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  TSLMail #374- March 27, 2009    
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 Tech Sports News

2008 Recruiting Class Already Making a Mark
by Chris Coleman,

Virginia Tech had one of the youngest football teams in the country last year, and they still managed to win the ACC and go on to defeat Cincinnati in the Orange Bowl. The Hokies will be much more experienced this season, but when spring practice opens next week, they will still have a lot of youth on the field.

In this week's TSLMail, we'll break down Tech's two-deep by class. Players who are currently injured and not participating in spring practice are not included, while some positions have players tied at certain positions on the depth chart.

Virginia Tech Two-Deep

















31 players are either freshmen or sophomores, while there are only 17 juniors and seniors in the two-deep. Those numbers will change as guys like Sergio Render and Andre Smith return from injury in August, but the Hokies will still have a very young football team this spring.

Take a quick glance at the number of sophomores and r-freshmen that are in the two-deep. That's 19 total players who are still only 18-19 years old. These players, for the most part, were part of the 2008 recruiting class. Early on, it appears that class is going to produce a number of very good players.

The following members of the 2008 recruiting class are listed in the two-deep.

2008 Recruiting Class 
in the Two-Deep
Player Position

Ju Ju Clayton


Ryan Williams


Jarrett Boykin


Dyrell Roberts


Vinston Painter


Michael Via


Antoine Hopkins


Dwight Tucker


Jake Johnson


Quillie Odom


Bruce Taylor


Eddie Whitley


Lorenzo Williams


Jeron Gouveia-Winslow


Austin Fuller


Nick Becton


That's a total of 16 players from the 2008 class that are already in the two-deep. Alonzo Tweedy and Courtney Prince are r-freshmen who are also listed in the two-deep, but they were originally members of the 2007 class.

Let that sink in for a moment. Those 16 players in the 2008 class have only been on Virginia Tech's campus since practice began in August. In less than a year, they've moved up the depth chart far enough to contend for significant playing time. Jarrett Boykin and Dyrell Roberts have already seen starting time, while Jake Johnson, Quillie Odom, Bruce Taylor, Eddie Whitley and Lorenzo Williams saw some action last year as well.

There are only a handful of 2008 recruits that aren't in the two-deep at this point. Three of them, Peter Rose, Kendrick Pressley and Derrick McCoy, never enrolled.

Ben Barber, Eric Martin and Tony Gregory greyshirted and are in the middle of their first semester at Virginia Tech. Marcus Davis is the third string quarterback, but he has the physical ability to contribute at other positions. Randall Dunn is injured and will miss spring practice. Lydell Gibson is #3 at backer, but he'll have a chance to move up. Joe Jones missed all of the fall with an injured shoulder, and Xavier Boyce could easily be in the two-deep by the time the season rolls around. Finally, Allen Stephens left the program in the offseason.

This will be a big spring for many players on the list above. Ju Ju Clayton has a chance to lock down the backup quarterback position, and Ryan Williams can challenge for heavy playing time at tailback. At linebacker, guys like Jake Johnson, Qullie Odom, Bruce Taylor and Lyndell Gibson will be competing for starting positions. Eddie Whitley could end up starting at cornerback as well.

It's much too early to predict greatness for the 2008 class, but it's off to a very successful start. 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
2009 Spring Practice Preview: Defensive Backs
March 27, 2009
Virginia Tech lost yet another All-American cornerback in Macho Harris, and there will be a competition for his replacement this spring. Overall, the Hokies are in pretty good shape with depth in their secondary. Five different players have starting experience, and as usual, there is young talent waiting in the wings.

Forbes Earns VT Offer, Plans to Visit
March 27, 2009
Virginia Tech is the most recent program to extend an official offer to 6-1, 225-pound linebacker Nick Forbes, a talented rising senior out of Thomas Johnson High School in Frederick, Maryland. Forbes admittedly was surprised by the Tech offer, but he was excited about it all the same.

Mark Shuman Talks Recruiting
March 27, 2009
Fork Union Prep (Fork Union, VA) offensive tackle Mark Shuman does not appear close to making a verbal commitment, and the 6-6, 270-pound junior plans to take his time in the recruiting process. Shuman, who has 16 official offers including Georgia, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Tennessee, Virginia and Virginia Tech, among others, admits to having a favorite but isn't ruling anyone out just yet.

Florida QB Names a Favorite
March 26, 2009
Virginia Tech scored a surprise commitment from cornerback Jayron Hosley in the 2009 class, and the Hokies are looking for more success out of Atlantic Community (Delray Beach, FL) in the 2010 class. Tech offered wide receiver James Louis earlier in the process and, just last Wednesday, extended an offer to a second Atlantic recruit in quarterback Mark Leal. The 6-1, 180-pound signal caller is certainly pleased with the offer.

2009 Spring Practice Preview: Linebackers
March 25, 2009
Virginia Tech lost two quality starters at inside linebacker after the Orange Bowl, and they will be replacing them from a pool of very young players. The mike and backer spots will be the focus for Bud Foster this spring, while Jim Cavanaugh will try and figure out who his whip linebacker of the future might be.

Hokies Offer Atlantic QB
March 25, 2009
Interest is heating up for Atlantic Community (Delray Beach, FL) quarterback Mark Leal, who has received five official offers with two more on the way. Virginia Tech has officially offered the 6-1, 185-pound prospect, who threw for 1,785 yards and 17 touchdowns last season as a junior.

2008-09 Basketball Season: Thoughts and Superlatives
March 24, 2009
Basketball season ended on Saturday with Virginia Tech's loss to Baylor. The Hokies finished the season 19-15, and though it was a disappointing end to a year in which many thought Tech would make the NCAA tournament, there were still a lot of great moments. TSL's 2008-09 basketball superlatives article covers everything from Tech's top win to the Hokies' most improved players, and also gives some thoughts on the season as a whole.

Deep Run Star Bides Time
March 24, 2009
Deep Run (Glen Allen, VA) offensive tackle Conner Davis has six Division 1A offers, including Boston College, Duke, Maryland, Virginia, Virginia Tech and West Virginia. The 6-5, 270-pound junior believes that the Evaluation Period could be busy, as the number of schools expressing interest continues to grow.

2009 Spring Practice Preview: Defensive Line
March 23, 2009
Virginia Tech football is all about toughness in the trenches, and the Hokies return three of their four starting defensive linemen this season. There should also be more quality depth at defensive tackle, though the defensive end position will still be very thin this spring with Jason Worilds out of the lineup.

Hermitage FB Recruiting Notes
March 23, 2009
Virginia Tech has enjoyed success in recruiting Patrick Kane's Hermitage High School (Richmond, VA) football program, most recently landing safety/wide receiver Theron Norman and defensive end Duan Perez-Means in the 2009 class. Coach Kane updates the happenings with the Tech's latest Hermitage recruits and provides other notes from his program, including information on one of the state's top rising juniors.
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