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   Welcome to TSLMail #37 - Friday, June 28, 2002
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  TSL Extra #20

Issue #20 of the TSL Extra is here, and this month's issue is another winner, featuring recruiting profiles of rising high school seniors Vince Hall and Phillip Brown, plus our ranking of the ten most influential players of the Beamer Bowl Era!

Vince Hall: Controlled Aggression
by Chris Horne
Western Branch's Vince Hall hones his mental and physical approach to the game.

Phillip Brown: Mr. Everything
by Chris Horne
Phoebus' Phillip Brown wants to be the man, so he does it all.

The Ten Most Influential Players of the Beamer Bowl Era
by Will Stewart
We count them down, from #10 to Michael Vick.

The Dean of Big East Coaches
by Jim Alderson
Virginia Tech's Frank Beamer has had his way with almost every coach in the Big East.

The Corners are Full
by Will Stewart
Some thoughts on the ever-expanding Lane Stadium, and how different things used to be just a few short years ago.

Inside the Numbers 1: Football Ticket Revenue
by Will Stewart
You'll never believe this, but higher ticket prices plus larger crowds equals more money. Lots more.

Inside the Numbers 2: The Boom in Tech Athletics
by Will Stewart
VT athletic department revenue is booming, and the numbers get better every year for the Hokies.

Inside TSL: The Covers
by Will Stewart
So what goes into producing a TSL Extra cover? Sometimes a little, sometimes a lot.

If you're a TSL Extra subscriber and want to access the latest issue, or if you're not and want to find out more, then check out our TSL Extra Info Page.

A TSL Extra subscription is $24.95 a year and comes with a 10% discount on all purchases, plus access to every back issue of the TSLX -- that's hundreds of pages of Hokie-related reading!

So if you're not a subscriber, try out the goods and come on board! The TSLX is only $24.95 per year. Click here to subscribe!

  TSL Sponsor Spotlight

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Check out Shenandoah Spring Water's web site, and please keep up with all of the sponsors on TSL.

   Tech Sports News

Recruiting News: The Latest TSL Top 40 Rankings

TSL has released the June update (version 002) of its rankings of the Top 40 senior high school football players in the state of Virginia. Due to space considerations, the list can't be included here in TSLMail, but there are two versions you can see online -- both versions are now linked from TSL's Football Recruiting Page:

  • Condensed version: includes TSL rank, Roanoke Times rank, ht/wt/40, schools of interest.
  • Expanded version: includes all data in the condensed version plus TSL star rankings and star rankings from AC Preps, Rivals, and The Insiders.

The Top 5: Holding down the top spot this month is Western Branch (Chesapeake) linebacker Vince Hall.

Moving up fast from #5 last month to #2 this month is Bethel (Hampton) defensive end Chris Ellis, who has offers from both VT and UVa, among others.

Dropping one spot because of Ellis' ascent are Phoebus (Hampton) LB Xavier Adibi (from #2 to #3), Phoebus CB Phillip Brown (from #3 to #4), and Centreville OL and VT commit Matt Welsh (from #4 to #5).

Stock Rising: This month's big movers are Salem (Virginia Beach) RB Isaiah Gardner, shooting up from #20 to #9, with an impressive nine offers, including offers from VT and UVa; and ATH Terrel Golden from Lake Taylor High in Norfolk, who moves from #28 all the way up to #15.

Stock Falling: Taking a big hit this month is West Springfield OL Marshall Ausberry, who fell from #6 all the way to #18.

More Recruiting: Shaw and Razzano Nearing Decisions?

Some players like to commit late, taking all of their visits and fully "enjoying" the process (as much as you can enjoy being pestered by phone calls all week long). Other prospects like to get things out of the way early, commit before their senior seasons, and enjoy the year.

Other players ... who knows?

One player who will apparently commit early is fullback Joey Razzano from Milford High School in Milford, Ohio (not to be confused with Milford High in Massachusetts, alma mater of former Hokie Jim Pyne; also not to be confused with Milford Academy in Connecticut, which is where 2001 [and 2002] recruit Fred Lee went for a year while working on qualifying, which he did. Confused?)

Joey Razzano is the son of former Hokie linebacking great Rick Razzano (1974-77), who led the Hokies in tackling four straight years and holds many Tech tackling records, including tackles in a game (30), season (177), and career (634). Rick went on to play for the NFL's Cincinnati Bengals.

