TSL Recruiting Report: The Latest On Burke

GAINES’ DECISION COMING TODAY

Nash Central (Rocky Mount, N.C.) senior defensive end Houshun Gaines will announce his college choice this afternoon at a press conference at his school. The 6’4”, 215-pound prospect revealed via Twitter that the announcement will come at 2 pm. The finalists are Florida, NC State and Virginia Tech, but at this point I expect the choice to come down to the Hokies and Wolfpack.

Virginia Tech defensive line coach Charley Wiles watched Nash Central in action last Friday. On Tuesday of this week, Gaines received a call from head coach Frank Beamer.

Did Coach Beamer close the deal? We’ll find out this afternoon.

CHECKING IN AT FORK UNION

Billy Ray Mitchell (left), Xavier Burke, and Tyrell Smith (right) at Tech in the summer of 2013
Billy Ray Mitchell (left), Xavier Burke, and Tyrell Smith (right) at Tech in the summer of 2014

Then a senior at Brunswick High School (Lawrenceville, VA), Xavier Burke signed a letter of intent with Virginia Tech in February of 2014. The expectation was for the 6’4”, 240-pound tight end prospect to enroll at Tech this past summer. Burke fell short academically, so he headed to Fork Union Military Academy (VA) for postgraduate work.

Longtime FUMA postgraduate head coach John Shuman provided the latest on Burke’s academic status. More specifically, Shuman was asked what Burke’s chances are of making it to Tech in January of 2015.

“I think he has a good shot,” Shuman answered. “He’ll take the SAT next Saturday. We should see some improvement. He’s close. He’s got work to do. He needs to get about 30 or 40 points more on the test. If he can knock that out early, he should be in good shape.”

Taking care of business off the field is obviously Burke’s top priority. On the field, Shuman said: “We like Xavier. He has good speed and good hands. He is growing into a tight end/defensive end. We’re trying to get him a little tougher, a little faster, a little stronger. He has hit a little injury bug so far. He’ll get rid of one thing and another thing pops up. We’re trying to get him straight.”

Shuman noted that he spoke with Virginia Tech’s coaches last week. At that point he provided the staff with a heads up on two offensive line targets to keep an eye on.

Torsten Norberg is looking pretty good. He’s a big, thick guy with good feet. He is out of Northern Virginia. He’s about 6’6”, 295,” Shuman said.

Harrison Elam is another good guy. He’s a big tackle. He’s 6’5”, 290 pounds.”

In addition to Norberg and Elam, Shuman also noted Mason Phoenix.

“He is 6’5”, 255 pounds,” Shuman said of Phoenix. He has been jumping around, playing a lot of spots like defensive end and defensive tackle.”

MORE RECRUITING NOTES

– 5-star senior defensive end Josh Sweat still plans to take most, if not all, of his official visits, ESPN reported last weekend. Sweat has taken an official to Ohio State already, and he plans to take trips to Florida State, Georgia, Oregon and Virginia Tech.

– Salem (VA) senior running back/safety Coleman Fox tweeted yesterday that Virginia Tech has offered him a full scholarship.

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