Signing Day with Rhodes and Exum

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TSL headed to Varina and Deep Run High Schools on Wednesday, National Signing Day, and caught up with defensive tackle Antone Exum. The 6-2, 270-pound Rhodes and the 6-0, 190-pound Exum are two of Tech’s top recruits in the 2009 class and they are excited to officially be Hokies.

The first stop Wednesday was at Varina, where Rhodes, alongside teammates T.K. Hester (William & Mary) and Bobby Smith (UVa), signed his letter of intent. The trio was introduced to a gathering of family and friends by first year head coach Stu Brown. They then signed their letters of intent and their parents followed suit before faxing them off to their respective schools.

“I’m ecstatic,” Brown said on Signing Day. “I kind of let it be known in the early goings, in the parents meetings and everything, that if we can keep our kids in-state I’d love to do so. We’ve got three kids signing today, with William & Mary, UVa and Virginia Tech, three of the better institutions in the nation. And what better football can they go play? So, I’m ecstatic.”

Rhodes discussed what signing on the dotted line meant to him and his family.

“I’m just happy to be making my mom proud, being the first to go to college in my family,” Rhodes said. “I’m pretty excited. I think [signing] is special because it is official and I’ve got people here supporting me.”

Coach Brown has never been bashful when speaking of Rhodes’ promise.

“I’ve said this before, but DeAntre is ready to play right now,” Brown said. “Virginia Tech’s not getting a student-athlete. They are getting a grown man. He’s a player and he’s going to have the opportunity to come in and play early. He is a high motor kid with a lot of ability.”

Rhodes isn’t putting much pressure on himself to play early.

“I’m going to go in, work hard, do what I do, use what I learned from Varina and hopefully I think I can make it,” Rhodes said.

Rhodes discussed playing against his good friend, Bobby Smith.