Sunday, December 11, 2011
This year, in a chain of events that even I find unbelievable, the Heisman committee made the right choice and awarded the Heisman to Robert Griffin III. If you watched him play at all this year, you would agree. The number of big throws he made in big games, in leading traditional doormat Baylor to their best record in ages, all while playing with essentially a non-existent defense (they were #114 in the nation), deserved to be recognized. There was a point in time 3-4 games into the season when the guy had more touchdowns than INCOMPLETIONS.
And though I think Andrew Luck is going to make a better NFL QB and he can wipe away his tears with $100 bills in April, RGIII was the most outstanding player in college football this year and I wish him the best whether he stays in school for his senior year to try and win it again or comes out in the draft in April.
Thursday, December 08, 2011
Update - 13:47 -
If you have any information regarding this incident, please call the tip line at: 540-231-6411.
Update - 13:55 -
Officer and second person shot and died. During a routine traffic stop in the Cassell Coliseum parking lot, a police officer has been shot by suspect. Suspect took off on foot in the direction of the Cage. Suspect is at large and is potentially armed and dangerous. Shelter in place. Stay indoors.
Update - 14:16 -
No news from campus at this time. Roughly two hours into the incident. Andy Bitter was in the middle of his live chat at the time the incident occurred. Andy Bitter
Reaction by Virginia Tech administration was immediate and swift. Alarms signalling the lockdown were blaring across campus within minutes of the initial incident. Students and faculty were immediately alerted via text, twitter, and the web.
This is an ongoing matter as students prepare for finals which are scheduled to start tomorrow.
Multiple jurisdictions of officers are on site. Virginia State Police has taken over investigation. Police are sweeping building by building. Reports indicated Squires Student Center has been cleared.
Montgomery County Public Schools are also on lockdown. Parents being informed that schools will not be let out on time this afternoon.
Multiple reports of additional shootings are unfounded. Right now, only known shootings are the original two.
A Wahoo just brought up a good point. Unless you are directly affected, try to stay off of vt.edu so that those that are can get access to the site for information that they need.
Finals for Friday Dec. 9th postponed.
Update - 15:12 -
Virginia Tech spokesperson Mark Owczarski reports that status of suspect is unknown. Information about second victim is still unknown.
Update - 15:56 -
Montgomery County Schools are being dismissed. Expect school buses to arrive home 60 to 90 minutes late.
High schools and middle schools will be dismissed first. Followed by elementary schools. Parents can pick up children in an orderly manner at the schools.
Update - 16:27 -
Press conference starting shortly. Unconfirmed report coming from NBC-Washington that the gunman is the second body found in the Cage.
Virginia Tech Police confirm that a weapon was found near the second body.
From Virginia Tech on Facebook: "Law enforcement agencies have determined there is no longer an active threat or need to secure in place. Resume normal activities."
Update - 16:39 -
Confirmed from LEO, suspect is the second victim. Suspect is also suspected of an armed robbery and carjacking in Radford, VA.
Live stream of press conference.
Police not releasing name of slain officer nor information regarding the second victim found in the Cage due to on going investigation.
Suspect was not in the vehicle that was stopped by the officer. According to VA State Police, the suspect "walked up to the officer."
VT ALERT was used 6 times, including within 7-8 minutes of the initial 9-1-1 call.
The press conference is winding down. Campus appears to be safe. Blacksburg Transit has resumed service.
I'm going to sign off for now. I will see what more I can find out and update you as I can. The official word is that campus is now safe and the case is still under investigation and details are not being released as of yet.
Tuesday, December 06, 2011
The Logan Thomas fumble as it would be, was what it was. However, the thing I keyed on most was his reaction to the play on the sideline. He was frustrated and that frustration carried on to the field not only through Thomas, but others such as David Wilson and Jarrett Boykin and much of the offensive front.
Monday, December 05, 2011
1) 12:03 left in the 1st quarter and the Hokies took over for their first series. First play from scrimmage after all the hype and hubbub and what happens? For the 2nd time this season, a Logan Thomas fumble on the first Hokie offensive play. And the Tigers recovered and went on to score.
