It's never to early to look towards the future when it comes to college football. For some teams, that's about the only thing they have to look at. However, for the Hokies, the future keeps getting brighter and brighter as the Tech coaching staff keeps rolling in top recruiting classes one right after another.
The 2011 class will be a smaller class, around 12 to 15 depending on attrition and whether or not anybody leaves early. But, the good news for Tech is they have a large amount of in-state talent to pull from, including several who will be guarenteed four or five stars come this time next year.
So without further adieu, let's take a look at some of the prospects that the Hokies will be eying for the 2011 recruiting class.
Callaway High School
Offers: Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, UNC, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia
Bray is another in the long line of great Georgia (the state of) running backs as it appears he'll be Rivals100 recruit come this time next year. Bray really hasn't started his recruiting process yet as he's only taken a few visits to some of the SEC schools but expect him to be on the move come the spring taking his rounds to a few colleges on the east coast. The Hokies haven't really recruited Bray very much as it appears the Tech coaching staff wants to see him in person before they put on the full-court press for this kid.
Springfield High School
Offers: Cincinnati, Duke, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Pittsburgh, Virignia Tech, andWest Virginia
Another national recruit that the Hokies have thrown their hat in the ring for is Trey Depriest. Although the Hokies have shown some interest it appears that Depriest's number one team, the Michigan Wolverines, will be a hard team to beat. He has already visited Michigan numerous times and it appears that he could be ready to commit this coming spring. If the Hokies can get him on campus then they have a chance but until that happens, Tech doesn't really have much of a chance here.
Hagerty High School
Offers: Auburn and Virginia Tech
2010 was a down year if you needed a quarterback but it seems like 2011 is going to make up for 2010 and then some. Jeff Driskel is another quarterback that the Hokies are going after for the 2011 class. Driskel has a big arm but he's also a pretty quick and agile runner as he was timed as a sub 4.5 guy this past spring. At 6'4", Driskel has the size the Hokies are looking for in a quarterback. So far, his recruitment hasn't blown up much and since Driskel was born into a military family he doesn't have any ties to one area. Expect Driskel to visit next summer for one of the Hokies summer camps.
Oscar Smith High School
Offers: No written offers
If you're a football junkie like me your probably sat at home on the last Firday night in August and watched Oscar Smith play Venice (Florida) on ESPNU. If you did, one of the one players that probably jumped out at you was Quintae Funderburke who had over 100 yards receiving in that game. For now, it appears that the Hokies are pursuing but Quintae may have to visit this summer in order to earn and offer. West Virginia, Maryland, UVA, UNC, and NC State are a few of the schools that have been in contact with the top 15 player in the state of Virginia.
Hermitage High School
Offers: Boston College, Maryland, Richmond, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia.
The state of Virginia has produced some pretty good linebackers over the years but Curtis Grant has the ability to be the highest ranked linebacker in the Rivals.com era. Grant was a member of the Rivals 100 to watch for 2011 that was published back during the summer. It's no secret that Curtis is one of the Hokies top priorities for the 2011 class as Tech was the first school to offer him (verbally) back in 10th grade. Grant has yet to name a leader or visit many schools but it looks like the Hokies are a concensus number one for the future four or five star linebacker.
Dinwiddie High School
Offers: no written offers
It's a little early to catagorize Hall as a quarterback since he is a little raw at that position but Chris has the ability to grow into a good college quarterback by the time he leaves which ever program he chooses. The Hokies have shown some interest early as Hall was on campus for the Miami game but no offer has been extended yet. I would expect Hall to attend the Junior day in February or the summer camp next summer if the Hokies haven't offered him by then.
Matthews, North Carolina
Butler High School
Offers: Florida, Florida State, Georgia, UNC, Tennessee, UVA, Virginia tech, Wake Forest, and West Virginia.
If your looking to find the number one quarterback prospect on the east coast well you might not have to stray too far from Blacksburg. Christian LeMay has wowed most of his scouts and has put his name in the running to be a five star prospect when the first 2011 ratings come out next spring. LeMay has been able to take a few trips including one to Georgia a few weeks ago. With his former teammates at Virginia Tech (Eddie Whitley and Jarrett Boykin) the Hokies could have a small advantage but LeMay has made it pretty clear that he wants to play in the SEC. Tech does have a chance if they can get him on campus a few more times (a birth in a national championship game couldn't hurt either) but right now it appears that LeMay is SEC bound.
Defensive End/Defensive Tackle
Dinwiddie High School
Offers: JMU, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, and UVA.
Corey Marshall made his first recruiting visit this past weekend to Blacksburg, Virginia to watch the Hokies blast Boston College. Marshall grew up a Virginia Tech fan and it's no secret that he's favoring the Hokies right now. With Tennessee and UVA both extending offers, Marshall may a take a few more visits but I wouldn't be too surprised to see him eventually commit either after the season or sometime this spring. With so few scholarships the Hokies need to bring in at least one defensive end and it looks like Marshall will be the number one defensive end recruit on their board for the 2011 class.
