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   Welcome to TSLMail #77 - Friday, May 2, 2003    
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   Tech Sports News Kicks Off 2004 Recruiting Coverage
by Will Stewart,

TSL has been pretty quiet on the recruiting front since signing day, but we're ready to rock and roll with coverage of the 2004 class of recruits, starting now. has designated May as 2004 Kickoff Recruiting Month, and we'll be bringing you updates and info on all the 2004 recruits, so you can come up to speed before summer football camp season starts.

For weeks now, TSL recruiting analyst Chris Horne has been touring Virginia and neighboring states, meeting with coaches and players, shooting pictures, and collecting video.

In his travels and in talking with various sources, Chris has generated his initial list of Hokie football recruits, which can now be seen via's Prospect Search page -- but don’t go there yet! There's a few things you need to know first:

  • The initial list of prospects for the Hokies numbers about 65 players, roughly 35 in-state and 30 out of state players.
  • No players have been assigned star ratings yet. All players are listed with their star ratings "pending."
  • The pre-summer list of the Top 30 in-state recruits has been folded into the database, so you can see how highly-ranked the in-state recruits are. We have also included Roanoke Times and Top 30 rankings in each player's profile, for comparisons.

In the coming weeks, Chris will be interviewing the prospects in our database to introduce you to them, get their early thoughts on who their favorite schools are, and find out where they're going to football camp this summer.

Upcoming big events are the Nike camp at Virginia Tech on May 17th, followed by summer football camps throughout June and July at colleges everywhere. For many prospects, this will give them their first look at some campuses and coaching staffs, and it will give the college coaching staffs their first in-person look at the recruits. Expect a lot of activity this summer in offers and verbals, as well as colleges moving up and down players' favorites lists.

Virginia Tech's Top 2004 Recruiting Prospects
by Chris Horne

The following is an excerpt from a TSL Pass article introducing the known list of Virginia Tech 2004 recruiting targets.

Last year, the Hokies were able to fill big needs at the linebacker and defensive line positions with the additions of Vince Hall, Xavier Adibi, Mike Brown, Brett Warren, Chris Ellis, Kory Robertson, Barry Booker, and Carlton Powell. This season, the positions of cornerback, wide receiver, running back, and offensive line appear to be key areas.

Look for Tech to go after at least two cornerback prospects. Linebacker, safety, and defensive line prospects will be targeted areas as well, and Virginia Tech has many in-state prospects to choose from at these positions.

On offense, the Hokies need one or even two good running backs as Kevin Jones will be a senior after the 2003 season, leaving only rising sophomores Mike Imoh and Cedric Humes to man the tailback position. At wide receiver, the Hokies received commitments from Michael Hinton and David Clowney last season, but will look to add a few more this year.

On the offensive line, Robert Ramsey, James Miller, and Jon Dunn will be seniors in the 2004 season, so look for offensive line to be another position of emphasis this year. The Hokies will likely try to add another quarterback to the mix, even with the commitment of Cory Holt last season.

A breakdown of the top in-state and out of state prospects follows. For more information on each player, check out's recruiting database, which is newly-populated with the 2004 recruits.

In-State Top Prospects

Coach Beamer and company hope to continue the success they enjoyed during last recruiting season, when they defeated arch-rival Virginia in the in-state recruiting battle. They hope to start their success at the defensive line position, where Rockbridge defensive end Jon Kirchner will likely commit if offered. Kirchner, who is ranked #14 in the Top 30, loves Virginia Tech, the place where both of his parents went to school. He is a big defensive end who could even move inside and play both inside and outside in college. Robinson defensive end Olu Hall (TSL #16) is also rumored to be favoring the Hokies, who have offered him a scholarship. Hall is a terrific run defender and has the athleticism to develop into a good pass rusher as well. Northside defensive lineman Brandon Holland, who recently received an offer from Virginia Tech, primarily plays defensive tackle in high school, however he could be an offensive lineman in college.

Continuing with the defensive theme, Andrew Bowman and TSL #2 player Jerod Mayo head the list of linebackers. Bowman, who hails from Hermitage High School, is an energetic outside player with a non-stop motor. He can flat-out run. Bowman attended Virginia Tech’s Spring Game, where he said he spoke with Vince Hall, Chris Ellis, and Noland Burchette. While he enjoyed his experience, he plans to take his official visits before making a decision…he appears wide open at the moment. Mayo, who visited UVa’s Spring Game, was a Virginia Tech fan growing up. Both in-state schools are heavily in the running for Mayo, who projects as an outside linebacker in college. He has a nose for the football.

At defensive back, Culpeper safety Kent Hicks (TSL #18), Highland Springs safety Kevin Allen (TSL #15) and Liberty (Bealeton) athlete AJ Brown (TSL #10) head the list of targets. Hicks is built like a truck and runs a 4.4 in the 40. He has received early offers from UVa, Boston College, Duke, and Maryland, but likes Virginia Tech as well. He has been to Maryland quite a few times during this year, so the Terrapins could prove to be tough competition. Allen is tall and lanky, but uses good instincts and determination to consistently make plays. Brown only runs a 4.6 in the 40, however he is a big hitter at the safety position. He has received an early offer from Clemson, according to coach Tom Buzzo. Both in-state schools are recruiting both players. Franklin County cornerback Patrick Preston (#19) is fast and has good anticipation. He could also prove to be a good punt and kick returner in college because of his elusiveness.

For a rundown on the defensive in-state prospects and all out of state prospects, check out Chris Horne's TSL Pass article Virginia Tech's Top 2004 Recruiting Targets. Chris gives you the info on dozens of prospects targeted by the Hokies for the 2004 recruiting class. Subscribe to TSL Pass today and stay on top of recruiting all the way through Signing Day 2004!

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-- Will Stewart Updates From the Past Week Kicks Off Coverage of 2004 Recruiting
by Will Stewart,, 5/2/03, 10:20 am
May is 2004 Recruiting Kickoff Month at, and we're pleased to launch our database of 2004 recruits and start coverage of the 2004 football recruiting prospects.
in News and Notes

Virginia Tech's Top 2004 Recruiting Targets
by Chris Horne, 5/2/03, 10:20 am
Last year, the Hokies were able to fill big needs at the linebacker and defensive line positions with the additions of Vince Hall, Xavier Adibi, Mike Brown, Brett Warren, Chris Ellis, Kory Robertson, Barry Booker, and Carlton Powell. This season, the positions of cornerback, wide receiver, running back, and offensive line appear to be key areas.
in TSL Pass

Interview with UVa AD Littlepage on ACC Expansion
by John Galinsky, 4/30/03, 9:40 am
In an email interview, Virginia Athletic Director Craig Littlepage discusses the topic of ACC expansion and responds to some specific questions about Virginia Tech's prospects for inclusion in the league, should it decide to expand.
in TSL Pass

Suggs, Pile Selected in NFL Draft
by Will Stewart,, 4/28/03, 1:40 am
Hokies Lee Suggs and Willie Pile were the only Tech players taken in the two-day NFL draft over the weekend, with Suggs going to Cleveland in the fourth round and Pile going to Kansas City in the seventh round.
in News and Notes

Wide Right: Running Backs in the Draft
by Jeff Cockey, 4/25/03, 3:15 am
I am more than a little puzzled by mock drafts. I have seen about 10 of them now and they are about as alike as ... well ... nothing. They have very few picks in common and in one case the same publication printed the pick list in one order while it was in a completely different order on their website; thus leading me to completely trust every word they say from now on.
in Voice of the Fan

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