2005 VT Recruiting War Room #4: Defense
by Chris Horne, 7/26/04

Since the last defensive recruiting war room: In a surprising turn of events, former Culpeper star safety Kent Hicks signed with Virginia Tech last week. Hicks, who signed with Maryland in 2004 but never gained admission, chose Tech over Tennessee. Virginia Tech happily obliged with the talented prospect and he is a welcome addition to the safety position. Hicks has the versatility to play free safety or rover, and, if he can learn the system fast enough, could compete for playing time as a true freshman. His signing bolsters the 2004 recruiting class.

What may not have been a big surprise to many was Tech landing a commitment from the TechSideline.com #4 prospect in the 2005 class - Landstown linebacker Deveon Simmons. Though landing Simmons wasnít a complete surprise, it is still an awesome addition to the class. An excellent and sure tackler, Simmons is an intimidating presence on the field and brings excellent speed and sideline to sideline coverage to the linebacker position. Of course he would probably make an excellent rover if necessary.

With commitments from Simmons, Demetrius Taylor, and Cam Martin, Tech now has three top defensive targets from the state. Defensive end and cornerback appear to be the two biggest priorities right now on defense, with defensive end as the likely number one position of need.

The following players have received scholarship offers from and have serious interest in Virginia TechÖ

  • DEís: Melvin Alaeze, Everette Brown, Jeffrey Fitzgerald, Steven Friday, Hivera Green, Barry Turner, Doug Worthington
  • DTís: Joseph Johnson, Kade Weston
  • LBís: Brian Cushing, Charles Gamble, Josh Miller, Derek Nicholson
  • CBís: Brandon Ghee, Jordan Hemby, Jamar Jackson (verbal offer), Malcolm Jenkins, Jamari McCullough, Danny Oquendo
  • Sís/Rovers: Antonio Wardlow, Andre Pope (possible cornerback)
  • Athís/JAthís: Montario Hardesty, Willie Harriott, Victor Harris, Marques Slocum

 

DEFENSIVE ENDS

2005 Losses to Eligibility

2005 Roster

2005 Commitments

Jim Davis
Bob Ruff

Sr. Jordan Trott
Sr. Darryl Tapp
Jr. Noland Burchette
Soph. Chris Ellis.

William Wall

Comments: Defensive end is probably the top need position for the 2005 class. Tech missed out on 2004 targets Olu Hall, Mike Mangold, and Clint Sintim, which made the need even more pressing this year. One of the top targets of the 2005 class, Antonio Appleby, surprised many by choosing UVa when Tech was thought to be the favorite.

For 2005, Tech already has a commitment from William Wall. Wall is big and athletic and will get more experience in playing for Coach Prunty at Hargrave Military Academy. Look for the Hokies to try and land at least two more prospects. They are involved with several blue-chip targets from different areas.

Targets: Melvin Alaeze, Everette Brown, Jeffrey Fitzgerald, Steven Friday, Hivera Green, Barry Turner, Doug Worthington

 

DE Commitments Ė 1

William Wall 6-3, 258, 4.6 HD Woodson (Washington, DC)

The Skinny: Wall committed to Tech for the 2004 class, however did not qualify academically. He will attend Hargrave Military Academy for one year beginning late summer/fall of this year and plans on signing with Tech in February of 2005. Wall remains very much committed to Virginia Tech.

Wall is a defensive end with excellent athleticism for a player his size. He played wide receiver for HD Woodson as well, a testament to his athletic prowess. Look for him to play defensive end for Coach Prunty at Hargrave as well.

DE Top Targets

Melvin Alaeze, 6-2, 270, 4.7, Randallstown (Randallstown, MD)
Offers: Over 20 offers including Boston College, Florida, Maryland, Miami (Fl), Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Southern California, and Virginia Tech
Camps: Elite Combine in New Jersey
Favorites: None

The Skinny: Alaeze visited Virginia Tech for Senior day on July 10th. He did not participate in the camp but did tour the facilities.

"It was a mainly positive experience," Alaeze said of his visit in a July 12th update. "I liked the campus and the coaches. I met the players and talked to them about what campus life is like, what the coaching staff is like, and what they do after football season. Basically they were very positive about everything, including the coaches. It was a fun experience."

