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   Welcome to TSLMail #165 - Friday, March 4, 2005    
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Hokie Football Recruiting Focused in the Region
by Stefan Adams,

The ACC Area Sports Journal recently compiled its list of the Top 200 prospects in the Atlantic Coast Conference region (comprising MD, DC, VA, NC, SC, GA, and FL) for the class of 2005. Now that all the chips have fallen into place, it is interesting to look at the spectrum of destinations for the areaís top talent and how the Hokies did in their own back yard.

Only one of the top 200 prospects did not sign with a school, running back Tony Wright from Georgia. Therefore out of the Top 199 area prospects, the Hokies nabbed nearly 10 percent of that bunch. Virginia Tech signed 19 players, which shows the strength Tech has in the region that stretches from Maryland to Florida (even though Tech has not recruited anyone from the state of Florida since 2003).

The Hokies walked right into the ACC and recruited with the best of them, and arguably won the region outright. The other powerhouses in the area that did well were Florida State (15), Georgia (15), Florida (13), Virginia (13) and Miami (12). For the Hokies to come in and recruit with the likes of these schools shows the kind of weight the Virginia Tech name carries on the eastern seaboard.

Overall, the breakdown among conferences is interesting, but not all too surprising. As expected, the ACC dominates the region with the South Eastern Conference (SEC) coming in right behind.

Conference breakdown of ACC
Area Sports Journal Top 200
2005 Football Recruits


Total recruits





Big 10


Big East






Interestingly enough, the Big East mustered just 11 of the 200 (about five percent). It is safe to say the Atlantic Coast Conference is much more highly revered than the Big East from Maryland on down. The Big 10, whose closest school to the area is Penn State, was able to obtain the same amount of players from the region as the Big East, who has schools such as West Virginia and South Florida in the areaís neck of the woods.

Recruiting powerhouse Tennessee pulled in nine recruits from the region, not one coming from Virginia. Since 2002, the only players to leave the Commonwealth after their senior year for Knoxville have been Jerod Mayo (2004) and Antwan Stewart (2002). The Volunteers, who once made their presence felt in Virginia, seemed to be looking elsewhere for regional talent (North Carolina, Florida, Georgia).

Within the ACC, it total of 106 recruits signed is very top heavy, with the Hokies, Seminoles, Cavaliers, Hurricanes and Tar Heels taking in two-thirds of that total.

ACC Regional Signees

















NC State


Wake Forest




Georgia Tech






What happened to North Carolina State this year? The fact that the Wolfpack brought in the same amount of top recruits in the region as Wake Forest is almost stunning. According to the ACC Area Sports Journal, the Wolfpack signed 16 players from the region, and only six were in the top 200. The Journal ranked the Wolfpackís class seventh in the conference, a number that Wolfpack faithful must be disgruntled with.

While the Hokies snagged 19 recruits to Florida Stateís 15, a quick glance at the two shows that the Seminoles made a really late push to get the areaís top talent. FSU wound up with Antone Smith (regionís top running back, perhaps the nationís best), Fred Rouse (regionís top wide receiver, perhaps the nationís best), Matt Hardick (No. 2 offensive lineman in the region), Graham Gano (regionís top PK/P), Kendrik Stewart (No. 3 defensive tackle in the region) and Justin Mincey (regionís No. 2 defensive end). If that wasnít enough, the íNoles also signed the areaís No. 2, 4, 5, 6 and 10 linebackers. Thatís an impressive list.

While the numbers may look one way, the strength in the area may show another. We have already seen that NC State focuses on the region but could not pull in the top talent. On the other hand, schools like Virginia and Miami, who pulled in a solid amount of top regional talent, extend their recruiting bounds outside of the ACC region. Virginia recruited several players from the northeast region, while Miami can go to any corner of the country and find top talent. A school like Virginia Tech chooses to stay in its own backyard, and the numbers show the Hokies can do very well close to home.

Boston College has just one recruit from the region's top 200 (OL Pat Sheil from the Commonwealth). Out of the Eaglesí 15 recruits, Five players came from the Maryland-to-Florida area, but only one (Shiel) was worthy of a spot on the list. These numbers could potentially change with more television exposure coming this fall.

Next to the cellar stands Georgia Tech, who seems to be in prime location to recruit. Atlanta is a big city that is stoneís throw from South Carolina and is close enough to Florida and has a relatively mild climate (when compared to Blacksburg, Boston, or College Park), so why all the trouble? The Jackets had 12 players commit from the region, but only three made the list. Chan Gaileyís staff did pick up talent in Alabama and Texas, therefore it is tough to judge the Rambliní Wreckís class.

What about the Hokies Ė how does their class stack up against the regionís top talent?

Virginia Tech Top Regional Signees



Rank (out of)

Ike Whitaker



Greg Boone



Elan Lewis



Todd Nolen



Ed Wang



Robert Norris



Antonio North



Eric Davis



Richard Graham



Hivera Green



Sergio Render



Cordarrow Thompson



Steven Friday



Deveon Simmons



Demetruis Taylor



Victor Harris



Cameron Martin



Dorian Porch



Stephan Virgil



The table lists the 19 Tech recruits players that are in the region's top 200. The Hokies signed 25 players last month, 24 of them coming from the region. The ACC Area Sports Journal does not include players who prepped in the top 200, so you can remove Brandon Holland, Sam Wheeler and William Wall from that list. That leaves just athlete Jahre Cheeseman, fullback Kenneth Jefferson and punter Brent Bowden not included. Cheeseman is from New Jersey, so he is not regional. Out of the 21 eligible players for the top 200 list, Tech had 19 players appear in their respective categories (remember, for comparison's sake, NC State had six out of 16 eligible).

