Virginia Tech's 757 Recruiting Downfall Over the Years

Geoff Burke

With recruits in the talent-rich 757 area code and the state of Virginia being hit hard over the past decade, the Hokies have seen a drop off in elite talent, which results in recent struggles.

For more than a decade, the Virginia Tech football program’s success has come from consistency and the ability keep in-state recruits in the Commonwealth. Starting in the late 90s and early 2000s, Tech began to rely heavily on the talent rich 757 area code on the eastern shore of Virginia, including Newport News, Hampton, Williamsburg, Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Franklin, and Suffolk. This area has produced Hokie legends Bruce Smith (Norfolk-Booker T. Washington High School), Michael Vick (Newport News-Warwick High School), and so many more.

But the Hokies’ last great recruiting classes to come out of the 757 come from a decade ago.

2002

Name


Position


City


High School


Rating (Stars)


Brenden Hill

WR

Newport News

Warwick

*

Robert Parker

WR

Chesapeake

Oscar Smith

**

Aaron Rouse

DB

Virginia Beach

First Colonial

***

Darryl Tapp

DE

Chesapeake

Deep Creek

***

Marcus Vick

QB

Newport News

Warwick

*****

Jimmy Williams

DB

Hampton

Bethel

***

2003


Name


Position


City


High School


Rating (Stars)


Xavier Adibi

LB

Hampton

Phoebus

****

Chris Ellis

DE

Hampton

Bethel

****

Vince Hall

LB

Chesapeake

Western Branch

****

DJ Parker

ATH

Hampton

Phoebus

**

Carlton Powell

DT

Chesapeake

Great Bridge

***

These players would be a critical factor with the Hokies move into the ACC, and most would go on to help contribute to winning the Coastal Division in 2005 and 2007, and winning the ACC Championship in 2007. Marcus Vick was electrifying on the field and continued the trend of a mobile quarterback in Blacksburg, while all the defensive players helped surge Bud and his boys to acquiring top ranked defenses over these year

The Hokies would be okay throughout the years after these classes. But recruiting in the 757 started to become a little tricky beginning in the early 2000s as it was hard to ignore the talent coming out of the area. With that, out of state schools began their attack. But for right now let’s take a look at what Tech was able to gain out of the 757. We’ll take a look at the bad and the ugly later.

2005


Name


Position


City


School


Rating (Stars)


Greg Boone

ATH

Chesapeake

Oscar Smith

***

Stephen Friday

DE

Hampton

Phoebus

****

Elan Lewis

RB

Hampton

Phoebus

****

Todd Nolen

WR

Hampton

Hampton

****

Devon Simmons

LB

Virginia Beach

Landstown

****

Demetrius Taylor

LB

Virginia Beach

Floyd Kellam

***

This isn't a bad class, but look at how many names you recognize. Three maybe? The ones that stand out are Boon, Friday, and Taylor. I’d say Boone is the big name. Was a quarterback and safety at Oscar Smith but developed into every Hokies’ favorite tight end and Wild Turkey (formation) quarterback. I miss the Boooooooooone days.

2006


Name


Position


City


School


Rating (Stars)


Kam Chancellor

QB

Norfolk

Maury

***

Matt Wright

LB

Hampton

Phoebus

***

Needless to say, Kam Chancellor is the epitome of what coaches can do at Virginia Tech. They take a three star quarterback; transfer him to safety, now he’s considered one of the best in the NFL, and a Super Bowl champion. But only two recruits out of the 757? What?

2007

Name


Position


City


School


Rating (Stars)


Jaymes Brooks

OL

Newport News

Denbigh

***

Greg Nosal

TE

Virginia Beach

Floyd Kellam

**

Tyrod Taylor

QB

Hampton

Hampton

*****

Both Brooks and Nosal became above average linemen and earned All-ACC honors while at Virginia Tech. And Tyrod Taylor, need I say more? It came down to Tech and the Florida Gators for Taylor. Fortunately, for the Hokies, the best dual threat quarterback in the nation decided to stay at home and produced many memories for us Hokie fans.

2008


Name


Position


City


School


Rating (Stars)


Xavier Boyce

ATH

Virginia Beach

Landstown

***

Marcus Davis

ATH

Virginia Beach

Ocean Lakes

***

Randall Dunn

WR

Virginia Beach

Ocean Lakes

***

Lyndell Gibson

LB

Virginia Beach

Salem

***

Tony Gregory

RB

Virginia Beach

First Colonial

***

Joe Jones

DE

Virginia Beach

Green Run

**

Vinston Painter

OL

Norfolk

Maury

****

Tech saw a resurgence this year but still let some big in state recruits slip. Boyce would never produce much, while Davis became a wide receiver project and was somewhat successful. Gregory’s injuries did him in and we never really saw his true talent and speed put to use. But on the other hand, Painter was a success. 2008 was another down year to say the least.

2009


Name


Position


City


School


Rating (Stars)


Telvion Clark

LB

Norfolk

Granby

***

James Gayle

DE

Hampton

Bethel

***

Tyrel Wilson

DE

Hampton

Hampton

***

While Clark was supposed to see some playing time at linebacker with Tech’s thin depth chart, he never did as he was eventually dismissed from the team for violating team rules. But in 2009 the coaches were able to snatch up two future starting defensive ends, with a future NFL player in Gayle.

2010


Name


Position


City


School


Rating (Stars)


Nick Dew

DB

Virginia Beach

First Colonial

****

Dominique Patterson

ATH

Suffolk

Kings Fork

***


Both Dew and Patterson looked to have bright futures in Blacksburg. Dew (an Underarmour All-American) was a safety/linebacker hybrid while Patterson looked for time at running back. But eventually, both players left the program. Whomp.

