Last July, in the summer before his junior year at Union High School (Union, N.J.), defensive line prospect Mike Tverdov traveled down to Blacksburg for a Virginia Tech one-day camp. A solid performance did not result in an offer but did catch the attention of defensive line coach Charley Wiles.
One week ago, the Virginia Tech coaches decided they had seen enough and offered a scholarship to the 6’4”, 235-pound prospect.
“Coach Wiles told me after camp that they’d evaluate me after my junior season,” Tverdov said. “They mailed me a ton of times. A week or two ago, coach Mitchell, the new defensive backs coach, tweeted me and said they loved everything about me. The following day he told me to call. I talked to Coach Mitchell and he offered. I spoke to coach Cantor, coach Wiles, coach Foster, and then I talked to coach Fuente. He said he thrives on guys like me, who focus on their development. Guys that want to get better and learn more about the game. That alone shows you he develops players. That’s the thing he did at Memphis.”
— Mike (@MikeTverdov42) July 26, 2015
Central Florida likes Union’s standout defender as a standup defensive end/outside linebacker, but most schools, including Virginia Tech, have offered Tverdov as a 5-technique defensive end.
“Really [the Virginia Tech coaches] just love the way I play and my motor,” said Tverdov, who racked up 75 tackles including 20 tackles for loss and seven sacks, had four pass deflections, two blocked kicks, and a defensive touchdown last season as a junior. “Virginia Tech is known for their defense. They don’t care if you’re tall, if you’re small, whatever. They don’t look at measurements so much. They don’t have the biggest guys, but they have don’t have to have the biggest guys. That’s why I like them.”
To date, last July’s camp is the only experience Tverdov has had at Virginia Tech. While no date has been set, he does plan to visit Tech sometime this spring or summer.
“I was primarily there for camp, but I saw the football facilities while I was there. The indoor facility is ridiculous. I can tell it’s a true college football town,” Tverdov said, recalling his first experience in Blacksburg.
“I always knew about Virginia Tech,” Tverdov answered when asked how familiar he was with the program before his recruitment began. “I always knew it was a big football school. The atmosphere down there is crazy. I didn’t start my own research until camp down there last July. After they offered, I did even more research. They have a fantastic defense. As long as Bud Foster is there, that’s not going to change.”
Tverdov has seven other scholarship offers, including Boston College, Central Florida, Duke, Rhode Island, Rutgers, Syracuse and Temple. Visit-wise, so far this year he has taken trips to Boston College, Rutgers and Syracuse. An April 2 trip to Duke is on the schedule, as well as an April 16 visit to Rutgers. Tverdov may visit UNC on April 3 – this is not a definite – and, as mentioned above, plans to return to Virginia Tech.
“I’d say right now my top schools for me are Rutgers, Boston College, Virginia Tech, Duke and Syracuse,” Tverdov said. “Right now those are five at the top. That’s not an official list or anything. Those are the schools I’ve talked to and who are talking to me the most and everything.”
Rutgers is a school Tverdov is very family with, as his brother played for the Scarlet Knights from 2005-2008. Staying in-state is a serious consideration for the Garden State standout, but leaving the state is very much an option as well.
“Of course that’s a thought,” Tverdov said of playing for the Scarlet Knights. “Rutgers is one of my top schools. It’ll be what I want to do. I’m playing it out and seeing where it is that truly is best for me.”
Tverdov says he is “enjoying” the recruiting process and appreciating the opportunities he has received.
“It’s a blessing when you can tell your mom she doesn’t have to pay for college, whether you get one offer or 100 offers. One thing I really enjoy about this is taking care of family,” Tverdov said. “And then getting to see places, basically go behind the scenes of what goes on.”