Preseason Thoughts: Demographic Shifts Cause Changes In Recruiting and Roster Makeup

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Every Virginia Tech defender pictured above in this photo from the 2005 opener was from the state of Virginia. Each of them, with the exception of Vince Hall (9), went on to play in the NFL. (Photo by Ivan Morozov)

When Virginia Tech takes the field against Florida State on Monday night, you’ll see a lot of players from the state of Virginia, but you won’t see as many as you used to see.

In my opinion, the height of Virginia Tech’s in-state recruiting came in the five years following their appearance in the Sugar Bowl following the 1999 season. In 2001, they signed the top two players in the state – Bryan Randall and DeAngelo Hall – along with No. 4 Justin Hamilton and five of the top 10, plus Jeff King at No. 12. In 2003, they again signed three of the top four, plus Duane Brown, Carlton Powell, etc.

Let’s take a look at the starting defense in 2005, and see where each player was from…

DE Darryl Tapp: