Recruiting the 757: Part One

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Recently a subscriber suggested an in-depth look at Virginia Tech’s football recruiting efforts in the Tidewater area, which is referred to by most as the 757.  That’s a broad reaching subject.  Where do we begin?

Do we attack this as a VT vs. UVA thing?  In-state vs. out-of-state?  Future NFL success by school?  The decision to take Bryan Stinespring out of Virginia Beach?  Oscar Smith High School could certainly be a topic.  How about all the above?

There’s a lot to write about, so this is going to be a two-part series.  Today I’ll give you numerical facts, and tomorrow you’ll get thoughts and opinions based on those facts.

2007: Before and After

From 2003 through 2012, 56 players from the 757 were ranked amongst the state’s top 15 recruits by  We’re going to limit our sample size to the top 15 recruits each year, because most guys (though not all ) in the top 15 have offers from both Tech and UVA, as well as many out-of-state schools.

From 2003 through 2012, 34 of those 56 recruits from the 757 elected to stay in-state.  Of those 34, 19 signed with Virginia Tech.  Let’s dig a bit deeper and examine those numbers.

Here’s how they looked from 2003 through 2006, with Jim Cavanaugh on the peninsula and Bryan Stinespring covering the Virginia Beach area.

Signed with VT: 12
Signed with UVA: 5
Signed OOS: 8

That’s a 48% VT success rate amongst the 757 recruits who were ranked in the top 15 in the state.  That also includes the disastrous 2006 class when the Hokies lost top 757 guys Percy Harvin, Chris Bell, Damon McDaniel, Brian Whitmore and Brent Vinson, so Tech was particularly effective from 2003 through 2005.

Tech made a change following the 2005 football season (which took effect with the 2007 class).  They took Bryan Stinespring out of the 757 duties and moved him to Southside Virginia, and replaced him in the Virginia Beach area with the newly-hired Curt Newsome.  They made further changes in 2011 (beginning with the 2012 class) that saw Newsome head over to the peninsula, while he shares duties in the Virginia Beach area with Stinespring.

The results after taking Bryan Stinespring out of the 757 were nowhere near as good amongst top 15 recruits.

Signed with VT: 7
Signed with UVA: 10
Signed OOS: 14

That’s a huge U-turn in recruiting the top players out of the 757.  The Hokies signed roughly half of the top recruits from