Like most teams, Tech appears to have Alaeze highly rated on their board.

"Basically they were talking about the need they have for defensive ends," Alaeze said. "They said they didnít recruit any ends last year and that ends are a big need this year. Coach Beamer told me he believes in playing freshmen if they feel they can really contribute."

Alaeze says he is still open and has no favorites. He wants to take all five official visits.

"I still want to take all of my visits," Alaeze said. "I don't really know who I'll visit. I'll decide who I'm going to visit after football season."

Relationships with coaches will be among the top factors for Alaeze.

"Iím looking at the campus life and the relationship with the coaches," Alaeze said. "Iím still feeling the Tech coaches out, but I have a stronger relationship with them after this weekend."

Melvin mentioned Tech as a likely official visit destination in other reports earlier this year but has since kept closer to the vest. Itís tough to tell where he may be leaning right now, if anywhere.

Everette Brown, 6-3, 230, 4.6, Beddingfield (Wilson, NC)
Offers: Duke, Florida State, Kansas State, Maryland, North Carolina, NC State, Penn State, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest
Camps: Duke, North Carolina, NC State, Wake Forest
Favorites: None

The Skinny: Brown, who is another top target at the defensive end position for the Hokies, did not make the trip to VT on July 10th. Tech is still very much in the race.

"I havenít seen the campus, but from the research Iíve done on it, it seems like a great place," Brown said of Virginia Tech on July 7th. "Iíve watched their football team on TV a lot, and they have a great looking football program."

Look for Everette to narrow his list soon. Tech needs to land an official to have a chance. Brown seems to like the Hokies, especially the Business school, so donít be surprised if Tech lands in his top 5 or so list when he makes his cuts.

Jeffrey Fitzgerald, 6-4, 250, 4.8, Hermitage (Richmond, VA)
Offers: Boston College, Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, Nebraska, North Carolina, Penn State, Syracuse, Virginia, Virginia Tech, West Virginia
Camps: Maryland, NC State, Nike Camp in Charlottesville, Virginia, Virginia Tech
Favorites: None

The Skinny: Fitzgerald appears genuinely wide open right now. He does hope to narrow his list to 5 or 6 schools before the start of the season.

"Not yetÖhopefully soon," Fitzgerald said when asked on July 12th if he had narrowed his list. "Iím not even sure of any schools that will be on my list. I thought Iíd have it done by now, but I just havenít done it."

Jeff visited Tech for the July 10th camp and discussed his experience in a July 12th update.

"It was good," Fitzgerald said of Tech. "I didnít take much of a tour. I did get a chance to get to know the coaches a little better. I donít remember their names, but I spoke to the Tight Ends Coach, the Defensive Line Coach, the Defensive Coordinator, and of course I talked to Coach Cavanaugh. I didnít learn much about anything else. Itís a good school with good coaches."

Fitz seems to like both Division I-A in-state schools, so I wouldnít be surprised to see both of them get officials. Between the two, Iíd say UVa may have an edge right now. As stated above, Fitzgerald is open right now with no favorites.

Steven Friday, 6-5, 215, 4.7, Phoebus (Hampton, VA)
Offers: North Carolina, Syracuse, Virginia, Virginia Tech
Other Interest: Maryland, NC State
Favorites: Virginia Tech

The Skinny: Though he may have a slender build, Friday shows competitiveness, toughness, and good athleticism. Once he adds bulk on the next level, he should become a good defensive end or even outside linebacker, which is the position some schools are recruiting him to play.

Though he was quiet about naming any favorite schools when we last spoke on (June 9th), sources say Virginia Tech is in strong position here.

"No, not yet," Friday said when asked if he had any favorites. "Iím not really sure when Iíll make a decision. I do think Iíll take some official visits. Iíll probably decide a little later, but Iím not sure. I havenít really thought about it."

Hivera Green, 6-5, 255, 4.8, Conway (Conway, SC)
Offers: Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Michigan, Mississippi State, South Carolina, Syracuse, Tennessee, Virginia Tech
Favorites: Michigan

The Skinny: Michigan may be tough to beat here. Florida, Florida State, and Tennessee have offered as well, providing tough competition for anyone. Virginia Tech has to get him up for a visit to have any chance.