There are several reasons I boil the game down to this play. The Tigers came into the ACC Championship game with very low confidence. The Hokies were riding high on a 7 game win streak looking to avenge their only loss. The Tigers got the ball first....and proceeded to get stopped short of midfield. They punted and the Hokies took over. A good first drive for even a FG would have planted the only seeds of doubt the Hokies needed. Hell, even a few first downs and a punt wouldn't have given Clemson the spark it needed to get out of the 4 game funk they had been in.
And what play was it that the fumble occurred on? A read-option. Playcaller Mike O'Cain proceeded to avoid that read-option play like the plague, only using it twice more the entire first half. The read-option was a critical cog in the Hokie offensive machine in the latter part of the season and a bad result on that first play kept them away from it.
As the first half ended 10-10 I really felt like the game was lost when I was watching it the first time. Because Clemson had all they needed to know - they were in the game. As I said in the preview, that confidence was the only thing lacking because they certainly had all the weapons. If you've ever played competitive sports you understand the critical importance of psychology. It affects one's ability to focus and to execute. Good plays feed on themselves and so do bad plays. In fact a sign of great coaching is the ability to convince a team to forget the last play and move on to the next one.
Against Clemson during the regular season, early game mistakes convinced Clemson they belonged in the game, in that type of hostile environment in Lane Stadium. They played with confidence and they had (and have) a ton of great weapons. The result was 23-3. In the ACC title game, this early mistake by the Hokies jolted the Tigers out of their slump and while I'll concede that if the game had been refereed fairly and Jayron Hosley hadn't gotten injured, who knows what would have happened, I will still conclude that if the Hokies had NOT turned that ball over but instead had gone on a good drive, the Hokies would have been ACC champs.
Friday, December 02, 2011
Earlier this year, after the Hokies devastating defeat to the Clemson Tigers in Lane Stadium, they were knocked out of national title contention again. Very painful, life-shortening type of stuff for old men like me. But this time in the postgame locker room, despite the fact that individual players were very emotional, they didn't have the team gathered around them. David Wilson raged and Logan Thomas tried to accept responsibility for the loss. But it wasn't a player who rallied the team, rather it was Coach Beamer who put the team on its current mission. I have never heard Beamer say anything like this to his players but he told them "I promise you, if you will stick together, don't blame this guy, or blame that guy but stick together and I promise you, go write it down, we will get another chance to play them in the ACC Championship game."
Monday, November 28, 2011
But on Saturday, I bumped those catches down one spot because this is now the greatest catch I've ever seen.
2) The Hokies were ahead 14-0 late in the 2nd quarter when the Cavs mounted their 2nd best drive of the day, getting all the way to the Tech 20 yd line. With less than a minute to go in the half, QB Michael Rocco dropped back and Kyle Fuller came on the blitz. Fuller made a spectacular play, getting both hands on the ball and knocking it to the ground and Mr. Everywhere Jack Tyler was there to fall on the loose ball. The UVa threat ended, the Hokies went into halftime with all the momentum.
3) The momentum was evident as the Hokies drove the field on the opening possession of the third quarter. With 11:00 left in the third, RB David Wilson took the handoff and dashed 27 yards into the end zone, delivering a dismissive stiff arm on the UVa safety at the 3 yd line. This was the dagger in the heart for the Cavs as they seemed to lose all their steam and realized the fate that awaited the Commonwealth Cup was a trip back to its 8-yr home in Blacksburg for yet another 365 days.
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Thursday, November 24, 2011
The Commonwealth Cup earns its place among these games as one of the great storied rivalries. The Cavaliers and Hokies have met ninety-two times with the Hokies taking fifty of them. The first of these games took place back before they had the Internet in 1895. Early on, the Cavaliers dominated -- winning the first eight meetings. To be fair, the Virginia Agriculture and Mechanical College Fighting Gobblers were a young squad back then. Only coming into existence three seasons prior, the Gobblers got blanked 38-0 to open that season. [The Cavaliers started playing football in 1888.] Despite the loss, the Gobblers were able to achieve a 4-2 season that year!
I know right! Only six games in a season!? [Later that season the school was renamed and so was the mascot.]
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Saturday, November 19, 2011
2) WIth 4:49 left in the 2nd quarter, UNC RB Giovani Bernard took the carry off the left side and ran 11 yards for a first down. It gave him 10 carries for 45 yards at that point and he was badly hurting the Hokies throughout the first half. But this time there was unintentional helmet-to-helmet contact on the play and Bernard left the game with a concussion. The UNC offense would go dormant until the 4th quarter, not scoring a point until there were 7 minutes left in the game.
