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  TSLMail #380- May 8, 2009    
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 Tech Sports News

Hokies Gain Three Commitments
by Chris Coleman,

Virginia Tech got more good news on Thursday, picking up a trio of commitments from Washington, DC quarterback Ricardo Young, Delray Beach, FL quarterback Mark Leal, and Richmond, VA defensive tackle Derrick Hopkins.

Ricardo Young is a 6-1, 170 quarterback prospect from H.D. Woodson High School in Washington, DC. He chose Virginia Tech over a group of finalists that included West Virginia, Maryland and Syracuse. Young also held offers from Arizona State, Clemson, Cincinnati, Louisville, Michigan State and Washington.

As a junior in 2008, Young threw for 3,089 yards, with 31 touchdowns and just five interceptions. A dual threat quarterback, he also ran for 780 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Leal is a 6-1, 185 quarterback from Atlantic Community High School in Delray Beach, FL. Atlantic produced David Clowney, Brandon Flowers, and 2009 signee Jayron Hosley. Leal chose Virginia Tech over offers from Kansas, Ole Miss, Oregon, Vanderbilt and Wake Forest.

Leal threw for 2,355 yards in 2008, with 21 touchdowns and seven interceptions.

Mark Thaddies, the head coach at Atlantic Community, had this to say about Leal: "Mark is a quarterback. His sophomore year, at the end of the season we decided to go with him over a senior quarterback. We thought he'd get it done because of his versatility. He is athletic and he has a cannon for an arm. He also plays third base and pitches for our baseball team."

Derrick Hopkins, a 6-0, 285 defensive tackle recruit from Highland Springs High School in Richmond, VA, is the younger brother of current r-freshman defensive tackle Antoine Hopkins.

As a junior in 2008, Hopkins had 12 tackles for loss, five sacks and two interceptions. With Hopkins and fellow verbal Nick Acree, the Hokies have already secured commitments from two of the top three defensive tackle prospects in the state of Virginia.

Young, Hopkins, and Leal are commitments 5-7 of Virginia Tech's 2010 recruiting class. They join Fork Union defensive tackle Nick Acree, Fork Union offensive tackle Ryan Shuman, Rockbridge County offensive guard Caleb Farris and Pulaski County linebacker Tahrick Peak.

Quarterback Position Looks Much Better

With the commitments of Young and Leal on Thursday, Virginia Tech is likely finished recruiting quarterbacks for the 2010 class. Tech's quarterback recruiting has been widely criticized over the past two years. After Tyrod Taylor entered in 2007, the Hokies had trouble recruiting quarterbacks.

In 2008, E.J. Manuel and Mike Glennon were the top ranked quarterbacks in the state of Virginia. It was clear from the beginning that Tech did not stand a legit chance with either player. Neither wanted to go to Tech, because there wouldn't be a lot of separation between them and Tyrod Taylor.

Ironically, both players are arguably in worse positions, or at least no better positions, at the schools they ultimately chose. E.J. Manuel is a r-freshman, and he backs up junior starter Christian Ponder at Florida State. At Virginia Tech, he'd be a r-freshman and backing up junior starter Tyrod Taylor.

Mike Glennon is at NC State, and while he had an impressive spring, he's not in a great situation. A r-freshman, Glennon is behind r-sophomore Russell Wilson, last year's 1st Team All-ACC quarterback.

On paper, the Hokies had a better shot at landing a quarterback or two in the 2009 class. However, they were again spurned by the top three quarterbacks in the state. Tajh Boyd signed with Clemson, Kevin Newsome is currently in his first semester at Penn State, and Bryn Renner rejected the alma mater of his mother and father to attend North Carolina.

While the 2009 recruiting class was outstanding, it was not complete because the Hokies didn't sign a quarterback. The 2010 class won't have that problem. Assuming Young and Leal sign, Tech will get the top two quarterbacks on their board that they had a realistic shot of signing. Leal and Young will have to compete against each other when they arrive, but no matter what happens, the future of the quarterback position seems much more secure. 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
Florida QB's Commitment Wraps Up Big Day for VT
May 7, 2009
Today has turned into a banner day for Virginia Tech's football program, which has added a third top rising senior prospect to its 2010 football recruiting class. Moreover, head coach Frank Beamer and company have scored a second top quarterback recruit after securing a commitment from Ricardo Young.

