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   TSLMail Breaking News - September 3rd, 2002
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Hokies Land OL Tripp Carroll, TE John Kinzer

For Hokie fans, the euphoria of the win over LSU has a pretty pleasant hangover. In the wake of their victory over the SEC champions, the Hokies received commitments from two of their top recruiting targets, offensive lineman Tripp Carroll from Andrew Jackson High School in Jacksonville, Florida, and tight end John Kinzer from Robinson High School in Fairfax, Virginia.

OL Tripp Carroll (6-4, 290, Andrew Jackson HS, Jacksonville, FL)

Tripp Carroll is a national-level recruit who has favored the Hokies since the Tech spring game and finally committed. Carroll is a SuperPrep All-American and is ranked as the #13 offensive lineman in the country by the magazine. ranks him as a four-star player (out of five; there are only 27 five-star players in the entire country), the #5 offensive guard in the country, and the #79 player overall. ranks Carroll as a four-star player and the #11 offensive lineman in the country.

We spoke with Tripp Friday afternoon, prior to his commitment, and again Monday night, after his commitment. He raved about Tech's beautiful campus, their coaching staff, their players, everything about the school.

"I visited Tech for the first time at the spring game," he said Friday. "It's like falling in love -- you just know. That's how I feel about Virginia Tech."

"There was no second place [team]," said Gil Carroll, Tripp's father and his coach at Andrew Jackson High.

Carroll originally told us he might wait and take some official visits before committing to Tech, but he went ahead and made it official Monday. He told us Monday night, "I thought about it, and thought about it, and I decided not to lead anyone else on. There's too many good people out there, and I didn't want to lead them on. It's all fun and great, but why hurt somebody else's recruiting efforts. So I went ahead [and committed].

"All along, I knew I was going to go to Virginia Tech. It was just a question of when I was going to do it [commit]."

Will he still take official visits elsewhere? "I'm not going to say I'm not. I'm definitely going to go to Virginia Tech, of course, and I told the Ohio State coaches that I wanted to come up there and visit. That was a while ago. Whatever I do, I'm not going to change my decision."

Carroll had hoped to graduate early and arrive in January, but with his recent move to Florida (he played in North Carolina through last season), that won't be possible. "It's hard to explain, but I won't be graduated in December. I'm going to further my education at a community college, take college credit classes, and have them credit towards my freshman year in college. I'm planning on taking freshman English and freshman math."

Carroll tells us that in the forty, he runs a "legitimate 5.0, 5.1." He recently benched 390 pounds, and he deadlifts 675. Carroll said he doesn't one-rep squats for max weight, but he works out with 405 regularly. He has a 27-inch vertical leap.

As for other sports, he wrestled as a freshman but currently concentrates on football. Carroll also played defensive line and said that he has been recruited as a defensive lineman by some schools. "Last year, I had 7 sacks, 89 or 90 tackles, with about 15 for loss.

"By being around football all my life, I know football like the back of my hand. They say I could come in and play some guard and backup Jake Grove at center. I personally feel like I could come in and contend for a spot, but it's all in the good Lord's hands."

When asked what he needs to work on the most, Carroll chuckles and says sheepishly, "I don't know. It's hard, being in high school and dominating like I do, I feel, to really know what I need to work on. I'll tell you when I find someone who's bigger than I am." But he does admit, "I need to get a little bit more nasty. I'm strong, and I play hard, but I probably play with a little too much finesse sometimes."

Carroll had approximately 80 offers and also considered UNC, Clemson, Ohio State and Florida.

TE John Kinzer (6-3, 255, Robinson HS, Fairfax, Virginia)

John Kinzer is also a SuperPrep All-American and is rated the #10 tight end in the country by the magazine. and both list him as a three-star recruit and rank him as the #21 and #29 tight end in the country, respectively. Kinzer is rated the #6 prospect in the state by and the #7 prospect in the state by Doug Doughty of the Roanoke Times.

Usually, Robinson High School football players don't get heavily involved in recruiting until after the season, because it allows them to concentrate on football instead of recruiting. But John Kinzer, who liked the Hokies, decided to get things out of the way and commit early, instead of late.

Kinzer is lauded as a great combination of blocking and receiving by his coach, Mark Bendorf. He only caught ten passes last year, primarily because Robinson had a dominating running attack featuring 2002 VT signee Mike Imoh.

For more information, see the Richmond Times-Dispatch article on Kinzer's commitment. Please note that the latest Roanoke Times rankings, released on Friday, August 30th, have not yet been incorporated into's database. Kinzer's listed ranking is correct, but others may not be. Also note that Kinzer has been listed as both "Jon" and "John." We will find out the correct spelling and update TSL records if necessary.

Tech Recruiting Status

Carroll and Kinzer are two of Tech's top recruiting targets this year, and their commitments bring the list of verbals for the 2003 recruiting class to seven players. Both Carroll (3.9 GPA, 1200 SAT) and Kinzer (3.4 GPA, 1140 SAT) are excellent students who will have no trouble qualifying.

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