VT Recruiting War Room #12: Offense
by Chris Horne, 1/16/04

The Virginia Tech contingent must be happy with how they have done in terms of filling needs on offense this year. The Hokies have done an excellent job at landing quality players for the skill positions, including all three offensive skill spots. Running back was a big need with Kevin Jones turning pro early, and they filled the need with two outstanding prospects and, additionally, filled a need at fullback with the recent commitment of Michael Green. One target remains at the running back position, and he is being recruited as an athlete. The player is Damian Sims, who will get looks at running back, cornerback, and possibly wide receiver.

Wide receiver was also a big need for the Hokies, and they have done a fine job of landing very good prospects. Tech has landed three prospects with excellent potential and hopes to land either Eddie Royal or Derrick McPhearson for the final wide receiver slot. The Hokies landed a commitment from a big receiver who can run and jump (Harper), a physically-gifted receiver who displays great toughness (Morgan), and an ultra-productive, polished player (Gilchrist). If they can land either Royal or McPhearson, Virginia Tech�s receiving corps would certainly look promising for the next four years. Both of those players displayed game-breaking potential for their high school teams. If they cannot land any of those two prospects, Virginia Tech may decide to take (depending on scholarship situation) Cauthen or Pitts if either one of those players decides on Tech.

So, with the recruitment of Sims and holding a spot for one of the remaining wide receiver prospects, it looks like Virginia Tech�s recruiting for Offense is complete. There will be no tight ends taken in this class, and it looks like only two offensive line prospects -- Ryan Shuman and Brandon Holland. Holland was recruited as a defensive end but many feel he will likely end up on the offensive line. Dio Herrera, an offensive guard prospect whom Virginia Tech had been recruiting since December, likely will not be offered per sources.

The top remaining offensive targets � with written offers � look like this �

  • WR�s � Armand Cauthen, Eddie Royal, Derrick McPhearson, Hilton Pitts
  • Ath � Damian Sims


2004 Losses to Eligibility

2004 Roster

2004 Commitments


Senior Bryan Randall
Sophomore Marcus Vick
Freshman Cory Holt

Sean Glennon

Needs: Cory Holt and Sean Glennon are two excellent quarterback prospects already in the fold. Holt is developing nicely at Hargrave Military Academy while Glennon led Westfield to an undefeated record this season and a Division 6, AAA State Championship title.

News: Holt has qualified and will enroll at Virginia Tech in January of 2004.

Targets: Finished

QB Commitments - 1

Sean Glennon, 6-4, 190 Westfield HS (Chantilly, VA)

Senior Stats: 105 completions in 180 attempts, 1,839 yards and 26 touchdowns. He threw only five interceptions. Sean led Westfield to the Virginia AAA Division 6 Championship title and earned first-team AAA All-State honors by the AP.



2004 Losses to Eligibility

2004 Roster

2004 Commitments

Kevin Jones (turning pro
with one year of
eligibility remaining)

Junior Cedric Humes
Junior Mike Imoh
Junior John Candelas

George Bell
Branden Ore

Needs: Virginia Tech certainly filled its need at the running back position this year. They got off to a great start by landing All-American George Bell, who will enroll in January of 2004. If Bell can return to the player he was before a severe knee injury as a junior, then Tech really landed themselves a great prospect. They followed up landing the big, bruising Bell, with the all-around talents of Indian River star Branden Ore. Ore has the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield as well as rush the football, making him an extremely dangerous and useful player. Ore and Bell compliment each other very well and Virginia Tech certainly gets a high grade at the running back position.

Targets: Finished

RB Commitments � 2

George Bell, 5-11, 225, 4.45 Jack Britt HS (Fayetteville, NC)

The Skinny: Bell received a qualifying ACT score and will now enroll at VT in January of 2004. He earned a spot in the Army All-American Bowl game, which was played in early January, and looked solid. He estimates he is at 90-95 percent of the player he was as a junior, and he is confident he will only get better.

Branden Ore, 6-2, 195 4.4 Indian River HS (Chesapeake, VA)

The Skinny: Branden enjoyed a fantastic senior campaign, rushing for 1,279 yards and 15 touchdowns on 156 carries.


2004 Losses to Eligibility

2004 Roster

2004 Commitments

Doug Easlick
Steve Canter

Junior Jeff King
R-freshman John Kinzer
Junior Mike Perlozzo
Sophomore Jesse Allen
R-freshman Carlton Weatherford.

Michael Green

Needs: Mike Green�s commitment filled a need at fullback with Doug Easlick running out of eligibility. Green is a big (6-1, 235 pounds) fullback with good speed (4.7 in the 40). He played fullback for Deptford as a senior, leading his team to an undefeated mark and a state title. He helped his team average over seven yards per carry and rush for over 3,000 yards.

Targets: Finished

FB Commitments � 1

Michael Green, 6-1, 235, 4.7 Deptford (Deptford, NJ)

Senior Stats: Green averaged over seven yards-per-carry as a senior, helping Deptford to an undefeated record and a State Championship. He was the primary blocker in the offensive scheme, which flourished to the tune of 3,800 yards rushing.



2004 Losses to Eligibility

2004 Roster

2004 Commitments

Chris Shreve
Ernest Wilford

Split Ends:
Junior Chris Clifton
Sophomore Michael Malone
Sophomore Brenden Hill
Sophomore Chris Caesar
Senior Richard Johnson
Junior Justin Hamilton
Sophomore Robert Parker
Sophomore David Clowney
R-freshman Josh Hyman.

