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   Welcome to TSLMail #231 - Friday, June 16, 2006    
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   Tech Sports News


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Hokies Courting 4-Star and 5-Star Recruits

by Chris Coleman, TechSideline.com

Since the May Evaluation Period ended, the Virginia Tech coaching staff has a pretty good idea of which players are at or near the top of their recruiting board this year. More names will be added as football season begins, but there is a lot of talent on Virginia Techís early recruiting board.

(The following star ratings are from Rivals.com.) Rivals currently lists 19 four and five star players that are interested in Virginia Tech. That number could grow, or shrink, as Rivals updates their rankings throughout the year and players commit to different schools.

Not surprisingly, most of those players are projected as defensive players, or as athletes that will likely play defense in college. Just five of the 19 players are projected to play on the offensive side of the ball at the college level.

The headliner of the group is 5-star quarterback Tyrod Taylor, from Hampton, VA. If you havenít heard of Tyrod Taylor by now, then chances are you havenít been reading TSL, or any other publication that covers recruiting. Taylor is the #1 target on Virginia Techís board, and the Hokies are hoping to gain a commitment from him sometime in July.

The Hokies are listed with another 5-star recruit, running back Caleb King from Georgia. King is the #1 running back in the nation. However Tech is an extreme long shot for King at this point.

Tech is also in on two 4-star wide receivers who are among the top100 players in the nation. If Tyrod Taylor commits to Virginia Tech, he could very well bring Jay Smith, from Virginia, and Mark Barnes, from South Carolina, with him to Blacksburg. Both would be tremendous pickups for the Hokies. Barnes is the #44 recruit in the nation, and Smith is #95.

Andrew Nuss is the fifth and final 4-star offensive recruit. Rivals likes Nuss and has him listed among the top offensive linemen in the country. However it isnít clear what the Tech staff thinks of him. They have offered, but they appear to have him a little further down their list than do most recruiting services.

Virginia Tech is listed with a number of players on the defensive side of the ball, including six 4-star defensive ends. However the Hokies only stand a real chance with a couple of them. Tech is in the race with Tony Tucker, from Washington, D.C., as well as Devon Still of Delaware. Georgiaís D.J. Stafford also recently listed the Hokies among his top five.

Scotty Cooper of Lake City, SC is the only 4-star linebacker that is currently listing the Hokies. He projects as either a whip or rover at the college level. At one point he favored Tech, but now the Hokies appear to be even with several other schools. Cooper would be a big pickup at a major position of need.

Perhaps the best defensive player on Techís board is North Carolina cornerback Marcus Gilchrist. Gilchrist is a 4-star prospect and the #61 player in the nation. He excels as a kick returner and punt returner, as well as cornerback. He returned four kickoffs and three punts for touchdowns last year, and he also picked off 11 passes. He currently lists Tech in his top five and it appears VT is squarely in the race.

Perhaps the most important in-state recruit on the defensive side of the ball is Varinaís Davon Morgan. Morgan is projected as a safety at the college level. He is #7 on TSLís top 30 list, which was released this past Tuesday night. He is the highest rated uncommitted defensive recruit in the state. He is a priority recruit for Virginia Tech.

Other 4-star defensive recruits that the Hokies are listed with, but are not expected to sign, are DT Tydreke Powell, DE Cliff Matthews, ATH Doug Wiggins and ATH Harrison Smith.

As the summer months drag by, and football season begins, the Tech coaching staff will be able to make further evaluations on recruits whom they have not yet decided whether or not to offer. The Hokiesí summer camp from July 9-11 will also give the coaching staff an important opportunity to evaluate recruits that are on the fringe of being offered.

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   TechSideline.com Updates From the Past Week

Scouting Report: Tyrod Taylor

June 15, 2006
The Peninsula District in Upper Hampton Roads is widely recognized as one of the most talent-rich football areas in the country, but in the last few years the area has become best known for producing blue-chip quarterbacks. The Hampton/Newport News area has produced such notable quarterback prospects as Michael and Marcus Vick, Ronald Curry, Aaron Brooks, Allen Iverson, Aaron Sparrow, and several more. This year the district has another highly touted quarterback in Hampton High School's Tyrod Taylor. Let's take a closer look at Taylor and see how he compares with some of the notable quarterbacks from the area.
more

Fleming, Hill Have Impressive Offers
June 15, 2006
C.J. Fleming and Cris Hill are similar in height and weight (5-11, 175 pounds), both are cornerback prospects and both have been offered by some of the same schools. How each player handles his decision making process will likely be different, however, as Fleming may be looking to make an early decision while Hillís could go into the winter.
more

An Early Decision from Morgan?
June 14, 2006
6-0, 190-pound Davon Morgan has been somewhat disappointed with his recruitment to date, although it looks like another major program is starting to pick up its interest while several others continue to show serious interest. The Varina (VA) star does not plan to make an early decision at this point and may take his recruitment into his senior season.
more

DeChristopher Updates Recruitment
June 14, 2006
Clover Hill (Midlothian, VA) offensive lineman Blake DeChristopher made an unofficial visit to the University of Virginia last weekend. The 6-5, 295-pound standout took the time last night to discuss the trip, a possible timetable for making a college decision and his most recent scholarship offer.
more

TechSideline.com Pre-Summer Top 30 In-State Recruits
June 13, 2006
While quarterbacks are ranked 1-2 in the Pre-Summer Top 30 list, it is the players who protect them that are the highlight of the 2007 recruiting class. Seven offensive line recruits have received scholarship offers from Division 1A programs, so it is obvious where the strength of the class lies position-wise. Five of the seven are ranked in the top 14. Overall, there appears to be solid depth in this class, as over 30 players hold Division 1A scholarship offers. While not spectacular, it's definitely a solid year in the state of Virginia. And, unlike last year, Virginia and Virginia Tech should do well in-state. Virginia's off to a great start, and both teams are well positioned for remaining prospects.
more

Cloy Looking to Narrow List
June 12, 2006
Spring Valley (Columbia, S.C.) OL/TE recruit Mason Cloy has been extremely busy over the past few weeks, making unofficial visits to many of the 13 schools that have extended official scholarship offers. The 6-4, 260-pound standout will now take some time off from making any more visits and hopes to narrow his list of schools in the near future.
more

Hammer-Throwin' Hokies Shine at NCAA Outdoor Championships
June 12, 2006
The Virginia Tech track and field team departed for Sacramento, California last week to participate in the NCAA Outdoor Championships, and they did very well. Spyridon Jullien captured the fourth national championship of his career and led the men's team to a very impressive finish.
more

The Year in Tech Sports: 1985-86
June 9, 2006
Going into the 1985-86 academic year, the two major sports at Virginia Tech, football and men's basketball, were attempting to answer the same question: how do you replace talented long-time starters and still maintain program momentum? In the case of football, superstars like Bruce Smith, Jesse Penn, and Ashley Lee were gone, and on the basketball side, the Youngs, Perry and Al, were done, and it was left up to Dell Curry and Bobby Beecher to carry on.
more
 
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