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   Welcome to TSLMail #162 - Friday, February 11, 2005    
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   Tech Sports News

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®'s Store Locator and Weekly Specials Web Page?

TSL is proud to have Kroger® as a sponsor. Kroger® has been sponsoring Hokie athletics for years and has become a permanent fixture in VT athletics (whenever someone says, "You know what Coach Beamer says" on the message boards, someone else ALWAYS responds with, "Get your tailgate supplies at Kroger®!")

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Hokies Having Success With Roanoke Times Top 5
by Chris James,

Although we all know that the true value of a recruiting class cannot be measured until a few years down the road, it is interesting to take a look at the recent classes and see how they stack up against each other on paper, especially at the top end.

Early in his tenure at Virginia Tech, Frank Beamer was not known for pulling in the top recruits in the state of Virginia. The Hokies were on probation in 1987 and 1988 and were not in a conference, while in-state rival Virginia had on-field success, a probation-free program, and membership in the ACC. Teams like Penn State and UNC would hit the state of Virginia hard every year as well, leaving slim pickings for Beamer and company.

As time passed however, Frank Beamer was able to get his foot in the door by building good relationships with many of the high school coaching staffs around the state. That, coupled with membership in the Big East Football Conference, took the Hokies’ recruiting to a new level.

Take a look at the chart below and you will see that Tech’s entry into the Big East directly coincided with the signing of some of the top 5 players in the state, as defined by Doug Doughty's Roanoke Times Top 25 rankings. Later on, success in the Big East would help lead to the Hokies signing multiple players in the top 5.

Virginia Tech Recruiting and the Roanoke Times Top 25
During Frank Beamer's Career at Tech



RT Top Players Signed by VT









#3 Maurice DeShazo









#2 Cornell Brown



#2 Ken Oxendine
#4 Tony Morrison






#4 Robert Adams



#3 Tyrone Robertson



#3 Michael Vick
#4 Jake Houseright



#4 Andrae Harrison



#5 Chad Cooper



#1 Bryan Randall
#2 DeAngelo Hall
#4 Justin Hamilton



#2 Marcus Vick
#4 Jonathan Lewis



#1 Xavier Adibi
#3 Vince Hall
#4 Chris Ellis



#2 Eddie Royal
#4 Sean Glennon
#5 Kent Hicks



#1 Victor Harris
#2 Elan Lewis
#4 Deveon Simmons
#5 Greg Boone

Note: All Roanoke Times Top 25 lists dating back to 1988
are linked in the left-hand border of TSL's Football Recruiting Page.

The first highly touted top 5 player that Frank Beamer signed at Tech was Maurice DeShazo, a quarterback from Bassett High School in Bassett, VA. While DeShazo was the first of these types of players to commit to Tech, he really did not open the door for these blue chippers to play football in Blacksburg. DeShazo signed with Tech in 1990, and for the next two years the Hokies failed to sign a top 5 player.

The next top 5 player that Tech signed was Cornell Brown, who committed as a part of the class of 1993. Since Brown signed with the Hokies back in 1993, Beamer has signed someone in the top 5 every year except 1995.

Obviously, some of these prospects have worked out very well for the Hokies, and some not so well. To save the good news for last, let’s take a look at some of the players that didn’t pan out as well as their rankings indicated:

  • In 1996, the Hokies signed Robert Adams, a jumbo athlete from William Campbell High School. Adams projected along the defensive line for the Hokies, and was supposed to be a big time player. Unfortunately for both parties involved, he never cracked the two-deep. Adams was switched to tight end shortly after arriving at Tech, then to offensive line, where he finished out his Tech career as a little-used reserve.

  • The lone top-5 recruit of 1997, Tyrone Robertson, can’t be considered a bust because he went on to play defensive tackle for the Buffalo Bills. However, his path to the NFL never included him wearing a Virginia Tech uniform. After failing to qualify out of high school, Robertson went to prep school to get his grades up. He signed with the Georgia Bulldogs and saw a lot of playing time as a true freshman. However, he only stayed at Georgia for one year. He spent his sophomore season at a community college, and then entered the NFL draft. After playing a lot for the Bills during his rookie season, and registering two sacks in the process, Robertson was released for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.

  • Perhaps the most famous bust of all the top 5 players to commit to Virginia Tech was wide receiver Andrae Harrison. Harrison could have gone just about anywhere he wanted coming out of high school, and he chose the Hokies. Harrison had some big time credentials…he was the 4th ranked player in the state of Virginia, and he was Michael Vick’s favorite target under Coach Tommy Reamon at Warwick High School. But Harrison never panned out and left Virginia Tech after redshirting during the 1999 season.

