Go Tech Go, Part 30: A Tough Start in 1990

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Archie Hopkins, photo courtesy of Virginia Tech athletics photography
Archie Hopkins, photo courtesy of Virginia Tech athletics photography

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Building on his first winning season (6-4-1) in Blacksburg, Frank Beamer—aided by his secret weapon—came away with one of the best recruiting classes in his 29 years at Virginia Tech.

The class Beamer signed in February of 1990 included center Jim Pyne, who would go on to become a unanimous First Team All-American and play in the NFL; wide receiver Antonio Freeman, who became Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre’s favorite target with the Green Bay Packers; quarterback Maurice DeShazo, who ranks among the leaders on Virginia Tech’s career total offense list; and cornerback Tyronne Drakeford, who played eight NFL seasons and won a Super Bowl ring with the San Francisco 49ers. Nine more players would become either starters or significant contributors, including offensive linemen Chris Barry, Damien McMahon and Mike Smith; linebacker Ken Brown; defensive back Stacy Henley; tight end Kevin Martin; fullback Mike Hodges; wide receiver Steve Sanders; and defensive end Billy Swarm. What’s amazing is that one of the most highly touted of Virginia Tech’s commitments