McLaughlin Makes Choice, Picks VT

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Fork Union Military Academy (VA) postgraduate Jonathan McLaughlin went ahead and made his college choice today.  The news was good for Virginia Tech, which won out over East Carolina and Virginia.

In a text message early this afternoon, McLaughlin wrote:  “I am now a Hokie!”

Later this afternoon, the 6’4″, 288-pound offensive tackle prospect spoke more in-depth about his decision.  For one, he discussed how the Hokies were able to close the deal.

“Frank Beamer and Shane Beamer came and met with me at Fork Union, and then later that same day they went to meet with my parents,” said McLaughlin, whose parents reside in Mauldin, South Carolina.  McLaughlin and his family have lived in Mauldin for 12 years since moving there from Danville, Virginia.

“No other coach did that.  I thought that was remarkable of them.  It helped me feel that Virginia Tech was the place for me.”

Asked what his parents thought of the visit, McLaughlin said:  “They liked it.  They are both from Virginia, so they like Virginia Tech.  When they went on the [official visit] with me, they liked it.  But the decision was up to me.  They didn’t pressure me.”

McLaughlin accepted a scholarship offer from East Carolina last February, when he signed a letter of intent with the Pirates.  After falling short of qualifying, he enrolled at Fork Union as a postgraduate this past August.  He played well for the Blue Devils’ postgrad squad, earning new offers from Maryland, Virginia and Virginia Tech as a result.  McLaughlin took official visits to both Tech and UVa before arriving at today’s decision.

“It has been a long journey,” McLaughlin said, referring to his recruiting process.  “I’m grateful for it.  I visited a lot of places.  I’ve seen a lot of schools over the past three or four years.  I liked ECU, but I found a better opportunity.  ECU is a great place also, but Virginia Tech is closer to home and in the ACC.  Everything happened for a reason.”

McLaughlin hopes to enroll at Tech in January but now admits he may have to return to Fork Union for another postgraduate semester.

“Now I just wait and see if I can get everything through the Clearinghouse.  I’ll either be at Tech in January or June,” McLaughlin said.

“It’s up in the air now.  I think