Friday Football Q&A: May 23, 2008

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We are back with another session of Friday Q&A! Raleigh Hokie takes on a
question about recruiting, as well as questions about Tech’s personnel at free
safety and the offensive line.

If you’ve got a question you’d like to see answered in the future, send it to
[email protected].

1) Does the coaching staff approach recruiting the next season any
differently after having such a great year (like the signing list from Feb ’08),
or does recruiting strategy/process for VT remain essentially the same each

Raleigh Hokie: I am not as plugged-in on the recruiting side as some
others, but I think it’s safe to say that this is an unusual recruiting year
for the Hokies. The scholarship crunch is the overriding issue with only 10-15
available for the ’09 class. With so few scholarships available, the coaches
can afford to be much more selective and target very specific need areas. It
also allows them to get an earlier jump on the ’10 and ’11 classes. With
verbal commitments occurring earlier and earlier every year, it is becoming more
and more important to get maximum traction with kids when they are sophomores
and juniors. With so few scholarships to give in 2009, the VT coaches can spend
more time this year evaluating sophomores and juniors as they look ahead to 2010
and 2011.

To take advantage of that early face time, the VT coaches have to look at
other aspects of their recruiting approach to get the rising seniors in 2009 and
beyond on campus as early as possible. For the past few years, they have relied
on the spring game and two individual summer camps to get their target recruits
in Blacksburg. Those events have been hugely successful from a recruiting
standpoint, but many kids are now deciding earlier in the spring — before VT
can get them on campus for those events. Scheduling a junior day in the Feb/Mar
timeframe has been suggested. They didn’t work very well for VT in the past,
but the dynamics are a little different now with the attraction of ACC
basketball and the building success of VT hoops.

To answer the question specifically, the recruiting approach for 2008 is
different simply because of the unusually low number of available scholarships.
It is a tighter recruiting