2005 VT Recruiting War Room #5: Offense
by Chris Horne, 8/7/04
Ever since Antonio North committed to Tech in late June, recruiting on the offensive side of the ball has been quiet
in terms of commitments. All of that could change during the month of August, as several top quarterback prospects may
make decisions. They include Ike Whitaker and Antonio Bass. Whitaker names no leaders, but Tech is looking strong right
now. Maryland, Florida, Clemson and West Virginia are the primary competition for the Northwest standout. Michigan leads
for Antonio Bass. If Bass commits early, it will almost definitely not be to Virginia Tech, as the top prospect out of
the state of Michigan has not visited Blacksburg.
On the running back front, Elan Lewis will likely make an official visit to Tech for the weekend of September 11th.
This would be his first official visit, and there is no doubt Tech would love to wrap up this race as soon as possible.
Though Tech hasn’t received any offensive commits since North, that doesn’t mean they didn’t make some positive
inroads following the July 10th senior camp. Tech impressed top offensive talents such as JC Neal, Jonathan Hannah and
Garrett Reynolds. They are listed as the slight favorite with Hannah and as co-favorites with Neal (NC State) and
Reynolds (Clemson). Hannah said Tech had a "slight edge" on the competition following his camp experience.
Other than landing a top quarterback and at least one top tailback, Virginia Tech will probably focus on securing
commitments from a tight end and at least one more offensive lineman. Tech has done a good job filling needs so far,
landing top fullback target Kenneth Jefferson and top offensive line prospects Robert Norris, Ed Wang and the
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, JC Neal, TJ Pitts, Tony Wright
WR’s: Geron James, Lavar Lobdell, Todd Nolen
TE’s: James Dray, Jonathan Hannah
OL: Curtis Crouch, Chris DeGeare (offer per Insiders.com), Dennis Landolt, Garrett Reynolds, Pat Sheil, Jon Walko
(Please note all Athlete and Jumbo Athlete targets are listed on the Defense War Room.)
2005 Losses to Eligibility
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. Those two may play important roles this upcoming season if
something should happen to Randall. Recruiting-wise, the uncertainty surrounding Marcus Vick makes landing at
least one top QB a major necessity. The Hokies look to be in fine shape with a number of their top targets, now
they just need to land one. It looks like they have the best shot with Whitaker, Sexton and Boone right now. Bass
likes the Hokies but has not yet visited Blacksburg. Michigan is the favorite for Antonio.
QB Commitments – 0
Antonio Bass, 6-1,
194, 4.4, Jackson (MI)
Offers: Florida (Ath), Illinois, LSU, Maryland, Michigan (Ath), Michigan State, Nebraska (WR), North Carolina, Southern
California, Syracuse, Virginia Tech (QB)
Favorites: Michigan leads Florida, Michigan State, Virginia Tech
The Skinny: Michigan is the leader here, although Virginia Tech is still high on Bass’s list according to
Jackson Head Coach Jack Fairly. Virginia Tech has to get an official visit to have a chance, as Bass was unable to
make it down to Blacksburg for an unofficial visit this summer. He likely could not make an unofficial now, which is
why getting an official is so important.
Greg Boone, 6-4, 250,
4.65, Oscar Smith (Chesapeake, VA)
Offers: Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Virginia, Virginia Tech, West Virginia
The Skinny: Boone is still keeping relatively quiet on his recruitment, although I think Virginia Tech and
Maryland are looking strong to land in his top five once he narrows things down. He visited Maryland for summer camp
and Virginia Tech is the only school he has called over the summer.
Greg wants to narrow his list before the start of his senior season.
Cody Brodus, 6-2, 205,
4.6, Warwick (Newport News, VA)
Offers: Missouri, Syracuse, Virginia, Virginia Tech
Favorites: Virginia Tech, Virginia
Camps: Nike Camp in Charlottesville
The Skinny: Brodus is 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)
Offers: Clemson, Duke, Florida State, NC State, Syracuse, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest
Other Interest: Texas
Favorites: Clemson, Florida State, NC State, Virginia Tech
Camps: Clemson, Florida State, NC State, Texas
The Skinny: Sexton paid a visit to Blacksburg in July and seemed to have a good time.
"It was very good," Sexton said of his unofficial visit to Tech. "I was very impressed. I like the
set up of it. Everything is in a central area - the facilities, the dorms, the stadium - everything is right there.
I liked it a lot. It is a college I would definitely play for."
Sexton listed Clemson, FSU, NC State, and Virginia Tech as his favorites on July 7th. Since then, NC
State has come forth with an offer. Not sure if that has changed anything, however Cameron liked the Wolfpack even
without an offer. The in-state school could be tough to beat, although the Pack did receive a commitment from
another highly touted QB earlier this week.
