Monday, February 3, 2014 11:00am
Here's an inside look at Virginia Tech's 2014 recruiting class.
Head Coach: Frank Beamer
Total Number of Expected Signees: 26
National Recruiting Rankings:
Rivals.com: No. 45 (2002), No. 27 (2003), No. 41 (2004), No. 14 (2005), No. 32 (2006), No. 29 (2007), No. 18 (2008), No. 23 (2009), No. 23 (2010), No. 33 (2011), No. 22 (2012), No. 23 (2013) under Frank Beamer
Scout.com: No. 45 (2002), No. 21 (2003), No. 26 (2004), No. 18 (2005), No. 31 (2006), No. 25 (2007), No. 20 (2008), No. 41 (2009), No. 37 (2010), No. 36 (2011), No. 27 (2012), No. 35 (2013) under Frank Beamer.
247Sports.com: No. 33 (2011), No. 22 (2012), No. 17 (2013) under Frank Beamer
ACC Rankings (Rivals.com): No. 5 (2004), No. 3 (2005), No. 6 (2006), No. 7 (2007), No. 4 (2008), No. 4 (2009), No. 4 (2010), No. 5 (2011), No. 4 (2012), No. 4 (2013)
2014 Virginia Tech ACC & National Rankings By Network
ESPN: No. 5 ACC, No. 31 overall nationally
Rivals.com: No. 5 ACC, No. 25 overall nationally
Scout.com: No. 6 ACC, No. 49 overall nationally
247Sports.com: No. 4 ACC, No. 27 overall nationally
Signee Breakdown by Star Rating:
Rivals.com: Five Stars (0), Four Stars (8), Three Stars (14), Two Stars (5)
Scout.com: Five Stars (0), Four Stars (4), Three Stars (16), Two Stars (6)
247Sports.com: Five Stars (0), Four Stars (4), Three Stars (23), Two Stars (0)
States Represented (6): Virginia (15), Pennsylvania (3), Florida (3), Maryland (2), Ohio (2), New Jersey (2)
January (Spring Semester) Enrollees: Andrew Ford, Shai McKenzie, Vincent Mihota, Marshawn Williams
Unconfirmed Academics: D.J. Reid, Holland Fisher
Breakdown by Position: Wide Receivers (5), Defensive Backs (4), Defensive Linemen (4), Offensive Linemen (4), Running Backs (4), Quarterbacks (3), Linebackers (1), Tight Ends (1)
It was yet another banner year on the recruiting trail for Hokies running backs coach Shane Beamer, as the head coach’s son helped Virginia Tech land five key 2014 signees including a pair of Rivals.com four-star defensive backs - Holland Fisher and C.J. Reavis - as well as in-state running backs D.J. Reid and Tabyus Taylor, and safety Shawn Payne. Fisher and Reid initially committed to Virginia Tech in the 2013 class but failed to qualify academically out of high school, but Beamer did a solid job keeping both pledged to the Hokies during their time at Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy this past semester. It’s also worth mentioning Virginia Tech wide receivers coach Aaron Moorehead, who played a critical role in the Hokies landing a trio of Rivals.com four-star prospects---Lakeland (Fla.) wideout Javon Harrison, Baltimore linebacker Melvin Keihn, and Hyattsville (Md.) receiver Cameron Phillips.
10 Key Misses
Monroeville (Pa.) safety Montae Nicholson (Michigan State), Chesapeake (Va.) defensive tackle Andrew Brown (Virginia), Virginia Beach (Va.) safety Quin Blanding (Virginia), Charlotte (N.C.) wide receiver Austin Proehl (North Carolina), Woodbridge (Va.) defensive end Da’Shawn Hand (Alabama), Washington (D.C.) defensive back Jalen Tabor (Florida), Norfolk (Va.) defensive end Jalyn Holmes (Ohio State), Burke (Va.) quarterback Caleb Henderson (North Carolina), Virginia Beach (Va.) wide receiver Jamil Kamara (Virginia), Fredericksburg (Va.) offensive lineman Steven Moss (Virginia)
Virginia Tech Recruiting Storylines:
- Among Virginia Tech’s 2014 signees are multiple prospects who played together either in high school or at the prep level. The Hokies snagged a pair of defensive linemen teammates from Massaponax High School in Fredericksburg (Va.), defensive tackle Steve Sobczak and defensive end Vincent Mihota, and they’re also adding defensive back Holland Fisher and running back D.J. Reid, who both spent the fall 2013 semester playing together at Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy. Virginia Tech is also adding a pair of Hampton (Va.) natives who are familiar with each other from playing at rival high schools---running back Marshawn Williams from Phoebus High School and defensive tackle Ricky Walker from Bethel High School.
