2006 represented a shift in recruiting in the state of Virginia. Before that year, the vast majority of Virginia recruits stayed in-state. After that year, it became more common for players from Virginia to leave the state.
From 1998 through 2005, over 70% of top 15 in-state recruits signed with Virginia Tech or UVA. In 2006, 13 of the top 15 recruits went out of state. From 2007 through 2014, only 55% of top 15 in-state recruits have gone to either Tech or UVA.
Today we’ll start taking a closer look at in-state recruiting from 1998 through 2014. This is not an exact scientific study. I only included the top 15 recruits in the state from each year, because the Hokies generally offer most of the top 15. Once you get past the top 15, then there might be a lot of players who don’t hold offers from Tech or UVA, and we decided not to include anyone outside the top 15 in this study.
This is part one of a three-part series. In part one, we’ll focus only on the state of Virginia from 1998 through 2005. In part two, we’ll look at in-state recruiting after the Great Exodus of 2006. In part three, we’ll compare the in-state success of Virginia Tech with the in-state success of some similar schools in similar states: Pitt and Penn State from Pennsylvania, and Clemson and South Carolina from the Palmetto State.
Note that the rankings from 1998 through 2002 were from The Roanoke Times. From 2003 through the present, the rankings come from Rivals.com. Let’s start with a closer look at the pre-2006 years.
Here is how 1998 broke down amongst the top 15 recruits in the state:
Virginia Tech signed nearly 50% of the top 15 in 1998, and overall the in-state schools signed 11 of the 15 prospects. #1 Ronald Curry went to UNC, #2 David Terrell went to Michigan, #5 Bobby Blizzard went to Kentucky, and #10 Chanston Rogers went to Marshall (probably because of grades).
Almost all of those seven Hokie signees became major contributors. The big names were Michael Vick, Jake Houseright, Lee Suggs, Ronyell Whitaker, Keith Burnell and Emmett Johnson. Only Marlan Hicks never contributed.
Although three of the top five prospects headed out-of-state,...
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