans react to a)Fuente staying or b)Fuente going? December can't get here soon enough!!!

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

I have reached a very strange part of my fandom where I'm more interested in what happens after next season than during.

I am, however, interested to see what the overall fan response is to whatever the results of 2021 are. Whether its 2-10, 6-6, 10-2 or anything in between I'm very much interested in how the 2021 season will be viewed by VT fans at large.

Same, same, same. Maybe I've just spend too much time listening PAPN/SZD, but I'm more interested in the narrative than the actual game

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It means VT isn't going to take football recruiting seriously... or at least not resource it appropriately... and that budget is more important than goals... and that the Hokie football you previously grew to know and love will be on hiatus for the foreseeable future.

This has got to be one of the most depressing stats I have seen during the Fuente era. Five years into running the program and we couldn't pull a single four star recruit from Virginia, the Carolinas, Florida or any flipping place. Dark days my fellow Hokies, dark days indeed. At least we have CMY and shootyhoops to enjoy and distract us for a couple more months.

VTCC '86 Delta Company, Hokie in Peru, Former Naval Aviator, Former FBISA, Forever married to my VT87 girl. Go VT!

This is a 3rd straight year of dogshit recruiting.

Make no mistake, this is going to hurt and hurt bad. The bottom is going to fall out of the program and there won't be a quick recovery. We sealed that fate by staying the course after this last season. We just do not recruit well enough to compete at a divisional level, let alone conference or national.

Virginia Tech football as we knew it will die in the next 24 months. There is no stopping it from happening at this point. And the worst point is that I think his has been the plan since Sands was hired.

"I have a PLAN. You just need to have a little goddamn faith, Whit. I just need. more. MONEY." - Justin van der Linde

I might just hop on the NDSU bandwagon.

VT '10--My avatar will flip, when things are right at VT again.

Rick Monday... You Made a Great Play...

Romanes Eunt Domus

ACC rankings on 247 has VT at 10 of 14. The only reason we are not last is b/c GT, Duke, Syracuse and Wake took anywhere from 11 to 6 less recruits. I cannot tell if the rating score incorporates the transfers (short-timers) but either way that is truly embarrassing, especially on top of last years paltry rank. Not trying to pile on but this is just bad.

Fuente acknowledging that losing Hudson and Nester hurts is 1. the truth, and 2. refreshing to hear from him. Hopefully hearing it from the horses mouth saves us from the myriad of "no big loss""they were passed on the depth chart" 'they weren't starters" "we are sick with talent in the OL room" posts regarding this topic. Also, the description above of our current QB room- with one of the top 4 guys returning is funny, especially since the portal guy is described as a special teams player and "can play different spots" in the same write up .

One of the interesting comments in this to me was the Beadles comment. I immediately thought of Keshawn King, who supposedly wasn't seeing the field because of (a) lack of weight gain/muscularity and (b) Herbert. How is Beadles turning into Joe Weider and Keshawn isn't changing? Just what I needed, another head scratching comment from Fuente to add to my list. Anybody have any insight because I was hoping that KK was next man up to fill Herbert's large shoes.

The LewDew, Professional Golf Bum

I know it was talked a lot about towards the end of the season, but basically, he was someone who really struggled during the extended break caused by COVID. The rumor was he had lost weight and didn't have access to proper nutrition or weights to build that backup. Not sure if that is because he had COVID (75% of players had it at some point according to Whit) or just personal circumstances being away from the team/school for such an extended period. Not everyone had Devon Hunter's gym setup at home...

I think the word is that King might not have had access to great nutrition/weight room/etc once everyone got sent back home last spring. 2) it seems like the oline as a unit has bought in more to the weight room than some of the rest of the team in recent years, at least in terms of official gains in weight/physical build.

Guys we need to give this train one more year. I know we suck, but really I see some upside for next year. I AM WRONG!

The "best developmental program in the country" is about to put two guys in the first round of the draft, and I have absolutely zero confidence that any part of that can or will be weaponized on the recruiting trail.

It is pretty impressive how you managed to turn putting two first rounders in the league into a negative statement.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

It's not that putting players in the league is a negative - it is that Fuente & Co. have no clue how to capitalize on that.

Honest question - do you think that the current staff can turn Farley and Darrisaw into tangible recruiting momentum?

Probably not considering farleys stated analysis for not returning

Davidson's tweet is stupid on so many levels.

Is this a scheduled post?

Don't get me wrong, I have no faith that the staff is going to just start recruiting great. But, besides Keene, aren't they the first Fuente recruits to be drafted? How do we know how they will or will not capitalize.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

Remember when we used to make fun of uva for all of their draft picks? They had a bunch of talent that would go pro but could only win 5 games.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

You're right we should probably completely ignore it and wait until we have a better record to be proud of individual player accomplishments \s

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

I'm not at all trying to diminish the accomplishments of players who have worked hard to earn their shot in the pros. I'm pointing out how unfortunate it is that they had to play for coaches who don't know what they're doing. I'm not willing to use talented kids who have a shot to get drafted as evidence that these coaches are developing talent adequately.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

Even a broken clock is right twice a day.