Much like the Hokies, the Cavaliers had 13 players eligible for the top 200 list, and 12 of the players had a spot on the list. The two in-state schools are recruiting well close to home.

The Virginia Tech coaching staff has to be pleased with what it was able to accomplish in Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, because this class ranks among the areaís best in terms of local talent.

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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-- Will Stewart Updates From the Past Week

Bryan Randall Rookie Diary #3: A Weekend at the NFL Combine
by, 3/3/05, 1:30 pm
I got to Indianapolis around 10:30 Thursday morning. There were a lot of other guys on my flight. Mike Williams from USC, David Greene from Georgia, Cedric Houston from Tennessee, the quarterback from Florida A&M, Dougherty. When we first got there, we got checked in the rooms and everything and got our gear. As soon as you got there, you put your stuff down and went to the hospital and started all these X-ray tests, physicals, check ups on any old injuries that you might have had over the course of your college career, or anytime that you may have had surgery. Youíre at the hospital for about four hours.
in TSL Pass

Look No Further Than Your Own Back Yard
by Jim Alderson, 3/3/05, 12:50 am
The answer is Darian Townes and Aliou Kane. The question is how many quality big men with Virginia ties are playing their college basketball outside of the Commonwealth? More than those inside the state, it would seem. The question seems relevant in light of the current status of the Virginia Tech basketball team.
in TSL Pass

A Gym Rat's Notebook: Seth's Kingdom for a Big Man (or Two)
by Elijah Kyle, 3/2/05, 1:15 pm
Tuesday night's loss to Clemson was a vivid and clear example of how tricky and fragile this team is with its personnel. Greenberg is using smoke and mirrors to cover up the deficiencies on his team, and in doing so is only amplifying how direly in need of frontcourt firepower this program is. That factor was by far the overriding one in the Clemson loss.
in TSL Pass

Wild Finish Ends in Heartbreaking Loss for Hokies, 66-64
by Chris James,, 3/2/05, 12:45 am
Clemson, SC -- For the first time this season, Virginia Tech found out what it was like to lose in the final seconds of a game. You can watch a lot of games and not see a finish like the one Virginia Tech and Clemson had, and when the buzzer sounded, the Hokies were on the wrong end of a 66-64 road loss to the Tigers. Clemson stole the ball with four seconds left, and Sharrod Ford flushed a fast break dunk at the buzzer to down the Hokies.
in Men's Basketball

Game Preview: Virginia Tech at Clemson
by Chris James,, 3/1/05, 3:20 pm
* Includes roster card in PDF format *
Virginia Tech travels to Clemson, SC for a Tuesday night matchup that could go a long way in determining the postseason fates of both the Hokies and the Tigers. This is the second meeting between Tech and Clemson this season, with the Hokies winning the first meeting, their first-ever ACC win, 59-57 in Blacksburg. Virginia Tech stands at 14-11 overall, and 7-7 in ACC play. That record puts Tech in a 4th place tie with the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. The Hokies are fighting with the Jackets, Maryland, Miami and possibly NC State for 4th in the ACC.
in Men's Basketball

Advance Auto Parts Hokie Hotline Notes for 2/28/05
by Will Stewart,, 3/1/05, 1:15 am
Beth Dunkenberger appears for the first time this year to talk about her strong-closing women's basketball program; Jim Weaver gives progress reports on West side expansion and the NCAA's new APR; Seth Greenberg comes on briefly via phone from Clemson.
in Hotline Notes

Sometimes You're the Windshield ... Sometimes You're the Bug
by Will Stewart,, 2/28/05, 3:45 pm
It's hard not to get caught up in the game-by-game goings on with the Hokie men's basketball team, but the simple truth is, their out-of-sync, never-in-the-game effort against NC State Saturday wasn't indicative of any program-wide malaise ... it was just a reflection of life in the ACC, where you never know what's going to happen when two teams take the floor.
in TSL Pass

Hokies Lay an Egg at NC State, 74-54
by Chris James,, 2/26/05, 11:50 pm
Raleigh, NC -- After celebrating two tremendous home wins over Duke and Miami to put themselves on "The Bubble", Virginia Tech found the going a little tougher on the road. The Hokies traveled to Raleigh on Saturday afternoon and lost to NC State 74-54 in a game that was never close. The loss drops the Hokies to 14-11 on the season, 7-7 in the ACC, and Tech is now tied for fourth in the ACC with Maryland and Georgia Tech.
in Men's Basketball Recruiting Report, 2/24/05 (MP3 Audio)
by, 2/26/05, 2:50 pm
Mike Harris and Will Stewart talk about basketball recruiting -- why it doesn't get as much coverage as football recruiting, and what the story is on Uche Echefu, the biggest recruit left on VT's board -- and VT's chances of making the NCAA Tournament. The 2005 football recruiting class is also discussed.  (Time: 26:28 minutes, Size: 6.3 MB).
in TSL Pass

Game Preview: Virginia Tech at NC State
by Stefan Adams,, 2/25/05, 3:50 pm
* Includes roster card in PDF format *
The Hokies have finally reached crunch time (for real this time). With three games remaining on the schedule before the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament, and Tech currently standing as an NCAA Tournament bubble team in the eyes of many, the final games are all "must-wins" in order for Tech to be invited to the party of madness come middle March.
in Men's Basketball

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