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Virginia Tech is off to a hot start on the recruiting trail, already picking up 11 commitments for the 2007 recruiting class. Most have come on the offensive side of the ball, where the Hokies are in the process of putting together their most complete class in years.
The Hokies started the evaluation period in May knowing they needed players at basically every offensive position. So far they have landed commitments from quality players at almost every position, and continue to recruit some highly regarded prospects.
Perhaps the most important position of need this year is offensive line. Virginia Tech has received verbal commitments from the top two linemen in the state, William Alvarez (#6 player in VA) and Blake DeChristopher (#10). Alvarez will probably end up at guard, while DeChristopher will play offensive tackle. Alvarez chose the Hokies over offers from schools such as Miami and Penn State, while DeChristopher had an offer from Ohio State.
Tech continues to recruit other highly touted linemen as well. The #11 recruit in the state, Jaymes Brooks, also has an offer from the Hokies. He will play offensive guard at the college level, and his other offers include Florida, Tennessee, Maryland and South Carolina, among others. Virginia Tech is his current favorite. Khalil Latif, the #13 player in the state and projected offensive guard, also has an offer from Tech. Qualifying could be an issue with Latif.
It was widely reported earlier in the week that Tech received a commitment from South Carolina offensive tackle Kyle Nunn, but that turned out to be false. He is in the process of setting up a press conference to announce his decision, and he is expected to choose between Virginia Tech, UNC and NC State.
The Hokies also needed a couple of running backs in this class, and they found them both out of state. Last Saturday, Virginia Tech got a verbal from North Carolina’s Josh Oglesby. Oglesby has been timed at 4.34 in the 40 and 4.04 in the shuttle at the North Carolina Shrine Bowl Combine. Running backs with his size (5-10, 207) and athletic ability don’t come around very often. He is a good fit for Tech’s system.
Perhaps even a better fit for the Tech system is Indiana running back Darren Evans, who verbally committed to the Hokies last weekend as well. Evans is a prototypical Big 10 power back who has deceptive speed for his size. He chose the Hokies over teams such as Colorado, Louisville, Indiana, Purdue and Wisconsin.
At wide receiver, Tech has commitments from two players who impressed at their prospects camp. Patrick Terry is a speed demon who ran a 4.39 at Tech’s camp. He has also run a 10.4 in the 100 meters. Danny Coale has joined him in committing to Tech. Coale ran a 4.42 in the 40 at Tech’s camp. He caught 27 passes for an amazing 720 yards (almost 27 yards per catch) and 14 touchdowns last season.
The Hokies also have verbal commitments from three tight ends, although two of them could end up playing other positions. Chris Drager, from Pennsylvania, is rated the #16 player in his state. He is listed as a tight end by most recruiting publications, but could end up a defensive end at Tech. Andrew Lanier, from South Carolina, could play a number of positions on the offensive line.
The third tight end commitment is Brandon Barden, from Georgia. Barden is an excellent athlete who plays quarterback in high school. He was Tech’s second verbal commitment. (Seems like a long time ago, doesn't it?)
Virginia Tech’s #1 recruiting target is Hampton quarterback Tyrod Taylor. Taylor is the #18 player in the nation by Rivals.com, and easily the top prospect in the state of Virginia. He is reportedly down to Virginia Tech and Florida, and most experts believe he will choose Virginia Tech on Friday evening.
If Taylor commits to the Hokies, he will try to recruit several wide receivers to come with him, including Jay Smith, the #3 player in the state of Virginia and the #95 player nationally by Rivals. Smith has been offered by schools such as Miami, Notre Dame, Clemson and Tennessee. He is close to Tyrod Taylor, and there is a chance that Taylor’s decision to could influence Smith.
The same can be said for Mark Barnes. Barnes hails from South Carolina and he is rated the #44 player in the nation by Rivals, and the #7 wide receiver. He and Tyrod Taylor also communicate, and the chance to play with Taylor intrigues Barnes. The Hokies are heavily involved. Barnes has offers from Southern Cal, Florida State, Louisville, South Carolina and others.
Virginia Tech has already put together a very good offensive class. If Tyrod Taylor jumps onboard, it could conceivably be the best the Hokies have ever had. If he can bring some other superstars with him, it would be icing on the cake.
here for VT's 2007 Verbal Commitments
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