Recruiting The State Of Virginia: Richmond And The 804 Suburbs

After reviewing the 757 and Northern Virginia-the two most populated and talented regions in Virginia, we now move on to the Richmond area. This region has produced some good talent over the years, a good amount of which has prospered in the NFL and also includes some Super Bowl champions. The 2015 recruiting class includes some Richmond area prospects that are highly regarded and look to prosper as their predecessors did.

Currently, there are eleven players from the Richmond area on the Virginia Tech Football Roster:

Player


Position


School/Town


Joel Caleb


TB

Clover Hill/Midlothian

Deon Clarke


LB

L.C. Bird/Richmond

Augie Conte


OL

Blessed Sacrament Huguenot/Richmond

Desmond Frye


ROV

Thomas Dale/Chester

Corey Marshall


DT

North Dinwiddie/Dinwiddie

Charley Myer


WR

Benedictine/Richmond

Zakeel Muhammad


FS

Henrico/Richmond

Sam Rogers


FB

Hanover/Mechanicsville

Quinton Taylor


OLB

Thomas Dale/Chester

Nigel Williams


DT

Benedictine/Richmond

Jerome Wright


TB

Highland Springs/Richmond

Although, this is only a small fraction of Tech's entire current 101 man roster, the Richmond area will be well represented on the field next season by key players such as running back Joel Caleb, linbacker Deon Clarke, the new up and coming offensive lineman Augie Conte who will look to start as a redshirt sophomore, rover Desmond Frye who had a great Spring and will look to be a key back-up, starting full back Sam Rogers, and defensive tackles Corey Marshall and Nigel Williams who will look to find roles in Bud Foster's Lunch Pail Defense along the defensive line. Now you won't see any amazing statistics from this group of Hokies, but each player will find a role on the football field and look to contribute to winning football games.

Obviously Tech has had a good amount of football players come from the Richmond area over the years, but what has come out of the state capital as a whole?

Player


School/Town


Duane Brown


Hermitage/Richmond

James Farrior


Matoaca/Chesterfield

John Graves


Meadowbrook/Richmond

Victor "Macho" Harris


Highland Springs/Highland Springs

Kendall Langford


Petersburg/Petersburg

Brandon Minor


Varina/Richmond

Michael Robinson


Varina/Richmond

Jason Snelling


L.C. Bird/Dale

Josh Vaughn


Hermitage/Richmond

Russell Wilson


Collegiate/Richmond

Andre Branch


Varina/Richmond

Kavell Conner


Manchester/Richmond

Blake DeChristopher


Clover Hill/Midlothian

Dedrick Epps


Huguenot/Richmond

Brandian Ross


Meadowbrook/Richmond

Seeing this list of NFL players from the Richmond area should bring back some fond memories for Hokie fans. Offensive linemen Duane Brown and Blake DeChristopher were some of my favorite big men to watch on Saturdays along with Sergio Render. Not to mention big John Graves who played defensive tackle for the Hokies from 2006-2010 and flew under the radar for some years in my mind. But possibly every Tech fan's favorite on the list, Victor "Macho" Harris. The guy was a joy to watch as he flew around on the field.

The bigger non-Hokie names for me have to be Super Bowl champions Russel Wilson, quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks and Virginia Cavalier and former Pittsburgh Steeler, linebacker James Farrior. These two represent the Richmond area very well along with Duane Brown.


Duane Brown has elevated himself to a position in the top tier of the NFL as one of the most talented and respected offensive lineman in the league. His play speaks for itself, but other players speak to his attitude and what he can bring to a team.


Russel Wilson has changed the face of the NFL in such a short amount of time. His ability to scramble and extend plays is impeccable and amazes me every time I watch him play. I'm happy when I say that I got to watch him play in person because this guy is going to be special for years to come.

So what's going on in the Richmond area right now, looking ahead to the 2015 recruiting class? What does it look like for Virginia Tech? Well, here we go:

(Rankings and Ratings last updated on 6/17/2014 courtesy of 247Sports)

Player


Position


Height/Weight


Star-Rating (247Sports)


School/Town


5. Garrett Taylor


CB

6-1/188

4

St. Christopher’s/Richmond

6. Clelin Ferrell


WDE

6-5/225

4

Benedictine/Richmond

7. Ricky DeBerry


OLB

6-2.5/255

4

St. Christopher’s/Richmond

9. Darvin Taylor


DT

6-2/295

4

Thomas Dale/Chester

10. Darrell Taylor


WDE

6-4/220

4

Hopewell/Hopewell

12. Felton Davis III


WR

6-3/175

3

Highland Springs/Highland Springs

23. Trevion Armstrong


WR

6-4/215

3

Manchester/Midlothian

39. Sterling Hammond


S

6-0/190

3

Essex/Tappahannock

As can be seen above, the Richmond area has eight recruits ranked within Virginia's Top 50 list. But there are five recruits from the Richmond area within the Top 10, which is the best out of any region in Virginia, proving that Richmond's talent level can compete with the rest or could even be the best with an average star-rating of 3.6 within the top 50 recruits.

Unfortunately, Michigan has already gotten to the state's top defensive back, St. Christopher's Garrett Taylor. Taylor was said to be recruited heavily by both Michigan and Stanford, but the Wolverines eventually lured him in. Meanwhile, highly touted defensive end Clelin Ferrell of Benedictine recently committed to Clemson. The Hokies were thought to be a finalist for Ferrell, but Clemson got the last laugh, making that two commits from the Virginia Top 50 for the Tigers so far, also grabbing 20th ranked recruit, outside linebacker Chad Smith out of Sterling, Virginia. Clemson is now ranked second on 247Sports' list of top recruiting classes for 2015. Rankings are based on the average recruit points grade out of 100 possible total points for each recruit. Florida State is ranked tenth, Miami-11, North Carolina-22, Duke-27, Syracuse-29, Boston College-31, Maryland-39, Georgia Tech-44, Pittsburgh 49, Virginia-51, Wake Forest 59, North Carolina State-61, Louisville-62, and Virginia Tech-66.

But things will hopefully swing Virginia Tech's way once more recruits begin committing. Tenth ranked recruit, four-star defensive end Darrell Taylor of Hopewell, Virginia and eleventh ranked recruit, wide receiver Felton Davis III of Highland Springs are said to have Tech as their frontrunner, along with wide receiver Trevion Armstrong and safety Sterling Hammond.

Landing these recruits out of Richmond would give Virginia Tech's recruiting class a huge boost in the rankings and overall morale among the coaching staff. Richmond looks as promising as ever and has plenty of talent to be put to use if these players land in Blacksburg.

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