I believe Sexton will make some official visits before committing.
Ike Whitaker, 6-4,
200, 4.5, Northwest (Germantown, MD)
Offers: Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, NC State, Penn State, Syracuse, Virginia, Virginia Tech, West Virginia
Favorites: Maryland?, Virginia Tech?
Camps: Maryland, Nike Camp in Charlottesville
The Skinny: Sources say Virginia Tech is looking strong here. Florida and Maryland are also strong contenders,
with Clemson and West Virginia having made good impressions on the Northwest signal caller as well.
Look for Ike to commit somewhere before the start of his senior season. That’s what he wants to do anyway, but
he hasn’t ruled out making official visits either.
Derrick Williams, 6-1,
195, 4.3, Eleanor Roosevelt (Greenbelt, MD)
Schools: Everyone has offered
Camps: Elite Combine in New Jersey, Nike Camp in Charlottesville
The Skinny: Tech made Derrick’s top 14. The next cut will whittle the list down to 8, with 5 of those schools
getting official visits. Once Derrick narrows his list to 8, we’ll know who the serious contenders are for his
services. Virginia Tech still probably needs to land an official visit to have a decent chance though.
2005 Losses to Eligibility
Sr. Justin Hamilton
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 year's class and, as is the case with the quarterback recruiting, Tech
looks to be in good shape with a number of different targets. Elan Lewis and JC Neal are the two Tech is probably
the strongest with right now.
RB Commitments – 0
Toney Baker, 5-10,
220, 4.4, Ragsdale (Jamestown, NC)
Offers: Over 20 scholarship offers
Favorites: North Carolina, NC State, Virginia over Tennessee, Virginia Tech
Camps: Nike Camp in Charlottesville
The Skinny: In an update yesterday, Baker said NC State and Virginia would "definitely" get official
visits. He indicated he would like to see Virginia Tech as well, but it sounds like the Hokies are on the outside of
this one at this point. I’ve heard consistently that NC State and UNC will be tough to beat, but right now
Virginia does not seem to be too far behind and Tennessee is there as well. I’d say Tech is probably number 5 on
his list right now. If Baker visits Blacksburg either officially or unofficially, then Virginia Tech could jump into
James Davis, 6-0, 207,
4.4, Douglass (Atlanta, GA)
Offers: Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Georgia, Georgia Tech, LSU, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, among others. Davis has over 30
The Skinny: 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. It’s not looking promising right now.
Elan Lewis, 5-8, 220,
4.5, Phoebus (Hampton, VA)
Offers: Maryland, North Carolina, NC State, Syracuse, Tennessee, Virginia, Virginia Tech, West Virginia
Favorites: Virginia Tech, Virginia, Maryland
The Skinny: It appears Lewis will make his first official visit to Virginia Tech. That visit would be on the
weekend of September 11th. Virginia Tech has always been a strong contender here, and it probably wouldn’t
surprise many if he committed following the visit. Elan has said he wants to make his visits, but we’ll see what
happens if he takes the official to Tech. Regardless, I’d say Tech is looking strong here.
J.C. Neal, 6-1, 180,
4.39, Lakewood (Sumter, SC)
Offers: Auburn, Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Maryland, North Carolina, NC State, South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Virginia
Favorites: NC State and Virginia Tech
Camps: Duke, North Carolina, NC State, Virginia Tech
The Skinny: JC continues to list Tech and NC State as his top two schools right now.
"They’re still on top along with NC State," Neal said in July. "Virginia Tech and NC State are
the two schools at the top. I think I like them because I visited them both before. I’m used to the atmospheres. I
follow both of those teams a lot."
Virginia Tech, NC State, Auburn, and Florida State will likely be four of Neal’s five official visits. He may
have a decision in October, but he wants to make some visits first.
While Tech and State are in very good shape, the fact that Neal has virtually no experience visiting other
schools leaves the door open on official visits.
TJ Pitts, 5-10, 190,
4.4, North Hall (Gainesville, GA)
Offers: North Carolina, Virginia, Virginia Tech
Other interest: Georgia, Florida, Mississippi State, Tennessee
The Skinny: North Hall Head Coach Bob Christmas said earlier this week that TJ may have Virginia at the top of
his list with Tech and UNC right behind. If the SEC programs offer, they would be very tough contention for any of
the 3 schools who’ve offered.
Tony Wright, 5-11,
190, 4.4, Peach County (Fort Valley, GA)
Offers: Florida (only official offer, possibly due to academics)
Other Interest: Auburn, Clemson, Georgia, Florida State, Maryland, Nebraska, Virginia Tech
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. It’s not known exactly where Tech stands right now. The Hokies 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
Soph. John Kinzer
RS Fr. or Soph. Mike Green
Jr Jesse Allen
Soph Carlton Weatherford
RS Fr. or Soph. Billy Gorham
Comments: Tech has already landed their top target at the fullback
position in Kenny Jefferson.
