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Is Stephone Anthony the Key for Virginia Tech's 2011 Recruiting Class?

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A really big fish in the recruiting sea will be in Blacksburg this weekend according to the Newport News Daily Press' Norm Wood

Stephone Anthony, a 6-foot-3, 220-pound linebacker from Anson County High in Wadesboro, N.C., was elevated today from four-star status to the select five-star group by the Rivals.com recruiting website. He's one of just 26 high school players in the country to be given five-star status by the website.

It's good timing for Tech for Anthony to get the bump, considering he's one of a dozen players expected to visit the Blacksburg campus this weekend. He's considered by most recruiting analysts to be one of the nation's top 10 linebacker prospects, and top 50 recruits overall. Rivals has him rated No. 24 overall.

Rivals ranks Anthony the No. 4 outside linebacker in the country and the No. 1 overall recruit in the state of North Carolina. Tech will be the third school Anthony has made an official visit to, after Florida and Clemson. He still has a scheduled visit NC State next weekend.

Anthony is being recruited by wide receivers coach Kevin Sherman and will be hosted by his cousin a current Virginia Tech linebacker Barquell Rivers. If the Hokies landed the Anthony, he would be their first five-star signee since Tyrod Taylor in 2007 and their first on the defensive side since Macho Harris signed as an Athlete in 2005.

He would be an important edition to a recruiting class that is currently ranked No. 34 by Rivals. How important? Well, the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot's Kyle Tucker thinks Anthony could start at whip linebacker as a true freshman. He's already bigger than any of the Hokies' other options at whip and if he excels, would shore up a spot that caused them a lot of consternation in 2010.

Having Rivers on the roster is a big plus for the Hokies, but they'll still need to impress Anthony if they want to land him over Clemson. Tech has prided itself on finding diamonds in the rough over the years, but you can't make an entire roster out of them. The Hokies are never going to be on the same level recruiting-wise as teams like Alabama and Texas, but they need to start getting at least one like Anthony in every class.