Barry Turner, 6-3, 230, 4.6, Brentwood Academy (Nashville, TN)
Offers: Auburn, Florida, Miami (Fl), Nebraska, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech, among others
Favorites: None

The Skinny: Turnerís coach says Turner reminds him of former Virginia Tech great Corey Moore. Turnerís offer sheet is certainly very impressive. It may be tough to get him out of the SEC and Miami has offered as well, however Tech is in the picture right now.

Doug Worthington, 6-7, 250, 4.75, St. Francis (Athol Springs, NY)
Offers: Alabama, Boston College, Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio State, Penn State, Syracuse, Tennessee, Virginia, Virginia Tech
Camps: Ohio State
Favorites: None

The Skinny: Worthington is one of the top prospects in New York. 17 schools have officially offered, with Virginia Tech being one of the first to do so. He has serious interest in the Hokies but has not visited.

"Virginia Tech has a great program," Worthington said in a June 29th update. "I feel like I could help the program a lot. Coach Rogers told me they are really interested. He asked me to tell them if I wasnít interested in them, so they could move on if I wasnít. I told them Iím interested."

Worthington is not sure when or if he will make an unofficial visit to Tech this summer.

"I know Iím going to UNC Ė Iíve already bought the tickets, Boston College, and Connecticut this summer," Worthington said. "I still have some open dates in there, so weíll see where I go with those."

Worthington stated three schools very likely to receive official visits.

"Iím going to take all five official visits," Worthington said. "I want to go to Ohio State, Tennessee, and Alabama. All of these schools have shown me great interest and I like the background of each school."

Tech is included in the teams being considered for the final two official visit spots.

"Virginia Tech, Wisconsin, and LSU are some teams Iím considering for other official visits," Worthington said. "I still want to see Tech before I can decide if they are still on my list or if I will take them off."

Worthingtonís interest in Virginia Tech appears genuine, however itís still unclear when or if he will make a visit to Tech (either officially or unofficially). Should know more in terms of where Tech really stands later this summer.

 

DEFENSIVE TACKLES

2005 Losses to Eligibility

2005 Roster

2005 Commitments

Jason Lallis
Kevin Lewis
Isaac Montgomery

Sr. Tim Sandidge
Sr. Jonathan Lewis
Soph. Barry Booker
Soph. Kory Robertson
Soph. Carlton Powell
RS Fr. or Soph. Carl Howard

None

Needs: Virginia Tech landed one of its top defensive tackle targets in last yearís class in Carl Howard. Howard is a great addition to an already solid young foundation of Booker, Robertson, and Powell. Sandidge and Jonathan Lewis have one more year after this year as well, so the Hokies are looking good for this year and next. That being said, Virginia Tech would probably like to land at least one top defensive tackle target in this yearís class. With the depth they already have on board, the Hokies have the luxury of going after only their top targets.

Targets: Joseph Johnson, Kade Weston

 

DT Commitments

None

DT Targets

Joseph Johnson, 6-2, 330, Varina (Richmond, VA)
Offers: Virginia, Virginia Tech (verbal offers?)
Camps: Clemson, Virginia Tech
Favorites: None

The Skinny: Johnson attended Virginia Techís summer camp but did not go to UVaís. He seemed like he had a great time in Blacksburg.

"I didnít go to the Virginia camp because I wasnít in town," Johnson said. "I did go to Virginia Tech. I really liked itÖseeing it again and working with the coaches. I felt right at home.

Johnson still wants to wait until after his season to make a decision. He claims no leaders right now.

Kade Weston, 6-6, 312, Red Bank (Red Bank, NJ)
Offers: 21 offers including Boston College, Florida, Florida State, Maryland, Miami (Fl) (verbal offer), Ohio State, Oklahoma, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Tennessee, Virginia, Virginia Tech
Camps: Elite College Combine in New Jersey
Favorites: None

The Skinny: Weston appears to be very wide open right now. One of the top defensive tackles in the country, Weston has yet to narrow his long list of schools.

