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   TSL Extra #14

Are you ready for more? More articles, more analysis, and more commentary on Hokie sports? Of course you are, because you can't get enough! The TSL Extra is the step up that you need. With interviews, feature articles, commentary, heavy duty statistical analysis, and more, it's the best way to feed your craving for exclusive writing on Hokie sports. We have assembled a great collection of writers to give you the finest coverage of the Hokies that you can get!

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   Recruiting News

Hokies Land WR Chris Caesar

In an unusual twist, the Hokies have welcomed a new recruit who is already practicing with the team in Jacksonville (as of today) and will enroll at Tech in January. The new player is Chris Caesar from Spanish River High School in Boca Raton, Florida. Caesar (we've seen it spelled Ceasar, as well) is 6-0, 185 and played quarterback in high school. He also played wideout and defensive back before becoming a QB as a junior. He will be listed as a split end at Tech but will get a look at other positions.

Caesar is a 2001 graduate of Spanish River High School, and what our sources tell us is that he was having trouble qualifying, causing most schools to back off of him when he was a senior. We hear that Chris then committed to Florida A&M, proceeded to have a great senior year at Spanish River and to get the SAT score he needed, and then decided to attend Virginia Tech instead of FAMU. This caused him to delay entering Tech until January of 2002. We'll try to verify this info if we can and will put it into his as-yet-nonexistent TSL recruiting database entry if true.

Recruiting Getting Ready to Enter the 7th Inning

Here at TSL, we like football season, but one good thing about it ending is that recruiting kicks in immediately and takes over. With the holidays and Gator Bowl upon us, we haven't had much time to keep the TSL database up to date or converse with recruits, but that will change after we return from Jacksonville.

Recruits are in the end of a dead period right now, which means that no face-to-face contact is allowed, no on-campus visits are occurring, and coaches are only allowed to call recruits once a week. So not a lot has been changing with recruits in the last couple of weeks.

We finally caught up with RB Mike Imoh to see how his 12/14 visit to VT went, and we also got in touch with DL/TE Brian Mattes to check up on his status. Here's what they had to say.

RB Mike Imoh (5-7, 175, 4.4, Robinson HS, Fairfax, VA)

Imoh said of his VT visit: "It was nice. People treated me real well there. I felt comfortable, and overall, it was a nice visit. The coaches are nice, the facilities are nice."

He roomed with Robinson teammate and VT verbal Cary Wade, but, says Imoh, "I was with Ahmad (Brooks) the whole time, basically. We're pretty good friends, actually. We've known each other for about a year now. I haven't gotten a chance to call him on the phone, but I have his phone number, and meanwhile, we've talked a couple of times. We were planning on talking again in a few weeks to see where each other stands."

Does it matter to Imoh what other recruits such as Brooks are doing? "It probably will make a difference, because you want to win wherever you go. You want to bring in people that you're close with, that are your friends, and that on top of that are good athletes. It's a lot more fun."

Imoh got to watch a VT practice, mostly agility drills. "I like one thing, they're real competitive there, and they like to get after it, but they have fun at the same time. They were pretty fired up, and they were having some fun. Those are pretty down to earth guys. They're easy to talk to, and the coaches are easy to talk to. They seem like the kind of guys who have an open door policy, if you need to talk about something."

So who is his leader? "Tech is my leader right now, because of the fact that I haven't made any other visits, and I felt comfortable there, and the way they laid things down and let me know how things are there. They answered all the questions I had."

Imoh was named Virginia Group AAA Player of the Year by the Associated Press, a high honor during a year in which the state is packed with talent. He will visit Wake Forest and Georgia Tech, and perhaps Tennessee, but he has not set dates yet for any of those trips. Of occasional rumors that he might commit to VT soon, Imoh says, "No, I don't think I'm ready to commit (anywhere, not just VT). Maybe early February or late January. I want to take my visits."

DL Brian Mattes (6-6, 245, 4.7, Plymouth Wyoming Valley West HS, Wyoming, PA)

Brian Mattes previously listed Notre Dame and UVa as co-favorites, with Tech a close third, but now that he has visited VT and UVa, the Hokies have pulled even with the Cavs. As for Notre Dame, with all the craziness at the coaching position? "I'm still going to hang in with them. They have to get someone pretty soon, I would think. I still definitely want to go take a look there before I do anything.

"I know they have ten or twelve commitments, and from what I understand, they're all pretty solid. If they get a high-profile guy, I think they might get some more good players just because of the new guy coming in. But I think they need to get someone pretty soon, or people (recruits) are going to start getting impatient."

Mattes said of his 12/7/01 UVa visit, "It went well, I had a real good time down there. It's a great place, I think. I got to spend time with the players, which is important. I was on a few unofficial trips before that, and didn't get a chance to meet the players. They were good guys, I had a good time with them."

Who's his leader? "Right now, it would be Virginia Tech and Virginia." As noted, Mattes still wants to keep Notre Dame in the mix, but the Hokies have pulled even with the Cavaliers.

Mattes was first team all-state tight end in the "Big School" (AAA and 4A) classification in Pennsylvania. He has been invited to play in the All-American Bowl all-star game in San Antonio. Ten-game stats: 34 catches, 400 yards, 2 TD's, 2 two-point conversions; 70 tackles, 13 sacks, 11 tackles for loss, 2 blocked kicks.

Roanoke Times Postseason Top 50

Doug Doughty released his annual postseason rankings of high school players in the state on Christmas Day, and we compiled it into a handy-dandy color-coded table. To see the rankings (which have not yet been incorporated into TSL's database) and see how the Hokies are doing with the top players in the state, click here. Updates From the Past Week

The 2002 Toyota Gator Bowl

The Hokies are just about ready for the Gator Bowl matchup with Florida State, and so are we. To read our in-depth preview, including a printable roster card (in PDF format), see out Gator Bowl Game Preview. If you're going to the game, travel safely!

Gator Bowl Apparel From!
We've got Gator Bowl sweatshirts, short-sleeve T-shirts, and long-sleeve T-shirts ready to rock and roll at!

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TSL Features This Week:
Dear Santa .... -- Christmas wishes by Joel Kelly 12/24/01
Beerman's Picks -- by Ben Shapiro, 12/28/01

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