Virginia Tech’s 49-28 victory over Central Florida was more than just a success on the gridiron. The Hokies also secured their fourth verbal commitment for the 2004 recruiting class when local standout Sam Wheeler of Blacksburg High School committed to the program.
“Sam has committed to Virginia Tech,” said Blacksburg head coach David Crist.
Wheeler had an official offer from Virginia Tech and a verbal offer from Virginia, but decided to stay with the hometown school. At 6-4, 235 pounds, Wheeler is a two-sport star in football and basketball. As a junior, Wheeler made 103 tackles last season from the inside linebacker position. Big and athletic, Wheeler is also an effective fullback for head coach David Crist.
“He plays fullback and inside linebacker for us,” said coach Crist, whose Blacksburg team defeated Giles 31-13 in the 2003 season opener on Friday. “At fullback, he is a combination runner and blocker. Sam has really improved his blocking for us this year. [At inside linebacker,] his strengths are his speed and his quickness.
“He’s a naturally talented athlete. One of the best things about him is that he picks things up really easily. He’s gotten better every year. There doesn’t seem to be any peak that he’s reached…he just keeps improving.”
On the next level, Crist believes Wheeler may be best suited to play defensive end however does not know where the Hokies intend to use him.
“I had thought that his natural position in college is at defensive end,” said coach Crist. “But I’m not sure if Virginia Tech wants him there or if they are recruiting him as an athlete who can play anywhere.”
Wheeler is likely to attend prep school at Hargrave Military Academy before enrolling at Virginia Tech in the fall of 2005. He joins Westfield QB Sean Glennon and HD Woodson’s (DC) DE William Wall and CB Theodore Miller as verbal commitments for 2004.
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