 

LINEBACKERS

2005 Losses to Eligibility

2005 Roster

2005 Commitments

Mikal Baaqee
Brandon Manning
Chad Cooper

Sr. Blake Warren
Sr. James Anderson
Jr. Aaron Rouse
Soph. Xavier Adibi
Soph. Vince Hall
RS Fr. or Soph. Andrew Bowman
RS Fr. or Soph. Maurice Reevey
RS Fr. or Soph. Brett Warren

Deveon Simmons
Demetrius Taylor

Needs: Sources say Virginia Tech would like to land at least two linebackers in every class, and this year is no exception. Well, the Hokies already landed two top linebackers from the state and are now concentrating on the third. Recently, Tech scored a commitment from Deveon Simmons, who is rated Techsideline.comís #4 prospect in the state. He is an excellent pickup, adding speed and crushing hitting ability to the linebacker corps. Simmons has the speed to play Rover as well.

Tech has excellent depth on the roster with young studs Adibi, Hall, and Bowman. Reevey may play linebacker or he could play offense. If heís on defense, he has excellent athletic potential. Currently, heís listed at tight end, but weíll have to see.

Look for Tech to try and corral one more top linebacker prospect to join Simmons and Taylor.

Targets: Brian Cushing, Charles Gamble, Jerome Hayes, Josh Miller, Derek Nicholson

 

LB Commitments Ė 1

Deveon Simmons, 6-0, 218, 4.5, Landstown (Virginia Beach, VA)

The Skinny: Simmons is the hardest hitting prospect in the state. A devastating hitter, he plays the middle well and really runs well from sideline to sideline. Deveon earned all-state honors for his junior year performance. As a junior, he finished with 91 tackles, 42 tackles-for-loss, and six sacks. He helped Landstown to a Group AAA State Championship game appearance.

"Deveon is about the most explosive player on defense Iíve ever seen," Landstown Head Coach Chris Beatty said. "When he hits people, he runs through them. He covers so much ground and he has unbelievable instincts that you just canít teach. He also has tremendous athletic ability. Nebraskaís coach called him a Lawrence Taylor-type player. Heís obviously not as big, but he makes the same type of plays sideline to sideline as well as getting to the quarterback."

Demetrius Taylor, 6-1, 220, 4.5 Floyd Kellam (Virginia Beach, VA)

The Skinny: Demetrius Taylor is very fast with solid size. In addition, Taylor is a strong player.

"He can run like no one his size," Kellam Head Coach Chris DeWitt said in an earlier interview. "Heís our fastest sprinter. He runs a 4.5, but weíve timed him under 4.5 before. He can bench press 355 pounds, and his squat is huge. We do hang-cleans, and Demetrius can hang-clean 325 pounds, which is our highest ever."

As good of a season as he had last year as a two-way player, an opposing coach indicated Taylor was very dominating as a sophomore. That year, Taylor only played linebacker.

"Taylor was a good running back, but heís an even better linebacker," the opposing coach said. "He was awesome when he only played linebacker his sophomore season."

Taylor, who was receiving interest programs including Michigan and Notre Dame, chose Tech over an offer from Duke. He was recruited as a Mike linebacker.

LB Top Targets

Brian Cushing, 6-3, 231, 4.49, Bergen Cathoic (Oradell, NJ)
Offers: 48 Division I-A scholarship offers
Favorites: Virginia, Miami (Fl), Southern California are three very likely official visits. Penn State may be another. Other schools Brian has mentioned in his top 8 include Boston College, Florida State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, and Rutgers.

The Skinny: Tech has yet to make a recent top 8 for Cushing, therefore it looks like the Hokies are a longshot right now.

Charles Gamble, 6-3, 210, 4.4, Southern (Durham, NC)
Offers: Clemson, South Carolina, Virginia Tech
Other Interest: Florida State, Miami (Fl)
Favorites: South Carolina, Virginia Tech

The Skinny: According to Southern Durham Head Coach Gordon Walters, Gamble has Clemson, South Carolina, Virginia Tech, Miami, and Florida State on his final list. Tech looks to be in good shape right now.

Jerome Hayes, 6-2, 225, 4.6, Bayonne (Bayonne, NJ)
Offers: Hayes has 25 scholarship offers, including Boston College, Maryland, Miami, Michigan, Penn State, Rutgers, Syracuse, Virginia, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia.
Favorites: None

The Skinny: Virginia Tech has recently offered Hayes, who is one of the top prospects in the state of New Jersey. He hopes to narrow his list to around 10 schools (per his head coach) later this summer. Hayes boasts about 25 scholarship offers right now.

