2011 Class Needs: Defense

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Virginia Tech has recruited well on the defensive side of the ball over the past several classes, including 23 prospects in total in 2009 and 2010. there appears to be good depth in place at defensive line and linebacker, but defensive back, specifically safety, appears to be one of the bigger overall needs in the 2011 class. Tech is recruiting other positions, though, and is heavily in the running for top prospects at defensive line and linebacker.

2011 Needs: Defense

2011 Roster Projection – 8 scholarships
– Chris Drager, Senior
– Isaiah Hamlette, Junior
– J.R. Collins, Sophomore; James Gayle, Sophomore; Tyrel Wilson, Sophomore
– Zack McCray, R/S Freshman or Sophomore; Duan Perez-Means, R/S Freshman or Sophomore; Justin Taylor, R/S Freshman or Sophomore

2011 Roster Projection – 8 scholarships
– Kwamaine Battle, Senior
– Antoine Hopkins, Junior; Joe Jones, Junior; Courtney Prince, Junior; Dwight Tucker, Junior
– Nick Acree, R/S Freshman or Sophomore; Derrick “Skip” Hopkins, R/S Freshman or Sophomore; DeAntre Rhodes, R/S Freshman or Sophomore

“Defensively, I’ve always said that it’s what’s up front that counts. So you better be good on your defensive line.” – Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer on Signing Day 2010.

Neither defensive line position appears to be a big need, but Tech always signs at least a couple in each class. I don’t expect anything to change in 2011.

Virginia Tech has recruited six defensive ends in the past two classes, so there are talented young players already in the program. Dinwiddie’s Corey Marshall is high on the list of rising senior prospects. Marshall, who favors Tech, could potentially move around the line, playing end or tackle.

The defense should be well stocked with defensive tackles in 2011, particularly if De’Antre Rhodes makes the grade and enrolls this summer. Warren Central (Indianapolis, IN) star Kris Harley, who performed well at Tech’s July camp last summer, has been offered by the Hokies. Harley is also a versatile player who could