2005 VT Recruiting War Room #8
by Chris Horne, 12/17/04

Editor's Note: The next recruiting war room will run in mid-January.

A big weekend starts today for Virginia Tech, which hosts 5-star defensive end Melvin Alaeze and Washington Post first-team all-Metro selection offensive line prospect Jon Walko and 3-star in-state linebacker Darryl Gresham.  5-star cornerback/running back Victor “Macho” Harris was scheduled to take an official visit but will reschedule his visit for January (according to Highland Springs head coach Scott Burton) because of an accident at his home earlier this week.  Macho suffered 3rd degree burns on his arms and minor burns on his face in putting out a kitchen fire (see today's Richmond-Times Dispatch article for details).  Harris is expected to make a full recovery. 

If Harris does go to Blacksburg, he could join Walko as recruits that could make their collegiate decision next week.  Alaeze will wait until the Army All-American Bowl to announce his decision while Gresham, who remains a “soft commit” to UVa, will announce his decision a week or two before Signing Day.   

Recent Developments

Virginia Tech has enjoyed an excellent three or four weeks, adding top recruits including Jahre Cheeseman, Sergio Render and Ike Whitaker during that span. Whitaker, who is now rated a 4-star prospect, is the dual-threat quarterback the Hokies coveted. Render is a very good defensive tackle prospect while Cheeseman, who has run a 6.68 in the 55 meters in track, brings speed and versatility to the team.

Players that Tech was recruiting that have decided to go elsewhere include… QB Cameron Sexton (UNC), CB Jordan Hemby (will decide b/t UNC and NCSU), DE Braxton Kelley (Kentucky. No official offer from VT) and Willie Harriott (PSU. No official offer from VT.)

Remaining month and a half

Tech now has 14 verbal commitments for the 2005 recruiting class, not counting 2004 holdovers Brandon Holland and Sam Wheeler. Both Holland and Wheeler are currently prepping at Hargrave Military Academy and both will likely have to stay there for one full year, through May 2005. I would look for Virginia Tech to take 5-7 more recruits in this year’s class, with adding another defensive end and another offensive lineman being the top priorities. Otherwise, they are waiting for the top prospects on their board. Right now, Virginia Tech is right at the top for a lot of their remaining prospects and is in position for an outstanding 2005 recruiting class.

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

· QB’s: Antonio Bass, Greg Boone

· RB’s: Toney Baker, James Davis

· WR’s: Geron James, Lavar Lobdell, J.C. Neal, Todd Nolen (Note: Derrick McPhearson has been offered by Virginia Tech once again. I’m trying to reach him to confirm that he will be taking an official to VT or to see if he has truly solidified his commitment to Florida. Brandon Woods, a UVa commit, could also be talking to VT. I hope to clarify both of these situations shortly.)

· TE’s: Jonathan Hannah

· OL: Curtis Crouch, Garrett Reynolds, Jon Walko

· DE’s: Melvin Alaeze, Everette Brown, Hivera Green, Barry Turner, Dakota Walker

· DT’s: Luqman Abdallah, Jeffrey Owens

· LB’s: Darryl Gresham, Jerome Hayes, Derek Nicholson

· CB’s: Jamie Robinson, Stephan Virgil

· S’s/Rovers:

· Ath’s/JAth’s: Montario Hardesty, Victor Harris

"Tech’s Stock" Key…

· Very High – Tech is the favorite.

· High – Tech has landed an official visit and stands a good chance of being one of the final schools when decision time comes.

· Fair – Tech is in the mix but not at the top of the list. In the mix to land an official visit.

· Poor – Tech is on the outside looking in. A long shot at this point.



2005 Losses to Eligibility

2005 Roster

2005 Commitments

Bryan Randall

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

Ike Whitaker

Comments: The additions of Sean Glennon and Cory Holt give Virginia Tech two very good traditional pocket passers in the system. Recruiting-wise, the uncertainty surrounding Marcus Vick made landing at least one top QB a major necessity. They did that when Ike Whitaker chose the Hokies last month. Tech is in position to land another quarterback prospect in either Bass or Boone, although Boone is being looked at as a QB/Ath while Tech is eyeing Bass strictly as a QB at this point.

