The Virginia Tech Friday Q&A: New ACC Coaches, Football Analysts, And More

Virginia Tech
Brent Pry is one of four new coaches in the ACC Coastal Division. (Virginia Tech athletics photography)

1) Of all the new head coaching hires in the ACC Coastal, which one do you think will have the better year one? By year four? – cdogvt

Chris Coleman: On paper, I would have to say that Miami’s Mario Cristobal is best positioned to have a very good season in year one. The Canes certainly have talent, but the big thing is quarterback Tyler Van Dyke. His stats from his freshman season are pretty impressive…

Comp: 202
Att: 324
%: 62.3%
Yards: 2,931
Yds/Att: 9.0
TD: 25
INT: 6

Those are impressive numbers for anybody, and remember that Van Dyke only played in 10 games. Particularly impressive are his TD-INT ratio, especially for a freshman, as well as his competition percentage considering he attempts a large number of deep balls. I’m not sure there is a better deep ball quarterback in the country.

The simple presence of Van Dyke probably gives Cristobal an edge early in his tenure. Sure, a lot more goes into it than who is playing quarterback, but I think we’d all agree that is a critical position, and Miami has a darn good one.

Success in year one doesn’t guarantee a successful tenure, though. Former Virginia Tech head coach Justin Fuente was ACC Coach of the Year in his first season (2016) and went a combined 19-8 in his first two years. Mike London was ACC Coach of the Year in his second campaign, but that was his only winning season in Charlottesville.

It will take some time to know who will become the best long-term hire for the Coastal Division programs. I doubt it will be Mike Elko, simply because he coaches at Duke, but you could make an argument for the other guys…

Mario Cristobal: Cristobal supposedly gets the Miami culture, he won at Oregon, and he’ll have plenty of access to talent in Florida. I could see his tenure going very well. Of course, you could have pretty much said the exact same things about Willie Taggart.

Brent Pry: Pry seems to understand the VT culture, and I think he’ll get more out of Tech’s players from an accountability and player development standpoint.

Tony Elliott: Elliott should bring more of a regional focus to UVA recruiting, and he should have learned plenty after being in the Clemson program for so many years.

Still, we’re talking UVA football, and that’s a program that still falls behind Virginia Tech in both reputation, fan support and monetary support. I suspect that of the new Coastal Division hires, Pry and Cristobal have the best opportunity for long-term success.

2) Please explain your recruiting article’s “systemic fit”. Projected fit for the Virginia Tech system… how does one objectively measure this on zero practicing? Did you base this off of PSU and prior coaching tour-stop(s) film study? – bourbonstreet

CC: B-street is referring to this article from earlier in the week.

My views of schematic fit are based off of Brandon Patterson’s articles on Brent Pry and his new staff, and my own perceptions. I fully admit that I’ve got a better idea of what they are looking for at certain positions (DT for example) than others (OL probably), which means that aspect of the rankings isn’t perfect. We’ll all learn more about the system as time goes by, which will