Strategy Session: A Look At The 2014 Class

As Class of 2013 recruiting winds down (for those who don’t know, Signing Day is next Wednesday, February 6), Class of 2014 recruiting comes into sharper focus.  Virginia Tech is off to a great start in next year’s class, having landed early verbal commitments from TE/DL Xavier Burke , CB/ATH Javon Harrison , DE Vinny Mihota , and RB Marshawn Williams .

Burke, a product of Brunswick High School (Lawrenceville, VA), sees himself as a tight end initially.  He performed well, though, at defensive end this past season.  Measuring in around 6’3″, 245 pounds, and posting a consistent 40 time in the 4.8-second range, Burke has the size and speed to play on either side of the ball.

Harrison, a 6’2″, 190-pound prospect out of Kathleen (Lakeland, FL), was a big playmaker at receiver (averaged almost 23 yards per catch) and returner last season as a junior, but Tech is recruiting him initially as a cornerback.

Vinny Mihota earned all-state honors his junior season

Mihota, the younger brother of former UVa standout offensive lineman Anthony Mihota, is a 6’4″, 250-pound defensive end.  The Massaponax (Fredericksburg, VA) standout has the quickness to rush the passer and the size and strength to stuff the run.  He was a first-team all-state selection by the Virginia High School Coaches Association his junior year.

Mihota could develop into a defensive tackle, but for now he is an end.

Williams, a 6’0″, 205-pound junior out of Hampton (VA), is a bruising back with good speed.

Burke, Mihota, and Williams all seem very solid in their commitments.  Harrison is not as firm, but as of now he remains a Tech commitment.  The Hokies have had their share of drama in Sunshine State recruiting in the past… could Harrison be next?

Including the four commitments, 81 players are currently projected to be on scholarship in the 2014 season.  This does not include linebacker Dahman McKinnon, who is suspended indefinitely after being arrested for failure to stop after a traffic incident, although I could certainly see him returning to the team.  Eighty-five players are allowed on scholarship in a given season.  Attrition will surely happen, and in the end I expect Virginia Tech’s Class of 2014 to end up in the range of 15 to 18 players.

2014 SEASON ROSTER BREAKDOWN (Scholarship Players Only)

QB:  5, including two seniors (T. Gresh, M. Leal), one sophomore (B. Motley), and two Class of 2013 recruits (B. Hodges, C. Parker)

TB:  8, including two juniors (J. Coleman, M. Holmes), two sophomores (T. Edmunds, C. Mangus), three Class of 2013 recruits (D. Harris, D. Reid, J. Wright), and one Class of 2014 recruit (M. Williams)

WR:  10, including one senior (E. Smiling), four juniors (K. Asante, D. Knowles, C. Reeves, J. Stanford), two sophomores (J. Caleb, M. Irick), Thomas Smith (2012 recruit planning to enroll in May of 2013), and two Class of 2013 recruits (D. Newsome, D. Prince)

TE:  6, including three seniors (R. Malleck, Z. McCray, D. Perez-Means), one junior (D. Redman), one sophomore (D. Jackson), and one Class of 2014 recruit (X. Burke)

C:  2, including one senior (C. Farris) and one sophomore (J. Willenbrock)

OG:  4, including two seniors (M. Arkema, B. Benedict) and two Class of 2013 recruits (K. Chung, B. Pfaff)

OT: 8, including three seniors (N. Acree, L. Gibson, M. Shuman), one junior (J. Goins), two sophomores (A. Conte, A. Taraschke), and two Class of 2013 recruits (J. McLaughlin, P. Osterloh)

DT:  5, including one senior (L. Maddy), two juniors (K. Harley, J. Taylor), and two sophomores (A. Smith, N. Williams)

DE:  10, including one senior (C. Marshall), two juniors (D. Nicolas, M. Roth), three sophomores (D. Alford, K. Ekanem, J. Jones), three Class of 2013 recruits (S. Dooley, W. Baron, W. Teller), and one Class of 2014 recruit (V. Mihota)