Targets: Antonio Bass, Greg Boone

QB Commitments – 1

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

The Skinny: Whitaker is a tough, hard-working prospect with a lot of potential. He shows tremendous arm strength with awesome athleticism. In addition to his athleticism, he has excellent size. Whitaker was bumped to a 4-star prospect following a fantastic senior season, when he earned Washington Post Offensive Player of the Year honors in leading his team to a state championship. Whitaker completed 157 of 262 passes for a school-record 2,586 yards, 28 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 2004. He also rushed for 432 yards and 10 touchdowns.

QB Targets

Antonio Bass, 6-1, 194, 4.4, Jackson (MI)
Contenders: LSU, Michigan, Michigan State, Vrginia Tech
Official Visits: Virginia Tech – 09/04/04, LSU – 11/12/04, Michigan – 12/03/04, Michigan State – 12/10/04
Leaders: Michigan, Virginia Tech
Tech’s Stock: High. It will be tough to get Bass out of Michigan, but Tech seems to have the best chance of any other school right now to do just that. Michigan State could also be a team to watch, but I feel Michigan is the favorite to land him right now. Tech is still in the picture though.

Greg Boone, 6-4, 250, 4.65, Oscar Smith (Chesapeake, VA)
Finalists: Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia Tech, West Virginia
Official Visits: Virginia Tech – 12/10/04, Maryland – 12/17/04, West Virginia – 01/14/05, UNC – 01/21/05
Leaders: None
Tech’s Stock: High. This decision will likely come down to VT, MD and UNC. It’s a close call right now, but I’d give Tech the slight edge at this point. Pitt is out after Walt Harris took the Head Coach position at Stanford. Right now, Boone says he wants to take all 4 official visits before announcing a decision.


2005 Losses to Eligibility

2005 Roster

2005 Commitments


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

Elan Lewis

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 was a need in this years class was big, and Tech hit it out of the park in landing Elan Lewis. Lewis is one of the top tailbacks in the country. Tech would save a spot for one of Baker or Davis and are in excellent shape with Davis at this point. If they land James, then it’s safe to say that VT would have landed one of the top RB crops in the country this year.

Targets: Toney Baker, James Davis

RB Commitments – 1

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

The Skinny: One of the most productive tailbacks in state of Virginia history, Lewis has a running style similar to former Hokie tailback Shyrone Stith but has more speed. Lewis is a natural runner with excellent vision and power. He is also an effective receiver out of the backfield.

RB Targets

Toney Baker, 5-10, 220, 4.4, Ragsdale (Jamestown, NC)
Finalists: North Carolina, N.C. State, Tennessee, Virginia, Virginia Tech
Official Visits: N.C. State – 12/03/04
Leaders: None named, but many feel that N.C. State has taken the lead over UVa.
Tech’s Stock: Fair/High. Baker indicated that he may take in a Tech bowl practice before making a decision. The Hokies haven’t been eliminated, although N.C. State and UVa appear to be a solid top 2 with many feeling N.C. State in the lead.

James Davis, 6-0, 205, 4.5, Douglass (Atlanta, GA)
Contenders: Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Georgia, Georgia Tech, LSU, Tennessee, Virginia Tech
Official Visits Set: Virginia Tech – 11/26/04, Alabama – 01/07/05, Clemson – 01/14/05
Leaders: Virginia Tech
Tech’s Stock: High. Davis had a great official visit to Virginia Tech and almost announced for them last week before deciding to make more visits. He has visits set to Alabama and Clemson, but right now I’d still consider Tech to be the leader.



