Friday Q&A: January 10, 2014


1) You (and others) have spent a lot of time discussing how bad the recruiting has been in recent years. Either the positions of need were not addressed, or the recruits themselves haven’t worked out. The 2013 recruiting class remains to be determined, but so far it appears to be a good class and the 2014 class is shaping up to be even better. How would you compare the differences between the two classes? Considering the 2013 class was recruited by different offensive coaches, how will the 2013 recruits fit in with current coaches system?

Chris Coleman: That’s a great question, and it’s an angle I haven’t taken before. I think we need to look at it position-by-position.

Quarterback: The new staff moved Carlis Parker to wide receiver immediately, and it appears they are in the process of moving Bucky Hodges to tight end. Both guys were developmental projects at quarterback, and for whatever reason they were top priorities at quarterback for the old coaching staff. I think it’s pretty clear that Scot Loeffler wouldn’t have recruited them as quarterbacks. He most likely would have targeted a guy like Christian Hackenberg, whom Tech didn’t bother to offer. He was Big Ten Freshman of the Year at Penn State. That’s the most damning thing you can say about the old staff … the QB they didn’t offer lit it up in the Big Ten, and the two quarterbacks they liked were/will be moved to different positions after a semester on campus. I’d have to say Tech’s quarterback recruiting took a big step forward in 2014.

Running back: DJ Reid was the only projected running back to sign with Tech last year, and we listed him as an ATH, not a running back. But he didn’t qualify. I was never a huge fan of Reid at running back. I wanted him at linebacker instead. He just didn’t seem to break a lot tackles for a guy his size on his high school tape. I’m not sure Reid will qualify for Tech out of Fork Union, either. If he doesn’t, he’ll likely never play for the Hokies. Again, Tech’s running back recruiting took a big step forward in 2014.

Wide receiver: Tech signed two wide receivers in 2013. They got David Prince and Deon Newsome. Neither player was a wide receiver in high school, and both had small offer lists. This year the Hokies will have 4-5 wide receivers enrolling (Cam Phillips, Javon Harrison, Jaylen Bradshaw, Kendrick Holland, and perhaps Isaiah Ford). With the exception of Bradshaw, they all have much bigger offer lists than the 2013 wideouts, and they all played wide receiver in high school. Big edge for 2014. I think the current staff would have offered Deon Newsome, but I’m not sure they would have offered Prince. That’s just a pure guess on my part.

Tight end: Tech got Kalvin Cline in May for the 2013 class, but he was recruited by the new coaching staff. The new staff will sign Xavier Burke at tight end for 2014. Nearly all of Burke’s high school film features him on defense, so I can’t comment on his tight end ability. However, Cline has certainly proved to be a very nice pull.

Offensive line: In their last season in Blacksburg, the old staff finally saw the writing on the wall with the offensive line, and they took four offensive line recruits as a result: Jonathan McLaughlin, Braxton Pfaff, Parker Osterloh and Kyle Chung. McLaughlin can obviously play for Grimes, and I think Pfaff can, too. Chung has the footwork, though I’m not sure Grimes would have offered him and Osterloh. I haven’t seen enough of Osterloh to form an opinion of him yet. If two of those four players develop into good players under Jeff Grimes (one of them already has), then I think