Advance Auto Parts Hokie Hotline Notes for 2/7/05

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Tonight’s
show was broadcast live from Attitudes Bar inside the Blacksburg Holiday Inn.
With the completion of the 2004-2005 football recruiting season, it was time for
the annual recruiting roundup on the Hokie Hotline. Bill Roth welcomed Hokies
recruiting coordinator Jim Cavanaugh on tonight’s show to give Hokie fans a
review of the recruiting process and recruiting class.

For VT’s complete 2005 recruiting
class, click
here
.

Jim Cavanaugh



Roth opened the show by asking the coach if the recruiting process is bound
by what players at what positions are coming out of high school, or more by what
the current position needs are for the team. Coach said that occasionally an
assistant coach will find himself recruiting a certain player, and another
player at that position will commit and meet the needs for the team, causing the
staff to decide to discontinue the effort with the first player. The exception
is those outstanding in-state players who may represent additional bodies at a
certain position, those are still on the board. The quarterbacks we received
commitments from this season give us five in the program which is about what you
want to have.

Roth asked about Greg Boone, noting that the coach said he reminds him of
Daunte Culpepper. Coach said that both he and Ike Whitaker are talented football
players.

Roth asked about Ike Whitaker. Coach said that Ike has been in the camp at
Tech, and he can run, is tall, and has a whip for an arm. He said that both
Boone and Whitaker are really talented and both are really great kids. Jim said
that the entire class is a good bunch of guys and they are a pleasure to be
around.

Roth pointed out that the Hokies signed four of the top five in the state of
Virginia, per the Roanoke Times. Coach said that the list is put out by Doug
Doughty, and he talks to Tech recruiters and other schools, as well has high
school coaches. He gets a feel for who these kids are. He also does it by the
number of offers a kid receives to a degree. So it is somewhat subjective, but
Cavanaugh thinks Doughty does at good job. Coach Cav said he’s not sure there
is much difference between who’s #1 and who’s #5 though. With regard to
Harris, he visited a number of schools who were high profile schools, and coach
felt that the high profile nature of the schools recruiting Macho probably made
him #1 as opposed to a Simmons or a Boone or Elan Lewis.

Roth asked about the fire at the Harris house the night Cavanaugh and Beamer
were visiting. Coach said that it was a little unnerving, that they drove up
about 7 pm and his aunt was out front with the two little ones on the front
porch. You could see smoke curling underneath the door, and he and Coach Beamer
ran into the kitchen and saw Macho with an exasperated look on his face. The
fire had started in the kitchen and Macho had thrown the two pans, one out the
door and one into the laundry room.

Coach said when he got there he could see that Macho had been burned. Coach
Beamer, who has been through a similar situation as a child, went to MCV with
Macho and some of the family, while Cav stayed behind to help clean up. Coach
Cav said that he ripped his lucky recruiting slacks when he bent down to clean
up the floor, and Macho’s mother got a real kick out of that.

Coach
Cav also spoke about the tragic passing of Macho’s mother on Christmas Day.
Overall the coach felt like Harris had been through some real tragic events, but
was handling everything with a great deal of maturity. Roth asked what makes him
such a great defensive back. Coach Cav said he’s really a great offensive
talent, rushing for 5,500 yards in two and a half years. He has great hands,
very fluid, moves backwards as well as he does forwards; he’s just a very good
athlete. He realizes what can be done at corner, and Coach has told him that as
years go on we will try to piecemeal some offense at him, in an orderly fashion.
Coach said that this is not until he gets his feet on the ground as a defensive
player.

Barek in Blacksburg called in and asked what positions needed the most
attention during this season. Coach said that when we started Beamer said we
needed X amount of offensive lineman, and they were looking for defensive ends
and defensive backs. You’re always looking for quarterbacks and tailbacks, and
they haven’t signed a receiver. Those were the areas they were looking for and
filled them pretty well.

Roth asked about linebacker position, and how Adibi and Hall were grouped
together, and that Simmons and Taylor will be, too. Coach said that Simmons and
Taylor are good sized kids that can hit you, and they have a knack for the ball.
When they get there they get there angry. Taylor is a young buck who committed
early and didn’t get as much publicity as Simmons.

Nick in Covington called in and asked that this year it seems like we got
our first choices real quick, did we do better off the bat? Coach said that’s
hard to say. Both Robert Norris and Kenny Jefferson, who committed in May of
2004, are from programs that know Virginia Tech, and they knew what they were
looking for. They saw what Tech had and liked it. Both young men saw a chance at
a great football program which had everything they were looking for. He thought
both coaches at those schools understand the world of recruiting and probably
told their players that what the Tech coaches tell you, you can take to the
bank.