2005 Losses to Eligibility

2005 Roster

2005 Commitments


Soph. John Kinzer
RS Fr. or Soph. Mike Green
Jr Jesse Allen
Soph Carlton Weatherford
RS Fr. or Soph. Billy Gorham

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.

After an outstanding senior season, Jefferson earned Super 44 Defensive Player of the Year honors and first-team all-metro honors at linebacker by the Washington Post. He finished the 2004 season with 128 tackles and 9 sacks on defense and was an outstanding blocker at fullback on offense.

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

FB Targets - Finished


2005 Losses to Eligibility

2005 Roster

2005 Commitments

Richard Johnson

Split Ends:
Sr. Chris Clifton
Jr. Michael Malone
Jr. Robert Parker
Soph. Justin Harper
Soph. Josh Morgan
Jr. David Clowney
Soph. Josh Hyman
RS Fr. or Soph. Jeremy Gilchrist
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. They have a decent to good shot with 3 of them (James, Neal and Nolen) and I’m not sure about Lobdell. Derrick McPhearson scheduled an official visit there but reportedly has firmed up his commitment to Florida. I hope to have more info on him soon.

Targets: Geron James, Lavar Lobdell, J.C. Neal, Todd Nolen

WR Commitments – 0

WR Top Targets

Geron James, 6-4, 178, 4.41, Ashley (Wilmington, NC)
Finalists: North Carolina, N.C. State, Virginia Tech
Official Visits: N.C. State – 12/10/04, UNC – 12/17/04, VT – 01/28/05
Leaders: None
Tech’s Stock: High. Geron doesn’t name a leader among his top 3. Tech has to hope he doesn’t decide between the in-state schools after this weekend’s scheduled visit to UNC.

Lavar Lobdell, 6-3, 195, 4.5, Christian Brothers Academy (Syracuse, NY)
Contenders: Miami, N.C. State, Pittsburgh, Southern California, Syracuse, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Wisconsin
Official Visits: West Virginia – 12/10/04
Leaders: None
Tech’s Stock: Fair. Lobdell is another prospect I hope to reach soon. Tech is reportedly being considered for an official visit, but I’m not sure of Tech’s standing right now.

J.C. Neal, 6-1, 180, 4.39, Lakewood (Sumter, SC)
Contenders: Clemson, Maryland, N.C. State, South Carolina, Virginia Tech
Official Visits: Virginia Tech – 11/26/04, Maryland – 12/03/04, South Carolina – 01/07/05, N.C. State – 01/14/05, Clemson – 01/21/05
Leaders: N.C. State
Tech’s Stock: High/Fair. I put fair because J.C. named N.C. State as his leader even after visiting Virginia Tech. We’ll see if VT can make up some ground in the final month and a half.

Todd Nolen, 6-3, 175, 4.5, Hampton (VA)
Finalists: North Carolina, Penn State, Virginia, Virginia Tech
Official Visits: Penn State – 01/14/05, UNC – 01/21/05, Virginia Tech – 01/28/05
Leaders: None
Tech’s Stock: High. Nolen was very close to selecting a school but felt like he needed to make official visits before making a final decision. If he had decided, the school would have likely been UVa. UVa is still in good shape but Nolen wants to visit his other 3 favorites to explore all options. Right now, all schools appear even.



2005 Losses to Eligibility

2005 Roster

2005 Commitments

Jared Mazzetta

Sr. Jeff King
Jr. Andrew Fleck
Soph. Duane Brown
RS Fr. or Soph. Maurice Reevey


Comments: Landing at least one good, versatile tight end prospect would be ideal for this class. Jonathan Hannah is the only tight end target seriously considering Virginia Tech right now.

Targets: Jonathan Hannah

Tight End Commitments - 0

Tight End Top Targets

Jonathan Hannah, 6-4, 255, 4.8, South View (Hope Mills, NC)
Contenders: Clemson, Florida State, Georgia, North Carolina, N.C. State, South Carolina, Virginia Tech
Official Visits: Clemson – 09/04/04, Virginia Tech – 10/01/04
Leaders: None
Tech’s Stock: High. Hannah enjoyed his official visit to Blacksburg. He will likely make all 5 official visits before announcing his decision. Hannah named VT as his leader earlier this summer, but has changed his favorites on several occasions since. He is even among all of the contenders right now.