Josh Miller, 5-11, 215, 4.5, Manning (Manning, SC)
Offers: Clemson, Florida State, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia Tech
Other Interest: Georgia, Tennessee
Favorites: Clemson

The Skinny: Miller plays running back and linebacker in high school and is being recruited for both sides of the ball on the next level. Tech must get him in for a visit to have a chance.

Derek Nicholson, 6-2, 228, 4.55, Mount Tabor (Winston-Salem, NC)
Offers: Derek has at least 30 offers, and all of his favorites have offered
Favorites: Clemson, Florida State, Georgia, Miami (Fl), Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Virginia Tech

The Skinny: Nicholson narrowed his list to 10 recently Ė Clemson, FSU, Georgia, Miami, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, and Virginia Tech. Nicholson says other teams still have a good chance, however, and did not rule anyone out.

Most insiders believe UNC (where Derekís father played) and FSU (where his brother AJ plays) are the top two teams here. Derek insists he doesnít have any favorites at the time.

 

CORNERBACKS

2005 Losses to Eligibility

2005 Roster

2005 Commitments

Eric Green

Sr. Jimmy Williams
Jr. Chris Caesar
Jr. Brian McPherson
Soph. Roland Minor
RS Fr. or Soph. Rod Council (still
awaiting official word on Rod)
RS Fr. or Soph. Brandon Flowers
RS Fr. or Soph. Theodore Miller
RS Fr. or Soph. DJ Parker

None

Needs: It appears Rod Council will indeed become a Hokie, therefore he brings a big boost to the cornerback position. With Council, DJ Parker, Brandon Flowers, and Theodore Miller, Virginia Tech boasts a strong corps of young talent. Sophomore Roland Minor, a player whom the Virginia Tech coaches love, could have a break out season as well.

For 2005, Tech has about six scholarships out to potential prospects. It looks like theyíll take at least one, possibly two depending on who they can get. I wouldnít say cornerback appears to be a huge need in this yearís class, but Tech appears to really want at least one top cornerback.

A new addition to the targets list is Jordan Hemby. Hembyís speed caught the attention of the Tech coaches during the July 10th camp, and he left with an offer.

Targets: Brandon Ghee, Jordan Hemby, Jamar Jackson (verbal offer), Malcom Jenkins, Jamari McCollough, Danny Oquendo

CB Commitments Ė None

CB Top Targets

Brandon Ghee, 5-11, 178, 4.4, Jack Britt (Fayetteville, NC)
Offers: Clemson, Duke, East Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest
Other Interest: NC State
Favorites: None

The Skinny: I spoke with Brandon last Thursday night, and he says he is still open but will narrow his list to maybe 3 before the start of his senior season. He hopes to have a decision made by the end of September. Brandon has visited many schools this summer, including Tech, Tennessee, West Virginia, Duke, ECU, and Clemson. He will visit UNC and Wake Forest as well.

"Not at all," Ghee said when asked if he had narrowed his list. "In three weeks Iíll know definitely who my top three are. Iíll decide after that. I should have a decision by the end of September."

Ghee says he enjoyed his visit to Tech on July 10th.

"Virginia Tech was very nice," Ghee said. "I like the coaches a lot. They are very professional. The facilities are nice. They offer a great education of course. I was impressed."

Ghee seemed to like his visit to Blacksburg a lot. Another out-of-state school to watch out for is Tennessee. Ghee used to live in Tennessee and is very familiar with the Vols program.

Jordan Hemby, 5-11 Ĺ, 185, 4.4, Freedom (Morganton, NC)
Offers: Clemson, North Carolina, NC State, Virginia Tech
Other Interest: Duke, Wake Forest
Camps: Clemson, North Carolina, NC State, Virginia Tech
Favorites: None

The Skinny: Hemby showed off his tremendous speed during the above camps and left each school with a scholarship offer. Freedom Head Coach Tim McMahon believes his star DB will take a methodical approach to the recruiting process and will likely make official visits before deciding. McMahon believes Hemby is wide open right now.