Justin Harper
Josh Morgan
Jeremy Gilchrist

Needs: The Hokies are very high on speedy freshmen David Clowney and Josh Hyman, but they need to add even more playmakers to the group. Getting Justin Harper was a great start for the Hokies in their recruitment of wide receivers.

Targets: Eddie Royal, Derrick McPhearson, Armand Cauthen, Hilton Pitts.


WR Commitments � 3

Justin Harper, 6-4, 190, 4.5 Hargrave Military Academy

The Skinny: Harper chose the Hokies over offers from NC State, UNC, and Wake Forest. Justin is a big receiver with good speed, great leaping ability, and good hands. He may need some time to develop, but he certainly has the physical tools to become an excellent player on the next level. He will enroll at Virginia Tech in January 2004.

Josh Morgan, 6-1, 200, 4.31 Fork Union Military Academy

The Skinny: Josh wowed on-lookers during last month�s FUMA combine, posting a 4.31 time in the 40-yard dash and showing a 39-inch vertical leap. He has the toughness to make hard catches across the middle and the speed to break big plays.

Jeremy Gilchrist, 5-11, 185, 4.55 Landstown High School (Virginia Beach, VA)

The Skinny: As a senior, Gilchrist made 87 catches for 1,439 yards and 18 touchdowns. He was one of the most productive players in the state during his senior season, and thrived in Coach Chris Beatty�s pass-oriented offense.

WR Top Targets

Eddie Royal, 5-10, 170, 4.4 Westfield HS (Chantilly, VA)
Schools: VT (OFFER, OV 01/23/04), MAR (OFFER, OV 01/31/04), TN (OFFER, OV), UVA (OFFER, OV 01/17/04)

The Skinny: Virginia appears back in the mix with Eddie, and the Cavaliers have a chance to impress him on an official visit, which takes place this weekend. Virginia Tech still is in strong position right now, however Royal indicated official visits will be very important in his decision so anything can happen.

Derrick McPhearson, 6-0, 185, 4.38 DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, MD)
Schools: FL (OFFER, OV 01/31/04), MD (OFFER, OV 12/06/03), PSU (OFFER, OV 01/17/04), VT (OFFER, OV 01/24/04)

The Skinny: Derrick is down to four schools. He has visited Maryland and goes to Penn State this weekend. He does have Tech slated for next weekend, however I think it will be tough for anyone to land him from Maryland. Tech will have their shot however, so anything�s possible.

Armand Cauthen, 6-1, 200, 4.5 Hargrave Military Academy
Schools: CONN (no offer), NCSU (no offer), UNC (no offer), VT (OFFER, OV 12/06/03), WF (no offer)

The Skinny: Armand is a receiver that runs great routes, has great hands, and has improved his speed since high school. He has an offer from Virginia Tech (his only written offer), but wants to keep his options open for as long as possible.

Hilton Pitts, 6-3, 215, 4.5 John I Leonard (Greenacres, FL)
Schools: CINC (OFFER), ECU (OFFER, OV 12/06/03), ISU (OFFER), VT (OFFER)

The Skinny: According to JIL Head Coach Terry Gough, Virginia Tech offered Pitts contingent upon him improving his academic standing. Reportedly, Pitts may make an official visit to Virginia Tech with teammate Damian Sims on January 31st, however I am trying to confirm this.



2004 Losses to Eligibility

2004 Roster

2004 Commitments

Keith Willis

Senior Jared Mazzetta
Junior Jeff King
R-Freshman Duane Brown
R-Freshman Matt Roan


Needs: Virginia Tech could use one more tight end prospect in the program, however it doesn�t appear they are looking at anyone right now. King could return to full-time tight end next season if the Hokies can find a fullback replacement. The Hokies already have 6-5, 260 pound Stone Bridge (VA) tight end Ed Wang in the fold for the class of 2005, but Wang will likely move to OL.

Targets: See below.


TE Commitments - None

TE Top Targets � None


2004 Losses to Eligibility

2004 Roster

2004 Commitments

C Jake Grove
OG Jacob Gibson

Senior Robert Ramsey
R-Freshman Tripp Carroll
Sophomore Andrew Fleck
Sophomore Mike Parham.
Senior James Miller
Junior Will Montgomery
Junior Jason Murphy
Sophomore Brandon Gore
Sophomore Danny McGrath
Sophomore Mike Parham
Sophomore Andrew Fleck
R-Freshman Matt Welsh
Senior Jon Dunn
Junior Jimmy Martin
Junior Chris Pannell
Junior Reggie Butler
Sophomore Brandon Frye
Freshman Nick Marshman

Ryan Shuman

Needs: The staff seems to be concentrating on only a few offensive line prospects for this year, as they appear to have solid depth already in place for next season. They will take two (hopefully) and look strong for Ryan Shuman of Fork Union. The Hokies have received a commitment from Northside (Roanoke, VA) defensive end Brandon Holland. Holland is being recruited as a defensive end, however he could easily be an offensive tackle in college.

Targets: Finished


OL Commitments � 1

Ryan Shuman, 6-3, 257 Fork Union Military Academy (Zion Crossroads, VA)


Commitments � None


Damian Sims 5-10, 180, 4.5 John I Leonard (Greenacres, FL)
Schools: KSU (OFFER, OV 12/20/03), VT (OFFER, OV 01/31/04) lead FSU (no offer), MISS (OFFER, OV 01/10/04)

The Skinny: Damian has pretty much narrowed his list to two schools�Kansas State and Virginia Tech. If Florida State offers, they would very likely be a big factor here, however that remains to be seen. Right now, Virginia Tech is in great shape with the final official visit.

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