2005 Recruiting War Room #1: Offense
by Chris Horne, 6/21/04

Virginia Tech enjoyed an excellent 2004 recruiting class on offense. Tech hit a home run in the wide receiver department, landing top targets Eddie Royal, Josh Morgan, Justin Harper, and Jeremy Gilchrist. Add those four players to Josh Hyman and David Clowney and you have a dangerous and youthful receiving corps. Tech also landed top tailback prospects George Bell and Branden Ore, quarterback prospects Sean Glennon and Cory Holt, two offensive lineman in Ryan Shuman and Brandon Holland, and potential fullback Mike Green.

So far Tech is off to a rock solid start in terms of 2005 offensive targets. Tech landed its top fullback target in Kenneth Jefferson and two of the top offensive line prospects in 6-4, 300 pound Robert Norris and 6-5, 260 pound Ed Wang. The primary needs are along the offensive line, where Tech is in serious contention for many other top lineman including Tony North, Pat Sheil, and Jon Walko. Look for the Hokies to try and snatch at least two more offensive line prospects. Other needs include one dual-threat quarterback, one running back, and one tight end.

The top remaining offensive targets – with written offers – look like this…

· QB’s: Antonio Bass, Greg Boone, Cody Brodus, Cameron Sexton, Ike Whitaker, Derrick Williams

· RB’s: Toney Baker, James Davis, Elan Lewis, CJ Neal, TJ Pitts, Tony Wright

· WR’s: Geron James, Todd Nolen

· TE’s: James Dray, Jonathan Hannah

· OL: Curtis Crouch, Dennis Landolt, Tony North, Sergio Render, Garrett Reynolds, Pat Sheil, Jon Walko

(Please note all Athlete and Jumbo Athlete targets are listed on the Defense War Room.) There are several prospects below who I haven’t spoken with yet but plan on doing so soon. Players who have been updated this morning include Greg Boone and JC Neal.



2005 Losses to Eligibility

2005 Roster

2005 Commitments

Bryan Randall

RS Jr. Marcus Vick
RS Fr. or Soph. Sean Glennon
RS Fr. or Soph. Cory Holt


Comments: The additions of Sean Glennon and Cory Holt give Virginia Tech two very good traditional pocket passers in the system. It appears Virginia Tech would like to add at least one dual-threat quarterback to the mix in this year’s class. Getting at least one quarterback is a need for this year, and the Hokies look to be in fine shape with a number of their top targets.

Targets: Antonio Bass, Greg Boone, Cody Brodus, Cameron Sexton, Ike Whitaker, Derrick Williams

QB Commitments – 0

QB Targets

Antonio Bass, 6-1, 194, 4.4, Jackson (MI)

The Skinny: Virginia Tech is right in the mix with Bass according to Jackson Head Coach Jack Fairly.

"Michigan and Virginia Tech are probably in the top two or three," Fairly said in a recent update. "Another school that has crept up recently is Nebraska. They are really up front with him in that they see him as a wide receiver in their offense. Florida is up there too. They like him as an athlete. North Carolina is also up there...they like him as a quarterback."

Bass will attend Virginia Tech’s summer camp. Fairly indicated an early decision is possible, however nothing is certain at this point.

Greg Boone, 6-4, 250, 4.65, Oscar Smith (Chesapeake, VA)

The Skinny: Maryland and Virginia Tech have been rumored to be very high on his list, though Boone says he has “no favorites.” He appears to want to wait until after the season to narrow his list and begin taking his visits. Boone would prefer quarterback, however seems very open to other positions as well. He will study each schools’ depth chart at four positions – QB, LB, TE, DE. Right now, he says Virginia Tech likes him strictly as a quarterback.

“Virginia Tech is mainly recruiting me as a quarterback,” Boone said. “They haven’t mentioned anything else to me right now.”

Boone has a good relationship with Virginia Tech’s coaches, which tops the list of positives he named about the Hokies.

“I like the coaches,” Boone said. “I like that they stress grades before athletics. They also have a friend of mine up there. Robert Parker is up there. That will probably have some factor on my decision.”

Boone will narrow his list soon and says Virginia Tech should make the cut.

Cody Brodus, 6-2, 205, 4.6, Warwick (Newport News, VA)

The Skinny: Brodus is a little raw as a quarterback, therefore I wouldn’t be surprised if many teams are recruiting him as an athlete. Virginia Tech and Virginia seem to be the leaders right now, with Virginia Tech possibly holding a slight edge since Brodus has been around the program more. Brodus said he “felt comfortable” on his unofficial visit to Tech for spring practice earlier this year.