3) This play is the very definition of the 3 Key Plays segment. One of those plays that you just don't realize at the time how huge it is. With 12:10 left in the game, the Hokies were ahead 24-7, but UNC was driving. The Heels had 2nd and 9 from the Hokie 13 yard line. Kyle Fuller came off the right side on a blitz and popped UNC QB Bryn Renner for a 7 yard loss on the play. The subsequent play on 3rd down was incomplete and UNC kicker Thomas Moore came in to try and 37 yard FG. It fell 2 yards short. If Kyle Fuller doesn't get that sack, the FG would have been long enough. And what was the final margin of victory for Virginia Tech? 3 points. It could very well have been a game-winning sack and it came with 12 minutes left in the game.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
WHAT: The Allstate Tailgate Tour, a unique and interactive fan experience visiting college football stadiums across the country, is heading to Blacksburg this week as the Virginia Tech Hokies take on the North Carolina Tar Heels on Thursday, November 17.
Monday, November 14, 2011
Saturday, November 12, 2011
1) After taking over at their own 12-yd line, the Hokies were in the midst of one of their most promising drives of the season. They were in the process of answering a Georgia Tech score that had cut VT's lead to 21-19 and were re-capturing the momentum with several huge third down conversions. And then, at the 7:31 mark of the 3rd quarter, after driving all the way down to the GT 19 yd-line, RB David Wilson took the ball on 1st and 10 and after scooting through a hole, Yellow Jacket LB Julian Burnett got his hand on the football and knocked it out. Georgia Tech recovered and the air came out of the Hokies' sails. Wilson has had a remarkable season but these fumbles can be game changing and he just has to carry that ball tighter to his body when he runs on the inside like that. This fumble led to another GT touchdown which gave them the lead and all the momentum back.
2) After recapturing the momentum, GT had the Hokies pinned deep on a 3rd and 19. Trailing 26-19, things were looking ugly for the Hokies. QB Logan Thomas dropped back at the 3:15 mark of the third quarter and not finding anyone open he took a hit for a sure sack. The game was slipping away. But Logan Thomas didn't give up. He didn't quit driving his legs and fighting the three Yellow Jackets trying to bring him down or take the ball away. Finally as the refs blew the whistle, Yellow Jacket LB Jeremiah Attaochu punched Thomas in the head out of frustration. The scene was eerily reminiscent of J.R. Collins losing his temper and throwing the ball at Jacory Harris in the Miami game, giving the Canes a free first down when they had been stopped. In this case, the personal foul gave the Hokies a first down and they proceeded to drive the field, converting it into points and a lead they would never relinquish. And Attaochu assured himself of a suspension for next week's game.
3) With 11:54 left in the game and VT clinging to a 1 point lead, they faced 4th and 1 from the Georgia Tech 22 yd-line. Yes, the Hokies had just stopped the Jackets on a 4th down play a few minutes earlier but it would be for nothing if they didn't convert here. Logan Thomas, on a QB sneak, DROVE the pile forward for 5 yards and a first down. VT would go on to score a critical touchdown on the drive. Coach Beamer showed a lot of guts, not kicking the 39 yd FG to make it a 4 point game. He really put the entire game on the offensive line and Thomas' shoulders. And those young men delivered.
Tuesday, November 08, 2011
What's more, both teams will be coming off bye weeks. Both teams will be rested. Georgia Tech is returning some key starters on offense (see Hokies on Defense). In all, this is a big test for the Hokies.
The nation's 2nd best rushing offense vs. the nation's 6th best rushing defense. Not only is a potent offense it's also one that most teams rarely face and have trouble preparing for. Rushing for 328 yards a game, the Yellow Jackets come out with the spread option offense. This is a very intelligent offense that can cause several headaches if executed to the level that Coach Paul Johnson has been able to. Despite slipping two games to Virginia and Miami, the Jackets bounced back knocking off Clemson with 383 yards on the ground. Quarterback Tevin Washington had 176 of those yards -- a Georgia Tech record for a quarterback -- and knocked the Tigers out of contention for the national title.
Thursday, November 03, 2011
|3||Oklahoma State (1)||69|
Monday, October 31, 2011
The Hokies managed a victory against the Blue Devils but it wasn't pretty. Turnovers, penalties, and a whole mess of issues should have resulted in a massive defeat, but the Hokies were able to hold on and leave Durham with a 14-10 victory.
