VT In On 2012 Class Star

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Ocean Lakes (Virginia Beach, VA) has certainly produced its share of top prospects over the past several years, from current Virginia Tech wide receiver Marcus Davis to 2010 class receiver Justin Hunter to 2011 class quarterback Lafonte Thourogood, among others. Wide receiver/defensive end Eli Harold , a 6-3, 211-pound sophomore, is in line to continue the run.

Virginia Tech, which has perhaps shown the most interest so far, invited Harold to its February 27 prospect day. The Dolphins standout made the trip.

“He loved it,” Ocean Lakes head coach Chris Scott said. “It’s funny. Lafonte, Marcus Davis and Eli are all cousins. They’ve grown up together and played on teams together. For him to get up there, it was kind of funny. It was a college visit for him, but Marcus was teasing him, asking him if he was 12 or 13 years old yet. He’s the older cousin giving the guy a hard time. It was great. Lyndell Gibson was great. They knew each other. Eli had a great time talking to the guys. He loved coach Foster and coach Newsome. He loved coach Beamer. He got to sit down and talk with him a little while. That was the day Virginia Tech took Maryland into double overtime, so you can imagine the atmosphere.”

Virginia Tech has expressed high interest, but it isn’t the only FBS program to do so. And look for Harold to visit other schools this spring and summer.

“He was invited up to UVa’s junior day [on March 6] but was unable to get there,” Scott said. “Coaches who have come in and recruited Justin Hunter and Lafonte are recruiting Eli. Penn State loves the kid. He attended Tennessee’s camp last summer when Lane Kiffin was there and amazed them. N.C. State loves him. I think this guy is going to blow up.”

You might think that Harold enjoyed big-time production this past season to garner such heavy college interest. To the contrary, while Harold certainly has the potential to produce at a high level, an injury sidelined the athletic star for the final eight games of the regular season

“Eli actually had a leg injury that we thought was a lot worse than it was. We thought it was torn ligaments, but it actually ended up only being a leg fracture. Still, he was done after the second game,” said Scott, who credited Harold with 3 1/2 sacks and a forced fumble in two games of action. “Coach [Curt] Newsome had seen film on him from our scrimmage versus