- Virginia Tech is keeping it in the family in the case of the Edmunds family of Ringgold (Va.). The Hokies landed the family’s oldest brother Trey Edmunds, a linebacker and Rivals 250 prospect out of Dan River High School, in the Class of 2012. In the 2014 cycle the Hokies got a commitment from Trey’s middle brother Terrell, a 6-1, 180-pound linebacker. A third Edmunds brother, defensive back Tremaine, is in the Class of 2015 and is also a possibility for Virginia Tech. Their father, Ferrell Edmunds, is currently the head coach at Dan River High. The elder Edmunds played at Maryland in the mid-1980s under Bobby Ross, winning an ACC title in 1985 with the Terrapins, and played seven years in the NFL with the Miami Dolphins and Seattle Seahawks, earning an All-Pro selection in 1989 and participating in the 1989 and 1990 Pro Bowls.
- The 2014 class ends a long streak for Virginia Tech signing prospects out of its southern neighbor, North Carolina. While its ACC Coastal Division rival UNC successfully recruited four Virginians in this recruiting cycle (Caleb Henderson, Tyler Powell, Jeremiah Clarke, Malik Carney), this marks the first time since 2002 that the Hokies aren’t signing a single prospect from the Tar Heel State. The news was much better on the home front for Virginia Tech, as the Hokies continue to rack up in-state commitments. 2014 is the third straight signing class for Virginia Tech going back to 2012 in which the Hokies have signed 14 or more Virginians, and in Virginia Tech’s five classes this decade going back to 2010, the program has signed a grand total of 67 players that attended Virginia high schools or prep schools before coming to Blacksburg.
- With three-year starting quarterback Logan Thomas moving on from Blacksburg, one of the big storylines going into Virginia Tech’s 2014 season is who will take the reigns under center. A sidebar to that storyline is whether any of the incoming freshmen can make some noise and potentially compete for immediate playing time. After signing relatively few quarterbacks during the Thomas era, Virginia Tech is bringing in three players in the 2014 class with potential to play quarterback - Chris Durkin of Youngstown (OH), Travon McMillian of Woodbridge (Va.), and Andrew Ford of Camp Hill (Pa.). This is the first time in at least a decade that Virginia Tech is bringing in as many as three quarterbacks in the same class, though McMillian also has potential to play wide receiver or multiple positions on defense.
A Closer Look At ...
Melvin Keihn, DB (6-3, 220) Baltimore (Md.) Gilman School
Rivals.com Ranking: (No. 226 overall nationally, No. 16 outside linebacker, No. 4 in Maryland)
Scout.com Ranking: (No. 57 outside linebacker, No. 12 in Maryland)
247Sports.com Ranking: (No. 19 weak-side defensive end, No. 8 in Maryland)
Lead Recruiter(s): Aaron Moorehead
Keihn was a two-time All-Metro performer and a two-time Consensus All-State selection out of Baltimore’s Gilman School. As a senior in 2013 Keihn recorded 85 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, nine sacks, and two forced fumbles, playing mostly defensive end. He’s projected as a linebacker for the Hokies. Keihn chose Virginia Tech over Maryland and Virginia after earning approximately 50 major conference scholarship offers. “Keihn moves well in space and can get up the field well. However, when a defensive player blocks him near the line of scrimmage, he has to do a better job of disengaging more quickly and making the play. He runs and his change of direction is very good. He also tackles well in the open field,” said Scout.com national analyst Brian Dohn.
