As National Signing Day approached, optimism reigned throughout much of HokieNation. Unlike in many years past where most of our classes and key targets were firmly in our grasp after summer camps or midway through the fall season, Virginia Tech was in contention for many nationally rated recruits and attempting to go head to head with the big boys. Despite not being able to close in on most of the top guys we were final candidates for, Coach Frank Beamer and staff tried to raise their game and stayed in the fight to the bitter end. This has always been the issue with the Hokies, close but not quite there. I won’t lament the sting of this past Wednesday’s misses and flips, I'd rather focus instead on the unheralded guys who may surprise and make an impact in their Tech careers.
The true diamonds in the rough are few and far between, with college recruiting being such a big-time industry now, there aren't often that many surprises. But sometimes guys don’t play in a talent rich area's or don’t develop until late in their high school careers, and these talents seem to come out of nowhere.
Let’s take a look at the VT class of 2014. I have identified a few players I feel may be able to breakout and make a name for themselves on the offensive and defensive side of the ball:
*Hokie great RB Ryan Williams is also from Manassas, VA and attended Stonewall Jackson HS.
Greg Stroman Class Of 2014 Stonewall Jackson High School Senior Highlights "" Virginia Tech Commit"" (via Greg Stroman)
Steve Sobczak – 6’1" 305lbs
Steve Sobczak (via ACC Recruiting)
Terrell Edmunds -
Despite his older brother Trey Edmunds being a Parade, SuperPrep and PrepStar All-American, the younger Terrell isn’t quite so heralded. The three star RB-CB managed to garner only two other offers outside of VT, that being Cincinnati and Hampton. I think the recruiting services may have given him the benefit of the doubt due to his incredible bloodlines (his father Ferrell was an All-Pro TE in the NFL) or, perhaps other schools thought it was a foregone conclusion he was going to be a Tech commit all the way as a result of the strong family connection (much like the Fuller’s) therefore not even bothering with recruiting him.
I see some similarities to his situation as I did with the recruitment of Kyle Fuller, who’s older brother Vinny Fuller had a good Tech career while playing a few seasons in the NFL. Despite his brother’s success, Kyle wasn’t exactly a must have recruit by the major programs as was his younger brother Kendall, who was a consensus five-star and having his pick to play anywhere in the nation. Kyle was also a three-star and had a few offers, Maryland being his best offer outside of VT. In watching Kyle play, he definitely had a chip on his shoulder, playing aggressive and angry.
I see Terrell having the same type of chip on his shoulder, being Trey’s "little brother" and not having the respect of the recruiting services or offers to justify his three-star ranking. While I don’t see him playing early on in his career, I think by year two or three he will definitely have an impact at his eventual position, most likely in the defensive backfield. He's tall and has great size to match up with the typically taller WR's, with the speed to keep up. Terrell has a great support system with his brother there to guide him, his path to success lines up very well for him.
Terrell Edmunds Junior Football Highlights (via Brian Henderson)
Let us know your opinions on who you think will be a sleeper below!