Newport News, Virginia
Menchville High School
Offers: Maryland, South Carolina, Tennessee Virginia, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia.
Every class seems to have one of these guys like Clifton Richardson who can play just about any position on the field. You can bulk him up and put him on the defensive line, put him at running back or wide receiver, or let him use his speed and patrol the skies in the defensive secondary. At 6'1", 200 lbs, and 4.4 speed it's easy to see why Richardson has so many early scholarship offers. As for his recruitment, Clifton hasn't spent too much time on the road yet visiting colleges so it's too early to say where any colleges stand for the potential four star recruit.
Phoebus High School
Offers: West Virginia
Caleb Taylor is going to be largely a regional recruit but look for his recruitment to sky rocket after he attends some camps this spring. Taylor's height, 5'11", will hold him back a little bit but any team that needs a strong outside linebacker will offer Caleb. He's receiving interest from Louisville, Syracuse, Virginia Tech, UVA, and NC State currently and has an offer from West Virginia. Taylor grew up a fan of the big schools : Miami, Texas, Virginia Tech and Penn State.
Osbourne Park High School
Offers: Duke, Maryland, Miami, NC State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Stanford, Tennessee, UCLA, Virginia, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia.
In my mind, Dominique Terrell is the number one recruit in the state for 2011 and the reasons are numerous. Terrell is easily the most athletic recruit to come out of the state since Percy Harvin back in 2006. Add that along with an impressive offer list and you have yourself the highest ranking in-state recruit this year. For the Hokies, this is the one player in 2011 you can't afford to let get away. Terrell would be a game changer at wide receiver, running back, or defensive back for the Hokies. He easily could be the best ever at any of those positions (especially WR since the Hokies have never had 1000 yard receiver). Terrell has taken a few recruiting visits but it doesn't appear that his recruitment will get going until after his junior season. Expect Terrell to be a high 4 or low 5 star when the first Rivals.com rankings come out in the spring.
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Ocean Lakes High School
Offers: UNC, Stanford, Tennessee, UVA, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia.
Ocean Lakes is clearly becoming a Virginia Tech pipeline with the Hokies grabbing two of the last three big prospects graduating from there. Thourogood looks like another player that could easily wind up at Virginia Tech. Lafonte visited earlier this season for the Miami game and was very impressed with the Hokies and even said that he would try to make it back for one of the Hokies remaining home games this year. Thourogood is a raw quarterback prospect but with his size, 6'4", he could grow into an exceptional quarterback in the right system.
Harrisonburg High School
Offers: Maryland, UNC, UVA, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia.
The state of Virginia has produced at least one four star wide receiver in every year of the Rivals.com era. In 2011, Landon Turner appears the most likely to continue that trend. Turner is a huge lineman at 6'4", 290 pounds and could be a Rivals100 member once the rankings come out in the spring. Currently, it appears that West Virginia is the team to beat for the talented lineman but the Hokies made a huge impression when he visited for the instant classic Virginia Tech vs Nebraska game. Turner is going to visit Georgia for the Arizona State game this season but after that Landon is done with visits. I wouldn't expect Turner to make a decision anytime soon but the Hokies need to get him back on campus a couple of times before the start of next season.
South County High School
Offers: BC, Maryland, Syracuse, and Virginia Tech
Lorton, Virginia doesn't produce a whole lot of division one athletes but they have a talented junior this season. Vandyke has become a regional recruit that's receiving interest from Penn State, Pittsburgh, USF, Florida State, Georgia, and a few other ACC teams as well as having offers from BC, Maryland, Syracuse, and Virginia Tech. Right now, the Hokies are probably the team to beat for the potential four star safety. Vandyke attended the spring game this past spring and will more than likely visit for the Hokies 2nd junior day this February.
Charlotte, North Carolina
Mallard Creek High School
Offers: Clemson, ECU, LSU, Maryland, UNC, NC State, Notre Dame, Stanford, South Carolina, UVA, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia.
The Hokies are pursuing a lot quarterback prospects in the 2011 class but Marquise Williams is the one that would clearly fit the Hokies scheme the best. Williams is a dynamic runner and has a bigger frame than most former Hokie quarterbacks (6'4", 220 lbs, 4.4). Williams was on campus for the Miami game a few weeks ago and came away very impressed at what Virginia Tech has to offer. Marquise grew up a Miami fan but has stated that he will choose the school that's right for him. Location will also play a factor in his recruitment as he doesn't want to stray too far from home. After his visit to the Miami game, I think the Hokies have a great shot at getting the sure-fire four star quarterback.