Travon McMillian, QB/ATH (6-0, 190) Woodbridge (Va.) C.D. Hylton
Rivals.com Ranking: (No. 30 athlete, No. 16 in Virginia)
Scout.com Ranking: (No. 12 quarterback, No. 10 in Virginia)
247Sports.com Ranking: (No. 15 dual-threat quarterback, No. 18 in Virginia)
Lead Recruiter(s): Bud Foster
McMillian has been on a mission in recent months to prove that he’s capable of being Virginia Tech’s starting quarterback. And while many recruiting prognosticators think he’d be better suited as either a wide receiver, defensive back, or linebacker at the college level, McMillian is coming to Blacksburg intending on making his mark as a quarterback and possibly becoming Logan Thomas’s replacement. In his final three years of prep competition (2011 to 2013) at C.D. Hylton High School, McMillian threw for over 3,900 yards and 37 touchdowns, including a senior season in which he threw for over 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns with just seven interceptions. The dual-threat standout also ran for better than 3,600 yards over his three years as Hylton’s starting quarterback, giving him over 7,500 career all-purpose yards. He rushed for over 1,200 yards in both his junior and senior seasons, including the 2013 season in which he ran for a single-season best 1,537 yards.
C.J. Reavis (6-1, 202) Chester (Va.) Thomas Dale
Rivals.com Ranking: (No. 26 safety, No. 11 in Virginia
Scout.com Ranking: (No. 38 safety, No. 13 in Virginia)
247Sports.com Ranking: (No. 32 athlete, No. 14 in Virginia)
Lead Recruiter(s): Shane Beamer
Virginia Tech had to beat out several of its Atlantic Coast Conference peers for Reavis, as the in-state safety prospect chose the Hokies over offers from the likes of Boston College, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Miami, North Carolina, N.C. State, Virginia, and Wake Forest. As a junior in 2012 Reavis recorded over 100 tackles, 17 pass breakups and two interceptions, and followed that up his senior year by recording 91 tackles and three interceptions on defense, along with 300 all-purpose yards on offense and special teams. Reavis was selected to play in the Offense-Defense All-American Bowl following his senior season.
Why They Chose Virginia Tech:
I love the coaches, I love the campus, I love it from an academic standpoint. I knew if football wouldn't work out for me, my degree from Virginia Tech will be huge. It'll help me get my career going once I get older. I love Coach (Jeff) Grimes. He's a great guy and he's been straight-up with me from day one. He just told me that he loved the kind of player I am and he said I'd be a great fit.
---Ramsey (N.J.) offensive tackle Tyrell Smith to HokieHaven.com
I think it was everything really. It was the coaching staff, the school, the campus, the town of Blacksburg and the facilities are awesome. I think the school spirit is really cool down there between being a college town and everything down there being about Virginia Tech. It’s a very big program and a huge fan base. I think that’s really awesome and they love their Hokies down there.
---Holland (Pa.) offensive lineman Eric Gallo to Scout.com
I like the school and they run their offense, too. I've got a real good connection with Coach (Torrian) Gray. He came to a couple of my basketball games and everything. I feel like I could fit in well over there, too. I love every coach and it's just like a family at VT. Really, it was just the coaches (that played the biggest role in the decision). I just get along with them so well. I feel like I fit in great with the offense. I'm just excited and ready to be a Hokie.
---Winter Haven (Fla.) wide receiver Kendrick Holland to HokieHaven.com
I just feel at home there. I know it’s a good situation for me there and all my family lives in Roanoke, which is really close. The coaches are tight-knit and it’s like a big family there. They just make you feel at home as soon as you get there. It doesn't matter if you’re committed or a recruit. I’m looking forward to seeing how things change from high school to college. Coach Beamer is a legendary coach and having a chance to play for him is a really big honor.
---Hampton (Va.) running back Marshawn Williams to Scout.com