2005 Losses to Eligibility

2005 Roster

2005 Commitments

G James Miller
T Jon Dunn

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

Antonio North
Ed Wang
Robert Norris

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.

Targets: Curtis Crouch, Garrett Reynolds, Jon Walko

OL Commitments – 3

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 4-year starter, North earned all-Commonwealth District and all-Northwestern Region honors for his senior year. He was also named to the Washington Post all-metro first team.

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. Ed earned 2004 Gatorade Player of the Year honors for his senior year performance.

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.

OL Targets

Curtis Crouch, 6-6, 320, E E Smith (Fayetteville, NC)
Contenders: East Carolina, Clemson, N.C. State, Oklahoma, Virginia Tech
Official Visits: Oklahoma – 11/12/04
Leaders: None
Tech’s Stock: High/Fair. Tech is listed in the top 4 and Crouch says he wants to take a visit there. N.C. State and Oklahoma may be tough to beat, but it appears that Tech will get their shot.

Garrett Reynolds, 6-7, 250, Carter (Knoxville,TN)
Finalists: Nebraska, North Carolina, Virginia Tech
Official Visits: Virginia Tech – 11/26/04, UNC – 12/03/04, Nebraska – 01/14/05
Leaders: None named.
Tech’s Stock: High. Reynolds was impressed with the VT coaches during his camp experience this summer. He seemed to enjoy his official visit to Virginia Tech and will likely decide between Virginia Tech and UNC.

Jon Walko, 6-6, 295, Seneca Valley (Germantown, MD)
Finalists: West Virginia, Virginia Tech
Official Visits: West Virginia – 12/10/04, Virginia Tech – 12/17/04
Leaders: Virginia Tech, West Virginia
Tech’s Stock: High. Walko will make his decision between West Virginia and Virginia Tech following this weekend’s official visit to Blacksburg. He says it’s a "50/50 draw" right now between the two schools. There is no timetable on a decision, but it will likely be around Christmas time.


2005 Losses to Eligibility

2005 Roster

2005 Commitments

Jim Davis
Bob Ruff

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

Steven Friday
William Wall

Comments: Friday gives Virginia Tech a very good prospect at defensive end. Wall has really come on at Hargrave and now projects as an excellent defensive end prospect that could move around the line. They are heavily in the mix for a lot of the prospects below and hope to land at least 1 of these players in the class.

Targets: Melvin Alaeze, Everette Brown, Barry Turner, Dakota Walker Hivera Green

DE Commitments – 2

Steven Friday, 6-5, 215, 4.7, Phoebus (Hampton, VA)

The Skinny: Friday had an astounding 27 QB pressures and 17 sacks last season as a junior, earning himself first-team all-state honors. He needs to add weight on the next level but has the fire and athleticism to be a great defensive end in college.

William Wall 6-3, 258, 4.6 H.D. 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 lineman with excellent athleticism for a player his size. He played wide receiver for HD Woodson as well, a testament to his athletic prowess. At Hargrave, Wall has really come on and impressed many onlookers with his determination, fire and athleticism. He’s turning into a terrific prospect.

DE Top Targets

Melvin Alaeze, 6-2, 270, 4.7, Randallstown (Randallstown, MD)
Finalists: Maryland, Virginia Tech
Official Visits: Maryland – 12/10/04, Virginia Tech – 12/17/04
Leaders: None
Tech’s Stock: High. Alaeze will announce his decision during the January 15th All-American Bowl. His decision is down to Maryland and Virginia Tech. Maryland was thought to be the favorite about a month ago, but Virginia Tech is right there and this will be close.

