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   Welcome to TSLMail #65 - Friday, February 7, 2003    
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   Tech Sports News

This Week in Recruiting
by Will Stewart,

This week was a wild one, of course. Somewhat lost in the buildup to signing day is that the Hokies gained a whopping five commitments between last Friday and national signing day on Wednesday, an average of one commitment per day.

The five verbals included QB Cory Holt, ATH Michael Hinton, LB Xavier Adibi, DE Chris Ellis, and sleeper WR David Clowney. The Hokies missed out on just one recruit in the last few days, ATH Chase Anastasio, who verbaled to Notre Dame, instead. When Anastasio bailed, the Hokies quickly locked up Clowney, a raw recruit with sprinter's speed who could develop into a great receiver.

Tech has finished strong before. In 1998, they landed Michael Vick, Lee Suggs, and Jake Houseright in the last week of recruiting. In 1999, they got verbals from highly-regarded Andrae Harrison, Nathaniel Adibi, and Keith Willis down the stretch.

But in 2000, the Hokies only got three commitments in the entire last month of recruiting, from DE Jim Davis, CB Eric Green, and DT Channing Reed. That year, despite coming off the 1999 national championship game just a month earlier, the Hokies whiffed on one recruit after another as signing day approached.

This year definitely feels much better to Hokie fans. VT only lost two recruits down the stretch: RB Rodney Kinlaw to Penn State and Anastasio to Notre Dame. And in both cases, the Hokies were in it right to the end. Sources said that Anastasio was a VT lean as late as Monday (he picked ND on Tuesday), and that Rodney Kinlaw very nearly reneged on his PSU commitment and signed with Tech.

Preliminary recruiting rankings have the Hokies ranked #20 by SuperPrep, #27 by, and #29 by Here's a quick look at where Tech's Big East foes and in-state recruiting rival Virginia ended up in those rankings (note that only the Top 20 was available from SuperPrep, and the rankings are sorted by by ranking):

Preliminary Recruiting Rankings
Team SuperPrep
Miami 4 4 6
Virginia 20 22 12
BC 24 44 14
VT 27 29 20
Pittsburgh 34 46 > top 20
Rutgers 45 > top 50 > top 20
WVU 46 (tie) 43 > top 20
Syracuse 52 > top 50 > top 20
Temple 54 > top 50 > top 20

You can see that the recruiting experts all agree that Miami and Virginia had a more highly-rated class, but beyond that, opinion is split, with Boston College's ranking fluctuating wildly.

Pittsburgh is ranked below the Hokies by all three services, but the Panthers are fast developing a reputation for finding All-American caliber players that no one else knew existed, so where the Panthers' class is ranked is immaterial.

WVU has traditionally landed classes ranked around #50, so they're right on their usual mark. And after some very rough years, Rutgers is starting to land classes ranked around #50, as well.

The big red -- or orange -- flag going up around the Big East is the mediocre recruiting class put together by Syracuse, at least as ranked by the "experts." Syracuse's recruiting rankings have slipped in recent years, but of course, Hokie fans shouldn't talk recruiting rankings with regards to Syracuse until Tech can break that two-game losing streak to the Orangemen.

Temple's class (a whopping 28 players) was crammed full of JUCO's, as the Owls face expulsion from the Big East in 2005, and Connecticut's class of 20 players was ranked #87 by Rivals.

In the coming weeks and months, our subscription TechSideline Pass service, which you have relied upon for recruiting updates, will continue to bring you the best in recruiting-related articles, profiles of the newly signed recruits, and preliminary information on the players for the class of 2004. TSL Pass costs $34.95 per year, but monthly ($4.95) and quarterly ($10.95) subscriptions are also available. Click here to subscribe.

Hoops Teams Update

The Hokie women's basketball team has a big game coming up Sunday against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, at 2:00 in Cassell Coliseum. The game will be televised live on WBVA/WB5 (Roanoke) and CYB/WB TV in the Bristol, Va. area. The contest will also be carried on the Madison Square Garden Network, Fox Sports Net New England, Fox Sports Net Florida and WHME in South Bend, Ind.

The game will be part of the 8th Annual "Take a Kid to the Game" promotion in conjunction with National Girls and Women in Sport month. Girls and boys under the age of 18 will receive free admission to game and the first 2,000 fans in attendance will receive a free Hokies pom pom.

For more details, see the Virginia Tech press release.