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.
Will easily qualify.
FB Targets - Finished
2005 Losses to Eligibility
Sr. Chris Clifton
Jr. Michael Malone
Jr. Robert Parker
RS Fr. or Soph. Justin Harper
RS Fr. or Soph. Josh Morgan
Jr. David Clowney
Soph. Josh Hyman
RS Fr. or Soph. Jeremy Gilchrist
RS Fr. or Soph. Eddie Royal
Comments: 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, but since there are other positions
higher on the priority list, not landing one would not be a blow to the class. The receivers they are targeting
appear to be of the tall and fast variety. Tech could be eyeing a tall receiver to compliment last year’s
WR Commitments – 0
WR Top Targets
Geron James, 6-4, 178,
4.5, Ashley (Wilmington, NC)
Offers: Maryland, Virginia Tech
Other Interest: Georgia Tech, North Carolina, NC State, Wake Forest
Favorites: Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech
Camps: NC State, Virginia Tech
The Skinny: According to Ashley Head Coach Dylan Dimock, two Tech’s lead for James’ services. He said his
star receiver will take some visits before announcing his decision.
"He will take some official visits," Dimock said. "He’ll probably take some unofficial visits to
see some football games this fall and take his official visits after the season. Right now Virginia Tech is high and
Georgia Tech is real high on his list. After those two, I’m not sure who else is there right now. It’s basically
between Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech based on talking to him."
James has some academic issues but appears very close to qualifying. If he raises his stock in the academic
department, a slew of other programs would likely offer the 6-4, 180 pound receiver with 4.41 speed in the 40. He
ran the 4.41 at NC State’s summer camp.
Lavar Lobdell, 6-3,
195, 4.5, Christian Brothers Academy (Syracuse, NY)
Offers: NC State, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Virginia Tech, Wisconsin, West Virginia
The Skinny: Lavar appears open right now. I’m hoping to have an interview with him very soon to see where Tech
stands right now. Lobdell fits the mold of the tall but fast receiver Tech appears to be targeting this year.
Todd Nolen, 6-3, 175,
4.5, Hampton (VA)
Offers: Nebraska, Syracuse, Virginia, and Virginia Tech
Favorites: Nebraska and Virginia
The Skinny: Todd listed Virginia Tech behind UVa and Nebraska in an update last month. It doesn’t sound like
Tech is recruiting him too heavily at this point either.
2005 Losses to Eligibility
Sr. Jeff King
Soph. Duane Brown
Soph. Matt Roan
RS Fr. or Soph. Maurice Reevey
Comments: Landing at least one good, versatile 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
Tight End Commitments - 0
Tight End Top Targets
James Dray, 6-5, 233,
4.6, Bergen Catholic (Oradell, NJ)
Offers: Boston College, Connecticut, Iowa, Nebraska, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Stanford, Virginia Tech
The Skinny: Dray is wide open among his offer list and likely won’t make any decisions regarding his
recruitment until after his senior season. Tech is recruiting him hard.
Jonathan Hannah, 6-4,
255, 4.8, South View (Hope Mills, NC)
Offers: Jonathan has 17 Division I-A offers. All of his favorites except for LSU have offered.
Favorites: Virginia Tech has a slight lead over Clemson, Georgia, LSU (no offer), North Carolina, NC State, Oklahoma,
Camps: Clemson, NC State, Virginia Tech
The Skinny: Before and shortly after a visit to Blacksburg for Virginia Tech’s summer camp, Jonathan Hannah
listed the Hokies as his slight leader.
"They are still my favorite," Hannah said of Tech following his camp experience on July 10th.
"It's not a great deal in terms of how big they are in front, but they do have a slight edge right now. The
visit helped a lot. Obviously for me I've never been there, so the experience gave me a good idea of if I want to
take an official visit there."
Hannah admitted he will likely make an official visit to Virginia Tech. He wants to make all five visits before
making his decision.
"At this point yeah I am," Hannah said when asked if he will make an official visit to Virginia Tech.
"I might come to the NC State game for an official visit. I keep hearing how crazy it gets so I'd be anxious to
There is a long way to go in this race, but Tech is in good shape right now. Another positive for Tech is that
Hannah would like to stay relatively close to home.
2005 Losses to Eligibility
C Robert Ramsey
G James Miller
T Jon Dunn
Centers:Sr. Will Montgomery
Jr. Andrew Fleck
Jr. Danny McGrath
Jr. Mike Parham
Soph. Tripp Carroll
RS Fr. or Soph. Ryan Shuman
Sr. Jason Murphy
Jr. Brandon Gore
RS Fr. or Soph. Brandon Holland
RS Fr. or Soph. Matt Welsh
Sr. Jimmy Martin
Sr. Chris Pannell
Sr. Reggie Butler
Jr. Brandon Frye
RS Fr. or Soph. Nick Marshman
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. Tech has done an excellent job filling the need with three talented commitments – Norris, North, and Wang.