Everette Brown, 6-3, 230, 4.6, Beddingfield (Wilson, NC)
Finalists: Florida State, North Carolina, N.C. State, Virginia Tech, possibly Georgia
Official Visits: Florida State – 12/03/04, North Carolina – 01/14/05, Virginia Tech – 01/21/05
Leaders: None
Tech’s Stock: High. It looks like Brown will decide among FSU, N.C. State, UNC and VT. UNC and VT may have the edge due to distance from home, which appears to have become a factor. Brown likes Tech’s program, opportunity for playing time and their Business program, but this promises to be another close race that Tech is right in the mix for.

Barry Turner, 6-3, 230, 4.6, Brentwood Academy (Nashville, TN)
Contenders: Auburn, Florida, Miami (Fl), Nebraska, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech.
Official Visits: Nebraska – 10/15/04, 01/14/05
Leaders: None
Tech’s Stock: Fair/High. It’s tough to determine if Turner has any favorites, although he has visited Nebraska and set an official to Virginia Tech. Virginia Tech is in the mix for an official visit. Not exactly sure of where the Hokies stand on his list right now though.

Dakota Walker, 6-3, 225, 4.55, Oakcrest (Mays Landing, NJ)
Finalists: North Carolina, Purdue, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia Tech
Official Visits: Purdue – 10/22/04, North Carolina – 12/03/04, Tennessee – 12/10/04, South Carolina – 01/14/05 Virginia Tech – 01/21/05
Leaders: None.
Tech’s Stock: High. Walker recently re-opened his recruiting process after originally committing to Rutgers. He has taken 3 official visits and has a visit scheduled South Carolina and with Virginia Tech on January 21st. Tough to tell which schools he’s eyeing the most right now.

Hivera Green, 6-5, 255, 4.8, Conway (Conway, SC)
Contenders: Clemson, Ohio State (no offer), Oklahoma (no offer), South Carolina, Virginia Tech
Official Visits: South Carolina – 01/07/05, Clemson – 01/14/05, Virginia Tech (no date set)
Leaders: Clemson, Virginia Tech
Tech’s Stock: High. Virginia Tech is still hanging in there atop his list, however Clemson has now joined the Hokies up there. South Carolina is interesting because Green seems very intrigued about Spurrier being the Head Coach. Official visits will be huge here.


2005 Losses to Eligibility

2005 Roster

2005 Commitments

Jason Lallis
Kevin Lewis

Sr. Tim Sandidge
Sr. Jonathan Lewis
Soph. Barry Booker
Soph. Kory Robertson
Soph. Carlton Powell

Sergio Render

Needs: With Carl Howard exiting the program, Tech could use 1 or 2 defensive tackles in this year’s class. Landing Render was a nice addition to the program. Tech is heavily recruiting Abdallah and would take him if he wanted to come. Adding Abdallah to go along with Render would make this an excellent defensive tackle haul. Tech is recruiting and has landed an official visit from top prospect Jeff Owens, however appear to be below Georgia, FSU and Miami right now.

Targets: Luqman Abdallah, Jeffrey Owens

DT Commitments - 1

Sergio Render, 6-4, 290, Newnan (GA)

The Skinny: Render chose Virginia Tech a month after an excellent official visit experience. He wants to play defense, and Virginia Tech will give him a shot to play defense on the next level.

DT Targets

Luqman Abdallah, 6-4, 303, 5.0, The Hun School (Princeton, N.J.)
Finalists: Miami, Michigan State, Rutgers, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest
Official Visits: Rutgers – 12/03/04, Michigan State – 12/10/04, Miami – 12/17/04, Wake Forest – 01/07/05, Virginia Tech – 01/21/05
Leaders: None
VT Stock: High. Tech has made the final list here. Abdallah lived in Virginia for 4 years, which may give Tech a boost. He wants to make all 5 visits before announcing a decision.

