Recruiting the State of Virginia: The 276, 540 and 434

Ivan Pierre Aguirre-USA TODAY Sp

Recruiting the state of Virginia is coming to a close as we focus on the last three regions in this last installment. The 276, 540, and the 434 are the less luxurious regions in the Commonwealth as of late. We took a look at the rich history, and the immediate future for Virginia's secondary regions.

After reviewing the more talented and populated regions of the 757, Northern Virginia, and the Richmond area, we now take a look at the rest of the Commonwealth, its roots, and what the future holds in the areas.

We will focus on the 540-a region stretching from the northern part of the state and inching its way down the boarder of West Virginia, the 434 or the Piedmont Region in Central Virginia that extends down to the southern boarder state of North Carolina, and finally the 276-comprised of the Appalachian Plateau and western parts of the state, which boarders the 540.

If there's any confusion, here's a map of Virginia and the area codes:

http://www.allareacodes.com/maps/virginia-area-code-map.png

Let's start off by looking at the past players of these regions, some of which are in the NFL today. The 540 and 276 are grouped together here:

Player


School/Town


Bill Dudley


Graham/Bluefield

Ronde Barber


Cave Spring/Roanoke

Tiki Barber


Cave Spring/Roanoke

Jeff King


Pulaski County/Dublin

Lee Suggs


William Fleming/Roanoke

Ahmad Bradshaw


Graham/Bluefield

Torrey Smith


Stafford/Falmouth

Shayne Graham


Pulaski County/Dublin

Thomas Jones


Powell Valley/Big Stone Gap

Heath Miller


Swords Creek/Honaker

John Phillips


Bath County/Hot Springs

Akeem Jordan


Harrisonburg/Harrisonburg

Jermon Bushrod


King George/Fredericksburg

Bill Dudley:


One name that might slide under the radar for some but should ring a loud bell is halfback/defensive back/punter/kicker, Bill Dudley. Got it? Good.

Bill Dudley played college ball at Virginia where he became the first Virginia player to earn All-America honors and was awarded the Maxwell Award for best college football player of the year. He was also named the best college player of the year by the Washington D.C. Touchdown Club.

He was then drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers with the number one overall pick in the 1942 NFL Draft. He later spent time with the Detroit Lions and finished his career with the Washington Redskins until he retired in 1953. He is the only player ever with a rushing touchdown, touchdown reception, punt return for touchdown, kickoff return for touchdown, interception return for touchdown, fumble return for a touchdown, and a touchdown pass. He also had a touchdown via lateral and kicked PATs and field goals. Nonetheless Dudley was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1966.

Dudley also served as a member of the U.S. Army during World War II from 1943-1945. His legacy lives on today through the Bill Dudley Award, given to the state's top college football player by the Downtown Club of Richmond, Virginia. This player alone puts a star on the map in the 276 area code of Virginia.

Lee Suggs:

It's impossible to top the legend of Bill Dudley, but the other names on this list have some star power also with the likes of brothers Ronde and Tiki Barber, former Hokies Jeff King, Lee Suggs, Shayne Graham, great running backs Thomas Jones and Ahmad Bradshaw, and playmakers like tight end Heath Miller, and wide receiver Torrey Smith.

But let's go with a video of one of everyone's favorite Hokie running backs, Lee Suggs: (#22 in the video also with #7 Kevin Jones)


Lee Suggs and Kevin Jones are probably one of the best running back tandems of all time. The video speaks for itself. Suggs racked up 2,767 yards rushing during his four years in Blacksburg along with 53 touchdowns on the ground. He holds the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision records for most games scoring a touchdown in a single season (14 games in 2002), and most consecutive games scoring a touchdown.

He is one of the most memorable players in Tech's history and certainly a fan favorite. Suggs was selected with the 18th pick in the fourth round of the 2003 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns. But his career never amounted to much as he was cut by the Browns in 2006 due to injury. He served as running backs coach and later as the quarterbacks coach at Oberlin College.

Now for the 434:

Player


School/Town


Cedric Peerman


Campbell/Naurna

Paris Lenon


Heritage/Lynchburg

Bobby Massie


Liberty Christian/Lynchburg

Nick Novak


Albemarle/Charlottesville

Mario Harvey


Hargrave Military Academy/Chatham

David Wilson


George Washington/Danville

Mike Brown


Monticello/Charlottesville

Austin Pasztor


Fork Union Military Academy/Fork Union

Rashad Jennings


Liberty Christian/Lynchburg

Chris Long


St. Anne’s Belfield/Charlottesville

Chris Cook


Heritage/Lynchburg

The list of star power is short for Central Virginia. Chris Long is a beast but here's the most exciting player:

David Wilson: I thought this was America!


Probably one of the most exciting players I've ever seen in person, Wilson has the heart of a lion, he's stubborn but confident and I like it. In 2011 Wilson was named the ACC Offensive Player of the Year when he ran for 1,709 yards for the Hokies. He was drafted by the New York Giants with the 32nd pick in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft. He is currently battling his way back from a neck fusion surgery.

But with such a rich past and not so luxurious present, what's in store for these regions in 2015:

247Sports: Rankings last updated on 06/24/2014

540:

Player


Position


Height/Weight


Star-Rating/


247Sports


School/Town


8. Austin Clark


OT

6-6/297

4

Rockbridge County/Lexington

18. Chance Hall


DT

6-4/288

3

Northside/Roanoke

29. Gus Little


ILB

6-3/230

3

Massaponax/Fredericksburg

34. RJ Proctor


OT

6-4/308

3

Liberty/Bealton

36. Gary Jennings


WR

6-2/190

3

Colonial Forge/Stafford

45. Jelani Carter


S

6-1/185

3

Northside/Roanoke

46. Coleman Fox


RB

5-10/190

3

Salem/Salem

434:

Player


Position


Height/Weight


Star-Rating/


247 Sports


School/Town


13. Tremaine Edmunds


OLB

6-3/200

3

Dan River/Ringgold

21. Juan Thornhill


ATH

6-2/175

3

Altavista/Altavista

25. Malik Clements


S

6-2/185

3

George Washington/Danville

35. Damien Dozier


OLB

6-4/225

3

Virginia Episcopal/Lynchburg

A lot of the guys on these lists are already committed so here's a list of the verbal commitments:

Player


School


8. Austin Clark


South Carolina

21. Juan Thornhill


Virginia

25. Malik Clements


Cincinnati

29. Gus Little


Maryland

34. RJ Proctor


Virginia

45. Jelani Carter


Old Dominion

The Hokies are only said to be in the running for Tremaine Edmunds: (brother of Tech running back Trey Edmunds and class of 2014 Hokie commit, Terrell Edmunds), Damien Dozier, and Coleman Fox. Still, the 434 and 540 don't look too promising for the Hokies in the 2015 class. Look for Tech to focus on the more talent rich areas of the 757, NOVA, and Richmond. The talent level just isn't there in these areas of the 540, 276, and 434.

That wraps up our installments for recruiting in Virginia. I hope you've enjoyed this as much as I have, and be sure to check back with us for all of your Hokie news and updates.

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