Virginia Tech Recruiting Update: St. Frances Academy, And An In-State Map

Virginia Tech
A large number of St. Frances players were at Virginia Tech recently. (@MoneyMovesLP)

By my count, Virginia Tech offered four more St. Frances Academy (Baltimore, MD) players over the weekend. St. Frances is a somewhat new school on the radar, but it’s rapidly become important to recruiting in this region, so I wanted to go over it in a little bit more detail today before we get into the four new players offered by the Hokies.

St. Frances was founded in 1828, and according to Wikipedia, it is the first and oldest continually operating Black Catholic educational facility in the United States. The football program only recently began making headlines in the past few seasons, and it’s a somewhat similar story to Bishop Sullivan in Virginia Beach. The main difference is St. Frances has a lot more talent than Bishop Sullivan had and is more successful on the national scale.

Here’s an interesting quote from Wiki…

“St. Frances’ football program has become the subject of controversy within Maryland in the late 2010s. After former Gilman School coach (and current Michigan assistant) Biff Poggi took over as head coach, he began aggressively recruiting talented players from inside and outside Maryland, to a greater degree than other private schools in the state did. Within a few seasons, St. Frances became effectively unbeatable by their traditional opponents in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA), regularly defeating them by wide margins.[10]

Before 2018 those teams told St. Frances they would no longer play them, citing safety concerns as many of St. Frances’ recruits were well outside the typical height and weight range for high school players and more in line with college football teams.”

That’s pretty much exactly what happened at Bishop Sullivan, which forced the school to play a national schedule…including St. Frances. St. Frances won all of those meetings with relative ease, and were good enough to beat IMG Academy in Florida on the road this past season.

Bishop Sullivan started off fairly competitive, but by the end of their efforts at playing a national schedule, a lot of their scores were ending up like this…

IMG Academy (FL): 48-0 L
Gonzaga (DC): 38-0 L
Peddie (NJ): 42-7 L
Good Counsel (MD): 55-0 L

Three of Bishop Sullivan’s four wins in 2018 came against Canadian teams, and gradually the program faded away, most of the talent went back to their regular high schools (or joined head coach Chris Scott at Oscar Smith).

Unlike Bishop Sullivan, St. Frances Academy has not faded away. They have gotten stronger. In fact, they’ve beaten IMG the last two times they’ve played, and their only two losses in their last two seasons have been to national powers Mater Dei (CA) and St. Thomas Aquinas (FL). St. Frances finished No. 4 nationally in the MaxPreps national rankings this past season, behind only national powers Mater Dei (CA), Westlake (TX), and Bergen Catholic (NJ). IMG Academy lost just one game all season…to St. Frances.

Eight of the top-20 players in the state of Maryland for the 2022 class attended St. Frances. Four of the top-24 came from St. Frances in 2021. It was seven of the top-13 in 2022, including Michigan running back Blake Corum. It’s still entirely too early project what the rankings will look like for the 2023 class, but you can bet that a number of St. Frances Academy players will be on the list.

St. Frances also recruits a bit at the national level, unlike Bishop Sullivan, though it’s unclear to me exactly how many of their players come from out-of-state. Wherever they come from, there is lots