2011


Name


Position


City


School


Rating (Stars)


DeWayne Alford

DE

Suffolk

Nansemond River

***

Well, only one player in 2011. Tech missed two big names this year, but Alford logged in some good playing time in 2013 and will look to improve into a major role for next season.

2012


Name


Position


City


School


Rating (Stars)


J.C. Coleman

RB

Chesapeake

Oscar Smith

****

Der’Woun Greene

DB

Portsmouth

Woodrow Wilson

***

Alston Smith

DT

Virginia Beach

Cox

***

Thomas Smith

WR

Williamsburg

Layfayette

***

J.C. Coleman came to Blacksburg and made an immediate impact, but doesn't look to be the Hokies’ every down feature running back. Meanwhile, Alston Smith (son of Bruce Smith) looks to hopefully make an impact after moving to offensive line. And red-shirt freshman safety Greene looks to be an effective piece on defense in the next few years.


2013


Name


Position


City


High School


Rating (Stars)


Charles Clark

DB

Suffolk

Kings Fork

***

Bucky Hodges

QB

Virginia Beach

Salem

****

Andrew Motuapuaka

LB

Virginia Beach

Salem

***

Deon Newsome

ATH

Hampton

Hampton

***

Parker Osterloh

OL

Williamsburg

Warhill

***

The big name here is Bucky Hodges. Hodges looked to be Logan Thomas’ replacement for a while with a similar build and skill set, but since then has moved to tight end. Meanwhile, Osterloh looks to be in the mix for starting on the offensive line in the near future. This is a decent class out of the area, but Tech still lacks the elite talent edge.

2014


Name


Position


City


High School


Rating (Stars)


Jaylen Bradshaw

WR

Chesapeake

Oscar Smith

***

Ricky Walker

DT

Hampton

Bethel

****

Marshawn Williams

RB

Hampton

Phoebus

****

Could this be the class? Only three recruits from the 757, but all three names are appealing. Bradshaw could develop into a good target a wide receiver. Walker looks to what looks to be another talented front four on defense. And Williams could possibly be Tech’s next feature back. Only time will tell.

The early 2000s were great for Hokie recruiting and football. We saw ten win seasons, conference championships, and a slew of All-ACC players and All-Americans. But since then, in-state recruiting (especially in the 757) has taken a major hit. Out of state schools and even UVA are luring players away from Blacksburg.

Here are some big in-state names the Hokies have missed out on over the years

Name


Position


City


High School


Rating


College


Ahmad Brooks

LB

Woodbridge

C.D. Hilton

*****


Virginia

Percy Harvin

WR

Virginia Beach

Landstown

*****


Florida

E.J. Manuel

QB

Virginia Beach

Bayside

****


Florida State

Mike Glennon

QB

Centreville

Westfield

****


N.C. State

Morgan Moses

OL

Richmond

Meadow Broook

****


Virginia

Tajh Boyd

QB

Hampton

Phoebus

****


Clemson

Jerod Askew

LB

Chesapeake

Oscar Smith

****


Tennessee

J.R. Ferguson

DE

Chatham

Hargrave

****


LSU

Phillip Sims

QB

Chesapeake

Oscar Smith

****


Alabama/UVA

Justin Hunter

WR

Virginia Beach

Ocean Lakes

****


Tennessee

Curtis Grant

LB

Richmond

Hermitage

*****


Ohio State

Demetrius Nicholson

DB

Virginia Beach

Bayside

****


Virginia

Eli Harold

DE

Virginia Beach

Ocean Lakes

****


Virginia

Alex Carter

DB

Ashburn

Briar Woods

****


Stanford

Kwontie Moore

LB

Norfolk

Norfolk Christian

****


Virginia

Taquan Mizzell

RB

Virginia Beach

Bayside

*****


Virginia

Da’Shawn Hand

DE

Woodbridge

Woodbridge Sr.

*****


Alabama

Quin Blanding

DB

Virginia Beach

Bayside

*****


Virginia

Andrew Brown

DT

Chesapeake

Oscar Smith

*****


Virginia

Jayln Holmes

DE

Norfolk

Lake Taylor

****


Ohio State

Derrick Nnadi

DT

Virginia Beach

Ocean Lakes

****


Florida State

The list shows names dating back to 2002 and continues to this year’s 2014 recruits. I’d say most of these players are program changers. They have elite talent and could’ve put the Hokies up there with the other elite programs in college football. Think about Tech having Percy Harvin, Morgan Moses, or Justin Hunter. With more talented skill position players the Hokies would've been contenders for the National Championship year in and year out with that stifling defense.

The list shows mainly 757 area recruits but also includes recruits out of the area. It’s obvious by this that Tech is having trouble maintaining control not only of the 757 but the state of Virginia also. Yes, the Hokies will continue to get their average in state recruits and develop them into what they want them to be. They will get their above average four star recruits who either boom or bust. But they continue to lack the control of elite recruits in the state as a whole and especially the 757. Players are seeking opportunities elsewhere, whether it is out of state or over at UVA as Mike London has hit the area hard in the past few years.

The 757 is no secret. But the Hokies staff must make a hard push back into the area and regain the control of recruits in the Tidewater if gaining elite talent is a concern. With elite talent comes wins. And with wins come respect, interest, more elite recruits, and hopefully a National Championship.

Virginia Tech is supposed to be the face football in the state of Virginia, and we can't even recruit on our own talent rich soil.


X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Gobbler Country

You must be a member of Gobbler Country to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Gobbler Country. You should read them.

Join Gobbler Country

You must be a member of Gobbler Country to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Gobbler Country. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker