2011 National Signing Day: Virginia Tech Football's Thin Line Between Consistency and Complacency

Going into Wednesday's National Signing Day, Virginia Tech sits at No. 31 in the national recruiting rankings with a class made predominantly of three-star prospects. It's looking like their prized target, Stephone Anthony, is heading to Clemson, leaving the Hokies without a five-star commitment for the fourth consecutive year.

We've come to accept the Hokies aren't going to land the highly touted recruits that make their college choice on ESPNU with media and peers hanging on their every word. Instead, Tech is going to turn sharpen unheralded prospects with the forged steel of Mike Gentry.

The Hokies primary recruiting tool, other than the ubiquitous 10 win seasons, is a coaching staff that has remained most in tact for the better part of a decade. In fact, the Hokies haven't added a new member to the coaching staff in five years. Virginia Tech's coaching staff has been perhaps the most consistent in country. But at what point does that consistency lead to complacency?

Virginia Tech's coaching staff hasn't changed, but the question is whether or not its approach to recruiting has. My guess is it hasn't. The way you can tell elite teams is because their coaching staffs are always changing, not because someone's getting fired, but because they're getting better jobs.

When one member of the staff leaves, they're replaced with new ones that bring in new ideas when it comes to recruiting and keep up with the ever-changing world of college football.

What's happened to Virginia Tech's staff is likely what's happened to a lot of you in today's recession. How many of you are in offices that have downsized or not been allowed to hire for positions when someone leaves? What happens is there is no influx of new ideas and things start to get boring real quick.

People's habits start to wear on you, you get tired of hearing the same lame stories about people's kids over and over again and pretty soon you can't tolerate your work place.

What the Hokies need is someone, anyone, who can come in and bring a different take on recruiting that can reinvigorate the coaching staff. There doesn't need to be wholesale change, but I think some new blood would do the Hokies good. Of course, there's no guarantee those new ideas would be accepted.

There isn't a lot of evidence that there's a good deal of open-mindedness at Virginia Tech, be it in its media policies, recruiting practices or on-field approach (with the exception of Bud Foster's willingness to adjust his defense).

Tech's consistency on the recruiting trail has led to consistency in terms of double digits in the win column and consistency in its failures against elite teams. The question is, will the Hokies will be willing to try something different in any of its approaches to make the leap Oregon nearly made this year or will they allow their consistency to turn into complacency?

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