Strategy Session: A Look At Top Remaining Targets

The “Strategy Session” is a big picture look at Virginia Tech football recruiting in the class of 2014.  I’ll breakdown the scholarship situation, provide a guesstimate on how many  scholarships the staff has left to use in the class, and look at the latest on some of Tech’s top remaining targets.


– Willie Byrn (WR), Derek DiNardo (LB), Charley Meyer (WR), Sam Rogers (FB), and Josh Trimble (OLB) have been awarded scholarships.

Byrn and DiNardo have one year of eligibility remaining after this season.  Trimble has two years remaining.  Meyer and Rogers each have three years of eligibility left after this season.

– Eight scholarship players left the program this summer.  Two more — OL Jake Goins (medical) and DL Corey Marshall (personal) — have uncertain futures.

– Virginia Tech boasts 18 verbal commitments in the class of 2014.  Also, class of 2013 recruits Holland Fisher (S/LB), Cequan Jefferson (CB), and DJ Reid (RB/ATH) are at Fork Union Military Academy beginning postgraduate work.  All three are hoping to make it to Blacksburg, either this January or next summer.  Of the three, FUMA postgrad head coach John Shuman was most confident about Fisher being able to enroll at Tech in January.  Jefferson, it seems, has the furthest to go.

– Athens Academy (Athens, GA) senior place-kicker Michael Santamaria is likely to gray-shirt, meaning he would sign with Tech in February of 2014 but delay enrollment until January of 2015.  If the latter development comes to fruition, the staff would have an additional scholarship spot available in the 2014 class.

– Depending on what happens with Goins and Marshall, Virginia Tech is projected to have 65-67 players on scholarship in the 2014 season.  Add in the 18 committed high school seniors and three postgrads and the projected scholarship number balloons to 86-88 (the total number of scholarship players allowed on a roster in a given season is 85).

Whether it’s players leaving the program or 5th-year seniors not invited back, further attrition will happen.  In the end, I see Tech taking anywhere from 5-7 more prospects in the 2014 class.


Breaking down Virginia Tech’s 2014 class and the three postgrads, some prospects are set in terms of their position…

Andrew Ford , who will enroll in this January, is definitely a quarterback.  Including Ford, the Hokies are projected to have four scholarship quarterbacks on the roster in 2014.

Marshawn Williams , who is off to a good start at Phoebus (Hampton, VA), is definitely a running back.  With JC Coleman, Trey Edmunds, Joel Caleb, Williams, and possibly Chris Mangus (although he may move back to receiver) at the position, running back is looking pretty solid for the 2014 season.  I see Jerome Wright as more of a fullback.

Jaylen Bradshaw and Cam Phillips are sure-fire receivers.  Including these two, Tech is projected to have 11 receivers on scholarship in the 2014 season.

– All five offensive line recruits are expected to stay on the offensive line.  Brady Taylor is the only sure-fire tackle, while the other four are likely interior guys.  I think Tech is finished recruiting the offensive line, but if the right prospect comes along then perhaps the staff takes six.

Vinny Mihota , who is also on track to enroll in January of 2014, is a defensive lineman.  He will start out at defensive end, but he has a good frame already (6’4″, 250 pounds) and could develop into a defensive tackle.

Six defensive ends (Nicolas, Roth, Alford, Ekanem, Dooley, and Mihota) are slated to be on scholarship next season.  If Marshall returns and is a defensive tackle, there would be six scholarship defensive tackles on the roster in the 2014 season.

Terrell Edmunds , Cequan Jefferson , and Greg Stroman are definite cornerbacks.  Factoring in these three players, Tech would have six scholarship corners on the roster in 2014.

Michael Santamaria is a place-kicker.

Players with potential