This was a game as ugly as it was good as it was bad.
Sunday, October 30, 2011
2) The Hokies were protecting a 14-10 lead but Duke had the ball and a 3rd and 5 from the Hokies' 13 yd-line with 12:45 left in the game. Duke found their TE Cooper Helfet out in the flat with an easy path to the first down and maybe more. CB Kyle Fuller came flying up and got low on Helfet, making an huge open field tackle and stopping the Devils 3 yds short of the first down. Duke settled for a 29-yd FG attempt which K Will Snyderwine missed, making Fuller's stop even more huge. It wasn't his best play of the game, however.
3) You guessed it - 4:45 left in the game, Duke down 14-10 has a 4th and 2 from the Hokies 15 yd-line. QB Sean Renfree rolled out on a run-pass option (something I wish Tech would do more on offense), but Kyle Fuller made one of the best plays of the season. He saw the RB was headed to the flat to be the pass option, so he hit him at the line of scrimmage and the back fell down. Fuller was knocked back by the contact but kept his balance and then ran down Renfree and made another huge open field tackle to prevent Renfree from making the first down and essentially preserving the win.
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Mike London was hired as the head coach at Virginia after our all-time favorite Cavalier coach Al Groh was fired at the end of the 2009 season.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
That combined with the fact that Duke has historically not been very competitive in the ACC makes it far too easy for the Hokies to overlook this week's opponent. And while Duke is the weakest ACC opponent the Hokies will play this season (BC only lost to the Blue Devils because of a fluke miss on a 19 yd-FG attempt), I think we've seen what can happen when the Hokies don't come to play with the necessary concentration and effort. The game-that-won't-be-named from last season was in Lane Stadium and was against an opponent far worse than the Blue Devils. So it's obviously possible for Tech to lose a road game against an ACC opponent. And the only thing that works in Tech's favor this time, as crazy as this sounds, is the injuries.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
|3||Oklahoma State (1)||68|
Monday, October 24, 2011
In fact, the defense did not allow a drive for longer than 47 yards causing six punts in a row including two three and outs. The 47 yard drive resulted in an interception by Tariq Edwards. In short, the defense ran a clinic. The Hokies had another game where they held the opponent to few than 100 yards rushing. Chase Rettig managed 13 of 30 for 181 yards but really most of that came on the first and second to last drives -- the two scoring drives.
Sunday, October 23, 2011
2) 3rd and 3 with 12:25 remaining in the 3rd quarter. The Hokies are down 7-6 but have at least shown a little life at the beginning of the 2nd half. QB Logan Thomas runs the option, splits two defenders, makes a perfect pitch to RB David Wilson and Wilson is off to the races. He gets a great block on the edge by Danny Coale and another by Marcus Davis and Wilson breaks a tackle at the 10 yd line to stay in bounds and leap into the endzone giving the Hokies a 13-7 lead they would never relinquish.
3) 1st and 10 at the Hokie 22 yd line, BC is driving in response to the VT score. Only down 13-7, it looks like the Eagles are going to get either a FG or a TD out of this drive, making it a close game yet again. With Hokie defenders dropping like flies due to injury, one man steps into a role he's familiar with. Sr LB Barquell Rivers, a starter on the 2009 squad, filling in for Bruce Taylor now, rushes BC QB Chase Rettig, forcing him into a throw as he takes the hit. Fellow LB Tariq Edwards makes a leaping grab for the interception at the Hokie 11 yd-line. The Hokies would proceed to score on the ensuing drive, essentially putting the game out of reach. A rich reward for Rivers who has fought so hard to overcome a devastating quad injury that took the NFL out of his future. He made a play for his brothers and helped the Hokies get the win.
Friday, October 21, 2011
Boston College is 105th in scoring offense. Statistically, they find themselves in the bottom third of all FBS teams in almost every offensive category. Chase Rettig managed to complete 13 of 20 passes but only for 129 yards in their last game, a loss to Clemson. On the ground they rushed for 126 yards.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
|#||Team (# first place votes)||Pts.|
|4||Oklahoma State (1)||66|
Monday, October 17, 2011
2) 2nd and 7 from the Hokies own 7 yard line with 1:33 left in the third quarter, the Hokies were in danger of letting Wake back into the game. They were deep in their own end and Wake had just scored a touchdown to make the score 28-17 in favor of the Hokies. Similar to the first key play, except to the opposite side of the field, Thomas dropped another well-thrown ball in just over the outstretched hands of the Wake defender to Jarrett Boykin, giving Tech a first down at the 33 yd-line and out of the shadow of their own goal posts. This was the catalyst for one of the greatest drives of Tech's season thus far - a 96 yard drive to go back up 35-17.