Cameron Sexton, 6-2, 180, 4.42, Scotland (Laurinburg, NC)
Schools: CLEM (OFFER, CAMP), FSU (OFFER, CAMP), NCSU (no offer, CAMP), TX (no offer, CAMP), VT (OFFER) lead DUKE (OFFER), SYR (OFFER), WF (OFFER), WVU (no offer)

The Skinny: Sexton listed Virginia Tech in his top five in his most recent update. He likes Coach Rogers and Coach Cavanaugh, and seemed impressed when Coach Beamer flew in to see him this spring. Sexton will visit VT this summer.

“I will be visiting Virginia Tech sometime this summer, probably in July,” Sexton said. “The main positive about Virginia Tech is my relationship with the coaches. They are the one school I’ve communicated with the most. I like Coach Rogers and Coach Cavanaugh. Coach Beamer flew down to see me. I’m comfortable with them. I want to see the campus, check out the academics, and go from there.”

Sexton says he would like to make some official visits, but acknowledged the possibility he could decide early if the right feeling comes along. NC State could be the wild card here if they offer.

Ike Whitaker, 6-4, 200, 4.5, Northwest (Germantown, MD)

The Skinny: The early rumors on Ike indicated that he favored Maryland, Virginia Tech, and possibly UVa. In my first interview with him, he and his coach were pretty adamant that there is no leader right now and stated he is wide open. He visited Virginia Tech last summer for a camp, and I think Virginia Tech is at least in solid shape here.

Derrick Williams, 6-1, 195, 4.3, Eleanor Roosevelt (Greenbelt, MD)
Schools: Everyone has offered

The Skinny: Virginia Tech “loves” Derrick as a quarterback per ERHS Head Coach Rick Houchens. Williams is a good passer (although they don’t pass a lot in Eleanor Roosevelt’s option-oriented offense) and a very strong rusher. The ultra-athletic and fast Williams is rated as the top player in the nation by Rivals.com. He will narrow his very long list this summer. Coach Houchens felt it could be this month, however it appears it may be a little later on this summer.



2005 Losses to Eligibility

2005 Roster

2005 Commitments


RS Sr. Cedric Humes
Sr. Mike Imoh
Sr. John Candelas
RS Fr. or Soph. George Bell
RS Fr. or Soph. Branden Ore


Comments: Virginia Tech landed two excellent running back prospects in George Bell and Branden Ore last year (Ore signed in February 2004 while Bell enrolled early.) Tech loses no one to graduation after this year, but Humes and Imoh will run out of eligibility following the 2005 season. Adding at least one running back is a need in this years class, and as is the case with the quarterback recruiting, Tech looks to be in good shape with a number of different targets.

Targets: Toney Baker, James Davis, Elan Lewis, J.C. Neal, TJ Pitts, Tony Wright

RB Commitments – 0

RB Targets

Toney Baker, 5-10, 220, 4.4, Ragsdale (Jamestown, NC)

The Skinny: NC State, UNC, Tennessee, Virginia, and Virginia Tech have been Toney Baker’s top five for a while. Sources continue to say the two home-state schools have an edge right now, though UVA is coming on strong and do not count out Tech or Tennessee.

James Davis, 6-0, 207, 4.4, Douglass (Atlanta, GA)

The Skinny: I have yet to speak to Davis or his head coach, but hope to soon. It looks like it will be tough to pull Davis out of the SEC, so Virginia Tech has to hope for an unofficial or official visit.

Elan Lewis, 5-8, 220, 4.5, Phoebus (Hampton, VA)

The Skinny: Lewis claimed no favorites in a recent update, however both in-state schools are certainly in strong position. Virginia Tech may hold the edge here in my opinion, however things could change during official visits.

J.C. Neal, 6-1, 180, 4.39, Lakewood (Sumter, SC)

The Skinny: JC lists Tech and NC State as his leaders. He first visited Virginia Tech for last year’s (2003) Nike Camp, saying “it rained, but it was a lot of fun. There was a lot of competition. Virginia Tech was big. It was nice.”

Of NC State, Neal says “I liked it up there. I really like the coaching staff.”

Neal says he wants “to leave the state.” He will likely make a decision sometime during his senior season.

TJ Pitts, 5-10, 190, 4.4, North Hall (Gainesville, GA)
Schools: GA (no offer, CAMP), FL (no offer), ND (OFFER), TN (no offer), UNC (OFFER), UVA (OFFER, CAMP?), VT (OFFER)

The Skinny: Pitts has been offered officially by UVa, VT, Notre Dame, and UNC. North Hall Head Coach Bob Christmas, who coached Anthony Poindexter and Jerton Evans while at Jefferson Forest, says “both [Virginia and Virginia Tech] are real high on his list. I’ve talked to him about this, and he said he likes Virginia, Virginia Tech, and even UNC. I think they have as good a chance as the SEC schools.” Christmas noted that, as soon as Pitts gains a qualifying SAT score, Georgia, Florida, and Tennessee will offer.

