Past Recruiting Misses Explain Current Positions of Need

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Despite the loss of Marcus Vick and the general hysteria of the Virginia Tech
fan base in the days that followed, the Hokies will still field a football team
in 2006. Chances are it will be pretty good, and the Hokies will find themselves
bowling for the 14th consecutive season. Exactly how good remains to be seen.
There are question marks at some key positions, and how those questions are
answered will decide the fate of the 2006 Hokies. A look back at recruiting
misses of the recent past explains the depth problems of today.

If you’re the type of fan that pays close attention to star rankings and
recruiting websites, then you probably know that the Hokies have taken a step up
in recruiting the past few years. Tech’s classes have been very good on paper,
and most of those players have developed at the college level. However the
Hokies have had trouble at certain positions, thanks to a few key recruits not
panning out.

offensive line is probably the number one concern heading into the 2006 season.
Tech loses four seniors in Jason Murphy, Jimmy Martin, Will Montgomery and
Reggie Butler. All four players were important members of the offensive line
during their careers, and they will be tough to replace. Just looking at star
rankings from past recruiting classes, it would appear that the Hokies have a
couple of guys that should be ready to step up and take their place.

Tripp Carroll and Matt Welsh were both four-star offensive linemen that
signed with the Hokies in 2003. Carroll was one of the top linemen in the
country and garnered offers from over 80 different programs. Welsh was highly
touted as well and ranked as the state of Virginia’s best offensive line
prospect. Three years later it appears that Carroll and Welsh will never play a
meaningful down for the Hokies. Carroll just isn’t as good as the hype, and
Welsh has had numerous knee surgeries; we’ll never know how he would have