The
subject of former Blacksburg High player Sam Wheeler, who prepped at Hargrave,
came up. Coach said that Wheeler, who can play tight end, might play a little
earlier than expected.

Roth asked about punter Brent Bowden. Coach said that he is a very good
punter, and now we were looking for a good punter. We have a young man who can
possibly make an impact. Coach qualified that statement by saying that you still
have to play on the field, so nothing is a lock at this point. Competition makes
for a better team, and we have a lot of guys sitting in dorm rooms right now who
are working with Coach Gentry getting ready to challenge for positions as well.

Roth said this is only the second time under Coach Beamer where Virginia Tech
failed to sign a player out of the state of Florida. However, it was quite clear
that the focus in the Carolinas and Georgia went well. Coach said that where we
are playing our games and the travel possibilities, most of the parents want to
see their kids play. So in this situation, our away games are just as close as
our home games. So now those parents want to see their kids play, that was one
emphasis we put on those states. Green, who we got out of South Carolina, Virgil
from North Carolina and Porch and Render from Georgia, these are kids who are
highly recruited. We also didn’t get a couple kids who went to Florida State,
NC State, and North Carolina. However, the reception to the recruiting message
in those states has been great. Coach said that he gets very turned off by a kid
who doesn’t want to compete for a position, speaking of the quarterback Sexton
who went to UNC partly because of the stable of people at that position at VT.

Roth mentioned that he has read a lot of articles on Porch. Coach said that
he’s a neat guy and a good guy.

Coach
Cav mentioned Antonio North, an offensive lineman, who is a heck of a player,
and probably will be a surprise. He will drive you off the ball. He spoke very
well at the pre-game in Richmond and made the Hokies very proud with his
comments and his play.

Coach Cav said that we talked about going south, but you know we also still
hit our Maryland and New Jersey contacts as well, pointing out Jahre Cheeseman.
He’s a young man who is athletic and can really play. Roth asked where he is
likely to play. Coach said that he mentioned Wheeler before, and his ability to
play different positions based upon need. These kids that are multi-position
kids, you have the freedom to move them around. Coach said that Coach Beamer
will define where they are going to play.

Roth mentioned that Coach Stinespring said that there is a need to get more
offensive lineman in the program, indicating that the Hokies certainly addressed
that need. Coach said that he thought they did, and that the O-Line is a tough
spot to recruit. Nobody knows who you are until you give up a sack. It takes a
real cerebral guy, who can make all those adjustments based upon the protection
changes at the line. Coach said specifically it’s tough to find offensive
tackles. The team took a couple kids in January, that some people didn’t know
about. Eric Davis is 6-8 and then Richard Graham is a guy who was a tight end in
high school. Coaches asked him if he would play offensive lineman, but he’s a
tough kid, all-state as a tight end. He’s only 17, so he’s got a lot of room
to grow.

Mike in Blacksburg called in and asked the coach to talk more about Elan
Lewis. Coach said that he’s about 5 foot 8, and he’s not a blazer in what
you normally think about as tailbacks. He has great vision and can find holes,
very tough, and has great hands, comparing him to Natron Means who played at
North Carolina.

Roth
asked about defensive lineman. Coach said that we mentioned William Wall as
potentially a great defensive player. Friday, who is a teammate of Elan Lewis,
is a kid who can really run, is 6-5 and 215 lbs, he had 17.5 sacks in 8 games.
Cordarrow Thompson was the defensive player of the year in the DC area, good
sized kid that can run as a defensive tackle. With Render and this kid we should
be able to plug up the line pretty well. Roth asked if there was no coaching
change at Syracuse, does Thompson end up there as opposed to Tech. Coach said
that he didn’t know, but that the young man may have committed just to have a
spot somewhere. Coach said that he felt like Thompson was probably a little
better prepared to make a decision later in the process.

Roth asked about Cam Martin out of Danville. Coach said he’s a great
student and athlete, and he comes from a family who has a Virginia Tech
background. He is a heck of a free safety, and he’s another one who committed
early and didn’t get the press as some of the other recruits.

Roth said if all the kids qualified or if some of them end up at prep
schools. Coach said that there is a chance that some may have to go to prep
schools, but that’s difficult to tell at this point.

Roth asked about the decommit that the Hokies received (Jonathan Hannah).
Coach said that he’s a great kid, and things are not as cut and dried as you
may think. Coach said he comes from great parents, things have just gotten a
little bit out of hand, and we will just see how that plays out.

Coach said that the staff of the football program really does a great job at
this process.

  • Monday was day 74 of Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of the
    Commonwealth Cup, day 129 of Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of the
    Black Diamond Trophy, and day 67 of Virginia Tech’s possession of the ACC
    football championship.

Phil

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