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|TSLMail Breaking News - January 31, 2005||
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Hokies Land Four Commitments After Big Visit Weekend
(Cordarrow Thompson, Hivera Green, Brent Bowden, Richard Graham)
by Will Stewart, TechSideline.com
Virginia Tech just finished their biggest recruiting weekend in terms of official visits, hosting 14 players in Blacksburg, and it resulted in four of the players who visited giving their verbal commitments to the Hokies: DE Hivera Green, DT Cordarrow Thompson, OL Richard Graham, and P Brent Bowden. The Hokie recruiting class now has 25 players in it, including 22 high school seniors and prep players William Wall, Brandon Holland, and Sam Wheeler -- click here for the complete list.
Green and Thompson represent important pickups for the Hokies, because they're big defensive linemen. As good as VT's recruiting class has been to this point, it was thin on big DLs, with DT/OL Sergio Render (6-4, 290) and DE/DT William Wall (6-3, 255) representing the only DLs over 250 previously in the class.
At 6-2, 312, Thompson is a true defensive tackle, arguably the only true DT in the class. Thompson originally committed to Syracuse, but when the Orange made a coaching change, firing long-time coach Paul Pasqualoni, Thompson (from North Stafford HS in Stafford, VA) opened his recruiting backup. New Syracuse coach Greg Robinson dragged his feet on getting in touch with Thompson, and the 3-star DT, ranked #20 in the state by TSL, will sign a letter of intent with the Hokies on Wednesday.
As a junior, Thompson tallied 52 solo tackles, 16 tackles-for-loss, and five sacks. As a senior, through 13 games, Thompson had 102 tackles, including 43 for loss, and nine sacks. He also rushed for two touchdowns as a fullback. Thompson was chosen the Defensive Player of the Year for both the Commonwealth District and Northwestern Region, and the Washington Post named him their All-Met Defensive Player of the Year.
3-star DE Hivera (pronounced HA-vee-air) Green stands 6-5, weighs 268, and is from Conway, SC, VT's first commitment from the Palmetto State for this year. The Hokies wrestled Green away from in-state Clemson and South Carolina. With his size, Green has the potential to add weight and be a defensive tackle, should the need arise.
Richard Graham entered the Hokies' recruiting list relatively late in the process. At 6-7, 250, Graham plays tight end for St. Christopher's in Richmond, Virginia but projects as an offensive tackle on the next level. The Hokies have been in contact with Graham for a couple months and have gotten serious lately, finally offering him a scholarship this weekend. Interesting nugget from a recent Graham update: He's buddies with (VT verbal commitment) TE Jonathan Hannah, so much so that Hannah called Graham the night before Hannah committed and Hannah text messaged Graham after Hannah committed.
Brent Bowden represents a rarity for Frank Beamer, and for many college coaches: a scholarship kicker. In the last ten years, the Hokies have only signed four kickers to scholarships: PK Shayne Graham (that worked out well), P Vinnie Burns (four-year starter), P Nic Schmidt (a work in progress who may start next year) and now Bowden.
Bowden finished the 2004 season with a 44-yard per punt gross average, a 37-yard net average, kicked 15 punts inside the 20-yard line and booted a long punt of 58 yards. He earned 1st-team all-Concorde district, 1st-team 6-AAA all-Region, 1st-team Journal Newspaper (Fairfax County), 1st-team Washington Post All-Metro and 1st-team All-State honors for his senior year performance.
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