The class of 2013 is now almost a week old, but before we move on to the class of 2014, we will have at least two more posts about the incoming class. This first one is a look at some of the interviews we've conducted with players that signed with the Hokies, either on scholarship or as an invited walk-on. In our next post, we'll do a breakdown of the class as a whole and evaluate what the Hokies coaches' did well with this class and what they will need to improve on going forward. For now though, just sit back and enjoy reading this post, right booking now you guys!
We caught up with one of the Hokies most-heralded recruits, Wyatt Teller, at last year's Spring Game (or what was supposed to be the Spring Game but was actually rained out). Because of the weather, many players and their families wanted to get on the road despite having previously arranged interviews with us. No worries though, as Wyatt (who did not have an interview set up with us) was kind enough to step in and talk with us, and provided us with the insight into what would eventually become his decision. Have a look for yourself:
Several months after our interview (August 17 to be exact), Wyatt made his decision to become a Hokie, despite the long-held belief among recruiting experts that he was a Virginia-lean. It is thought that Bud Foster turning up the heat on Wyatt may have flipped him and led to his commitment. The staff really liked what they saw in him and they didn't want to let him get away, especially to their in-state rivals. Then of course shot up the rankings for the remainder of the season. Wyatt really impressed me with his excitement, candor and politeness, and having watched several of his other interviews, you just get the feeling that he's a great person. In one of those interviews he was asked if he was upset that he hadn't received an offer from Alabama, to which he responded with something to the effect of "No, some guys at these camps like to build offers, compare offers, etc. And I don't worry about that. It would be nice, but what purpose would it serve? I'm not going to go there. I already have all the offers I want, so I'm not going to try to get an offer just so I can show it off to people at camps." And if you had any doubts before that, just know he's an impressive young man.
Parker Osterloh was also at the Spring Game and spoke briefly with us, but because of the weather concerns he and his father wanted to get back on the road for the haul back to Eastern Virginia and said he'd call me. I didn't expect a call, and it would have been okay if he did not. However, a few days later, Parker called me up and kept his word without any prodding from me. That was a pleasant surprise. So thanks again to Parker. We talked about him as a player/person, his recruiting process and of course the site. Here's the most illuminating part of our interview I have transcribed.
GC: So Parker, you committed to the Hokies at the Spring Game. What made you decide on them and why then?
PO: "I had it in my mind, and when I sat down with the coaches, it was just the right time."
GC: Who else was recruiting you? Did they play a part in your decision?
PO: "UVA. Give Mike London credit for the program he's building, but I felt like in the end, Tech was the right choice."
GC: Did the fact that the Hokies were taking (or looking to take) so many offensive linemen and could offer more playing time early on factor into your decision?
PO: "It helps out, but even without that I felt that it was the right school for me."
GC: Did you grow up in Williamsburg/the Tidewater region? Did you have a favorite Commonwealth team?
PO: "I'm originally from St. Louis, Missouri. Missouri was the family school and I had connections to there. Because I moved here it made me unbiased and gave me the opportunity to really pick who I thought was best for me."
We also had an interview scheduled with Abingdon, Va kicker/punter Mitchell Ludwig, who at one time (and may still be, I don't know, I can't find the site anymore) was rated the top punter in the nation for the class of 2013, but it was real last minute. Somehow we got our wires crossed and didn't get to do an interview before he left, but we did talk some with him and his father.
When I spoke to Mitchell, he indicated that he was planning on visiting Ohio State. The book was that West Virginia was in the lead for his services, but it felt like he was going to take visits and see if it produced an offer. Ultimately, Mitchell committed to Virginia Tech on January 29 and we broke the news for you here:
Back to the Mitchell Ludwig commitment, I spoke with him briefly at the Spring Game. Appeared to be favoring Ohio State & West Virginia then— GobblerCountry.com (@gobblercountry) January 31, 2013
Got the word this afternoon, & TRIED to post (Hellooooo Twitter...) that Abingdon kicker/punter Mitchell Ludwig has committed to the #Hokies— GobblerCountry.com (@gobblercountry) January 31, 2013
Well, that will conclude our interviews with recruits. I hope you enjoyed what we had to offer. We plan to be even more active on the recruiting front in the next year than we were this past year, so look forward to that, and the other recruiting post, probably this evening. Thanks again to all the recruits/players who took time to talk to us throughout the year, even if it was just a few words.
For more recruiting and Virginia Tech football coverage, Gobbler Country is the place to be, and as Howard Hughes would put it, THE WAY OF THE FUTURE!