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   Welcome to TSLMail #317 - Friday, February 15, 2008    
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   Tech Sports News

Projecting Numbers for the 2009 Recruiting Class
by Chris Coleman,

Virginia Tech signed 31 players last week on National Signing Day. Their class was completely full, and not all of those players are going to be able to enroll in August. Some will have to prep because of qualification issues, and some will simply grayshirt (enroll in January 2009). Because the Hokies signed such a full class this year, the numbers in the 2009 class will be pretty small.

Tech will have just nine scholarship seniors on the 2008 roster. Here is a look at the players who must be replaced following this season with members of the 2009 recruiting class.

Current Virginia Tech
Football Rising
Scholarship Seniors
Name Position
Macho Harris CB
Sean Glennon QB
Cory Holt WR
Branden Ore RB
Dustin Pickle RB
Brett Warren LB
Purnell Sturdivant LB
Ryan Shuman C
Nick Marshman G
Orion Martin DE

With those numbers, Virginia Tech will only be able to sign ten players in the 2009 recruiting class. With that being said, that number will go up as the days go by. There are still candidates on the team that aren't rising seniors that are candidates to leave the team early. We won't mention any names here since it would just be speculation at this point, but it wouldn't be surprising to see four or five guys decide to leave the program at the conclusion of spring practice, or over the summer.

When you factor that in, it's more likely that Virginia Tech will sign about 15 players next year, maybe as high as 17 if there is any more attrition. Next year's class will be low on numbers compared to this year, but it will still have some depth.

Expect Virginia Tech to be very selective in offering 2009 prospects, with so few scholarships to offer. They have already offered some players, and once again, the camps in Blacksburg over the summer will be critical for those players on the fringe of being offered a scholarship.

At this point, what positions are the Hokies emphasizing for the 2009 class? The best guess is a quarterback or two, a tailback, a couple of offensive linemen, four or five defensive linemen and a few defensive backs. Those are likely the positions of emphasis, though players at other positions will be recruited as well, such as linebacker.

Just in case you've forgotten, Virginia Tech already has a player committed for the 2009 recruiting class. Stone Bridge (Ashburn, VA) DT/OL David Wang (Ed Wang's brother) verballed to the Hokies back on September 1st.

2008 a Primer for 2009

The table above shows that Virginia Tech will be a young team in 2008, but they should be very hard to handle in 2009. Eight of the players in the table are starters, and when you consider that Tyrod Taylor is a part-time starter, the Hokies would have 15 returning starters returning for the 2009 season. 15 out of 22 is a lot. They could be one of the most experienced teams in the ACC in 2009.

While the 2008 season looks promising, and the Hokies have a solid chance to win the ACC again, the 2009 season looks like it could be even better. The schedule works out well in 2009 as well, with the two biggest names on the schedule, Nebraska and Miami, coming to Lane Stadium. For those of you who like to focus on the best times for the Hokies to make a run at a National Championship berth, mark 2009 on your calendars as the next legit possibility.

Still, we've got to play the 2008 season before we can move on to 2009. Many things will change between now and then. However, there's nothing wrong with gazing into the future, and what we see now looks pretty good.

ACC Basketball Race: Stuck in the Middle

In men's basketball, the Hokies are mired in the mud right now. With a 5-5 ACC record, they are sixth in the ACC standings. They are two games either way from being near the top, or being near the bottom. Two ACC teams have four losses, three have five losses, and another three have six losses.

ACC Standings, as of 2/15/08
School Conf. Overall
Duke 10-0 22-1
North Carolina 8-2 23-2
Clemson 6-4 18-6
Maryland 6-4 16-9
Wake Forest 5-5 15-8
Virginia Tech 5-5 14-10
Georgia Tech 4-5 11-12
NC State 4-6 15-9
Boston College 4-6 13-10
Miami 3-6 16-7
Florida State 3-7 14-11
Virginia 1-9 11-12

Duke and UNC sit at the top, with zero and two losses respectively. At the bottom is Florida State with seven losses and Virginia with nine losses. The other eight teams who have between four and six losses are still in the running to get a bye in the first round of the ACC tournament.

It's impossible to predict. We'll just have to let it play out. Tech has a tough stretch coming up, with road games at UNC and Maryland, two of the top four teams in the ACC. They are likely to be 5-7 at this time next week, but they'll still be in the hunt to finish in the top half of the conference. Pass - Your Ultimate Ticket to Hokie Sports!

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For more info on TechSideline Pass, and to subscribe, click here. Updates From the Past Week

Basketball Game Preview: Virginia Tech at #5 North Carolina

February 15, 2008
The road doesn't get any easier for the 5-5 Hokies this weekend, as they travel to Chapel Hill to take on the North Carolina Tar Heels in a game that will be nationally televised by CBS. The Tar Heels are trying to stay within striking distance of Duke in the ACC standings, while the Hokies will try to get things turned around after losing two games in a row.

Hermitage Standouts Add Offers
February 15, 2008
Hermitage High School (Richmond, VA) football standouts Theron Norman and Duan Perez-Means figure to be two of the more highly recruited players in the state of Virginia's 2009 recruiting class. Norman, a 6-3, 185-pound wide receiver/safety, and Perez-Means, a 6-4, 215-pound defensive end/wide receiver/tight end prospect, each have at least two Division 1A scholarship offers in the fold already.

