The IH is well aware that at the moment all focus is fixed on our suddenly surging hoops team. And rightfully so. My fat ass will be glued to the edge of my couch tomorrow night as Greeny leads the boys to yet another impressive ACC win. But let us not forget that this is a pivotal moment in the offseason for our football team.
National Signing Day, which the IH contends should be a national (if not religious) holiday, is one week away, and I think it's appropriate to pause between smoking the turkey legs and burning the tiger in effigy to take stock of what the Blacksburg recruiting machine was able to accomplish so far, and what other prospects are still out there.
With only a week left the 2009 recruiting class is essentially full. We have thus far received 20 verbal commitments (according to Rivals). That breaks down to seven offensive recruits, nine defensive recruits, three players listed as "athletes," one kicker, and a partridge in a pear tree. For those of you that, like the IH, are enamored with the inexact science of rating recruits, Rivals is claiming that VT is getting four 4-star recruits, thirteen 3-star recruits, and three 2-star recruits.
In short, another fine recruiting class by Beamer and company. Of course, Bud Foster will turn those 2 and 3 star defensive players into all-conference defenders, while Bryan Stinespring will turn his 3 and 4 star offensive talent into a high school jayvee squad, but what can ya do?
Taking a bit more in-depth look at things:
Biggest Get: Logan Thomas (WR/TE/QB/FS/ATH)
No question here. LT is the sort of football player that can play just about any position well. The five positions jokingly listed after his name are each legitimate projections from people whose job it is to figure out where a high school player will fit in at the next level. Rivals rated him as the #1 tight end in the country despite the fact that he hasn't lined up at that position in three years. His 6'6" size makes him a promising target, though his 4.65 time in the 40 doesn't make him much of a speed threat. A nice bonus with Thomas is that he played starting QB his junior and senior years of high school, making him a prime candidate to succeed Greg Boone in the Wild Turkey and gives Beamer and Stiney a legitimate "panic" QB should both Tyrod Taylor and Ju Ju Clayton go down to injury.
Biggest Miss: Kevin Newsome (QB)
Again, no question. Despite the whispers in Blacksurg that Ju Ju Clayton is showing promise to become a Bryan Randall-eque field general (fitting, ain't it, that with the comparisons between T-Mobile and Vick that Taylor's backup would be compared to Randall?) the fact remains that one of the most pressing needs in this recruiting class was a quality QB. Kevin Newsome was by no means a sure thing - out of the elite 11 he was unquestionably the one most rough around the edges. But Newsome shows great promise and will no doubt be an asset to JoePa in Happy Valley. There really was no reason for K-New not to pick VT. He grew up rooting for the Hokies and came out of high school that has long been on friendly terms with Frank Beamer. Oh, yeah, there is that little problem of a 107th ranked offense...
Biggest WTF?!?: Tony Gregory, Nubian Peak, and David Wilson (RBs)
How the HELL do we keep bringing in top-notch running backs? Do these people not realize they're going to be umpteenth on the depth chart, just by virtue of how many tailbacks we currently have? Tony Gregory was actually a holdover from the 2008 recruting class. He failed to make the cut academically and did a year at Fork Union. Nubian Peak is from nearby Pulaski, and is probably willing to wait to play for his favorite team. But the biggest head-scratcher is undoubtedly David Wilson, who is rated as the #4 running back in the nation. The IH is certainly not complaining, but with this embarassment of riches the IH can certain envision redshirts, moves to fullback or wideout, and potential transfers looming in the future.
Biggest Remaining Target: Jayron Hosley (CB)
Hosley is a Rivals 250 cornerback who would stand to be the next in a long line of great Hokie defensive backs. Virginia Tech has made Hosley's (extremely) short list. The only other school he is considering is South Florida. The problem there is that Hosley is from Delray Beach, Florida, so USF is much closer to home for him. And personally the IH finds trying to convince anyone to give up the beach to endure Blacksburg winters a hard sell. If Torrian Gray manages to lock down Hosley, however, that will make two top notch corners in this recruiting class, having already locked down 4-star prospect Jerrodd Williams.
Honorable Mention: Rene Howard (LB)
Howard also wins the "Where The Hell Did THIS Guy Come From?" Award. A 4-star prospect from Milford Academy in New Berlin, NY, Howard's name has only appeared on VT's target list in the last week. VT is the only school on his list, he does not have an offer from us and does not have a visit scheduled. If we can land a 4-star linebacker with no effort on our part, it's all good with the IH.
And Now For Something Completely Different: Tajh Boyd (QB)
Never a serious target for VT (Stinespring put all his eggs in Kevin Newsome's basket) Tajh Boyd wins the award for Most Schizophrenic Recruit. Having committed, at times, to both West Virginia and Tennessee, only to pull out of both schools, Boyd waited almost to the last minute to decide he was going to indeed matriculate at an ACC school, declaring he would become a Clemson Tiger. This pleases the IH to no end, knowing that we might get up to six chances to break the hopes and beat the crap out of this prick. Our offense might not have been up to snuff for you, Boyd, but let's see what you think of our defense.
We now return you to your regularly-scheduled basketball hysteria.
EDIT: Lansford Collins (LB) has made a decision
Lanford Collins, whom ebj believes would be a bigger get than Jayron Hosley, has made a verbal commitment, according to the Fredricksburg Free Lance-Star. In true late-decider fashion, however, Collins is keeping mum on his choice until National Signing Day. Let's keep our fingers crossed, people.
FBS Mission Statement:
We at FBS believe that offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring bears the largest share of the blame for years of sub-par output from some of the most talented players ever to set foot on Worsham Field. We believe the main objective of the VT football program - a national championship - will escape us as long as Stinespring is making the calls. We therefore advocate the improvement of our football program through the replacement of our offensive coordinator.