Jamar Jackson, 5-9, 190, 4.55, Bethel (Hampton, VA)
Offers: Maryland, Virginia, Virginia Tech (verbal offers)
Camps: Maryland, Virginia, Virginia Tech
Favorites: None

The Skinny: It seems Jamar may only have verbal offers from the schools mentioned above. He likes Virginia Tech a lot but the Hokies may have other players higher on their board at this time.

Malcom Jenkins, 6-0, 185, 4.45, Piscataway (NJ)
Offers: Indiana, Ohio State, Rutgers, Syracuse, Virginia Tech
Favorites: Ohio State, Rutgers, Virginia Tech

The Skinny: Hoping to catch up with Malcom this week for an official update.

Jamari McCollough, 5-11, 177, 4.5, Randallstown (Randallstown, MD)
Offers: Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Syracuse, UCLA, Virginia Tech
Camps: Maryland
Favorites: None

The Skinny: McCollough visited Tech with teammate Melvin Alaeze in July and had a good experience. In a July 12th update, Jamari indicated Tech would be one of his five official visits.

"Virginia Tech is very high on my list," McCollough said. "I donít have any favorites yetÖIíll decide on those before the season. I do know Virginia Tech will be one of my five visits. Since I visited, I know I like the environment. The players are cool, the coaches are down to earth, and Coach Beamer seems like a real good guy. I felt comfortable there."

Maryland has McCollough rated as the number one cornerback on their board according to Randallstown Coach Albert Howard, so look for the Terrapins to be heavily in the mix. Virginia Tech appears to be in good shape though, especially if they can land an official visit.

Danny Oquendo, 6-2, 180, 4.5, Hackensack (Hackensack, NJ)
Offers: Boston College, Connecticut, Indiana, Maryland, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Syracuse, Virginia Tech, Wisconsin
Other Interest: North Carolina
Favorites: Maryland, Rutgers, Virginia Tech

The Skinny: Oquendo is a dynamic player for Hackensack Head Coach Ralph Dass. His versatility and athleticism have drawn him six scholarship offers. According to Coach Dass, the Tech coaches feel Oquendo could be a "DeAngelo Hall-type player" and love his potential as a cornerback.

On May 21st, Oquendo listed Tech as one of his three favorite schools.

"Rutgers is one of my top choices, and I am most familiar with them," Oquendo said. "They are one of my current top three of Rutgers, Maryland, and Virginia Tech. Virginia Tech is always a top school in football...they have been in the top 25 and been to bowl games for like eleven straight years or something. Maryland is a prestigious program. I'm familiar with the coaches at Maryland, and I relate with them. It's also pretty close by."

Oquendo said he would like to make unofficial visits this summer, some official visits this fall, and may have a decision during his senior season.

 

SAFETIES/ROVERS

2005 Losses to Eligibility

2005 Roster

2005 Commitments

FS Mike Daniels
FS Vince Fuller
ROV James Griffin

Free Safety:
Soph. Corey Gordon
RS Fr or Soph Kent Hicks
Rover:
Sr. Cary Wade
Sr. DJ Walton
RS Fr or Soph Purnell Sturdivant

Cameron Martin

Needs: The addition of Kent Hicks is a surprising and huge boost to the safety/rover position. Hicks combines great speed and a physical playing style. In the 2005 class, landing Cameron Martin was an awesome get for the staff. The remaining targets are very athletic and could play either defensive back position. Look for Tech to try and land one more safety/defensive back in this yearís class.

Targets: Andre Pope, Antonio Wardlow

Safety/Rover Commitments Ė 1

Cameron Martin, 6-2, 180, 4.5, George-Washington (Danville, VA)

The Skinny: Martin is a hard-hitting and savvy safety prospect. GW-Danville Head Coach Dan Newell had this to say about his star prospect.

"I defer to what the colleges tell me, and they like the way he plays the run from the safety position. Cameron really fills the alleys. It's one thing to get there, but he gets there and he's a fearless tackler. One coach described him as ferocious. He's not the biggest guy yet, but he plays with great leverage. Cameron has deceptive closing speed. He gets his hand on a lot of passes."

He chose Virginia Tech over offers from UVa, Boston College, Tennessee, Maryland, NC State, UNC, Wake Forest, and West Virginia. I have him rated the number 9 overall prospect in the state of Virginia.

