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   Welcome to TSLMail #113 - Friday, January 23, 2004    
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   Tech Sports News

TSL Sponsor Comfort Inn
by Will Stewart, TechSideline.com

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Big Visit Weekend for VT
by Will Stewart, TechSideline.com

The Hokies are pulling out the stops this weekend, hosting a whopping nine recruits -- eight uncommitted, one committed to VT -- in what they hope will lead to a strong finish to an already good 2004 recruiting class.

Here is the list of visitors, who are all ranked as three-star and four-star players by TSL.

LB Hugh D'Imperio Sewell NJ
D'Imperio, a high three-star player that some (Rivals) classify as a four-star player, is a 6-5, 230-pound LB who runs a 4.6 forty. It will come down to the wire for D'Imperio, who has already visited Michigan State and Tennessee and names them and VT as his tri-leaders. Hugh got along well with Jerod Mayo (see below) during their Tennessee visit last weekend.

DT Emmanuel Dunbar Deerfield Beach FL
This 6-4, 280-pound defensive tackle prospect once had VT near the top of his list, as recently as November. But the Hokies have slid down the list, which includes Oklahoma, NC State, and Florida State, who will get his last visit next weekend.

DT Carl Howard Matawan NJ
Carl Howard is another big DT, standing 6-6 and weighing 290 pounds. He has offers from Rutgers and Maryland, but his top two are NC State and VT. Howard visited NC State last weekend and named them as his slight leader, but he wants to wait until he has visited VT this weekend before making his final decision.

LB Jerod Mayo Hampton VA
Mayo is the #5-ranked player in the state, per TSL analyst Chris Horne, and a critical recruit for the Hokies and the University of Virginia. Mayo has been hard to read, and he lists the Hokies, Hoos, NC State, and Tennessee in his final four. He seemed to favor UVa early, but has said that his visits to NCSU and Tennessee went better than his UVa trip, so it's hard to say what will happen.

WR Derrick McPhearson Hyattsville MD
VT has picked up some great WR prospects and still has two great ones left on the board: McPhearson (6-0, 185, 4.38 forty) and Eddie Royal (see below). McPhearson has visited Florida and Maryland and names them as his slight co-leaders over VT, but has an open mind going into this weekend's visit. A great baseball player, he plans on playing both sports in college, and with VT going into the ACC next year, that is a plus on the baseball front.

LB Maurice Reevey Highland Springs VA
The Hokies are definitely on the prowl for linebackers this year, and Maurice Reevey is one of the best. Reevey is prepping at Fork Union and currently favors Clemson over the Hokies. VT is his last visit.

WR Eddie Royal Chantilly VA
The Group AAA offensive player of the year is one of the more interesting stories of the recruiting year, as he shuffles his visits and hints that UVa might be getting back into it after being out of the picture early. Tech sources continue to feel good about their chances with Royal, who is ranked the #2 player in the state by TSL.

RB Branden Ore Chesapeake VA
The 6-2, 195-pound Ore committed to VT back in mid-December. Hokie fans hope he'll wear his VT stuff and sway at least a few of this weekend's visitors over to the orange and maroon.

S Purnell Sturdivant Norfolk VA
Speaking of players that Ore might be able to sway, Sturdivant could come out of the weekend committed to VT. A stocky, athletic safety type (5-11, 220 pounds, 4.5 forty), Sturdivant is the #12 ranked player in the state and has favored VT throughout the process.

The Hokies are really putting a lot into this high-risk, high-reward weekend, as you can see. It's interesting to compare this weekend to the same weekend from last year.

In 2003, the visit list for January 24th (as listed in the TSL recruiting database) included nine players, just like this year: Xavier Adibi, Chase Anastacio, Chris Ellis, Josh Hyman, Rodney Kinlaw, John Kinzer, Kenny Lewis, D.J. Parker, and Joey Razzano.

But last year, of the nine players, five of the nine had already commited to VT: Hyman, Kinzer, Lewis, Parker, and Razzano. This year, just one (Ore) is a VT commit.

After the visit last year, the Hokies landed two more players from that list (Ellis and Adibi) but lost two others (Kinlaw to PSU and Anastacio to Notre Dame). That means that seven of the nine players who visited on the last weekend in January eventually signed with VT.

While that 7-of-9 ratio this year would send VT fans into delirium, it's not likely to happen. With about five spots left, the Hokies would be doing very well to land five of the guys from the list above and next weekend's visit list: DE Clint Sintim, WR Hilton Pitts, and DT Marque Hall. Next weekend's visits also include VT commit Damian Sims, who almost made a trip to Iowa this weekend but decided to cancel and reaffirm his commitment to VT.

TSL recruiting analyst Chris Horne, the hardest working man in recruiting coverage, has caught up on his sleep and is ready to rock for the last two weekends and up to signing day on Feb. 4th. Chris will be burning up the phone lines to find out how the nine players listed above liked their VT visits. To follow all the recruiting news, subscribe to the TechSideline Pass (see below).