3) Wake Forest had a 4th and 17 at the Hokies 42 yd-line with 7:30 left to go in the game. Trying to answer Tech's score with one of their own, QB Tanner Price dropped the ball off to the FB in the flat who was tackled well short of the first down and the Hokie victory was secured.
Friday, October 14, 2011
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Monday, October 10, 2011
The first half of the game was a clinic. Thomas and the offense dominated the Miami defense. The defense was able to contain Lamar Miller to just 20 yards. Miami's only touchdown came after a big play in which Jacory Harris hit Allen Hurns for 41-yards.
Thursday, October 06, 2011
What matters against Miami and whether the Hokies will win or not can be determined by considering three areas:
Monday, October 03, 2011
These were my words when reviewing the Marshal game. Sitting at the tailgate, these words kept echoing in my head. I knew that defensively we'd be challenged. I knew that offensively, despite what MadJay and many of you other SuperFans have been saying, Logan Thomas has not shown much promise.
Sunday, October 02, 2011
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
This is the level of Miami coming here in 2003 and 2005, Clemson coming to Lane on a Thursday night in 2006, or FSU and Boston College visiting in 2007. Clemson's 2011 squad is every bit as good as those aforementioned teams and except for the final 2 minutes of the Boston College game in 2007 and the Miami game in 2005, every one of those teams came in on this enormous stage and left not only in a loss, but got MANHANDLED by the Hokies. The Boston College ending was the result of a superhuman effort by a Heisman-worthy QB in Matt Ryan. The 2005 Miami game? We'll come back to that later.
Monday, September 26, 2011
Tech's performance in this 30-10 victory over the Thundering Herd cannot truly reflect on how they might do next week as they open up conference play against the red hot Clemson Tigers. The Hokies got a win in a game where it never was in question. There were some good plays, some bad plays, and definitely some ugly plays.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Sunday, September 18, 2011
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
I could rehash the dropped balls, which after skimming the footage from Saturday, I'm starting to be a little more convinced that they were, in fact, drops.
May your cancer remain in remission and may you continue to be an icon in this game we love.
Tech, but more importantly, College Football Super Fan,
Anand "EhhTee" Trivedi
Sunday, September 11, 2011
As a side note, I didn't get to watch the game live but watched it Saturday evening after the awesome Notre Lame loss.
First off, I wish the coverage wasn't pushed back due to the Iowa State and Iowa game going to triple overtime. I missed what I think is three drives plus a bit of the fourth. In those drives, I only noticed two incomplete passes in the play-by-play.
Thursday, September 08, 2011
Sunday, September 04, 2011
Perhaps the best way to review this game is to look at the 3 big questions that we asked while wrapping up pre-season camp:
1) Is Mike O'Cain an improvement as the offensive coordinator (whatever you want to call him, that's what he is in practice)?
2) Will the lack of depth at rover, free safety or defensive line rise up and bite VT or will these young players come up to speed quickly?
3) Is Logan Thomas ready to demonstrate what he's shown all offseason - that he is a top-flight QB - or will all this pressure and inexperience get to him?
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
As the summer evenings grow
I got my flower - I got my power
I got a woman who knows" - Led Zeppelin
Saturday....Hokie football season is upon us on Saturday and I quite simply am beside myself with anticipation. But what self-respecting blog would let the season begin without an in-depth roster breakdown filled with interviews from the coaching staff, highlights of the scrimmages and clever witticisms about each position group? None would. However, since we're no self-respecting blog, you're left with my stale attempts at humor....... and a barely readable summary of the position groups. But cheer up - kickoff is at 12:30 EST on Saturday!!!
I thought I could talk about dual threat quarterback DeAndre Presley and how he led the team in rushing yards with 1,131 yards and threw for 2,631 yards.