Safety/Rover Targets

Andre Pope, 5-11, 205, 4.5, Fort Hill (Cumberland, MD)
Offers: Clemson, North Carolina, Penn State, Virginia Tech
Other Interest: Georgia, Maryland, West Virginia
Camps: Georgia, North Carolina
Favorites: Clemson, North Carolina, Virginia Tech

The Skinny: Pope picked up his third and fourth scholarship offers recently from Clemson and UNC, respectively. A physical player with excellent football instincts, Pope impressed the Tech coaches last summer during a summer camp session. He was worked out during the camp as a cornerback, but is being recruited as a defensive back (either safety or corner) by Tech.

Tech is listed as one of his three favorites in an update on June 23rd.

"I do have some favorites," Pope said. "In no particular order, I like Clemson, Virginia Tech, and UNC. Some schools I like that Iíd like to get offers from are Georgia Tech and maybe the Florida teams like the Florida Gators."

Tech is in good shape here, but Pope wants to take his time in the recruiting process.

Antonio Wardlow, 6-1, 175, 4.4, Parkland (Winston-Salem, NC)
Offers: 14 offers including Clemson, North Carolina, NC State, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, West Virginia
Camps: North Carolina, Wake Forest
Favorites: None

The Skinny: Wardlow stated in late June that he was open among his 14 scholarship offers. He hopes to narrow his list by the end of this summer.

"Iím not sure when Iíll decide," Wardlow said. "I plan on getting my list down over the summer. Right now Iím still wide open. Iím really open to everybody. Everybodyís on the same level."

Wardlow wants to visit Blacksburg to get a better sense of what Tech is all about. He admits now he does not know much about Techís program.

"I plan on finding out more about Virginia Tech when I visit them," Wardlow said.

ATHLETES/JUMBO ATHLETES

2005 Commitments: None (Ed Wang now listed as OL/TE)

2005 Targets: Montario Hardesty, Willie Harriott, Victor Harris, Marques Slocum

 

Ath/JAth Commitments Ė None

Ath/JAth Targets

Montario Hardesty, 6-1, 197, 4.39, New Bern (NC)
Offers: Clemson, Maryland, NC State, Nebraska, North Carolina, Virginia, Virginia Tech
Camps: Nike Camp in Charlottesville
Possible Positions: CB, RB, WR
Favorites: None

The Skinny: The Hokies offered Hardesty during the spring evaluation period per New Bern Head Coach Chip Williams. Williams, who feels his star may be a better cornerback on the next level, believes Hardesty is open among the schools who have offered.

Willie Harriott, 5-9, 180, 4.3, Hyde Leadership (New Haven, CT)
Offers: Boston College, Connecticut, Iowa, Maryland, Penn State, Rutgers, Virginia, Virginia Tech
Other Interest: Florida State, Miami (Fl)
Camps: Virginia Tech
Possible Positions: CB, WR
Favorites: None

The Skinny: Willie attended Virginia Techís July 10th camp and had a good time according to his father.

"We enjoyed it," Willieís father said. "I think Willie really liked it down there."

Harriott will narrow his list by the end of the summer. Right now he is open among all of his schools, although if Florida State or Miami offer, then they could be tough to beat.

Victor Harris, 6-0, 180, 4.46, Highland Springs (Highland Springs, VA)
Offers: Macho has close to 50 offers
Possible Positions: RB, CB
Favorites: Top 12 are Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Maryland, Miami (FL), Michigan, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Southern California, Virginia, Virginia Tech

The Skinny: The best player in the state of Virginia has narrowed his list to the twelve schools listed above. He has no leaders among the twelve. Right now, Macho would like to take all five official visits following his senior season.

Virginia Tech is recruiting Harris "for whatever position he wants to play" per Highland Springs Head Coach Scott Burton.

Marques Slocum, 6-6, 325, West Catholic (Philadelphia, PA)
Offers: Slocum has 28 offers including Boston College, LSU, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Syracuse, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wisconsin, and West Virginia
Camp: Nike Camp in State College
Possible Positions: OL, NT

The Skinny: Though Slocum has some work to do academically in order to qualify, it hasnít stopped most of the country from recruiting him. He seems wide open at this point in the process. Marques returns from his Midwest tour this weekend and could narrow his list shortly thereafter.


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