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-- Will Stewart

   TechSideline.com Updates From the Past Week


VT Recruiting War Room #13: Defense
by Chris Horne, 1/22/04, 4:40 pm
With offense all but taken care of, Virginia Tech can focus the majority of their recruiting efforts on the defensive side of the ball. The next big weekend starts Friday, as Virginia Tech hosts top linebacker targets Hugh DíImperio, Jerod Mayo, and Maurice Reevey.
in TSL Pass

Hokie Hotline Notes for January 19, 2004
by Phil Noftsinger, 1/22/04, 1:25 pm
Bill Roth began the interview portion of the show by asking Coach Greenberg if heís fired his free throw coach yet. Greenberg laughed and said that the coaching staff is still totally intact.
in Hokie Hotline Notes

Hokie Women Surge Late, Beat Pitt 67-57
by Will Stewart, TechSideline.com, 1/21/04, 11:05 pm
Pittsburgh, PA -- Down by eight points to a mediocre Pittsburgh team with 13 minutes to go, the Virginia Tech women dug deep and blew the Panthers off the floor with an 18-2 run, on their way to a 67-57 Big East win. The Hokies were led by Carrie Mason, who played in front of a crowd of about a hundred friends and family members and scored 15 points.
in Women's Hoops

A Gym Rat's Notebook #3: Chemistry Class & Hitting It Early
by Elijah Kyle, 1/21/04, 2:30 pm
The move of senior forward Bryant Matthews from the four (power forward) position to a perimeter position (small forward) after the injury to freshman guard Jamon Gordon had a brief shelf life. Matthews had played the early portion of the season inside and had racked up some impressive numbers prior to the injury to Gordon. After Gordon went down and underwent surgery, Matthews moved outside for the Pittsburgh game, with sophomore Allen Calloway stepping in to start at the power forward position.
in TSL Pass

Team #12: The Real Story
by Jim Alderson, 1/21/04, 9:45 am
Weíre going to have to wait a year for the ACC football championship game. The news out of Greensboro and Providence is that negotiations to have Boston College escape the Big East and come join Tech and Miami for the 2004 ACC party broke down, and the Eagles will remain in the Líil E for the lamest of lame duck seasons. Enjoy those football trips to WVU and Pitt, Fredo.
in TSL Pass

Irish Clamp Down on Hokies, 74-63
by Chris Coleman, 1/21/04, 12:25 am
Blacksburg, VA -- Notre Dame took advantage of another night of poor shooting by Virginia Tech to defeat the Hokies 74-63 in front of an announced crowd of 7,270 fans at Cassell Coliseum. The Irish were paced by Chris Thomas with 23 points and Torin Francis with 22 points. Bryant Matthews and Zabian Dowdell scored 19 and 18 respectively for Tech.
in Men's Hoops

Hokie Football Welcomes Eight January Enrollees
by Will Stewart, TechSideline.com, 1/20/04, 4:20 pm
With the beginning of spring semester 2004 on Monday, the Hokies have added eight January enrollees to their football roster. Some were 2003 signees who prepped, some were 2003 signees who did not prep, some were 2004 signees from prep school, and one was even an early high school graduate who wanted to get his college football career started right away.
in News and Notes

Wide Right: Colts and Eagles and Hokies, Oh My!
by Jeff Cockey, 1/20/04, 10:45 am
Itís been a while since I wrote my last column and there are many reasons. I havenít been in the zone. Iíve been busy writing thank-you notes for my Christmas gifts. (That one will never ever happen to me. I could very possibly be the most ungrateful gift receiver in all the land. My brother gives me a run for my money every year but itís me who comes home with the hardware. Is it wrong that I am slightly proud of this achievement? Is it technically an achievement?)
in TSL Pass

Effort By Matthews Wasted as Canes Down Hokies 65-59
by Will Stewart, TechSideline.com, 1/18/04, 12:25 am
Blacksburg, VA -- Bryant Matthews poured in 33 points and grabbed 16 rebounds but received very little help from his teammates, as the Hokies dropped an important Big East home game to the Miami Hurricanes, 65-59. Tech was done in by poor shooting from the free throw line, where they made just 10-of-26 shots.
in Men's Hoops

Georgetown Throttles Hokie Women 70-50
by Will Stewart, TechSideline.com, 1/18/04, 12:25 am
Washington, DC -- The Georgetown women, losers of five of their last six games coming in, made short work of the 19th-ranked Hokie women, never trailing on their way to a 70-50 win over Virginia Tech. Georgetown beat the Hokies in nearly every phase of the game and ended the game on a 22-9 run.
in Women's Hoops

Hokies Win Final Big East Football Attendance Crown
by Will Stewart, TechSideline.com, 1/16/04, 4:45 pm
From TSLMail: In their final season in Big East football, Virginia Tech captured their third attendance title in the last five seasons, with an average of 65,115 fans per game. That bested #2 Pittsburgh by about 6,000 fans per game, as the Panthers had an average of 59,197 fans. Miami, the 2002 champions, averaged 58,135 fans per game in the Orange Bowl.
Also: Big Win Over Villanova for the Hokie Women.
in News and Notes

VT Recruiting War Room #12: Offense
by Chris Horne, 1/16/04, 1:55 pm
The Virginia Tech contingent must be happy with how they have done in terms of filling needs on offense this year. The Hokies have done an excellent job at landing quality players for the skill positions, including all three offensive skill spots. Running back was a big need with Kevin Jones turning pro early, and they filled the need with two outstanding prospects and, additionally, filled a need at fullback with the recent commitment of Michael Green.
in TSL Pass

 
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