Hokies Football Recruiting: Fertile Northern Virginia Churning Out Prospects As Usual

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

After taking a look at the always profitable 757 area, we now take a look at players from Northern Virginia, which is in contention for beating out the 757 in terms of number of players within Virginia's top recruits list. Although, NOVA hasn't had a very luxurious history like the 757, it still has produced quality players over the years and is a constant on Virginia Tech's recruiting trail.

There are so many high schools in Northern Virginia that it's hard to keep up with them all. I might be able to name a few off the top of my head without thinking too hard. When I was younger the only schools in NOVA that I knew of were any of the ones mentioned in the Remember the Titans movie. But over the years, I've seen towns from NOVA appearing more and more on the Virginia Tech Football roster. So who are the great players to come from this highly populated region over the years?

Name


School/Town


Ahmad Brooks


C.D. Hylton/Woodbridge

Mike Caussin


West Springfield/Springfield

Cody Grimm


Oakton/Vienna

Ryan Williams


Stonewall Jackson/Manassas

Eddie Royal


Westfield/Chantilly

Adrian Tracy


Potomac Falls/Sterling

Evan Royster


Westfield/Chantilly

Will Montgomery


Centreville/Clifton

Deon Butler


C.D. Hylton/Woodbridge

Jeremy Kapinos


West Springfield/Springfield

Tim Hightower


Episcopal/Alexandria

Taking a look at the list above, at first glance you see that it's no where as near as long as the 757's with players on NFL rosters,but there are definitely a lot of Hokies with Grimm, Williams, Royal, and Montgomery. When trying to think about NFL greats to come from NOVA, I couldn't think of a single player.

Yes, NOVA is highly populated but the talent level in the area just doesn't stack up against the 757 powerhouse. I'd say Eddie Royal, Ahmad Brooks, and Will Montgomery are the most successful of these players. Ryan Williams looked to have a lot of promise before injuries got the best of him during his first two seasons, but now he will get to prove his worth with the Dallas Cowboys this season. Overall, this just isn't a very daunting list. The only exciting things is the presence of Hokies.

Just to spice things up here are some great videos of NOVA Hokies Eddie Royal and Ryan Williams doing their thing:


Eddie Royal is one of the more memorable Tech wide receivers. He boasted so much speed, quickness, and agility both in the receiving corps and in special teams. He received first-team All-ACC honors in 2007, helping lead the Hokies to an ACC Championship. As a result Royal was drafted in the second round by the Denver Broncos in the 2008 NFL Draft.


In my opinion, Ryan Williams is probably the most complete running back Virginia Tech has ever seen. His combination of size and speed, and his elite ball carrier vision and ability to make elite cuts was just down right astonishing. Williams was honestly one of my favorite players to watch during my time at Tech. In 2009 Williams broke the single season ACC rushing touchdown record with 22 TDs and broke Tech's single season rushing yards record with 1,655 yards. In the end, Williams was drafted in the second round by the Arizona Cardinals in the 2011 NFL Draft.

Now that the past of Northern Virginia players is covered, what about the future? 17 of Virginia's top 50 football prospects are located in Northern Virginia according to 247Sports (the 757 has 14 in Virginia's top 50) and here they are:

Rankings Last Updated on 6/9/2014

Name


Position


Height/Weight


Star-Rating (247Sports)


School/Town


2. Tim Settle


DT

6-3/318

4

Stonewall Jackson/Manassas

3. Matthew Burrell


OT

6-5.75/290

4

C.D. Hylton/Woodbridge

11. A.J. Alexander


WR

6-4/220

4

Lake Braddock/Burke

15. AJ Turner


RB

5-11/180

3

Centreville/Clifton

17. Brandon Polk


WR

5-9/152

3

Briar Woods/Ashburn

20. Chad Smith

OLB

6-3/200

3

Dominion/Sterling

26. David Eldridge


WR

6-1/165

3

Kettle Run/Nokesville

28. Mike Majette


ATH

5-11/195

3

Woodbridge/Woodbridge

30. Aaron Crawford


DT

6-1/311

3

Stone Bridge/Ashburn

31. Justin Skule


OT

6-6/280

3

Centreville/Clifton

36. Christian Martey


RB

6-0/215

3

Centreville/Clifton

37. Tanner Karafa


ILB

6-3/240

3

Stone Bridge/Ashburn

39. Channing Hames


WDE

6-5/257

3

Bishop O’Connell/Arlington

41. Taylor Boose


FB

6-0/200

3

Centreville/Clifton

43. Xaiver Nickens-Yzer


S

6-0/280

3

Centreville/Clifton

46. Chuck Davis


CB

5-10/170

3

Broad Run/Ashburn

48. James Gibson


S

6-1/192

2

Westfield/Chantilly

Compared to the 757, NOVA seems to stack up fairly well. The 757 boasts the lone five-star prospect in Virginia with Oscar Smith's defensive end Josh Sweat and only one four-star prospect. Meanwhile, NOVA has three four-star prospects. But I think the difference maker here is talent level and competition within each region. The 757 is just on a different level on both sides because of speed, skill set, and experience. I believe that's why there's such a difference in success in the next level, both at college and in the pros.

But let's take a look at the recruits who are already verbally committed:

Name


College


Brandon Polk


Penn State

Chad Smith


Clemson

David Eldridge


Virginia

Aaron Crawford


North Carolina

The 17th, 20th, 26th, and 30th ranked recruits in Virginia are the ones verbally committed above, which to me isn't much of a big deal for the Hokies. But what is a problem is the colleges that picked them up. Three ACC schools snatched them up. No reason to panic, though. Tech still has the chance to land top recruits in NOVA and will continue to find the guys who fit the team best and can develop into what it needs.

With all that being said, NOVA is an area full of promising players that can develop for their future college team. The NFL talent may not be all there, but there is an abundance of players ready to be plucked and they can contribute to a winning team.

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