Recruiting Q&A: May 5, 2011

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Recruiting is heating up, and the summer will be a battle with in-state rival UVA and other schools for some major prospects. Today, Chris Horne and Chris Coleman take a look at the 2012 class, including Tech’s quick start, positions of need, and the in-state battle with UVA.

1) Are you surprised that Virginia Tech is off to such a quick start in recruiting, with nine commitments already?

Chris Horne: Not really. Most kids seem to want to end the process earlier rather than later these days. I do, however, feel that the staff has been more active earlier in the process than in past years. Last year, of course, they were hamstrung by limited scholarships, but this year they have hit the trail hard early on with offers. It pays off.

Look at Thomas Dale’s Desmond Frye, for example. Tech was the first to offer, and he admits this made a difference. Tech was also the first to offer Donovan Riley, it’s most recent commitment.

Chris Coleman: Not especially. Maybe by the number of verbals, but not by the good position they are in for a number of recruits. The Hokies went into this class pretty well-positioned for a number of recruits. Sometimes that happens, and sometimes it doesn’t. This is one of those years where Tech started with an advantage.

Like Horne said, I also think the Hokies are more active. With Jim Cavanaugh’s position of Director of Recruiting added to the staff, and bringing in young coaches like Shane Beamer and Corner Brown, it’s hard not to be more active.

But, I’ve got to stress what I stressed last season. The Hokies generally start well, but aren’t known to close well with most of the major prospects against big-time competition. For Tech to take a step forward, that has to start happening this year.

2) What is Virginia Tech’s top need of the 2012 recruiting class?

CH: OL. WR is up there, too, but Tech does not have any linemen in the class so far and only landed one in last year’s class.

CC: Horne is right. Offensive line is key. You can get away with average wide receivers if you have a good offensive line. You can’t do it the other way around. The Hokies currently have four seniors up front, and also juniors Vinston Painter, Courtney Prince and Michael Via. I’m a big fan of some of the younger linemen, such as Andrew Miller, David Wang, Matt Arkema and Ryan Shuman, but they will need depth behind them.

I think we’ll see some more offers go