VT Set to Host Junior Day

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Virginia Tech football isn’t just relying on its Spring Game and camp sessions to attract rising senior recruits to Blacksburg this year. The Hokies look to take advantage of what promises to be a raucous Cassell Coliseum crowd tomorrow, when Tech’s men’s basketball team hosts Duke, by hosting a Junior Day. And top prospects are expected to be on hand.

“I think a Junior Day is a good idea and something that has needed to happen,” TSL Managing Editor Chris Coleman said. “Tech couldn’t have picked a better week. Recruits will get to watch what should be a great basketball game between the Hokies and Duke. Hopefully the weather will be good. VT has a chance to have a great year in-state in the 2010 class, and then can get the ball rolling with an impressive Junior Day.”

Prospects expected to attend that have already been offered by Tech include…

Conner Davis – 6-6, 260-pound offensive lineman, Deep Run (Glen Allen, VA) – Virginia seems to be in good position early on with Davis, but the first-team all-district selection is very interested in seeing what Virginia Tech has to offer. He is especially interested in talking with Strength and Conditioning Coach Mike Gentry, as a program’s strength and conditioning program is a factor in his decision. Virginia likely has the edge right now, but Tech has its chance to impress.

Gabriel Henderson – 6-1, 190-pound quarterback, Southeast Raleigh (Raleigh, N.C.) – Virginia Tech offered Henderson last week and he is excited about tomorrow’s visit, which will be his first ever experience at Tech. Henderson calls Tech a program “high” on his list. Tech isn’t necessarily the outright favorite here – Henderson reportedly grew up a UNC fan – but it could cement itself as one of the favorites in this race with a good visit tomorrow.

Brian Laiti – 6-3, 200-pound linebacker, Robinson (Fairfax, VA) – Laiti has been one of the most productive defenders in the state over the past two seasons, earning offers from Boston College, Maryland, Virginia, Virginia Tech and West Virginia based solely on his sophomore and junior film. Laiti has attended a junior day at Maryland and plans to go to West Virginia’s junior day as well. He attended Tech’s home football game against Virginia last fall, so he is obviously interested in finding out what the Hokies have to offer.

Mark Shuman – 6-6, 270-pound offensive tackle, Fork Union (VA) – Tennessee, Virginia and Virginia Tech seem to be the favorites for Shuman, who boasts from those programs as well as Clemson, Georgia, North Carolina, Rutgers and others. I believe Tech remains the team to beat ultimately, though this may be a tougher battle than originally thought. Getting the top offensive line target in the state on campus as many times as possible can only help.

E.L. Smiling – 6-4, 180-pound wide receiver/defensive back, Brooke Point (Stafford, VA) – Virginia Tech is the first school to offer Smiling, who will be the latest in a string of Division 1A recruits out of head coach Jeff Berry’s program. Tech is hoping to continue the success it has had at Brooke Point recently, as the Hokies landed defensive end Isaiah Hamlette in the 2008 class and defensive end Lanford Collins in the 2009 class.

Rockbridge County (VA) offensive lineman Caleb Farris and Liberty Christian Academy (Lynchburg, VA) quarterback Mike Rocco are among the prospects that have not yet received a Tech offer but who plan to be in Blacksburg today. Stay tuned tomorrow for updates on these prospects and others who made the trip to Blacksburg.

TSL will also have more on H.D. Woodson (Washington, D.C.) quarterback Ricardo Young, who visited Tech on Thursday.

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