One of Virginia Tech’s most highly rated recruits in the 2005 class made his decision several days after Signing Day. The recruit was Todd Nolen , a 6-3, 172-pound star wide receiver for Hampton High School (VA). Nolen did not qualify academically and decided to enroll at Fork Union Military Academy’s post-graduate program. We caught up with Fork Union post-grad head coach John Shuman for an update on the 4-star prospect who helped Hampton to the state playoffs last season.
“Todd’s done a pretty good job, Shuman said. ”We have five incredible wide receivers on our team. Whenever Todd’s been in, he has produced. He catches everything. He could get a little flamboyant at times and try to make the one hand snatch, but he’s toned that down some.”
Nolen didn’t look physically imposing at first, but has developed under Fork Union’s strength program and has shown a lot of toughness at wide receiver.
“He came in looking like a twig,” Shuman said. “He had to have been about 165 or so. Now, he’s about 172 and he’s a good looking player. He’s a nice blocker. In our last game, he made a few blocks that got our sideline cranked up.”
Shuman, who has coached many top wide receivers in his career, calls Nolen “a smaller Plaxico Burress. He’s elusive and he has good hands. He’ll make a play and I’ll think to myself, that’s Plaxico Burress.”
Nolen’s football skills were already pretty sharp before entering FUMA. According to Shuman, he has developed more as a person since first arriving at FUMA.
“He’s really matured here,” Shuman said. “He came in a lot like Almondo Curry did. He was a real city-slick type. I sat him down and talked to him. He’s sucked it up and really turned the corner. He’s probably the most improved person here. He’s really turned things around and matured since he got here.”
Academically, Nolen is working hard to improve in the SAT as well as the GPA. “He’s got some work to do,” Shuman said. “We’re hammering both sides – the GPA and the SAT – right now.”
Virginia Tech fans don’t have to worry about Nolen’s commitment, as “he has never once mentioned opening it up,” Shuman said. “I think he’s real comfortable with Virginia Tech.” Shuman said that the Virginia Tech coaches call Nolen every Tuesday.
Coach Shuman will take his team to face Virginia Tech’s JV squad on November 10th. He may...
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