2005 VT Recruiting War Room #3: Offense
by Chris Horne, 7/16/04

Since the last Offensive War Room, Tech added one of their top offensive line targets in North Stafford’s Antonio North. North’s commitment gives Tech four commitments for the offensive side of the ball. Three of those commitments are for the offensive line, which is considered a need area in this year’s class. Fullback was considered a need as well, and the Hokies landed a good one in Kenneth Jefferson.

For the remaining scholarships, look for Virginia Tech to try and land at least one quarterback, one running back, and at least one more offensive line prospect. Quarterback has become an especially key area with the uncertainty surrounding Marcus Vick. With the amount of offers they had out to quarterback prospects, it appears Tech wanted to land one beforehand anyway. The recent events make landing a quarterback all the more important. Tailback is another area of need. With three seniors on the roster in 2005, landing at least one quality tailback is very important. Virginia Tech is involved with many top quarterbacks and running backs and should be able to land at least one for each spot.

In the early going, Virginia Tech has landed some of their top targets at each position. Now they can focus on top targets and filling needs at quarterback and running back.

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, Todd Nolen

· TE’s: James Dray, Jonathan Hannah

· OL: Curtis Crouch, Dennis Landolt, 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. Jon Walko has been updated below.


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 with 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.

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)
Offers: Florida (Ath), Illinois, Maryland, Michigan (Ath), Michigan State, Nebraska (WR), North Carolina, Syracuse, Virginia Tech (QB)
Favorites: Florida, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina, Virginia Tech

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 an update last month. "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)
Offers: Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Virginia, Virginia Tech, West Virginia
Camps: Maryland
Favorites: None

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 school’s 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 in an interview last month. “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 up 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)
Offers: Missouri, Syracuse, Virginia, Virginia Tech
Camps: Nike Camp in Charlottesville
Favorites: Virginia Tech, Virginia

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
Camps: Clemson, Florida State, NC State, Texas
Favorites: Clemson, Florida State, NC State, Virginia Tech

The Skinny: Sexton paid a visit to Blacksburg earlier this month 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 in my opinion.

Ike Whitaker, 6-4, 200, 4.5, Northwest (Germantown, MD)
Offers: Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, NC State, Penn State, Syracuse, Virginia, Virginia Tech, West Virginia
Camps: Maryland, Nike Camp in Charlottesville
Favorites: Maryland?, Virginia Tech? (question marks because those are the rumored favorites – still trying to reach Ike for an update)

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.

Sources say Virginia Tech is looking strong here, however the recent Florida offer could shake things up.

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
Favorites: None

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, giving schools and recruiting analysts alike a better idea of where he may be leaning. Coach Houchens felt it could be in June, however it now appears it may be more towards late August.



2005 Losses to Eligibility

2005 Roster

2005 Commitments


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.

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)
Offers: Over 20 scholarship offers
Camps: Nike Camp in Charlottesville
Favorites: North Carolina, NC State, Virginia over Tennessee, Virginia Tech

The Skinny: Though he didn’t come out and say it directly, Baker seems to favor NC State, UNC, and UVa over Virginia Tech and Tennessee. He has less knowledge of Tech and Tennessee, which may be a big reason why those two are trailing at the moment. Tennessee may be the longest shot here because Baker expressed a preference to play in the ACC. I’ve heard consistently that UNC and NC State will be very tough to beat. Baker, who respects Tech’s tailback tradition, does not know much else about Virginia Tech but doesn’t know if he’ll make a visit to Blacksburg.

“I can’t really say [if NC State, UNC, and UVa are ahead of Virginia Tech and Tennessee],” Baker said. “I can’t say because I haven’t been to Virginia Tech or Tennessee like I’ve been to the other schools. I haven’t decided if I will visit those schools or not. I know I would like to play in the ACC. I mean the SEC is a good conference, but the personally I think the ACC is now the best conference in the country.”

Tech must get another visit, either official or unofficial, from Baker in order to have a good chance. If he visits, obviously anything can happen.

James Davis, 6-0, 207, 4.4, Douglass (Atlanta, GA)
Offers: Davis has over 30 offers: Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Georgia, Georgia Tech, LSU, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, among others.
Favorites: None

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.

