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   Welcome to TSLMail #109 - Friday, December 19, 2003    
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   Tech Sports News

Recruiting News: A Big Week in Recruiting
by Will Stewart,

The Hokies landed four more football recruits this week, bringing their number of commitments in the last week to a total of six. After going about six weeks with no new verbals (from Oct. 29th to Dec. 10th), the latest rush brings VT's total number of verbals for the 2004 recruiting class to 12.

Add prep players (and previous commitments) Cory Holt and DJ Parker, and that's 14 players in the 2004 VT recruiting class. Include 2003 signees Brett Warren,  Nick Marshman, and Matt Welsh, who will all enroll in January of 2004, and the number of recruits who will count against VT's 2004 recruiting class is up to 17 players.

Last week, we told you about new verbals Justin Harper (WR, 6-4, 190, 4.5 forty) and Brandon Flowers (CB, 5-11, 180, 4.5 forty). This week, the Hokies added DE Mike Mangold, OL Ryan Shuman, RB Brandon Ore, and WR Jeremy Gilchrist.

DE Mike Mangold (6-3, 240, 4.65 forty, Merritt Island, FL) is one of the Hokies' top defensive line targets, perhaps number one. Offered by Florida, Miami, Tennessee, South Carolina, Pittsburgh, and others, he's a big-time player with a non-stop motor. Mangold's coach, Paul Friel, said he thought it would come down to either VT or Florida, and he wasn't surprised that it was VT.

Mangold visited VT last weekend and fell in love with Blacksburg, Virginia Tech, and the surrounding area and went ahead and committed, despite having other visits scheduled (which have since been canceled). A solid student, he has the grades and test scores to qualify.

OL Ryan Shuman (6-3, 257, 4.9 forty, Zion Crossroads, VA) plays for Fork Union Military Academy's Prep (high school) team. If the name sounds familiar, it's because his father, John Shuman, coaches FUMA's post-grad team, which has sent a ton of players to Virginia Tech over the years.

But before you think that Shuman is a "political" scholarship, think again. He possesses excellent footwork and has the frame to add another 30 pounds in college, which would put him up in the 285-290 range. The Hokies are interested in Shuman as a center. He was also offered by Toledo, Western Michigan, and William and Mary.

RB Branden Ore (6-2, 195, 4.4 forty, Chesapeake, VA, pictured at right) doesn't come from Deep Creek High School, VT's usual Chesapeake "pipeline." Ore, who was offered by VT, Tennessee, Maryland, and UNC, is from Indian River High School, whose most famous alumnus is probably the NBA's Alonzo Mourning. Many Tech fans will also recall that Indian River is the alma mater of one-time Tech linebacker Tony Morrison.

Ore rushed for 1,279 yards and 15 touchdowns on 156 carries (8.2 ypc) as a senior. He is ranked the #11 player in the state by, and #9 by the Roanoke Times. Ore said he just felt comfortable at Virginia Tech, and he cited Kevin Jones' early departure and the chance that created for early playing time as another reason for his commitment to VT.

WR Jeremy Gilchrist (5-11, 185, 4.55 forty, Virginia Beach, VA) was VT's last commitment of the week. Gilchrist, operating in Landstown High School's pass-oriented offense, caught 87 passes for 1,439 yards and 18 touchdowns (Landstown made it to the state semifinals, and their starting QB threw for over 3,600 yards and 46 touchdowns in 14 games).

In an unpublished interview with me this week, Landstown coach Chris Beatty praised Gilchrist as a polished receiver who runs precise routes. He also called Beatty one of the hardest working players he has ever been around, saying that Gilchrist often got up early on Saturdays to attend the coaches' meetings. Beatty gave Gilchrist the highest compliment a coach can give a player, saying, "He's a better person than he is a player. If I had a son like Jeremy, I'd be very happy."

Beatty says that Gilchrist's lower body strength is excellent, and he needs to work on his upper body strength, so he can better separate himself in press man-to-man coverage. Gilchrist received a late offer from VT, when the Hokie coaches saw him play in the state championship game and were impressed. Gilchrist also received offers from Connecticut and Kent State.

This weekend will be a relatively quiet one on the recruiting front, as will the remaining part of December. The action will pick up significantly at the beginning of the new year, with many recruits making official visits during that month. Needless to say, December has been a rousing success for the Tech program.

To see VT's list of verbal commitments for the 2004 recruiting class, click here.

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Check Out the TSL Tailgate in Phoenix!

Arizona Hokie Bill Klink and his agency, Sun City All Lines Professionals, are teaming up with to have a big tailgate party the day of the Insight Bowl, in Phoenix! Bill writes:

The best free event this year is the first ARIZONA HOKIES FREE TAILGATE PARTY from 1PM to 4:30PM on Friday at the Immaculate Heart Church parking lot at 909 East Jefferson, two blocks east of Bank One Ball Park. Co-sponsored by my agency, Sun City All Lines Professionals, and, weíll be serving up free hot-dogs, baked beans, chips, hot and not so hot salsa, and good Hokie times. This is a bring your own beverage event (so I guess itís not totally free).