All three are versatile, athletic prospects who could move around the line if needed. Tech is involved with
several more top prospects on the offensive line, and I believe they’ll take at least one more player. Pat Sheil
is likely the top remaining target on the board.
Crouch, Chris DeGeare (offer per Insiders,com), Dennis
OL Commitments – 2
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
Norris will easily qualify.
Antonio North, 6-4,
310, North Stafford (Stafford, VA)
The Skinny: North chose Virginia Tech over NC State on June 28th, ending a long process where those
two schools were the finalists for quite some time. North, who is projected as a guard, is an excellent addition to
the Hokies offensive line.
"Tony has good footwork and tremendous power at the point of attack," North Stafford Head Coach Eric
Cooke said. "He moves well. He plays offensive guard for us, and we use him a lot to pull and in sweeps. He
moves really well in open space. We can move or pull him on either side."
A good student, North will easily qualify.
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.
Curtis Crouch, 6-6,
320, E E Smith (Fayetteville, NC)
Offers: East Carolina, Clemson, NC State, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Virginia, Virginia Tech
The Skinny: According to EE Smith Head Coach Milton Butts, Curtis does not have any strong favorites right now.
Other reports have Tech in Crouch’s top 5.
"I asked him [if he had any favorites] and he said ‘not really,’" Butts said in a July 1st
update. "He wants to go somewhere where they’ll take care of him. There is no one favorite right now. We’ll
sit down when he’s ready and try and narrow his list to five."
According to Butts, most programs are recruiting Curtis as an offensive tackle.
Dennis Landolt, 6-5,
275, 4.87, Holy Cross (Delran, NJ)
Offers: Landolt holds 17 offers. All of his favorites have offered.
Favorites: North Carolina, Northwestern, Penn State, Virginia, Virginia Tech and West Virginia among others.
Camps: Elite College Combine in New Jersey
The Skinny: Landolt enjoyed his unofficial visit to Virginia Tech earlier this summer, propelling the Hokies into
the thick of this recruiting race. Landolt has liked Penn State since the beginning but now says he does not have a
leader. I still believe the Nittany Lions will be a strong contender until the end, but Landolt will probably make
some official visits now before committing. Tech is in decent shape to land an official visit.
Garrett Reynolds, 6-7,
250, Carter (Knoxville,TN)
Offers: Clemson, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, North Carolina, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, Vanderbilt
Favorites: Clemson, Virginia Tech
Camps: Virginia Tech
The Skinny: Garrett listed Clemson and Virginia Tech as his 2 favorites earlier this week. Georgia Tech was
number 3. Reynolds says he would like to make official visits during the season, but is not sure who he will visit
or when he may have a decision. He seems to like both Clemson and Tech a lot right now. Official visits to these
places could be the difference.
Pat Sheil, 6-7, 260,
Centreville (Clifton, VA)
Offers: Close to 20 offers. All of his favorites have offered.
Favorites: Boston College, Georgia, Virginia and Virginia Tech lead Miami, Nebraska, Oklahoma
Camps: Nike Camp in Charlottesville, Virginia Tech
The Skinny: Sheil now lists a top 4 of Boston College, Georgia, Virginia and Virginia Tech. He probably will make
some official visits before committing. Assuming he takes at least 4, I’d expect the above 4 favorites to each get
official visits. Right now, every team has a legitimate shot.
Jon Walko, 6-6, 295,
Seneca Valley (Germantown, MD)
Offers: Clemson, Kent State, Marshall, Purdue, Syracuse, Temple, Virginia Tech, West Virginia
Favorites: Clemson, Virginia Tech, West Virginia
The Skinny: Walko lists Clemson, West Virginia, and Virginia Tech as his top three right now.
"I would say my top three is Clemson, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia, just for the fact that these are the
places I’ve been to and I liked all of them so far," Walko said in July. "Every school is now in the
running still, but as of now these three have stood out just a little bit. They are all equal."
He may not need to make any official visits before making his decision but hopes to attend a game for each
"Yeah definitely," Walko said when asked if he wanted to see a game atmosphere from each of these
schools. "I truly believe that will be the deciding factor for me. I’m looking forward to seeing if Clemson
is as good as people say and if Virginia Tech and West Virginia are as good as people say. I want to see all
Walko seems to like all three schools equally, and it looks extremely possible his final choice will be among
these three. His parents favor Clemson but are letting him make the final decision.
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