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With the crush of signing day this week, it has been hard to take a look around at anything else, but I did manage to surf around a bit to see where the Hokies' recruiting class was ranked.
The answer is, not very high.
Getting at recruiting rankings is not as easy as it used to be. A lot of the information is pay information, or the services I used to check have disappeared or merged, or they don't rank -- or haven't yet ranked -- teams beyond the top 25.
I was looking at a TSLMail from a couple of years ago (TSLMail #18, February 8, 2002), in which I listed rankings from:
Of those services, SuperPrep has now joined TheInsiders.com -- new since 2002 -- and Pigskin Post has ceased to exist, swallowed up by Fox Sports, along with CollegeFootballNews. CFN still cranks out lots of content, but Pigskin Post no longer does.
SuperPrep still does team recruiting rankings on TheInsiders.com, but only the Top 25 teams so far, and the Hokies are nowhere to be found there.
PrepStar does team rankings, but if you want to see anything beyond the top 10, you have to subscribe to their web site -- and we don't.
Rivals.com does rankings, of course, and there we find that the Hokies' class is ranked #41 in the country, in terms of total points, which is a formula involving star rankings and number of commitments. If you sort that linked list by "Avg. Stars" (click the column heading) you find that -- aha! -- the Hokies are ranked #25 in the nation in terms of average star rating per recruit. VT was hurt in the overall rankings by having a class of less than 20 players.
Moving on to CNN/SI ... well, all they do is reprint TheInsiders.com's Top 25 list, which is SuperPrep's Top 25 list ... we're just running in circles here, aren't we?
CollegeFootballNews.com -- now part of FoxSports.com -- lists just the Top 25 classes, and the Hokies aren't on their list.
So what does that leave us with? A handful of lists, and the Hokies not ranked in anyone's Top 25. The only list that goes beyond 25 teams, Rivals.com, has VT at #41. That tells us that the Hokies are generally regarded as being outside the top 25 in recruiting rankings, with a low player count of 19 players (according to most services) contributing to that.
What about how the Hokies did against their future (as of July 1, 2004) conference foes in the ACC? (If you like reading that the Hokies are going to be in the ACC, as I do, I'll wait a minute while you go back and reread that sentence. Done? Okay, let's continue).
Scott Kennedy of the Insiders threw the 12 ACC and 12 SEC teams into a pot and ranked them 1-24 (sorry, I don't know if that's a pay link or not, since I'm a subscriber), and the Hokies ended up #14, middle of the pack of two of the toughest football conferences in the nation. Caveat: Kennedy's list does not include Boston College, since they won't join the ACC until 2005, but it does include Louisville of CUSA/the Big East ... oooookay.
Kennedy, with the help of the Insider's numerical player ratings, ranks the Hokies ahead of future conference mates NC State (#15 out of 24 on his list), Virginia (#16), Clemson (#18), Duke (#21), and Wake Forest (#23). He puts them behind Miami (#2), Florida State (#3), Maryland (#7), Georgia Tech (#12), and UNC (#13).
That means that, according to Kennedy's rankings, the Hokies are smack in the middle in this year's ACC recruiting -- 6th out of 11 teams.
If you go back to the Rivals.com rankings, the news is about the same, where the Hokies are #7, just a narrow margin behind UVa. Remember, the Rivals rankings are done on "total points," which means that the number of recruits makes a difference, so VT's 19 signees, which is among the fewest in the ACC, hurts them in the rankings.
Here are Rivals.com's team rankings for the 11 teams that will be in the 2004 ACC:
There you have it: regardless of where you look, the Hokies' 2004
recruiting class isn't regarded as a dog, but it also doesn't crack any top 25 lists. And for the most part, it sits
smack dab in the middle of the ACC.
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