Joey, who is 6-0, 230, and runs a 4.8 forty, is a classic fullback who can block, run, and catch the football. He has ten offers, including Virginia Tech, Ole Miss, Michigan State, and Boston College, among others. Joey favors VT and Ole Miss. His brother is a football player at Ole Miss, at the fullback position, so he has family ties to both schools.

Razzano told Spencer Cagle of The Insiders network that he will attend Virginia Tech's camp in mid-July, and he will choose between VT and Ole Miss before school starts.

Then there's the curious case of John Shaw (6-5, 278), a defensive tackle from Spring Grove, PA who is ranked in the Top 100 players in the country, per Tom Lemming. Shaw attended Virginia Tech's spring game in April and the Tom Lemming photo shoot at VT in May, so he is very familiar with VT, and he names the Hokies in his final three with Penn State and West Virginia, according to Phil Grosz of BWI.

So what's so curious about Shaw? Well, just yesterday, Grosz reported that Shaw will probably make his decision before the middle of July -- in other words, in just two-three weeks.

Also yesterday, Shaw was quoted by The Insiders as saying that he wanted to make his decision "towards the end, so I'll take my visits before deciding."

Very strange. Shaw is one of the hottest prospects that VT is after, so he'll be closely watched.

Clearing up the DE/DT/TE Confusion

One of the things about recruiting that's hard to clear up is what position the players will play when they get to college. And actually, that's often hard to say. VT loves to recruit big, rangy kids who can wind up playing anything from outside linebacker to defensive end to defensive tackle to tight end to offensive line.

So what does it matter? Why not recruit the kids and get it sorted out after they show up on campus?

Well, it matters to the kids themselves, who always have an eye on playing time and competition at their position. If a defensive end, for instance, finds out that a school is recruiting five other defensive ends, he may lost interest in that school. But if he finds out that of those five other "defensive ends," two are being recruited as defensive tackles and two as tight ends, then that clears things up considerably.

So, who is VT recruiting at what position? Let's take a look at some names that have been thrown around, including some recent VT commits:

Defensive Tackles

VT commit Kory Robertson (Ridgeway, VA, 6-4, 270): Robertson plays DE at Magna Vista, but at his size, is headed for the DT position at Tech.

VT commit Barry Booker (Amherst, PA, 6-5, 255): Booker played linebacker and fullback last year at Amherst and will play defensive end this year, but he is growing rapidly and just discovered the weight room this spring. Sources tell us he projects as a DT for Tech.

VT target John Shaw (Spring Grove, PA, 6-5, 278): Shaw is an outstanding physical talent who could wreak havoc in the middle of a line.

Defensive Ends

VT target Chris Ellis (Hampton, VA, 6-4, 230): The Hokies are recruiting the fast-rising Ellis as a defensive end and hope that the presence of former Bethel teammate Jimmy Williams (who recently qualified) at VT will help.

VT target Vincent Redd (Elizabethton, TN, 6-7, 240): Redd is an outstanding player that the Hokies would like to have on the outside.

Other Positions

VT target Xavier Adibi (Hampton, VA, 6-3, 200): projects as an LB (possibly DE). Tech is currently recruiting Adibi as a linebacker.

VT target John Kinzer (Fairfax, VA, 6-4, 235): projects as a TE. There has been some confusion as to whether Kinzer might be a DE, but the Hokies are recruiting him as a tight end, which is the position he played last year for Robinson High School.

VT target Joey Razzano (Milford, OH, 6-0, 230): projects as a FB. Tech has had little luck recruiting fullbacks in recent years, and they would love to have Razzano on board for the position.

Will Stewart
General Manager and Managing Editor

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Hurry, quantities are limited! Updates From the Past Week

Football News and Articles:
TSLX Spotlight: A Game of Inches
by Will Stewart, 6/26/02
To close out TSL Extra Month here at, we bring you a recruiting profile of Pulaski County's Alan Wheeling from TSL Extra issue #11 (September 19, 2001).

TSL Round Table #3 - by, 6/25/02
This week's TSL Round Table question: What is the first Hokie football game you remember seeing in person? What do you remember about the game, who was the opponent, and what was the score?

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