2008 Recruiting Grades: The Defense
February 14, 2008
Just like the offensive side of the ball, the Tech coaching staff did a good job filling defensive needs with talented recruits this year. The 2007 class saw the Hokies do well at linebacker and in the secondary, but not such a good job on the defensive line. They made up for that this year, and still managed to do very well at the other positions on defense.

Varina's Rhodes May Visit VT Soon
February 14, 2008
Virginia Tech remains the only Division 1A scholarship offer for Varina (VA) star DeAntre Rhodes, but there is plenty of other interest in the 6-2 1/2, 265-pound defensive lineman. Varina offensive coordinator Blanda Wolfe provides the latest on the talented junior, a VHSCA second-team all-state selection on offense and defense.

Sherando's Metheny Focused on 2008 Season
February 14, 2008
Sherando (Stephens City, VA) came up just short of a state title last season, falling to Amherst by a score of 56-12 in the championship game. The game could have, and likely would have, been much closer had the Warriors not lost star junior quarterback Ross Metheny to a broken fibula early in the contest.

TSL Audio: The Len Martez Show, 2/13/08
February 14, 2008
Len Martez and TSL's Chris Coleman talked about the 2008 Tech football schedule yesterday, and discussed if it suits fans' desires and VT's goal of a national championship. Do the Hokies need to schedule harder or easier? After that debate, they moved on to talk about next year's Tech football team and the challenges it faces, and then wrapped it up with a basketball discussion (WMA format, compatible with Windows Media Player and MP3 players, 3.1 MB, 13:09).

Deep Run Boasts Two Division 1A Recruits
February 13, 2008
Defensive end/tight end Jake Snyder isn't the only Division 1A recruit coming out of Deep Run High School (Glen Allen, VA) in the class of 2009. Within the past seven days, defensive back prospect Antone Exum has picked up scholarship offers from Virginia Tech and the University of Virginia, respectively.

2008 Recruiting Grades: The Offense
February 13, 2008
Virginia Tech has spent the last two years attempting to revamp their struggling offense through recruiting. They did a good job in 2007, signing Tyrod Taylor, two tailbacks, and an excellent class of offensive linemen. They followed that up with another strong showing in 2008.

Logan Thomas Has Options in Football and Basketball
February 13, 2008
Brookville (Lynchburg, VA) star athlete Logan Thomas will ultimately make one school very happy whenever he makes his college choice. However, he must first decide which sport he wants to play. Thomas, a 6-6, 220-pound standout in football and basketball, has scholarship offers for both sports and does not seem too interested in playing both sports on the college level.

Mackey Reflects on his Decision
February 12, 2008
For 4-star recruit Leon Mackey, all four of the official visits he made were terrific. When it came down to making a college choice, Virginia Tech was the pick, receiving the 6-5, 275-pound defensive end's letter of intent last Wednesday over Florida State, North Carolina and N.C. State.

Thoughts on the 2008 Football Schedule
February 12, 2008
The 2008 football schedule has the ability to excite you in some ways, but it's going to make you really depressed in other ways. A year after having perhaps the most exciting home schedule in school history, the 2008 home schedule doesn't cause as much enthusiasm. The Hokies play Furman, Western Kentucky and Duke at home, but don't get three of the ACC's highest profile teams -- Clemson, Miami, or Florida State -- in Lane Stadium.

Third Stone Bridge Junior Lands 1A Offer
February 12, 2008
Not surprisingly, Group AAA, Division 5 state champion Stone Bridge High School (Ashburn, VA) has had its share of college coaches visiting over the past month. Stone Bridge head coach Mickey Thompson boasts a strong group of juniors, including three who have already landed at least one Division 1A scholarship offer.

Hokie Hotline Notes for 2/11/08
February 12, 2008
Presented by Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech: On Monday night's show, Tech athletic director Jim Weaver came on to discuss football scheduling issues. Head men's basketball coach Seth Greenberg talked about the loss to Miami, this Saturday's game against UNC, and what the Hokies will do with their week off.

Athletic Conference Financial Report: Where They Really Stand
February 11, 2008
During a spare hour or so prior to attending a Christmas party last December, I happened to read a newspaper article linked by a TSL poster that was touting some Big East Conference revenue numbers. So, I figured that I would spend a few moments searching the Internet for reliable information concerning athletic conference revenues and expenses.

Around the ACC: February 11th, 2008
February 11, 2008
Now that each team is over halfway through their ACC schedule, it's starting to become clear that there are probably only four NCAA tournament teams in the conference this year, with five being the ceiling. This week we'll look at what happened this past week, as well as give some postseason predictions for each of the ACC teams.

Deep Run's Snyder up to Two Offers
February 11, 2008
In terms of interest from Division 1A college football programs, recent weeks have been busy for Deep Run (Glen Allen, VA) junior Jake Snyder. Snyder, a 6-4, 235-pound defensive end prospect who has already received two Division 1A scholarship offers, says he is "excited to be in this position. It has been awesome having coaches come by to look at you."

Miami Edges Tech 74-71
February 9, 2008
Virginia Tech dropped a tough home game to Miami 74-71 on Saturday afternoon in Cassell Coliseum. The Hokies fell behind by double digits in the second half, rallied, but missed a three-pointer at the buzzer that would have tied the game. Tech dropped to 14-10 overall and 5-5 in the ACC with the loss. Miami is now 16-7, with a 3-6 conference record.
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