The matchup is a big one for Tech, which has won five of their last six games, including road games at WVU and Seton Hall. The Hokies are 15-5 overall, 6-3 in the Big East, and tied for fourth with Villanova, a half-game behind third-place Rutgers (13-5, 6-2 Big East).

Notre Dame is tied for sixth in the Big East at 5-4, 13-7 overall. But the Fighting Irish are ahead of the Hokies in the RPI ratings, where Tech is #27 and Notre Dame is #22, so a win would be a nice boost for Tech.

Notre Dame's best player is Jacqueline Batteast, ranked #10 in the conference in scoring with 15.9 points per game, and #6 in rebounding at 7.9 per game.

With the special promotions and the Notre Dame name, this game should be heavily-attended, so get to Cassell Coliseum Sunday, join in the fun, and cheer Tech to victory.

Meanwhile, the Tech men's team continued its Jekyll and Hyde routine by smashing #18 Connecticut, 95-74, on Wednesday, behind 21 points by Carlos Dixon and 19 by Terry Taylor. This came on the heels of a three-game losing streak, including blowout losses to Boston College and Providence, two middle-of-the-pack Big East teams.

The Hokies are now tied with Miami for last place in the East Division at 2-5, a half-game behind 3-5 Providence. Tech faces a rough road schedule in February, including games at St. John's, Miami, BC, and Notre Dame, but hey, if Dr. Jekyll shows up a few more times, who knows what could happen?

TechSideline Pass - $34.95 a Year is your one-stop shop for all Virginia Tech sports information, commentary and discussion. We're extremely excited to announce that we are now providing our subscribers with full-time exclusive football recruiting coverage, as well as subscribers-only message boards (as requested!). We have our usual great staff of writers to give you the finest coverage of the Hokies that you can get. Take your fanship to the next level with a TechSideline Pass subscription!

Just look at what you get for only $34.95:
(Monthly and Quarterly options also available)

  • Feature Articles
  • Interviews with recruits
  • Editorials
  • Flash recruiting updates from Chris Horne, our in-house specialist - New!
  • Recruiting prospect and class evaluations - New!
  • A subscribers-only Recruiting message board (only accessible to subscribers) - New!
  • A subscribers-only message board for general discussion - New!

As an additional bonus, all subscribers will receive a 10% discount on all purchases made at, our online store providing Hokie-related apparel and gift items. If that's not enough, you should know that your subscription will help support your favorite website,

For more info on TechSideline Pass, and to subscribe, click here. To give TSL Pass as a gift (one-year subscriptions only), click here.

-- Will Stewart Updates From the Past Week

The VT Recruiting Class of 2003
by Chris Horne, 2/6/03, 1:00 am
Defense, defense, and more defense. That was what the Hokies wanted and that is exactly what they got.
in TSL Pass

2003 VT Recruits, By the Numbers
by, 2/6/03, 1:00 am
A collection of stats and facts about Virginia Tech's 2003 recruiting class.
in TSL Pass

Hokies Sign 23 to Letters of Intent
by Will Stewart,, 2/5/03, 4:00 pm
The Virginia Tech Hokies signed 23 football players to letters of intent today, bringing in one of the most highly-rated recruiting classes -- if not the most highly-rated class -- in school history. The class is headlined by the number one player in the state, linebacker Xavier Adibi.
in Football Recruiting

Recruiting: The Ultimate in Reality TV
by Jeff Ouellet, 2/4/03, 1:20 pm
Move over Survivor, the Bachelor(ette), Meet My Folks, and Joe Millionaire. I have come up with the ultimate reality based television show that incorporates the best of all of the above, and more. And the beauty of my idea is that it reoccurs naturally every year, culminating in the first Wednesday in February for football players. Reality television, meet the world of college football recruiting!
in TSL Pass

A Season Gets Ugly
by Jim Alderson, 2/3/03, 4:00 pm
The 1973 Virginia Tech football team was terrible. They opened with a loss to William and Mary and followed that up with five more before rallying to defeat an equally miserable Hoo team.
in TSL Columnists

Inside the Numbers: Red Zone Defense
by Kevin Cuddihy, 2/2/03, 11:55 pm
You get on your feet, your clap your hands, you shake your gobbler. You scream, you yell, you jump up and down. What we need now is NOISE, and lots of it! Why, you ask? The evil foe is inside the 20 yard line, has DARED to invade the Virginia Tech Red Zone!
in TSL Pass

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