Grading the 2011 Recruiting Class: The Defense

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Today we’ll look at Virginia Tech’s defensive haul and give grades for each
of the positions. Though Tech had a few noticeable misses at linebacker, they
did quite well on the defensive line and in the secondary.

Defensive Line

Chris Horne: Tech continues to add talented prospects to the defensive
line, which wasn’t a big need heading into this class. This group is an
interesting mix of proven producers and raw talents with high upside.

Kris Harley and Corey Marshall are excellent fits in Bud Foster’s defensive
scheme. They are also top talents. Harley considered offers from Oklahoma and
USC before committing to Virginia Tech. Marshall has been a stalwart on
Dinwiddie’s defensive line, racking up over 100 tackles in three consecutive
seasons at defensive end.

“[Marshall] is good,” said Phoebus (Hampton, VA) head coach Stan
Sexton, whose team rallied to defeat Dinwiddie in the Group AAA, Division 5
state semifinals in 2010. “You look at him on tape and you don’t think he’s
that big, but then you get to see him in person and you see that kid is put
together. Wow.”

Harley and Marshall have star potential on the defensive line. Throw in
Florida defensive end Matt Roth, a player with a reputation for working and
playing hard, and he should at least be a solid contributor for the Hokies.
Dewayne Alford, who is a gray-shirt, and Wedley Estime are terrific athletes
with high upside. Luther Maddy was the last player offered in the class, but
it’s not a bad gamble to offer a Florida prep player who had 13 sacks as a
senior, his first full season on the varsity level.

Horne’s Grade: A

Chris Coleman: I’m very happy with Virginia Tech’s defensive line haul.
As Horne said, Kris Harley and Corey Marshall are great fits for the Virginia
Tech system. Marshall could play defensive tackle later in his career, but I see...