Jeffrey Owens, 6-3, 265, 4.7, Plantation (FL)
Finalists: Georgia, Florida State, Miami, Oklahoma, Virginia Tech
Official Visits: Georgia – 11/26/04, Virginia Tech – 12/10/04, Oklahoma – 12/17/04, Miami – 01/21/05, Florida State – 01/28/05
Leaders: Georgia
VT Stock: Fair. Owens made an official visit to VT last weekend, but it appears that the Hokies are still behind Georgia and possibly the two Florida schools in the race for his services.



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
Soph. Brett Warren
RS Fr. or Soph. Andrew Bowman
RS Fr or Soph Purnell Sturdivant

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.com’s #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 he’s on defense, he has excellent athletic potential. Currently, he’s listed at tight end, but we’ll have to see.

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

Targets: Jerome Hayes, Derek Nicholson, Darryl Gresham,

LB Commitments – 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 I’ve 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 can’t teach. He also has tremendous athletic ability. Nebraska’s coach called him a Lawrence Taylor-type player. He’s obviously not as big, but he makes the same type of plays sideline to sideline as well as getting to the quarterback."

As a senior, the state’s top linebacker and all-state performer had 105 tackles, 21 tackles-for-loss, 8 sacks and 6 forced fumbles heading into the state semifinals. He has earned Beach District Defensive Player of the Year the past two years. He was named to the all-Tidewater first-team at linebacker each of the last two years.

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. "He’s our fastest sprinter. He runs a 4.5, but we’ve 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 he’s 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.

In his senior season, Taylor averaged 10 tackles per game, forced 5 fumbles and had one interception. He earned first-team all-Beach district honors as a running back and linebacker and first-team all-Tidewater honors as a linebacker.

LB Top Targets

Jerome Hayes, 6-2, 225, 4.6, Bayonne (Bayonne, NJ)
Contenders: Hayes has 25 scholarship offers, including Boston College, Maryland, Miami, Michigan, Penn State, Rutgers, Syracuse, Virginia, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia.
Official Visits: Florida – 10/08/04, Rutgers – 12/03/04, Michigan State – 12/10/04, Miami – 12/17/04, Rutgers
Leaders: None
Tech’s Stock: Poor/Fair. Tech is vying for the 5th and final official visit, if Hayes decides to take one.

Derek Nicholson, 6-2, 228, 4.55, Mount Tabor (Winston-Salem, NC)
Contenders: Clemson, Florida State, Georgia, Miami (Fl), North Carolina, Virginia Tech
Official Visits: Virginia Tech – 11/26/04, North Carolina – 12/03/04, Florida State – 01/28/05
Leaders: Florida State, North Carolina, Virginia Tech may be the primary contenders
Tech’s Stock: High/Fair. Tech landed an official visit and it went well. But UNC and Florida State will be tough to beat. Many still believe that Florida State is in the driver’s seat, but Virginia Tech will be one of the finalists.

Darryl Gresham, 6-3, 230, 4.68, William Fleming (Roanoke, VA)
Contenders: Clemson, Florida, Tennessee, Virginia, Virginia Tech
Official Visits: Virginia – 12/10/04, Virginia Tech – 12/17/04, Florida – 01/14/05, Tennessee – 01/21/05
Leaders: Virginia (soft commit)
Tech’s Stock: Fair/High. Gresham still considers himself a Virginia commitment, but he is considering Tech, Florida and Tennessee as well right now. He is very likely to make at least 4 visits before announcing a final decision.



2005 Losses to Eligibility

2005 Roster

2005 Commitments

Eric Green

Sr. Jimmy Williams
Jr. Chris Caesar
Jr. Brian McPherson
Soph. Roland Minor
Soph. Brandon Flowers
Soph. DJ Parker
RS Fr. or Soph. Theodore Miller

Dorian Porch

Needs: Virginia Tech lost former West Charlotte star Rod Council to Louisville, which increases the need for at least one cornerback in this year’s class. Tech is involved with several good prospects right now, and is in very serious contention for each of them. Dorian Porch was a solid get to start off the cornerback recruiting. He is athletic and fast, kind of similar to D.J. Parker coming out of high school. Jahre Cheeseman could easily end up at cornerback as well and Tech is still targeting Robinson and Virgil.

