FUMA Notes: VT Pursuing Nijman

At the start of this season, Virginia Tech fans knew of one player on Fork Union Military Academy’s (VA) postgraduate squad. He is Xavier Burke, a graduate of Brunswick High School (Lawrenceville, VA) who signed a letter of intent with the Hokies in February of 2014. The tight end/defensive line prospect planned to enroll at Tech in the summer of 2014 but fell short on the SAT/ACT, therefore needing a semester of postgraduate work.

This fall, 6’6.5”, 265-pound defensive end/offensive lineman Yosuah Nijman emerged on Virginia Tech’s radar as well.

“We like him,” FUMA postgraduate head coach John Shuman said of Nijman. “We play him at defensive end. He came in rangy and a little soft, but he has worked hard, gotten stronger, and really played well the last three weeks. Just about anybody that comes in will offer him. Miami is coming next Friday. I would imagine they’ll offer. He is just one of those guys you look at and say, ‘Okay. We’re going to offer this guy.’”

Virginia Tech likes Nijman as an offensive lineman according to Shuman, though the talented athlete believes the Hokies like him on both sides of the ball. His preference is defense.

“It’s awesome,” Nijman said of playing defensive end. “I love tackling. I think it fits into what my personality is.”

In addition to Tech, Nijman claims offers from Temple and Virginia. He has visited Virginia Tech and Miami, and he plans to visit Temple in December.

“I think I’m going to make my decision the second week in December,” Nijman said. “I don’t have a favorite right now.”

Nijman was in Blacksburg for Tech’s home game against Boston College.

“It was very interesting,” Nijman said. “I watched the football game. I liked the game. It was interesting.”

Nijman added: “The [Tech] coaches are good guys. They are passionate.”

Of Miami, Nijman said: “Their coaches are really nice. They are passionate.”

Nijman is a postgraduate who plans to enroll in college in January of 2015. He still has work to do, but he feels confident he’ll be all set academically come December. Shuman was positive as well.

“He’ll probably pull it out,” Shuman said.


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

In an interview with TSL back in September, Shuman expressed optimism in regards to Burke’s chances of making it to Virginia Tech in January of 2015. What’s the latest?

“This year has been so crazy,” Shuman noted. “It has been a weird year. If [Burke] comes to the SAT Review every night, I think he’s going to squeeze whatever he needs. He has some work to do right now.”

Burke said: “I’m working hard to get the SAT squared away. I’ve taken three tests – the SAT twice and the ACT once. I’m waiting for my last SAT to come back.”

According to Burke, he is where he needs to be in the classroom to get to Virginia Tech. His improvement needs to be on either the ACT or SAT.

Virginia Tech recruited the Semper Fidelis All-American as a tight end; however, Shuman has played him strictly on the defensive line. At 6’3”, 248 pounds, Burke says he is “the strongest I’ve ever been.”

“Pretty good. A steady, steady guy,” Shuman said of Burke. “He’s not flashy, but he holds down the defensive line pretty good. He’s athletic.”

Burke is open to playing on either side of the ball in college. Coach Shuman discussed where he feels the standout prospect may be best suited if the Hokies want to get him on the field as soon as possible.

“Just eye-balling him, if they want the guy to play right away they might want to play him on defense. If they want him at tight end, he’ll probably need to red-shirt. He needs to work on his blocking,” Shuman said of Burke.

The Tech-bound prospect attended Virginia Tech’s