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   Recruiting - Visit List for 12/1, QB's Sam and Dosh, DL Mattes, and TE Nixon

This week's Miami game is a big recruiting weekend for the Hokie football team. The list of players who are visiting is not a long one, but it has some important names on it. Take a look (each player's name is a link to their TSL recruiting database entry):

Definitely Coming: DT Levi Brown, DT Brandon Greeson, DE Brian Mattes, TE Laenar Nixon, DB Aaron Rouse, and QB Lorne Sam.
Tentatively Scheduled: ATH Montae Pitts and QB James Banks.

We caught up with as many of these recruits as we could this week, and here's what they told us in interviews.

Lorne Sam
QB Lorne Sam: The biggest surprise on the visit list is Buford (GA) QB Lorne Sam (6-3, 190). Sam has been a Florida State verbal commitment since late summer, but he is interested in VT and wants to check the Hokies out. "I'm taking a visit Saturday to Virginia Tech for the Virginia Tech/Miami game. I was thinking about taking a visit to Auburn, but they stopped recruiting me, so I dropped them off my list. It's down to just Virginia Tech and Florida State right now.

"Florida State offered me as an athlete, where I would get to choose either receiver or quarterback. Virginia Tech wants me as a quarterback, and they figure they could develop me into someone similar to a Vick, or something like that, as an athletic quarterback that can run."

So how did VT, which generally doesn't recruit the state of Georgia very hard, find out about Lorne Sam? "Over the summer (of 2001), my cousin made my highlight tape. I talked to my sister, she's a (basketball) coach at Liberty University (in Lynchburg, Virginia). I had her call some schools up there like Virginia Tech and schools up north, and they called me and asked for a highlight film, and I sent it. I had her show interest for me, and it went from there."

About FSU, Sam says: "I have a brother (PK) that plays receiver down there, he's a freshman. I know a lot of the people down there, because I go down there a lot to see my brother play. It was kind of a dream school to go there, kind of like you always imagine yourself playing there, but you're not sure you'll get there. When I got the opportunity, I decided that was probably the best place for me to go, and I would probably get the best opportunity to make it to the next level."

On the subject of VT: "I like the way they develop their quarterbacks, like Michael Vick, the way they kind of taught him basically the college ropes, and got him ready as a redshirt freshman, to do as well as he did. So I thought they could do pretty much the same thing with me."

Sam would prefer to redshirt. "I'm only 16 right now. I'm a young senior, so a lot of schools figure they can redshirt me, and I can develop from there."

Could his visit to Virginia Tech change is mind about his FSU verbal commitment? "It is possible. I like Virginia Tech a lot, and that's why I had to take a visit up there, just to make my decision a little easier, so I can know that I made the right decision. I think it will help out in terms of where I want to go from here. This is my last visit, and after this, I'll make my decision."

In eleven games this season, Sam has passed for over 1,000 yards and run for over 500. He says that Buford doesn't have many close games, and he's usually out of the game around half time.

To view the TSL recruiting database entry for Lorne Sam, click here.

QB Patrick Dosh: Meanwhile, another QB recruit, Patrick Dosh (6-3, 215) out of Benedictine High School in Richmond, Virginia, will be at Tech this weekend, but not for his official visit. That won't come until Dec. 14th.

"I'm going to the Miami game this weekend, and the following weekend (12/8), I'm going to UNC for an official visit. And then on the 15th, I'm going to Tech. I think what I'm going to do, almost as a backup plan, is take an official visit to JMU. My dad went to JMU and played basketball there for four years. He's in the Hall of Fame there. I think I'm going to take an official visit there on January 12th. I know that they only have one quarterback in their system that's on scholarship."

Dosh still has UNC and VT as co-leaders. "At this point, that's probably the way I'm leaning. But then again until I go to JMU for an official visit Ö after I visit all three, I'll have a lot of things cleared up. I donít think I even have time to make official visits to other schools. I think after I make my visit to JMU, I'm going to have to sit down and start figuring things out in a hurry."

Dosh sounds like he'll be pulling hard for the Hokies against the Canes. "Whenever it's the number one team in the country, I'm sure Coach Beamer will have them ready. I just hope Tech can move the ball offensively on them. They did a good job against UVa -- I was at that game -- moving the ball. I hope they'll be able to get a running game going against Miami."

Season Stats: 162-299, 2613 yards, 26 TD's, 8 INT's. 130 carries for 620 yards 6 TD's. Career passing yardage: 8,648 yards. Dosh's career passing yardage breaks the Virginia High School League record set by Ronald Curry (8,212 yards), but is not an official VHSL record, because Benedictine is a private school.

To view the TSL recruiting database entry for Patrick Dosh, click here.

DL Brian Mattes: Mattes was on the Virginia sideline for the Tech/UVa game and lists UVa and Notre Dame as his co-leaders (with Virginia pulling ahead recently), and VT third. The Hokies will get their chance to change his mind this weekend. Then he'll visit Notre Dame on 12/8 and UVa on 12/15.

"Notre Dame, I definitely like the tradition," Mattes said of the Irish. "Virginia seems like a really neat place to go to school, and I have a lot of faith in the coaching staff there. I like both (UVa and ND) because they're very good academic schools, and I'll come out of there with a degree that definitely means a lot."