Targets: Jamie Robinson, Stephan Virgil

CB Commitments – 1

Dorian Porch, 5-11, 180, 4.4, Gordon Central (Calhoun, GA)

The Skinny: Porch possesses 4.4 speed in the 40. A good leader, he is the quarterback for his team and plays defensive back as well. He projects as a cornerback on the next level, but could also play wide receiver.

Dorian had thought about taking a visit to Tennessee earlier this year, but re-affirmed his commitment to Virginia Tech last week. He appears very excited to be a Hokie, and will take an official visit to Blacksburg on the weekend of November 26th.

CB Top Targets

Jamie Robinson, 6-1, 185, 4.5, Rock Hill (Northwestern, SC)
Contenders: Clemson, Florida State, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia Tech
Official Visits: Florida State – 01/07/05
Leaders: Florida State
Tech’s Stock: High/Fair. Tech is high on Robinson’s list, but not as high as childhood favorite Florida State. Tech has some work to do to overcome the Seminoles.

Stephan Virgil, 5-11, 165, 4.4, Rocky Mount (NC)
Contenders: Clemson (no offer), North Carolina, South Carolina (no offer), Virginia Tech
Official Visits: Virginia Tech – 10/01/04, North Carolina – 12/10/04
Leaders: North Carolina, Virginia Tech
Tech’s Stock: High. Virgil had a good visit to Tech, but did take a visit to UNC as well. Could be tough to land him from North Carolina, but certainly not out of the question.


2005 Losses to Eligibility

2005 Roster

2005 Commitments

FS Mike Daniels
FS Vince Fuller
ROV James Griffin

Free Safety:
Soph. Corey Gordon
Sr. Cary Wade
Sr. DJ Walton
Soph. Brenden Hill
RS Fr or Soph Kent Hicks

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 year’s class.


Safety/Rover Commitments – 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


2005 Commitments: Jahre Cheeseman

2005 Targets: Victor Harris, Montario Hardesty


Ath/JAth Commitments – 1

Jahre Cheeseman, 5-9, 175, 4.37, Eastern (Voorhees, N.J.)

The Skinny: Jahre chose Virginia Tech after taking official visits to Tech and Penn State. Very fast, Cheeseman excels in the 55 meter dash in track and has been timed at 4.37 in the 40-yard dash. He is being recruited as an "athlete’ by Virginia Tech, so he could end up at RB, CB or maybe WR.

Ath/JAth Targets

Victor Harris, 6-0, 180, 4.46, Highland Springs (Highland Springs, VA)
Possible Positions: CB, RB
Contenders: Michigan, Southern California, Virginia, Virginia Tech
Official Visits: Southern Cal – 10/15/04, Michigan – 10/29/04, Virginia – 12/03/04, Virginia Tech – 12/17/04
Leaders: None named.
Tech’s Stock:  High.  Tech will be Macho’s final official visit, when he takes it in January.  As of right now, he’s still scheduled to announce his decision next Tuesday with Tom Lemming on ESPN.com.  He had a great visit to Michigan and a great visit to UVa, but I’ll stick with my feeling that he’ll choose VT in the end.

Montario Hardesty, 6-1, 197, 4.39, New Bern (NC)
Possible Positions: RB, DB, WR
Contenders: Clemson, North Carolina N.C. State, Nebraska, Tennessee, Virginia Tech
Official Visits: Nebraska – 10/01/04, Virginia Tech – 11/26/04, North Carolina – 12/03/04
Leaders: Tennessee, UNC
Tech’s Stock: High/Fair: Hardesty likes Tech, but Tennessee and UNC are the favorites right now. Hardesty may decide soon or he may decide to take an official visit to Tennessee before committing anywhere. Tennessee may be the favorite here.

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