The recruiting year is about a third of the way over now and the Hokies already have 9 commitments currently in the 2010 class. The coaches have done a great job wrapping up in-state talent early and finding their two signal callers of the future early on as well.
Frank Beamer and company has also locked up their top two targets for this class, Zack McCray and Nick Acree, before the summer has even began.
So with the June 6th camp now come and gone, let’s look at the class of 2010 and see what positions and players the coaches will have to pursue over the next 8 months.
The Hokies missed out on the number one player in the state of Virginia this year in Phillip Sims but honestly, the Hokies might have grabbed the second best quarterback in the entire Atlantic region in Ricardo Young. Obviously, where these kids rank is always debatable but you have to be impressed with Ricardo’s passing stats and the way he performs on film.
Mark Leal is committed for now but since he hasn’t visited Tech’s campus, I consider him more of a soft commit at the moment. However, with Hosley on the way up here this July, I don’t see Leal changing his mind. Leal seems to be a bit more polished but he’ll have to work on taking snaps from under center, which even though its something simple, that is a concern I have for Leal.
With both Leal and Young committed, the coaches will not honor another QB commitment in this 2010 class. Tech will, however, start pursuing some of the QB’s in this region for 2011. Lafante Thorougood, Everett Golson, and Christian Lemay are all rising juniors to keep an eye on. Tech will more than likely offer all three on September 1st, which is the first day you can offer a high school player officially for the 2011 class.
Midterm Grade: B
The only way this could have been an A is if the Hokies landed Phillip Sims. Young and Leal are capable QB’s that could develop into the next starting quarterback for Virginia Tech, hence why I give this position a B.
The Hokies currently have a log jam at running back and with David Wilson coming into the fold; I really don’t see Tech taking a running back in this class. But, with that being said, the coaches are pursuing a couple of kids that could play running back in college.
Zach Zwinak, a 4 star athlete out of Maryland, is a player the coaches are looking at. Some of you older Hokie fans may remember a BJ Zwinak who played at Tech alongside Bruce Smith. BJ is Zach’s father. Zach holds over 20 scholarship offers right now including on from VT, but it seems like he’s pretty open to anybody who wants to talk to him. Expect the talented athlete to visit Virginia Tech on June 19th.
Josh Furman is more of a pure athlete that could play any position on the field. Furman ran a sub 4.4 forty at the Scout camp he attended a few months ago, so he has the speed to play any skill position on offense as well as the size (6’3”, 195 lbs) to play safety or outside linebacker on defense. Furman has already visited Virginia Tech but could make a return trip sometime later this summer.
Dejor Simmons, a 5’8” running back out of Green Run High School, visited Virginia Tech for the June 6th camp but didn’t earn an offer. I don’t think Simmons will return for the July 11th camp, which means Tech probably won’t offer him. Dejor holds a UCONN, WVU, ECU, Marshall, and Duke offer so it appears that Simmons will more than likely head out of state.
I feel pretty confident in Virginia Tech’s standing with Zwinak and Furman; although I doubt either one will be a running back here at VT. Zwinak could be a fullback but since we don’t use the fullback a lot in our offense, I have a feeling he’ll probably get moved over to the MIKE linebacker position. Furman, on the other hand, will probably be a wide receiver or outside linebacker if he would commit to Virginia Tech.
Midterm Grade: C
Since this isn’t a position of need and we still have two big targets left on the board, there’s no real reason for this to be any lower than a C. If we land both Furman and Zwinak, the grade could go up depending on where the coaches slot them.
The Hokies missed out on their number one wide receiver target with Justin Hunter committed to LSU a few weeks ago. However, the coaches have managed to make another big time recruits top 5. James Louis (5’11”, 180 lbs) out of Delray Beach, Florida, will visit Virginia Tech on July 11th for Tech’s final summer camp. Louis has VT in his top five along with Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and Ohio State. With Jayron Hosley and Mark Leal on their way to Blacksburg, there is a good chance that Louis may join them. However, the coaches will know more about where they stand after Louis visits VT with Mark Leal on the 11th.
E.L. Smiling, a 6’4” 190 lbs recruit out of Stafford, VA, is probably Tech’s next biggest target at wideout even though Rivals has failed to give him a rating. Smiling currently only holds only a Virginia Tech offer, which is surprising given that he has an impressive highlight tape. On film, he reminds me a lot of Justin Harper, who is currently with the Baltimore Ravens. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Smiling to commit sometime later on this summer and if another school doesn’t pull the trigger, its pretty easy to predict where he’s going.
Brandon Coleman is a recruit Hokie fans will need to keep an eye on. Coleman is a 6’6”, 200 lbs receiver out of Maryland who has over 15 scholarship offers at this point. Tech is one of the schools to offer Coleman and it seems like there is some interest between the two parties. Brandon doesn’t have a top five but it seems like he doesn’t want to stray too far from home. Maryland, Boston College, UVA, and Virginia Tech are probably his top schools right now.
The coaches are definitely going after size since Tech has offered another 6’6” receiver in Matt James. James is out of Raleigh, North Carolina, and currently boasts eight scholarship offers from Air Force, Maryland, Syracuse, VT, Wake, WVU, ECU, and Navy. James is another recruit that also doesn’t want to stray too far from home as he is looking mostly at Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, and East Carolina. James will visit Virginia Tech sometime this summer but admits that he has not figured out a date yet.