Despite the occasional player that doesn’t develop, the vast majority of top 5 players that Tech has recruited have become major contributors, and in some cases, major stars. Obviously, the biggest name on that list is Michael Vick. Vick finished 3rd in the Heisman race as a freshman for the Hokies and became the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft after his redshirt sophomore year.

DeAngelo Hall is another top 5 player that excelled at Tech and went on to be the eighth selection in the draft after his junior year, ironically joining Vick in Atlanta.

Overall, four of the five No. 1 players in Virginia that the Hokies have signed under Frank Beamer have been selected in the NFL draft. Besides Vick and Hall, Ken Oxendine and Cornell Brown were also selected. Tyrone Robertson was drafted by the Buffalo Bills, but he never actually played at Tech so he is not included. Bryan Randall will likely add to that number this April.

In addition, the Hokies boast a lot of top 5 players on their current roster who will potentially fill big roles in 2005.

Marcus Vick, Jonathan Lewis, Xavier Adibi, Vince Hall, and Eddie Royal will all start at for Tech, while Kent Hicks and Chris Ellis will compete for a starting position and could very well win out in their respective position battles. Sean Glennon will likely fill an important roll as the backup quarterback, and Victor “Macho” Harris will look to get on the field as well. Linebacker Deveon Simmons is another candidate to play early for the Hokies, if he qualifies academically. Running back Elan Lewis will likely red shirt, but he has a bright future in Blacksburg.

Overall, the Hokies have fared very well with Virginia’s Top 5 players in recent years. While they certainly didn’t get them in large numbers until Tech began becoming a national name in football, generally the players that did come to Blacksburg had very successful careers. Ever since Tech played in the National Championship game following the 1999 season, Frank Beamer and his staff have made even more inroads in recruiting in Virginia. Beginning in 2001, Virginia Tech has signed 3 of the top 5 players in Virginia every year except for the 2002 recruiting class, when they "only" managed to land Marcus Vick and Jonathan Lewis.

On paper, the Hokies are continuing to pull in some big time prospects, as they proved this year with the signing of four more of the top 5 Virginia recruits. As stated earlier, only time will tell if these players develop as expected, but it appears that the Hokies are becoming more and more talented as the years go by.

Win an Actual VT Game Football, Signed by the Coaches and Players!

Brain Injury Services of SWVA and Brain Injury Services, Inc. in Northern Virginia are offering Hokie fans a chance to win a truly unique prize: a "game-winning" football signed by the Virginia Tech football coaching staff and players.

The football up for grabs is the football being carried by Cedric Humes in the picture above, during Cedric's game-clinching 37-yard TD run against Virginia this past season. The ball was taken from the field -- "It still has dirt on it," yours truly was recently told -- and later signed by Virginia Tech coaches and players.

The ball is now being raffled off. Only 600 raffle tickets are being sold, and each ticket costs $100. To make things even better, the cost of your raffle ticket is tax-deductible as a charitable donation to Brain Injury Services of SWVA and Brain Injury Services, Inc.

These two organizations are the only two case management programs serving kids with brain injuries in the state of Virginia. The services needed by brain injury survivors are scarce, and these two programs make a difference in people's lives. Proceeds from the raffle will be used to fund desperately-needed case managers at these two organizations.

Interested? Here are the details:

  • Prize: One Signed Game-Winning Virginia Tech football from the 2004 Virginia Tech/UVa football game.

  • Raffle Ticket Cost: $100

  • Drawing Date: April 16th 2005 (you do not need to be present to win)

  • Tax-Deductible Amount of Raffle Ticket Purchase: $100 (unless you win, of course!)

  • How to Purchase: Call or email Brain Injury Services Inc. of Northern Virginia (703-451-8881, email [email protected]) or The Jason Foundation in Radford, Virginia (540-633-2225, email [email protected]) for details on how to purchase a ticket. When you purchase a ticket, you'll receive a ticket stub and a receipt for tax purposes.

The Virginia Tech football program and head coach Frank Beamer (click the link to see a letter written by Beamer) are behind this effort to raise much-needed funds. Buy your ticket and get your chance at winning the football pictured above! Pass - Your Ultimate Ticket to Hokie Sports!

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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.

-- Will Stewart Updates From the Past Week

TSL Audio: Interview With Dave Glenn of the ACC Area Sports Journal, 2/10/05 (MP3 Audio)
by, 2/10/05, 3:50 pm
Dave Glenn of the ACC Area Sports Journal (which we at heartily recommend for following ACC sports) talks with TSL recruiting analyst Chris Horne about football recruiting around the ACC. Dave ranks the teams in the ACC and covers ACC recruiting from top to bottom in this interesting discussion. (Time: 20:51, Size: 5.0 MB).
* Also available in Zip format *
in TSL Audio

