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ACC Football Recruiting 
by Chris James,

With the college football season at an end, many hardcore college football fans are concentrating on their second favorite hobby…college football recruiting. Recruiting has become a season in its own right during the past 5 years or so, with many a grown man becoming obsessed with the college choices of 17 and 18 year old kids. People now recognize that recruiting is the lifeblood of football programs, and that the battles between coaches in recruits’ living rooms have a direct effect on the battles on the gridiron.

Great recruiting classes create a lot of hype among fans about how their team is going to perform down the road, and so far this year there are a few ACC programs that are doing quite well in this area. Let’s take a look at the recruiting classes for each ACC school and how they are ranked by

ACC Recruiting Rankings (per
(as of 1/13/05)


# of Commits

Ave. Stars

National Rank





























NC State




Boston College








Wake Forest








First of all, it needs to be made clear that Rivals ranks schools on both the quality and quantity of recruits. A couple of examples are Virginia and Clemson, who don’t have the average star rating of some teams below them, but they have a lot more commitments at this point, which puts them higher in the rankings. Keep in mind that Signing Day is February 2, which means a lot of things will change in this set of rankings. Schools such as Virginia, Clemson and UNC will not be able to take many more players (25 is the maximum), while teams like Miami and Florida State will finish strong with a lot of commitments on Signing Day, as they always do.

The Hokies appear to be in excellent shape right now on the recruiting trail. The Hokies currently are 3rd in the ACC in overall recruiting rankings and 3rd in average star ratings. Trailing only Miami and Florida State in average star rankings, Tech appears to be adding more top flight talent to an already talented team. Commitments from players such as 5-star athlete Victor Harris, 4-star running back Elan Lewis and 4-star quarterback Ike Whitaker have shown that the Tech coaching staff can recruit with almost any school in the nation. The Hokies also appear to have a chance to finish the recruiting year on a positive note, as they are still in the running for top prospects such as 5-star defensive lineman Melvin Alaeze and 4-star linebacker Derrick Nicholson.

The Hokies are positioned well in that they have 18 total commitments, which is a good number at this point in the recruiting process. With this number, the Tech coaches don’t have to worry about landing a large number of recruits late in the process, but at the same time they have plenty of room to work with, since they still officially have 7 spots open.

Looking at the rankings, there are some surprises in some parts of ACC recruiting, and other things are staying the same. First of all, Duke and Wake Forest are near the bottom of the ACC recruiting rankings. Currently Georgia Tech is listed in last place, but that will change as the Yellow Jackets pick up more recruits between now and Signing Day. Their average star ranking is better than that of Duke and Wake, but as of now the Jackets don’t have the quantity.

Another school worth mentioning is UNC. The University of North Carolina is a world renowned school known for their outstanding academics, great overall athletic department and beautiful campus. However, it cannot be denied that head coach John Bunting is struggling on the recruiting trail. Given the reputation that the school has, one would think that the Tar Heels could do better than a 2.3 average star rating per recruit, which is good for 11th place in a 12 team conference (Boston College is included). Bunting saved his job with a nice year on the field in 2004, but he could just be prolonging the inevitable, unless his recruiting improves. Note to Coach Bunting: Call Mack Brown for tips on how to recruit great players to UNC.

Notice that Miami and Florida State only have 13 and 12 commitments respectively. That isn’t a lot compared to most other teams in the ACC, but this is common for both the ’Canes and ’Noles. Programs of the stature of Miami and FSU have the ability to pick and choose who they want on their teams, at least more so than other schools. Generally these teams bring in a large percentage of their recruiting class in the days leading up to Signing Day, or on Signing Day itself. That will continue to be the case this year.

ACC Bowl Attendance

Now that the bowl games have ended, we can take a look at how the ACC teams traveled to their respective holiday destinations. All numbers come from the January 6-19 edition of the ACC Area Sports Journal.

In a landslide, UNC won the traveling battle of all the bowl-bound ACC schools. The Tar Heels took an estimated 65,000 fans to the Continental Tire Bowl. The announced attendance for the game was a sellout crowd of 73,367. So while the Tar Heels lost to Boston College, they did sell out the stadium, which is all bowl officials are concerned about.

Virginia Tech continued their tradition of being a great traveling school by tacking an estimated 30,000 fans to New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl. The Hokies were allotted 15,000 tickets and received more than 22,000 requests., which means about 15,000 Tech fans had to find tickets from a source other than the Virginia Tech athletic department.

Florida State was allotted 12,500 tickets to the Gator Bowl, sold their entire allotment, and took a total of 35,000 fans to Jacksonville. Many Seminole fans bought their tickets directly from the Gator Bowl.

Unfortunately for the ACC, other teams did not fare as well in ticket sales. Miami was allotted 17,500 for the Peach Bowl, but only sold 8,000 tickets. Georgia Tech sold 5,200 out of an allotted 12,000 to the Champs Sports Bowl. Virginia was only allotted 3,000 tickets to the MPC Computers Bowl, and sold 1,500 tickets. Boston College, who will join the ACC for the 2005 season, sold 6,000 tickets out a 12,500 allotment to the Continental Tire Bowl. Pass - Your Ultimate Ticket to Hokie Sports!

