Friday Q&A: December 14, 2012

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1: When will VT go back and start recruiting Florida more? The number 100 recruit in Florida is better than anyone in our area who is number 6 through 30 in VA recruiting rankings. We need to recruit this area and there are plenty of sleeper recruits there.

GMSA: Here’s the long answer to your question:

As most of you TSL subscribers already know, Frank Beamer (with input from the staff) made the decision several years ago to de-emphasize the state of Florida in recruiting based on the high number of decommits and poaching that was done there by other schools.  Personally, I think this is the right decision for a couple of reasons.

First, is that Virginia Tech is rarely going to be a “dream school” for most top level Florida talent.  Blacksburg is way too far away from Florida for many of their families to see them play, and the climate/culture of SWVA is very, very different from the Miami area, for example, where a lot of top talent is located.  The Hokies run the risk of recruiting a kid to Blacksburg, only to have him sign his letter, come to town to play football and end up being miserable based on the weather and cultural changes.  Also, when recruiting kids from far away high schools where you don’t have solid relationships with their coaches, it is much tougher to really know about the kid’s background and character.  Does all of this sound familiar?  It should.

Also, the “Big 3” schools down in Florida have a history of holding back offers to kids while they wait to see how their recruiting class goes.  Once they determine they have a slot for a kid (oftentimes after he has already committed elsewhere), one of those Florida schools can swoop in with a last minute offer, and the Hokies are left with a signing day decommit ( Jawand Blue anyone?).  There is nothing worse than a decommit on Signing Day.  The staff has spent a significant amount of time and money recruiting a kid, oftentimes to the exclusion of other talented prospects, and then to have them decommit on Signing Day means that not only have you lost the time and energy spent recruiting a kid who isn’t coming to school, you have also lost the ability to give that roster spot to someone else in the class who may have been more deserving.  Not to mention what it does to your depth chart planning…just a bad deal all around for the staff.