Sunday, August 28, 2011
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Thursday, August 04, 2011
Tuesday, August 02, 2011
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Taken from HokieNotes 01.014 on November 18th, 1999:
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
I wrote the following passage in HokieNotes Vol 01.006:
This time tomorrow, I will be a Sharky's Supermug drinking, Record Exchange CD purchasing, Mike's Grill Calzone eating, Drill Field lounging, at the game voice-losing, good-times having, Clemson fan bashing, ESPN ranting, Hokie fool. Hoping to catch a glimpse of something in Vick that will show me why he's been hyped so much.
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Friday, June 24, 2011
Wednesday, June 08, 2011
Tuesday, June 07, 2011
Monday, May 09, 2011
Here at TSF we've been doing recruiting class breakdowns internally for years. Starting in February of 2007, we decided to capture those thoughts and put them out for public consumption. It was always an irritating thing for us to see those national recruiting services award "stars" to recruits and rate classes and in some cases, the people doing those evaluations didn't have the background to be doing it. They just relied on what people "in the know" told them about different players and often times awarded stars based on the prestige of the programs that were recruiting them.
Additionally, people subscribe to these recruiting services and rarely are they told how accurate the service is at rating players in RETROSPECT. Where do you go on the internet to get the most accurate predictor of future success of high school football players? The answer is: nowhere. Because rating services can't take into account all the other factors that go into a player's success - their ability to stay out of trouble off the field, their willingness to work hard, the fit of their skill set to the coaching staff they end up playing for, etc.
With that in mind, we don't assign "stars" to the Hokie recruits. We tell you what we see on film and hear from people in the program, just like those services you pay for. The difference is that knowing the coaching staff and the type of player that succeeds in VT's program, we can evaluate film of a player in terms of something in addition to their athletic ability. We consider the current depth chart, the type of offense or defense the player played in high school, how long they've played football, their football IQ, etc. Of course athletic ability still counts for a lot as well.
And now that we've been publishing these predictions for a while, it was suggested (smartly) by a reader, that we take a closer look at how we've done. So what you will see is for each class the percentage of time we were right about a player in that class. If we called for success, the player had to make it into a starting role at some point during their career. If we called for a failure, in order for us to be right, the player had to have never started a single game in their entire career - for any reason. Injury, transfer, or just not being good enough, all were taken into account on both sides of the prediction. For the 2010 class, a success is considered as making the two deep instead of having to have started a game because most of the guys from that class who've already made it into the two-deep will likely start a game at some point in their career. We will leave the 2011 class alone as those players haven't even shown up on campus yet.
Finally, after the percentage accuracy, we will highlight our three biggest misses since we've been doing this (and a miss could be from either side of the coin), as well as our most accurate predictions. So without further ado, here's the breakdown:
Class of 2007 - 67% accurate
Class of 2008 - 69% accurate
Class of 2009 - 55% accurate (assuming the current depth chart holds true for the fall and Cody Journell, James Gayle, Logan Thomas and Tariq Edwards all start)
Class of 2010 - 48% accurate
Three Biggest Misses: (the original write-up on each recruit follows their name).
1) Class of 2010, Skip Hopkins -
"There was great discussion and disagreement within TSF about Hopkins. Just last year, we typed that we couldn't think of a single miss that Coach Cav had in the past 3 recruiting classes. Well, this might be his first in a while. 5'11" 270 lb. defensive tackles don't usually earn scholarships to Virginia Tech. However, back when the Hokies landed Skip’s older brother Antoine (who has turned out to be quite capable) the word on the street was "yep, Antoine is a stud, but you should see his little brother..." And yes, Demetrius Taylor just came off of a very solid senior season at about the same height and weight as Skip. The difference is that Taylor was a converted linebacker who happened to be one of the strongest men to ever play football at Virginia Tech. We’ve read that Skip Hopkins compares favorably to Evan Hailes in the trenches, which is saying something considering the hype behind Hailes' recruitment this year, but the footage on Hopkins doesn’t really seem to show anything more than great athleticism. Hopkins' size and strength just don't seem like they belong at Virginia Tech. Maybe he’ll grow into it. We want to give Coach Cav the benefit of the doubt based on his amazing track record, so just color us confused on this one."
This is what I get for doubting Coach Cav. And to Recruitnik D's credit he was the one who really liked this signing. Hopkins was obviously capable of contributing right away and should be even more of a force this season as a starter.