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-- Will Stewart Updates From the Past Week

A Gym Rat's Notebook: Changes Greet Hokies in 2005
by Elijah Kyle, 1/14/04, 11:30 am
The Virginia Tech men’s basketball team, under head coach Seth Greenberg, rang in the New Year with some changes that were readily noticeable to followers of the program. Some were overt changes, like the addition of Jeff King, while others were more subtle. In any event, one important and historical question has given birth to an answer for a future trivia question.
in TSL Pass

TSL Audio: Interview With Jon Solomon, The State, 1/13/05 (MP3 Audio)
by, 1/13/05, 4:55 pm
Jon Solomon of The State newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina comes on to preview Saturday's Virginia Tech/Clemson men's basketball game. Jon gives us the rundown on the Tigers and what to look for in VT's second home ACC clash, Saturday at noon. (Time: 16:55, Size: 4.0 MB)
in TSL Audio

2005 VT Recruiting War Room #9
by Chris Horne, 1/13/05, 2:35 pm
Yes, it’s only 3 weeks left until February 2nd - Signing Day 2005. To this point, Virginia Tech has received 18 verbal commitments, including Hargrave prep players Brandon Holland and Sam Wheeler. The cream of the crop in this year’s class includes 3 of the state’s top 5 prospects - #1 Victor "Macho" Harris, #2 Elan Lewis and #4 Deveon Simmons. Add Ike Whitaker and many other quality recruits and you have a class that is currently rated in the Top 15 in the country by And Virginia Tech remains in the mix for many other prospects.
in TSL Pass

Hokies Come On Strong in Second Half, Beat BCC 69-58
by Will Stewart,, 1/12/05, 11:30 pm
Blacksburg, VA - Virginia Tech opened the second half with a 23-6 run, erasing a 5-point half time deficit and spurring the Hokies to a 69-58 win over Bethune-Cookman in Tech's last non-conference game. Coleman Collins posted season highs of 18 points and 9 rebounds to lead the Hokies in both categories, and the Hokies tied a season low with just 8 turnovers on their way to the win.
in Men's Basketball

Tech Talk Tuesday Archive for 1/11/05 (Streaming Audio)
by, 1/12/05, 4:50 pm
This week's guests on the final Tech Talk Tuesday of the year include the ever-excellent Dave Glenn of the ACC Area Sports Journal (joined in progress) and TSL recruiting guru Chris Horne. Many thanks to TTT for a great year!
in TSL Pass

All in All, Not Too Shabby
by Jim Alderson, 1/12/05, 2:30 pm
The dust settles on the Virginia Tech 2004 football season. I assume that by now everybody has gotten over their Bourbon Street hangovers, quenched the Mississippi burning fires kindled by the propane of yet another Tech Sugar Bowl appearance, and have recovered from a New Orleans experience that left them laid out like Lenin in his tomb. Some of us, unfortunately, are still dealing with the aftereffects of a rather extraordinary way to quit smoking [I finally found a way to fulfill that resolution made over so many New Year‘s], but life and TSL Pass columns go on.
in TSL Pass

Jeff King to Suit Up for Hokie Basketball Team Tonight
by Will Stewart,, 1/12/05, 11:35 am
From the well-played-out-news department: Hokie tight end Jeff King will suit up for Seth Greenberg's basketball team tonight, when VT takes on Bethune-Cookman in Cassell Coliseum at 7 o'clock. This news has created quite a bit of discussion among VT fans, not because they perceive a football player as a savior of a struggling basketball team, but because King brings something the hoopsters don't have: in a word, bulk.
in News and Notes

TSL Audio: Interview With Mike Harris, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 1/11/05 (MP3 Audio)
by, 1/11/05, 1:25 pm
Mike Harris of the Richmond Times-Dispatch appears on today's edition of TSL Audio to discuss a wide range of topics: Jimmy Williams turning pro, the return of Michael Hinton, Justin Hamilton's move to defense, Jeff King's move to the basketball team, and the reasons why Marquie Cooke was benched for last Saturday's game at Florida State. (Time: 27:08, Size: 6.5 MB)
in TSL Audio

Advance Auto Parts Hokie Hotline Notes for 1/10/05
by Phil Noftsinger, 1/11/04, 10:30 am
Head Basketball Coach Seth Greenberg comes on to talk about tight end Jeff King joining the team, why Marquie Cooke didn't play against Florida State, and what the state of mind of the team is as they prepare to head into the teeth of the ACC schedule.
in Hokie Hotline Notes

Revisiting the Keys: The Sugar Bowl
by Raleigh Hokie, 1/10/05, 2:50 pm
Virginia Tech made its regularly scheduled every-five-years appearance in the Sugar Bowl against the unbeaten and unappreciated Auburn Tigers. Missed opportunities on offense, mental mistakes on defense, and a key miscue on special teams were too much for the Hokies to overcome against a great Auburn team. This was one of those classic “what-if” games, but in the end, the better team made the plays when they needed to. With the victory, Auburn wrapped up an undefeated season and walked off the field hoping they had somehow convinced enough writers to vote them #1. That dream ended 24 hours later when USC dismantled Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl.
in TSL Pass

Hokies Fade Late and Fall at FSU, 77-70
by Will Stewart,, 1/8/05, 10:40 pm
Tallahassee, FL - Florida State outscored Virginia Tech 16-6 down the stretch, turning a 64-61 Hokie advantage into a 77-70 win for the Seminoles, tagging VT with a loss in their first-ever ACC road game. The Seminoles turned the ball over 28 times and were outrebounded by the Hokies, but they shot lights out from three-point range, including 10-14 three-pointers in the first half to secure the win.
in Men's Basketball Recruiting Report Archive, 1/6/05 (MP3 Audio)
by, 1/7/05, 3:45 pm
Mike Harris and Chris Horne talk about New Orleans and Bourbon Street, then move onto the subject of recruiting. They discuss whether the exposure of playing in the Sugar Bowl is good for VT recruiting, the recent commitment of Stephen Virgil and defensive backs in general, who the Hokies have missed out on recently, and who's left on the board for VT, including Melvin Alaeze. (Time: 19:02 minutes, Size: 3.4 MB)
in TSL Pass

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