Young on Board with Virginia Tech
May 7, 2009
Looking to take two quarterbacks in its 2010 class, Virginia Tech is now halfway to its goal. H.D. Woodson (Washington, D.C.) signal caller Ricardo Young has committed to Virginia Tech, choosing the Hokies over offers from Central Florida, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Maryland, South Florida, Syracuse, Washington and West Virginia.

Hopkins Pledges to Tech
May 7, 2009
Highland Springs (VA) defensive tackle Derrick "Skip" Hopkins has decided to end his recruitment, verbally committing to Virginia Tech. The 6-0, 285-pound rising senior, one of the top defensive line recruits in the state of Virginia's 2010 class, will follow in the footsteps of his older brother, Antoine, by signing with the Hokies.

Virginia Tech One of Five Offers for Basford
May 7, 2009
Bishop Kenny (Jacksonville, FL) tight end Neil Basford has enjoyed quite a successful last two weeks, earning five Division 1A scholarship offers in that span. The five new offers represent the first five offers for the 6-5, 235-pound rising senior, an athletic tight end prospect who hauled in 16 receptions for 226 yards and five touchdowns last season.

Inside the Numbers: Ranking the 2009 Recruits
May 6, 2009
Here we are again with's ninth annual "Inside the Numbers: Ranking the Recruits," in which we mash together recruiting rankings from various recruiting services into one complex ranking system that gives each VT recruit a composite ranking. We first did this in 2001, and as we add more and more recruits to our rankings, it's interesting to see where today's recruits rank when compared to yesterday's recruits. We now have nine years of data, and we can see how the 2009 recruits compare to the big names from Tech's past classes

Offer Profile: Star OL Cann Names Top 7
May 6, 2009
6-2 1/2, 260-pound A.J. Cann, a standout junior out of Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School (S.C.), has earned scholarship offers from top programs throughout the country. While he is being recruited to play on the interior offensive line by just about every school recruiting him, he has displayed ability on offense and defense as a two-year starter on the varsity level.

Ricardo Young Set to Announce College Choice
May 5, 2009
Despite claiming recent new offers, H.D. Woodson (Washington, D.C.) quarterback Ricardo Young is poised to end his recruitment. The 6-1, 170-pound rising senior signal caller has chosen his college destination and plans to make that choice public at Thursday's Big-Time Football Showcase held at Rutgers University.

Top DE Talks Nike Camp, Visit
May 5, 2009
Roanoke Rapids (N.C.) defensive end Kareem Martin is one of the most athletic rising seniors in the Tar Heel state. Not only does he excel on the gridiron, but the 6-6, 230-pound prospect almost averaged a triple-double in basketball and is currently running track. Martin's athleticism was on display on Sunday at the Nike Training Camp in Charlottesville.

Southeast Raleigh QB Reflects on Visit
May 4, 2009
Southeast Raleigh (Raleigh, N.C.) rising senior signal caller Gabe Henderson didn't make a previously scheduled trip to UVa on Saturday, but he did participate in the Nike Training Camp held in Charlottesville on Sunday. The 6-0, 185-pound prospect toured the University Virginia before and after Sunday's camp and thought highly of the experience.

A Look Ahead to Alabama: The Running Backs
May 4, 2009
Alabama will lean on their running game when they play Virginia Tech on September 5. Today, we'll introduce you to the players who will be carrying the ball for the Crimson Tide. A number of talented runners will be vying for playing time in the Alabama backfield, but only two or three players will be part of the rotation.

Top Talent Amerson Names Favorites
May 4, 2009
The class of 2010 in North Carolina is proving to be quite deep and one of the state’s top rising seniors is Greensboro Dudley’s David Amerson. The 6-3, 180 pound safety has good size and proven to be a ball-hawking defensive back that thrives on contact.
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