Anson LB a Key Recruit for VT

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Linebacker Barquell Rivers finished his outstanding Anson County High School (N.C.) football career with several achievements, including having started more games on the varsity level than any other player in school history and setting a school record for most tackles in a career. The 6-0, 220-pound prospect capped off his career with an excellent senior season, helping Anson County to the third round in the state playoffs.

“His senior year probably topped his junior year statistically,” Anson Head Coach Jody Grooms said of Rivers. “He led us in tackles again. He was in on 173 tackles and scored three defensive touchdowns. He had four interceptions and two blocked field goals. He was all-conference and North Carolina Prep Magazine named him first-team all-state. He started in the Shrine Bowl and represented our school well there. He was the team captain this past year. He’s just been one of the most consistent performers we’ve ever had.”

There is no doubt the Virginia Tech coaches, to whom Rivers made a verbal commitment last summer, are hoping the talented prospect enjoys similar success on the next level. Coach Grooms talked about which position Rivers will likely end up playing for Tech.

“He’ll probably play one of the inside linebacker spots, the same way they use Hall and Adibi,” Grooms said. “He has the ability to play outside of the box, but I think he’ll play inside. He’s real good at reading and reacting.”

There have been rumors that UNC was trying to get in on Rivers after the hiring of Butch Davis as head coach. Coach Grooms addressed the solidity of Rivers’ commitment.

“He’s committed to Virginia Tech,” Grooms said. Rivers plans to make an official visit to Virginia Tech on the weekend of January 19th. “He’s like a lot of kids in state, growing up big fans of UNC. The kids grow up wearing Carolina colors and fans of the basketball program. He’s a smart kid and put a lot of thought into his decision. He just felt like Virginia Tech was the best fit for him.”

The Virginia Tech coaches certainly helped themselves with Rivers by being consistent throughout the recruiting process.

“They have told him the same story from day one,” Grooms said. “It was Danny Pearman initially. Even after Coach Pearman left, the story remained consistent. There hasn’t been a lot of smoke and mirrors. Barquell is a no-nonsense kid. He just wants the truth and to play hard.