On UVa Coach Al Groh: "I've talked to him a couple of times and sat down with him in person. I think he's a great guy and he's going to do a lot for the program." ND Coach Bob Davie: "He's a very down to earth guy, kind of a family guy. That was my first impression, anyway. Another bunch of real good guys out there."

Virginia is recruiting Mattes as a tight end, Notre Dame as a defensive end. The Hokies are recruiting him as both.

"I went to Virginia Tech's spring game. I stopped by during the summer, also. I met (Tight Ends) Coach (Danny) Pearman, and I talked to Coach Beamer a little bit. This weekend I plan on seeing him a lot more. It's just great football they have down there. It seems like a ton of support they get from fans, the whole community. It just seems like it would be a really fun place to go to play football.

"I'll see how these first three visits play out and then schedule my next two if I want to look around a little more."

To view the TSL recruiting database entry for Brian Mattes, click here.

TE Laenar Nixon: Nixon (6-3, 210, 4.5), a tight end out of Carol City High School in Miami, Florida, is a big-time recruit who favors the Hokies over Maryland and Oklahoma. Nixon is used mostly as a blocker, and he was injured with a stress fracture for the first 7 games of the year, so he only had 3 catches this season, for 40 yards. But that didn't stop him from getting a boatload of offers and being rated as a four-star player and one of the top 20 tight ends in the country by

Nixon will visit VT this weekend, Maryland on 12/15, and Oklahoma later in December. He is still thinking about paying a visit to Miami, but he isn't sure he would take a fifth visit. Here's what he has to say about his three favorites:

VT: "It kind of reflects on Carol City a little bit. They're strong in the weight program, and if you're strong in the weight program, you're going to be dominant on the field. That's what I was brought up doing (in the Carol City system), and you're a product of what you do."

MD: "What got me interested is the way they use their H-back (combination tight end/fullback). They use the H-back a lot, and I could be the man to fulfill that spot."

OK: "That's another school that uses the tight end. They split the tight end off (in the slot), and I feel like I could be dominant standing up. Plus, my father is an alumni there. And I know some people that went there."

Nixon is interested in studying sports medicine in college, and when asked if he might commit to the Hokies this weekend, he says simply, "It's a possibility."

To view the TSL recruiting database entry for Laenar Nixon, click here.

   Do Your Holiday Shopping at!

Everybody hates holiday shopping, but makes it easy to shop for your Hokie friends and family. Just log on to the store and pick out your gifts. When it comes time to check out, you can either have the gear sent to yourself (for wrapping later), or you can fill in the shipping address information with the recipient's name and address. It's simple, and it means you can avoid the traffic and the crowded stores!

We've got a bunch of new stuff at, including TSL apparel and some interesting new items (welcome mats, car mats, hitch covers, football helmets, and more) in our Miscellaneous category. Plus, the items in our Gold Medallion and Barware and Glassware categories make stunning gifts.

And lastly, if you want to give the gift that keeps on giving, give the TSL Extra as a gift! Click here to send up to four subscriptions at a time to your friends.

   News Items From the Past Week

In the biggest news of all this week, the Hokies have been invited to the Gator Bowl to match up against Florida State. We have put together a Gator Bowl Info Page that includes links to FSU web sites, newspaper web sites, Jacksonville info, Gator Bowl info, and Alltel Stadium info.

Here are some other items of note:

-- Saturday's 7 p.m. men's basketball game between Virginia Tech and #9 UVa will be regionally televised. The game, scheduled for a 7 p.m. tip-off, will be shown in the Southeastern United States by Fox Sports South and in the Mid-Atlantic region by Comcast Sports Net. Check your local cable listings for each network.

-- Tech women's basketball player Sarah Hicks was named Big East Co-Player of the Week, an outstanding accomplishment in a league loaded with quality players. She shares the honor with Julie McBride of Syracuse. Hicks averaged 17.3 points and 5.3 rebounds in leading the Hokies to a 2-1 week (victories over #16 ODU and Northwestern Louisiana, and a loss to #19 LSU).

-- The Hokie women's team dropped a close 60-58 decision to UVa Thursday night. Tech, down 47-36 with eleven minutes to go, stormed back for a 55-52 lead with 2:25 to play. UVa put up 7 straight points to take a 59-55 lead, and the Hokies closed the gap to 59-58 with a couple of seconds remaining, only to eventually fall by the final margin of 2.

-- The Hokie men's team ran their record to 4-1 with blowout home wins over ECU (90-62) and Northeastern (79-56).

-- Former VT placekicker Shayne Graham has been signed by the Buffalo Bills and will be their starting kicker this weekend. Graham will be in action Sunday night against another former Hokie, John Engelberger, and the San Francisco 49ers. The game, which kicks off at 8:30 p.m., will be shown on ESPN. 

Last Week's Football Game: the Hokies did not play last weekend.

This Week's Football Game:
The Hokies will take on the Miami Hurricanes in Blacksburg, Saturday at 1:00. The game will be broadcast on ABC, and announcers will be Brad Nessler (play-by-play), Bob Griese (color analyst), and Lynn Swann (sideline reporter).
Click here to read TSL's game preview, including our score prediction.
Click here to download a roster card in PDF format.

TSL Features This Week:
Hokie Hotline Notes -- 11/26/01
Gator Bowl Blues for the Orange -- Jim Alderson, 11/27/01
Beerman's Picks -- 11/29/01
Weekend Rooting Guide -- 11/30/01, will be posted in the afternoon

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