A few ground rules apply . We must confine our partying to the parking lot, no loud demonstrations (thatís for after the game), and no restrooms as I understand it (stay as long as your bladder holds out!). There is usually a nominal fee if you park in the church lot. Iím asking only that you RSVP with number attending, your names, and date(s) of graduation from Tech so I can have a name tag made up for you and get a decent head count (the email is [email protected]). Please let me know by the 22nd if possible.

Weíd also ask that if can spare a can of food or a pair of new socks for the poor and homeless of Phoenix, please drop them in the canisters provided by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. My family, as well as members of our Arizona Hokie Club, will be helping out. Iíve dreamed of such an event for a way to say thanks to all Hokies who have made my familyís ten annual trips to Bowl games throughout the nation so much fun, as well as our three annual (next year six!!) autumn trips to the Center of the College Football Universe.

Read Bill's excellent Phoenix travel guide in our recent Voice of the Fan article, By the Time I Get to Phoenix...

Pre-Game Social Before Dec. 27 ECU Men's Basketball Game in Norfolk

Come out and cheer for the Hokies as they take on the Pirates of ECU in Norfolk on December 27th! This game offers all Hokies in the Tidewater Area the chance to show the Virginia Tech basketball team how much we support them as they compete against ECU and prepare to enter the ACC next season. Go to:

for more information!

  • Date: Saturday December 27th
  • Time: Pre-game party starts at 530 PM, With Tip off at 700PM
  • Where: The Constant Convocation Center across from the ODU Campus on Hampton Blvd in Norfolk.
  • Cost: $20 includes one game ticket and entrance to the Pre-Game Party, which includes finger foods and a cash bar.
  • RSVP PLEASE contact JILL HENRY by NO LATER THAN DECEMBER 20th if you plan to attend at (757) 617-6189

Please Make Checks Payable to "VTAA - Tidewater Chapter" and mail them to:

Virginia Tech Alumni Association
c/o Chris Jennings
1707 Luxenbay Lane
Chesapeake, VA 23323

Please Delete Any Old Email Addresses from Our System!

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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 State of the Program, Part 3: The Defense
by Will Stewart,, 12/18/03, 12:05 pm
We all have in our minds a vision of the perfect Virginia Tech defense. They stuff the run, they fly to the ball, they pressure the quarterback with a relentless pass rush, and they don't give up a lot of points, particularly when the Hokies have a lead. That vision hasn't been reality the last couple of years.
in TSL Pass

Hokie Hotline Notes for December 15, 2003
by Wayne Clevenger, 12/17/03, 2:15 pm
QB Coach Kevin Rogers, AD Jim Weaver, Cal football coach Jeff Tedford, and men's basketball coach Seth Greenberg. Rogers gives the plan for Marcus and Bryan before, during and after the bowl game, Weaver gives the status of the BCA game with USC and the 7th home game for 2004, and Greenberg tells us that Zabian Dowdell might get a 4.0 this semester.
in Hokie Hotline Notes

Anybody Going to Phoenix?
by Jim Alderson, 12/17/03, 1:45 pm
I get the feeling that Tech fans are not exactly snapping up the Insight tickets by the thousands, a development that coupled with last yearís modest attendance at the Nut Bowl is making our reputation as a very good traveling fan base as distant a memory as a season ending with a top five ranking. Oh, well, when you scan the ACCís bowl roster, you see destinations like Atlanta and Orlando in addition to mainstays such as Jacksonville and the bowl in Charlotte we never seem to quite get to. Maybe things will perk up next year.
in TSL Pass

By the Time I Get to Phoenix ...
by Bill Klink, 12/17/03, 9:40 am
Pack that sunscreen, donít forget the shades, and by all means donít forget those maroon and orange colors and famous Hokie spirit weíve been bragging about to the Insight Bowl and the Arizona Republic, and GET READY FOR THE BOWL EXPERIENCE OF A LIFETIME! Phoenix is bracing for the Hokie Nation invasion.
in Voice of the Fan

Wide Right: Simply Vick-tacular
by Jeff Cockey, 12/16/03, 7:30 am
Has ever one person made up an entire team more so than our Michael Vick? This kid is Fantas-Vick! Heís Vick-tastic! Fan-Vick-tick (OK that one doesnít really work as well but you get the point). The guy defines indefinable, does the undo-able, and is downright impressive doing it. Yep, heís a Hokie. Never before in any sport has a single person been able to so completely captivate an entire planet. Michael Vick has a ridiculous ability to do whatever he wants, whenever he wants.
in TSL Pass

Hokies Down Radford, 73-60
by Will Stewart,, 12/14/03, 1:00 am
Blacksburg, VA -- The Virginia Tech men went on a 15-0 first-half run and stayed ahead of Radford the rest of the way, downing the Highlanders 73-60. The Hokies were led by Zabian Dowdell and Bryant Matthews with 18 points each, and freshman Coleman Collins had 15 points in his collegiate debut.
in Men's Hoops

Hokie Women Crush Maryland, 63-43
by Will Stewart,, 12/13/03, 11:00 pm
Blacksburg, VA -- Virginia Tech's 18th-ranked women's basketball team used second-half runs of 13-4 and 16-2 to crush Maryland 63-43 and run their record to 7-0. The Hokies were led in scoring by sophomore Carrie Mason with 16 points, including a 12-point second half.
in Women's Hoops

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