6-0, 200-pound Edison (Alexandria, VA) standout Ben Barber unofficially visited Virginia Tech this past Saturday for the win over Florida State. According to Edison head coach Vaughn Lewis, the senior wide receiver/defensive back recruit met with the Virginia Tech coaches and got everything straightened out with respect to his commitment to the Hokies.
“Him and his mom went down there on Saturday,” Lewis said. “He tells me he is going to be attending Virginia Tech in January [of 2008]. He says everything’s a go. That’s what he told me. He met with the coaches and is going back down for the Miami game. Everything is official, he says.”
As a junior last season, Barber, who is the younger brother of former Tech standout Willie Pile, tallied 54 receptions for 1,034 yards and 12 touchdowns en route to earning AP AAA first-team all-state honors at wide receiver. He helped Edison capture a Northern Region, Division 5 championship in the process.
This season, Barber was asked to play a much different role. He was moved to quarterback before the first game of the year and has played well, totaling 1,063 yards passing with 13 touchdowns and only five interceptions. He has added 829 yards rushing and 15 touchdowns and even has a touchdown receiving this year.
“The first thing about him is that he is an athlete,” Lewis said. “He is smooth and can accelerate well. He has mental toughness. He has balance. A few years ago, we had a running back who was a tremendous track person. But he wasn’t a great football player. He was good, but not great. Ben is the other way around. He is a good athlete who is a great football player. He just has great instincts. For us, he helps our team out tremendously.”
Barber does not project as a quarterback at Virginia Tech. Instead, he will likely start out at wide receiver and could move to defensive back.
“Ben is a great defensive back,” Lewis said. “We play him in the secondary when we play against passing teams. He breaks well and will come up and hit. If he doesn’t make receiver, he has other options. His heart is at receiver, but in college you play where they put you. If he had his choice, though, he would play receiver.”
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