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Now that the dust has settled temporarily on the recruiting trails, football fans everywhere are left with nothing to do but while away the time from now until the start of spring practice. However, with the lull of the offseason just getting started, we can take a look at Virginia Tech's 2005 recruiting class and see that it was a success. The Virginia Tech coaching staff did an outstanding job in finding players that will fill positions of need.
With three-quarters of the starting secondary departing, Tech needed to sign some defensive backs in this class. The Hokies had great success in this area, signing the number one player in the state of Virginia, Victor "Macho" Harris. Harris is the headliner for this very strong class and is rated by all the scouting services as one of the top cornerbacks in the nation. Tech also landed defensive backs Dorian Porch and Stephan Virgil, from Georgia and North Carolina respectively. Cam Martin, a safety prospect from Danville, VA, rounds out the group. Martin was one of the top 15 prospects in the state of Virginia.
Other positions of need were offensive line and defensive line. Tech faired very well at these positions as well, signing enough offensive linemen to constitute an entire starting lineup. The headliner of the group is Antonio North, ranked #12 in Virginia by Techsideline.com. The Hokies also signed 5 defensive linemen, headed by defensive ends William Wall and Steven Friday.
The Hokies also match up very well with the recruiting classes that were signed by other ACC schools.
Taking a look at the table above, we see that the only two schools that ranked ahead of Virginia Tech in both the Rivals.com and Scout.com rankings were Miami and Florida State. That's nothing new; the 'Canes and 'Noles can be found at the top of the recruiting rankings every year, but that hasn't stopped the Hokies from knocking off Miami 7 of the last 10 years. In fact, it is a little surprising that Miami is ranked outside the Top 10 by Scout.com.
While the rankings above show how highly regarded this VT recruiting class is, Tom Lemming of ESPN.com gives the Hokies even more respect. He ranks Tech's class 10th in the nation. As a comparison, Lemming ranks Florida State 9th in the nation, which is tops in the ACC. So according to Lemming, the Hokies and FSU were neck and neck in recruiting this year, with FSU barely beating the Hokies to the finish line.
Now let's take a closer look at the other ACC schools, in alphabetical order:
Boston College--The Eagles signed 16 players, 7 of which play on the offensive or defensive lines. The headliners of the class are Pat Sheil, an offensive lineman from Clifton, VA, and Andre Jones, a cornerback from Avon, CT. Sheil is ranked #5 in Virginia by Techsideline.com, and BC did an outstanding job in getting him away from the instate programs.
Clemson--Tommy Bowden put a very good class together at Clemson this year. At the top of the Tigers' list is running back James Davis from Atlanta. Davis is one of the top running backs in the nation, and chose Clemson over schools such as Virginia Tech, Tennessee and Alabama. The Tigers signed a total of 25 players.
Duke--You have to be impressed with the recruiting job that Ted Roof did this year. The best player in this class is Vince Oghobaase, a five-star defensive tackle from Texas. Oghobaase chose Duke over Miami and Oklahoma, an amazing coup by Roof. Other highly touted players include defensive ends Ayanga Okpokowuruk and Clifford Respress, as well as quarterback Marcus Jones.
Florida State--Simply put, the rich just got richer. Bobby Bowden pulled off yet another Signing Day coup and FSU signed one of the top classes in the nation yet again. The jewels of the class are running back Antone Smith, wide receiver Fred Rouse and defensive tackle Callahan Bright. All rank as one of the top players at their respective positions in the nation.
Georgia Tech--On paper, this is a fairly disappointing class for the Yellow Jackets. Their top recruit is probably 3-star quarterback Jonathon Garner from Daytona Beach, FL. This recruiting class ranks next to last in the ACC.
Maryland--Overall this is a very nice class put together by Ralph Friedgen. The headliner is defensive end Melvin Alaeze, considered by many to be the best defensive end prospect in the country. Tech fans are familiar with him, as he nearly chose the Hokies over the Terps. Maryland also put together a good class at wide receiver and defensive back.
Miami--Yet another blue-chip filled class for the Miami Hurricanes. Their top recruit is arguably the top defensive back in the nation, Kenneth Phillips. Phillips hails from Miami, so the 'Canes obviously held the home field advantage for his services. Miami also landed Reginald Youngblood, one of the top offensive linemen in the nation.
North Carolina--The Tar Heels could have had a better class overall, but they finished fairly strong. They are bringing in a very good tailback prospect in Richie Rich, and quarterback Cameron Sexton had a nice list of offers.
NC State--Another good class brought to Raleigh by Chuck Amato. It is headlined by Toney Baker, a Virginia Tech target. Baker is one of the top tailbacks in the nation. The Wolfpack also bring in another highly touted tailback in Andre Brown. Amato also signed a talented a deep offensive line class.
Virginia--Al Groh managed to reel in another very good class to Charlottesville. The best player is offensive lineman Eugene Monroe, who is considered by many to be the top offensive lineman in the nation. Big time recruits Mikell Simpson, running back, and Mike Brown, defensive back, round out the class.
Wake Forest--Jim Grobe didn't exactly bring in a stable of All-Americans this year, but that is no different than any other year. Headliners of the class include cornerback Brandon Ghee, a Virginia Tech target, and tight end Ted Randolph.
The football up for grabs is the football being carried by Cedric Humes in the picture above, during Cedric's game-clinching 37-yard TD run against Virginia this past season. The ball was taken from the field -- "It still has dirt on it," yours truly was recently told -- and later signed by Virginia Tech coaches and players.
The ball is now being raffled off. Only 600 raffle tickets are being sold, and each ticket costs $100. To make things even better, the cost of your raffle ticket is tax-deductible as a charitable donation to Brain Injury Services of SWVA and Brain Injury Services, Inc.
These two organizations are the only two case management programs serving kids with brain injuries in the state of Virginia. The services needed by brain injury survivors are scarce, and these two programs make a difference in people's lives. Proceeds from the raffle will be used to fund desperately-needed case managers at these two organizations.
Interested? Here are the details:
The Virginia Tech football
program and head coach Frank
Beamer (click the link to see a letter written by Beamer) are behind this effort to raise much-needed funds. Buy your ticket
and get your chance at winning the football pictured above!
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|TechSideline.com Updates From the Past Week|
Another Signing Day Has Come and Gone
Surging Hokies Continue to Impress
Grab Big Road Win at Miami, 73-63
Sign 24 Recruits to Letters of Intent
Preview: Virginia Tech at Miami
A Gym Rat's Notebook: Run DGC
Auto Parts Hokie Hotline Notes for 1/31/05
Devils, Referees Make Short Work of Hokies, 100-65
Preview: Virginia Tech at #2 Duke
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