2) Class of 2008, Quillie Odom -
"One of our favorite players out of the 2007 class, Odom took a year at Hargrave and wow did things change. He became a VERY highly rated recruit due to a stellar campaign at Hargrave and the Hokies are fortunate that Odom has re-commited to Tech because there were some other school pursuing him in the background. We're going to have to use that word again - playmaker. Slightly undersized, Odom is a holy terror with a bloodhound's nose for the ball and the speed and agility to get there quickly. Nothing is surefire in recruiting because of the other off-the-field variables that can affect whether a kid gets the playing time, but Odom looks just about surefire to be in the 2 deep for the Hokies in '09. Coach Bud Foster - who is not known for sending a lot of sunshine up people's tailpipes - offered this tidbit when reviewing Odom's highlight reel - "he's got some of the most impressive tape I've ever seen." Um.... we don't need any further info. Do you? "
All the physical tools but it took him until this point in his career to actually take to coaching and he's plugged in at defensive end where he's too small to be a star. Yes we highlighted the possibility of "off-the-field" variables in the original write-up but we all thought Odom was going to be a bigtime player for Tech and he quite simply wasn't.
3) Class of 2009, Jerrodd Williams -
"It must just get scarier and scarier to be an offensive coordinator in the ACC trying to figure out how they are going to throw the ball on the Hokies. Eddie Whitley and Stephan Virgil look like the next big things at cornerback (Virgil has really already arrived) and in this 2009 class, Williams and Jayron Hosley look to carry on what is fast becoming a direct line to the NFL. Torrian Gray is red-hot right now, both on the recruiting trail and in coaching the secondary and he's the one who landed Williams. So many top corners in high school just get by on being great athletes. Williams is a great athlete who also has a nose for the football. He always seems to be in the right position to make a play on the ball and then he usually does so. Like Hosley, once he has the ball in his hands he has a way of finding the end zone. It's fun to see athletes this talented choosing Virginia Tech over ACC programs like Clemson and UNC."
Well, Williams wasn't fast enough to play corner, didn't want to move to safety and transferred to Clemson. Basically a non-factor from the get-go.
Three Best Picks (ignoring the easy ones like Logan Thomas and Ryan Williams who were so obviously going to be bigtime).
1) Class of 2008 - Dyrell Roberts -
"Playmaker. Put the ball in Roberts' hands and get out the popcorn. Roberts wins the award for most underrated recruit in the class. Think a taller Eddie Royal and you'll understand the potential Roberts has. Coming in to a WR corps losing 4 seniors, Roberts has the physical ability to play as a freshman in the 4 deep. Speed and size are 2 things you can't coach, and Roberts has lots of both. Coale, Terry, Luckett, and Dillard may play well enough to keep a redshirt on Roberts but it doesn't seem likely. Now, this will completely depend on his commitment and dedication to learning the offense and playing his hardest, but just watching his tape, he's breathtaking. He scored from the QB position, RB, WR, and kick returner. A kid like this is one that we hold up to make our annual mockery of the recruiting services that people rely on so greatly. Roberts is a 2 star recruit and Giselle Bundchen has a nice smile. Please."
Until his leg injury in the Georgia Tech game in 2010, Roberts was a playmaker throughout his career in every sense of the word - reverses, kickoff returns, big catches (Nebraska 2009 anybody?). Honestly, Roberts and 2011 WR recruit Robert Lockhart are very similar in that both got no credit because they were under the radar and if they had been spotted by schools like Alabama or LSU they would have been 4-5 star recruits (and unfortunately for Tech probably would have gone to those schools). And though this view may be controversial for some, for Roberts' sake, he ought to take a redshirt in 2011 to get a full recovery from that leg injury. That would allow him to be the senior leader and #1 guy at receiver in the 2012 season. Plus he'd get to mentor the wealth of young WR talent headed to Blacksburg this summer.
2) Class of 2008 - Jake Johnson -
"We bet Jake Johnson reminds Bud Foster of himself when he was younger. This kid is all intensity and he brings a pile of bricks to the football. Fundamentally, however he needs a lot of work. He reaches a lot and makes horse collar and jersey tackles and sometimes on his monster hits he doesn't wrap up. Now in high school that about knocks the RB or QB out, but in college you need to be sound in your tackling. The super-exciting thing about it is that Johnson has the things you can't coach - size, intensity, football instincts. And to address his fundamentals he merely has the best linebacker coach in the country (and we make no reservations about saying that) in Foster to guide that talent into a tackling machine at Virginia Tech. It should be interesting to see where Johnson ends up on the defense. You will hear us say this a lot during this recruiting analysis - sorting out the immense LB talent in this class and the '07 class and getting them into the right positions is a great problem that Coach Foster has."