There is a lot of size in the mid Atlantic region this year and it looks like the Virginia Tech coaches are trying to take advantage of that. With Logan Thomas and DJ Coles coming in this summer, the Hokies are going to have a serious height advantage at the WR position in the future; especially if they can land either Brandon Coleman or Matt James in the 2010 class as well.
Midterm Grade: C
Once again, since Tech doesn’t have a wide receiver committed yet, the grade is a C. The Hokies have a great shot at landing at least two talented wide receivers in this class so there’s no reason to panic yet.
Jerome Lewis shocked the Hokie Nation a few weeks back when he decided to go ahead and commit to Coach Hite even though he had yet to actually visit the campus. Lewis is solid though and will visit the campus in July for the summer camp on the 11th. Lewis is a versatile prospect that could player either tight end or defensive end, really depending on how other players develop. I think he’ll start out at tight end although he will have to bulk up some in order to improve his run blocking.
The coaches love to recruit a lot of quarterbacks and tight ends so I doubt Lewis is the last TE we take in this class. If you look back in recent history, Tech has done well with all the TE’s they’ve recruited even though most of them moved to other positions.
Ethan Farmer, a 6’2” 255 lbs recruit out of Tabor City, North Carolina, is most well known recruit left on the board for the 2010 class. Farmer holds over 15 scholarships including ones from Virginia Tech, Alabama, Clemson, Tennessee, Penn State, NC State, and UVA. Farmer seems open to pretty much everybody right now and could be a guy that waits a while before he even begins to think about committing. Farmer does not have a visit scheduled to Tech yet but I would imagine that he would drop by sometime this summer.
Neil Brasford, a 3 star recruit out of Florida, is another name to keep an eye on. Boasting over 10 scholarship offers, Brasford has seen his stock rise in the May Evaluation Period. The Hokies have offered but it does not appear likely that he’ll make a visit to Blacksburg anytime soon. Florida, Florida State, and Miami are more than likely his top three at the moment even though Florida has not offered yet.
Braxton Deaver is a bit on the thin side at 6’5” and 207 lbs, but he has the chance to grow into a solid tight end at the collegiate level. Deaver will camp at Virginia Tech on July 11th in hopes of earning a VT offer. Currently, the Charlotte recruit only holds offers from Wake Forest, East Carolina, and Marshall.
I’m going to throw Josh Lovell into this category but there’s a reason why he’s at the bottom of this list. Lovell will be an offensive tackle at the next level but he is a tight end in high school, which is why I decided to put him here and not on under the offensive line category. Lovell only has three offers from Maryland, South Carolina, and East Carolina but West Virginia and UVA have offered him verbally. Lovell will camp at Virginia Tech on July 11th and barring any setbacks on his grades, he has a good chance at earning a VT offer.
Midterm Grade: B+
Jerome Lewis was a big surprise and since we’ll probably add at least one more from the list above, this group is looking pretty good right now. If we strike out on tight ends over the next 8 months then this grade could go down a bit.
The coaches only signed two offensive linemen in the last class so Tech really needed to make a splash on the offensive line in this class and so far they have. Shuman is one of the 10 best offensive tackles in the country this year and Ferris is a capable lineman that has decided to greyshirt, just so he can spend the maximum time possible at Virginia Tech.
Even with those two guys committed, the Hokies really need to find another couple linemen in this class. I, personally, would love to see Tech take five OL’s in this class but I think they’re going to max out at four.
Matt Arkema has watched his stock soar over the past month as he gathered seven scholarship offers in the past month alone. Arkema currently holds an offer from Maryland, Northwestern, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech, Buffalo, Marshall, East Carolina, JMU, and Richmond. The Hokies are probably the team to beat for the three star linemen but Arkema is going to take his time and make some visits. He will stop by Virginia Tech on June 29th
Takoby Cofield, a three star out of Tarboro, North Carolina, is a player that is on the rise. He currently holds three scholarship offers from Duke, Wake Forest, and East Carolina but he’s receiving interest from over 20 other schools. The Tech coaches want to see him in person before they offer and it appears that Cofield will attempt to visit Tech for their July 11th camp.
Conner Davis has gathered a few more scholarship offers since we last checked in on him but the good news is that it still appears to be an in-state race for the three star offensive tackle prospect. Davis maintains that UVA is still the leader by a bit but the Hokies are definitely still in the race. Conner will try to make it up to the July 11th camp but that has not been made official yet.
Khamrone Kolb missed most of his sophomore season with an ACL injury and is trying to get back on track so he can start in his upcoming junior season. While rehabbing his knee, the talented offensive lineman has quietly gathered nine scholarship offers from the likes of Virginia Tech, UVA, Maryland, Illinois, UCONN, NC State, Penn State, and Syracuse. Kolb grew up a Tar Heels fan but claims that he likes the in-state schools as well. It is unclear when he will take any of his visits this summer.
Tech still has some options out there for offensive linemen since there are a few guys that will be at the July 11th camp that I did not list here but it seems like finding a 3rd and 4th lineman in this class could be fairly difficult. I feel good with where we’re at right now with Cofield, Kolb, Davis, and Arkema but the coaches will have to try to win some battles on the recruiting trail over the next couple of months.
Midterm Grade: B
Mark Shuman has the makings of quite possibly one of the best linemen we’ve ever had here and Ferris is a hard working, under the radar recruit that will shine after a few years of strength and conditioning work. If Tech can grab two or three more of the guys I listed above, the grade will definitely get bumped up to an A.