Nobody Said This Was Going to be Easy
by Jim Alderson, 2/10/05, 11:15 am
The Virginia Tech basketball team has hit a bit of a rough patch in its season, dropping a couple of games and losing a bit of its luster as the ACC’s designated upstart media darling. The chances of Tech in this inaugural conference year finishing first in both football and basketball was fairly remote, anyway. In any event, unexpected success by both Tech and Miami has thrown on its ear the ACC’s traditional method of determining its basketball standings by merely flipping the football standings.
in TSL Pass

From Tragedy, Determination
by John Harper, 2/9/05, 11:20 am
The offensive numbers are eye popping. They are almost ridiculously high. They are what you notice first about Virginia Tech signee Victor "Macho" Harris of Highland Springs High School. Harris, the consensus choice as the No. 1 recruit in Virginia, is a five-star prospect with good reason. Try 5,320 career yards, a Central Region record. Check out 70 career touchdowns. How about 418 yards in ONE game in 2004? Or 2,346 yards and 27 touchdowns as a senior?
in TSL Pass

Hokies Turn Over in Loss to Maryland, 86-71
by Will Stewart,, 2/9/05, 12:05 am
College Park, MD -- Virginia Tech's two mainstays, defense and turnover margin, deserted them in the Comcast Center, as the Hokies surrendered 52.5% shooting and turned it over 18 times. Maryland used a poor first half by the Hokies to stake themselves to a 12-point half time lead, then made it stand up in the second half for an 86-71 win.
in Men's Basketball

Game Preview: Virginia Tech at Maryland
by Chris James,, 2/8/05, 3:05 pm
* Includes roster card in PDF format *
Virginia Tech takes to the road for the 3rd time in 4 games when they travel to College Park, Maryland on Tuesday night to face the Maryland Terrapins in a critical ACC matchup. Dating back to the game at Georgia Tech on January 22, and looking forward to this Saturday’s matchup at Virginia, the Hokies are in the middle of a seven-game stretch in which Tech plays five road games. Thus far, Tech is 2-1 on the road during this stretch, beating the Yellow Jackets in Atlanta and defeating the Miami Hurricanes on the road last week. The lone road loss was to the Duke Blue Devils.
in Men's Basketball

A Gym Rat's Notebook: Are Tournament Hopes Legitimate?
by Elijah Kyle, 2/8/05, 1:00 pm
As the Virginia Tech men's basketball team gears up for the second half of conference play, and the stretch run in February that will ultimately define this team, there are some statistics that illuminate the surprising first half play of a team that few predicted would be in this position. But, those statistics don't tell the conclusive story, and in fact there is other evidence that falls in the category of things-that-make-you-go-hmm.
in TSL Pass

Advance Auto Parts Hokie Hotline Notes for 2/7/05
by Phil Noftsinger, 2/8/05, 10:40 am
Tonight’s show was broadcast live from Attitudes Bar inside the Blacksburg Holiday Inn. With the completion of the 2004-2005 football recruiting season, it was time for the annual recruiting roundup on the Hokie Hotline. Bill Roth welcomed Hokies recruiting coordinator Jim Cavanaugh on tonight’s show to give Hokie fans a review of the recruiting process and recruiting class.
in Hotline Notes

Lane Stadium Expansion Construction Pictures
by, 2/7/05, 2:25 pm
These latest pictures, taken the weekend of Feb. 5th and 6th, show the continuing progress of the West Side structure. Steel, concrete, and Hokie Stone are starting to come together.
Also: West Side expansion concept drawings.
in Lane Stadium Expansion

Hokies Outmanned, Outgunned, Out of Gas, 83-63
by Stefan Adams,, 2/5/05, 11:55 pm
Blacksburg, VA -- There’s a clear reason Wake Forest is mentioned when people discuss the top teams in the country this season. The No. 7 Demon Deacons rolled into Cassell Coliseum on Saturday and shot 58% from the field en route to an 83-63 victory over the Hokies.
in Men's Basketball

Game Preview: Virginia Tech vs. #7 Wake Forest
by Stefan Adams,, 2/4/05, 4:00 pm
* Includes roster card in PDF format *
One reoccurring theme for the Hokies this season has been “stealing.” Not only does Virginia Tech basketball lead the conference in steals, Seth Greenberg’s team has stolen several key games this season that Tech was not “supposed” to win. One of these wins came on Wednesday night against the University of Miami on the road, and the Hokies hope to steal another one against national powerhouse Wake Forest on Saturday.
in Men's Basketball Recruiting Report Archive, 2/3/05 (MP3 Audio)
by, 2/4/05, 2:40 pm
Mike Harris and TSL recruiting analyst Chris Horne wrap up the 2005 Virginia Tech recruiting class, with discussions about the entire recruiting class and the sensitive subject of Jonathan Hannah, where there was still lots of intrigue. (Time: 28:26 minutes, Size: 6.7 MB)
* Also available in Zip format *
in TSL Pass

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