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, Virginia Tech are the rumored favorites.

The Skinny: Lewis claimed no favorites in a recent update, but most believe 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)
Offers: Auburn, Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Maryland, North Carolina, NC State, South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech
Camps: Duke, North Carolina, NC State, Virginia Tech
Favorites: NC State and 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 earlier this week. “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, Notre Dame, Virginia, Virginia Tech
Other interest: Georgia, Florida, Tennessee
Camps: Georgia
Favorites: None

The Skinny: Pitts has been offered officially by UVa, VT, Notre Dame and UNC. North Hall coach Bob Christmas, who coached at Jefferson Forest in Virginia, 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)
Offers: Florida (only official offer, possibly due to academics)
Other Interest: Auburn, Clemson, Georgia, Florida State, Maryland, Nebraska, Virginia Tech
Favorites: None

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

2005 Roster

2005 Commitments


Soph. John Kinzer
RS Fr. or Soph. Mike Green
Sr Mike Perlozzo
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.

Will easily qualify.

FB Targets - Finished



2005 Losses to Eligibility

2005 Roster

2005 Commitments

Richard Johnson

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

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.

Targets: Geron James, Todd Nolen


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
Camps: NC State, Virginia Tech
Favorites: Georgia Tech and 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.

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

2005 Roster

2005 Commitments

Jared Mazzetta

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


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 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)
Offers: Boston College, Connecticut, Iowa, Nebraska, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Stanford, Virginia Tech
Favorites: None

The Skinny: Dray appears to be wide open among his double-digit offer list. He has not yet visited Virginia Tech.

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.
Camps: Clemson, NC State, Virginia Tech
Favorites: Virginia Tech has a slight lead over Clemson, Georgia, LSU (no offer), North Carolina, NC State, Oklahoma, Penn State

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 earlier this week. "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 see it."

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

2005 Roster

2005 Commitments

C Robert Ramsey
G James Miller
T Jon Dunn

Jr. Andrew Fleck
Jr. Danny McGrath
Jr. Mike Parham
Soph. Tripp Carroll
RS Fr. or Soph. Ryan Shuman
Sr. Will Montgomery
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

Robert Norris
Antonio North
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. 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.

Targets: Curtis Crouch, Dennis Landolt, Garrett Reynolds, Pat Sheil, Jon Walko


OL Commitments – 2

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

The Skinny: Norris committed just a week after teammate Kenny Jefferson verbaled 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.

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.

OL Targets

Curtis Crouch, 6-6, 320, EE Smith (Fayetteville, NC)
Offers: East Carolina, Clemson, NC State, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Virginia, Virginia Tech
Favorites: None

The Skinny: According to EE Smith Head Coach Milton Butts, Curtis does not have any strong favorites right now.

“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.
Camps: Elite College Combine in New Jersey
Favorites: Penn State leads North Carolina, Northwestern, Virginia, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia among others.

The Skinny: Penn State has the lead right now. Dennis likes the Nittany Lions and it wouldn’t be surprise to see him commit to them. He is, however, continuing to eye other schools and was at Virginia Tech yesterday. Penn State has the lead, but he is still very much considering other programs. I do feel the Nittany Lions will be tough to beat, however I will catch up with Dennis to find out his thoughts about Virginia Tech following the visit.

Garrett Reynolds, 6-7, 250, Carter (Knoxville,TN)
Offers: Kentucky, North Carolina, Virginia Tech
Other Interest: Clemson, Tennessee, Vanderbilt
Camps: Virginia Tech
Favorites: None

The Skinny: Have been unable to reach Garrett since his camp experience last weekend. Sources say he is pretty open at this point in the recruiting process, but I’ll find out more specific information very soon.

Pat Sheil, 6-7, 260, Centreville (Clifton, VA)
Offers: Close to 20 offers. All of his favorites have offered.
Camps: Nike Camp in Charlottesville, Virginia Tech
Favorites: Boston College, Georgia, Virginia Tech lead Miami, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Virginia

The Skinny: Pat will likely decide in the next month or two, and I feel the first three schools mentioned above are the three probably finalists (Sheil says he has not eliminated the rest of his top seven though). It’s too close to call right now.

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. “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 school.

“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 that.”

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.