Probably my favorite write-up. Johnson was the guy that everyone was raving about and he had intensity, no question. But the tape showed the flaws that ended up costing him his starting job and moving him to defensive end (and eventually out of the program). It's surprising he didn't take to Foster's coaching, but from what I heard, he and Foster were too much alike - another aspect we picked up on in this assessment. Goes to show that even a blind squirrel can find an acorn now and again.
3) Class of 2009 - James Gayle
"And now we come to the #1 Most Underrated prospect in the 2009 Class. Gayle was not even covered by most of the recruiting services at all (although Rivals to their credit gave him 3 stars). We hope the recruiting services never notice that if Jim Cavanaugh is recruiting a defensive player, then that player is something special. We said earlier that J.R. Collins is the most ready to take the field at defensive end right now, but James Gayle has the most upside of any of the ends in the '09 class. If Collins reminds us of the solid, productive Orion Martin, Gayle reminds us of the explosive, playmaking Corey Moore and down the road he could be that type of difference maker. Gayle is shot out of a cannon when the ball is snapped, he plays the position violently and with purpose and he demonstrates an uncanny ability to know where the football is going. His speed looks breathtaking, although at 215 lbs he'll need to put on a good 25-30 lbs or more without losing much of that quickness, which sounds like a tough Mike Gentry project. However, if he is able to do so, expect to know James Gayles' name by 2011 at the latest."
We hit two homeruns on this one with the comparison between Collins and Orion Martin and Gayle with Corey Moore. No Gayle hasn't been a starter yet, but by every account he is going to have a monster season barring injury. Usually the spring buzz is about an offensive superstar (think of what we heard when Michael Vick, Tyrod Taylor or Ryan Williams were having their big springs). This time, it's about James Gayle and all the offensive linemen are talking about what a force he is. This is a great legacy as one of the last recruits from Coach Cavanaugh in his long and decorated career of recruiting.
One last accurate prediction I want to throw out there (outlining the past 3 accurate predictions has apparently made me feel full of myself) went against a lot of grain. In 2008 and even up through mid-2009, there were a lot of fans who were unconvinced about the GREATNESS of Tyrod Taylor. Yes, people acknowledged his athleticism, but they questioned whether he would ever be more than Bryan Randall. A good QB and good leader.
From the minute I saw Taylor's performance against LSU, I knew he was a future star and would be better than good. He would be GREAT and I said so. When the coaches tried to redshirt him again in 2008 (and cost the Hokies that game against ECU), I railed against it. Throughout Taylor's career, I have said that he was an NFL talent, struggling to find a place within an incompetent offense and developed by a subpar QB coach. This was my closing point in a post after the 2009 Nebraska Miracle in Blacksburg.
"For all those fans who are saying that the offensive struggles are because Tyrod can't throw the football, let me explain why that is not the case. Sure he had some bad throws on Saturday, there can be no doubt of that. He wishes he had some of those back. But there were several key drops on some good throws and several other stupid formation and holding penalties that nullified very good pass plays. With the game on the line, Taylor's throw to Coale was as he was getting hit by a first round NFL defensive tackle and it travelled 60 yards in the air and couldn't possibly have been thrown more accurately. His play to Roberts, I am telling you for a fact, is a play that probably five quarterbacks in all of Division I-A football could have made. Tyrod Taylor is a physical talent who has had the bad misfortune to play for a terrible offensive coaching staff. He's not being prepared for the next level and I hope you guys can get some sense of how sickening this is for me. There are many things I am not good at (I'm sure we could do an entire series of blog entries on that list) but one thing I can do is gauge football talent. Taylor has a lot of it. Enough to play in the NFL if he were properly coached. It's too bad he's not and on that note……"
Despite those obstacles, he became a 6th round choice of the Ravens and I'm convinced, given a shot, that he can be a starter in that league.
So that wraps up our uhmmmm, wrap-up. Now all you Superfans need to join us as we go hit the weight room in preparation for the start of summer practices in 2 1/2 months. Until then,