Tony Wright, 5-11, 190, 4.4, Peach County (Fort Valley, GA)
Schools: AUB (OFFER), CLEM (OFFER), GA (OFFER), FL (no offer), FSU (no offer), MD (OFFER), NEB (no offer), VT (OFFER)

The Skinny: Wright was the leading rusher in the state of Georgia last season according to Head Coach Rance Gillespie. As a junior last year, Wright rushed for 2,155 yards and 20 touchdowns on 267 carries, an average of 8.1 yards per carry. Virginia Tech is in decent shape right now, however they need to get Wright in for a visit. Coach Gillespie said Tony has some work to do to qualify academically but that he is doing the things necessary to put himself in the right position.



2005 Losses to Eligibility

2005 Roster

2005 Commitments


RS Soph. John Kinzer
RS Fr. or Soph. Mike Green
Sr Mike Perlozzo
RS Jr Jesse Allen
Soph Carlton Weatherford

Kenny Jefferson

Comments: Tech has already landed their top target at the fullback position in Kenny Jefferson.

Targets: None

FB Commitments – 1

Kenny Jefferson, 5-10, 230, 4.5, DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, MD)

The Skinny: As a junior, Jefferson earned honorable mention all-league honors. He rushed for around 400 yards and seven touchdowns last season as a junior, averaging around 17 yards per carry. In addition to football, Jefferson is an accomplished wrestler as well. He is a two-time State Champion and two-time National Top Six wrestler.

Jefferson chose Virginia Tech over offers from Penn State and Syracuse. He will easily qualify academically.

FB Targets - Finished



2005 Losses to Eligibility

2005 Roster

2005 Commitments

Richard Johnson

Split Ends:
RS Sr. Chris Clifton
RS Jr. Michael Malone
RS Soph. Brenden Hill
Soph. Josh Hyman
RS Fr. or Soph. Jeremy Gilchrist
RS Fr. or Soph. Eddie Royal
RS Sr. Justin Hamilton
RS Jr. Robert Parker
Jr. David Clowney
RS Fr. or Soph. Justin Harper
RS Fr. or Soph. Josh Morgan

Comments: As stated above, Tech really excelled in last year’s wide receiver recruiting. Tech landed four wide receiver recruits, including physically gifted Josh Morgan and Eddie Royal, who was one of the top overall players in the state last year. By filling a big need last year, wide receiver is not a top priority this year. Virginia Tech has offered a couple of wide receivers however.

Targets: Geron James, Todd Nolen

WR Commitments – 0

WR Top Targets

Todd Nolen, 6-3, 175, 4.5, Hampton (VA)
Schools: NEB (no offer), SYR (OFFER), UVA (OFFER), VT (OFFER)

The Skinny: I haven’t been able to catch up with Todd recently, but hope to do so very soon. He liked both in-state programs early with UVa probably having a slight edge, but again I need to get a more recent update on him.

Geron James, 6-4, 178, 4.5, Ashley (Wilmington, NC)
Schools: MD (OFFER), VT (OFFER), GT (no offer), UNC (no offer), WF (no offer)

The Skinny: Coach Dylan Dimock indicated he and Geron would try and make several unofficial visits this summer. Virginia Tech was high on his list at last check.



2005 Losses to Eligibility

2005 Roster

2005 Commitments

Jared Mazzetta

RS Sr. Jeff King
RS Soph. Duane Brown
RS Soph. Matt Roan


Comments: Landing at least one good tight end prospect would be ideal for this class. Two of the best tight ends in the East have been offered and are seriously considering Tech.

Targets: James Dray, Jonathan Hannah

Tight End Commitments - 0

Tight End Top Targets

James Dray, 6-5, 233, 4.6, Bergen Catholic (Oradell, NJ)

The Skinny: Hope to get an update in the next few weeks with Dray.

Jonathan Hannah, 6-4, 255, 4.8, South View (Hope Mills, NC)

The Skinny: In my first interview with Hannah, he mentioned “right now, I’d probably prefer going in-state. Well, what I mean by prefer is that right now I’m most comfortable with the in-state schools.” Since then, it appears Virginia Tech has made some ground and he plans on visiting Blacksburg this summer. NC State, which is where his father played football, and Virginia Tech are very high on his list.



