VT’s Stability Hooked Baron

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Prior to attending Virginia Tech’s July 9 one-day camp (for a visit, not to participate), Brentwood Academy (Nashville, TN) rising senior Woody Baron had narrowed his list of schools to two: Tech and hometown Vanderbilt. Baron went with the Hokies, committing to head coach Frank Beamer before heading back home to Nashville. Both options were enticing, but one major factor tipped the scales in favor of the maroon and orange.

“The experience of the Virginia Tech coaching staff together did it for me,” Baron said. “Vanderbilt, all but one of the coaches is brand new. The Virginia Tech staff has been together going on 20 years or some crazy number.”

Baron would commit later in the day on July 9, after the one-day camp was completed. During the day, he would speak with coaches, players, and already committed prospects. South County linebacker Devin Vandyke, who committed to the Hokies earlier in July, especially made an impact on the Brentwood star.

“He really answered the questions I needed answered,” Baron said of Vandyke, who was spotted making the rounds with several uncommitted targets that day. “He got me feeling real comfortable about it. He was the nicest dude.

“He had told me he was getting recruited by Vandy too, and he was kind of in the same predicament. He thought it was kind of risky when the Virginia Tech coaching staff is already proven.”

Baron also turned to his uncle, Jim Baron, for information on the Virginia Tech football program and the school.

“He most definitely told me about how it is, how they work and that kind of stuff,” Baron said, referring to his uncle, who played for Virginia Tech in the 1990s. “I tried to keep the fact that he went there out of my decision, because I didn’t want to go there just because my uncle did. In addition to my uncle, other people that have gone there seemed like they had a good experience.”

Baron, who first started playing football when he was six years old and loved it ever since, is entering his fourth year as a starter on the varsity level. He racked up 56 tackles with 17 sacks last season as a junior, earning first-team all-state honors and finishing as a finalist for DII-AA Lineman Mr. Football in the state of Tennessee. Baron starts at defensive end and also at left offensive guard, the latter being the position he has manned for each of the