2005 Losses to Eligibility

2005 Roster

2005 Commitments

C Robert Ramsey
G James Miller
T Jon Dunn

RS Jr. Andrew Fleck
RS Jr. Danny McGrath
RS Jr. Mike Parham
RS Soph. Tripp Carroll
RS Fr. or Soph. Ryan Shuman
RS Sr. Will Montgomery
RS Sr. Jason Murphy
RS Jr. Brandon Gore
RS Fr. or Soph. Brandon Holland
RS Fr. or Soph. Matt Welsh
Sr. Jimmy Martin
Sr. Reggie Butler
RS Jr. Brandon Frye
RS Fr. or Soph. Nick Marshman

Robert Norris
Ed Wang

Needs: Tech is losing three good players to graduation this year and will lose five more following the 2005 season. That being said, offensive line appears to be an area of need for Tech. Off to a great start, the Hokies have landed probable offensive tackles Ed Wang and Robert Norris. Look for Virginia Tech to try and land two more targets on the offensive line. Centreville’s Pat Sheil and North Stafford’s Tony North top the list.

Targets: Dennis Landolt, Tony North, Sergio Render, Garrett Reynolds, Brian Roche, Pat Sheil, Jon Walko

OL Commitments – 2

Ed Wang, 6-5, 260, 4.8, Stone Bridge (Ashburn, VA)

The Skinny: Wang impressed the Hokies staff mightily during summer camp last year. A tight end and defensive end in high school, Wang will likely grow into an athletic offensive tackle on the next level. Many schools inquired about the firmness of his verbal to Tech this spring, however he and his family haven’t budged.

Wang is a good student who will qualify academically.

Robert Norris, 6-4, 300, DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, MD)

The Skinny: Norris committed just a week after teammate Kenny Jefferson verballed to the Hokies. Norris is a big, strong player who has quick feet according to Head Coach Bill McGregor. He chose Tech over offers from Maryland and Syracuse.

Norris will easily qualify academically.

OL Targets

Curtis Crouch, 6-6, 320, E E Smith (Fayetteville, NC)
Schools: ECU (OFFER), NCSU (OFFER), OKL (OFFER), UNC (no offer), VT (OFFER)

The Skinny: NC State may be tough to beat for Crouch, who could be recruited as a defensive tackle.

Dennis Landolt, 6-5, 275, 4.87, Holy Cross (Delran, NJ)
Schools: PSU (OFFER), UVA (OFFER) lead ND (no offer, CAMP), NW (OFFER), UNC (OFFER), VT (OFFER), WVU (OFFER)

The Skinny: UVA is right there with Penn State for the lead. Landolt will make a visit to Notre Dame’s camp this month, and could have a decision soon after. Virginia Tech just recently came in with an offer and are hoping Landolt doesn’t decide in the next few weeks.

Tony North, 6-4, 310, North Stafford (Stafford, VA)

The Skinny: North will decide between Virginia Tech and NC State sometime this summer. He visited Tech last weekend but did not commit. He wants to commit only when he feels 100 percent sure about his choice. I’d still lean towards the choice being Virginia Tech, however NC State is really making this interesting.

Sergio Render, 6-3, 300, Newnan (GA)
Schools: FSU (OFFER) leads BAMA (no offer), CLEM (no offer), MISS ST (OFFER), S CAR (OFFER), VT (OFFER per Rivals)

The Skinny: Render is a new addition to the database. I will get an update on him soon.

Garrett Reynolds, 6-7, 250, Carter (Knoxville,TN)
Schools: CLEM (no offer), KY (offer), TN (no offer), UNC (OFFER), VAND (no offer), VT (OFFER per Rivals)

The Skinny: I’m trying to reach Reynolds and/or his coach for an update.

Brian Roche, 6-5, 280, Don Bosco Prep (Wykoff, NJ)

The Skinny: Roche is one of the top OL prospects in New Jersey. He appears to be wide open right now and is busy visiting schools this summer.

Pat Sheil, 6-7, 260, Centreville (Clifton, VA)
Schools: UGA (no offer), UVA (OFFER), VT (OFFER) lead FL (OFFER), MIA (OFFER), ND (no offer), OKL (OFFER)

The Skinny: In the beginning, UVa was the clear favorite for Sheil. Virginia Tech made a big push to become the leader for his services, and now it looks like the two in-state schools are pretty much even. If Georgia and/or Notre Dame offer soon, look for them to be serious contenders as well. I believe Sheil’s decision will come down to the two in-state programs with Notre Dame being a serious contender if they offer. Sources for bothTech and UVa each feel good about where their school stands.

Sheil stated that Virginia Tech is recruiting him as a left tackle all the way.

Jon Walko, 6-6, 295, Seneca Valley (Germantown, MD)

The Skinny: Virginia Tech offered Walko on his visit to a spring practice earlier this year. He was impressed by the convenience of the Virginia Tech campus.

“With Virginia Tech, I like that the facilities are all right there,” Walko said. “They are not separated across campus, so it’s really easy to get where you need to go. I also like the new academic center. I like the stadium, but I really want to get there to see a game. I’m planning to see a game next year to get a feel for the fans.”

Walko, who has some work to do to qualify academically, plans on making several official visits this Fall. He currently lists VT and WVU as his top two schools.

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