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The Case for Everett Withers

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Maybe we need to go closer to home, and maybe even reach down to FCS to pick a great candidate for the next step up in Hokie football. Is Everett Withers that man? It sure looks like a great fit to me.

Everett Winters would look great in Chicago Maroon and Burnt Orange
Everett Winters would look great in Chicago Maroon and Burnt Orange
Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Everett Who? You all will ask. Since we are just "spit-balling" ideas here; and I operate in less "connected" air. I have to look at problems from the ground, without having Rolodex files stocked with business cards and private phone numbers. I keep hearing the names of some pretty big high powered coaches being bandied about, both here and from other folks talking in whispers behind the scenes of Hokie Fandom. They never dare say anything in public for fear of the mob with pitchforks and torches assaulting their humble Internet living spaces so they say things like "I really can’t say in public, but I really think that maybe … [this guy]… would be a great new head coach." Of course it’s always followed by "..you didn’t hear it from me."

Well, I don’t intend to aim in the SEC, PAC12, B1G, or BIG12 wheel houses for talent. I figure that we have as much chance of picking up a Freeze or Strong as I have of being named Athletic Director of Tech, so I am going to pull this down to more modest ranges.

I figure that Virginia Tech is going to have to go out and down to pull up a really quality long term head coach. Someone who is familiar with the ACC, the recruiting territory within a 600 mile radius of Blacksburg, and who is comfortable living and working in a mostly rural college town in the mountains of Virginia.

So, I was scouting around looking for interesting candidates, and ran into Justin Fuente from Memphis. Joshua gave me the particulars and I thought that a couple of peaks at some Memphis games were in order. Then I saw the following article during a search of promising coaching candidates:

http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/eye-on-college-football/24383326/ohio-state-assistant-everett-withers-takes-james-madison-job

It was like someone dropped a snow flake on my desk, just especially for me to look at and admire. I really like what I see here. He’s a coach who has really put some fire under the JMU Dukes program and has that team near the top of the FCS polls. He has serious division 1 A experience, even doing the "honors" of finishing out Butch Davis’s ignominiously abbreviated season at UNC. After that, he did a stint at OSU with Urban Meyer before taking the JMU job.

Madison is currently undefeated, and his successful rescue of Vad Lee’s aborted college QB career is impressive. He gave Lee a chance to be a Quarterback instead of the fancy Tailback that Paul Johnson runs at Georgia Tech. The Dukes are currently ranked 3rd in the FCS poll, with 3 first place votes.  They are a perfect 7-0 and lead the Colonial Athletic Association.  That's an impressive move for a 'newish' coach and rebuilt team.  For a better idea of what JMU is doing take a look at the standard stat presentation from JMU's Yahoo Sports page:

Passing

Comp

Att

Pct

Yds

Y/A

Y/G

TD

Int

Long

Sack

YdsL

QBRat

Vad Lee

145

208

69.7

1896

9.1

270.9

19

10

66

6

27

166.8

Bryan Schor

4

5

80.0

42

8.4

14.0

0

0

17

1

11

150.6

Hunter Etheridge

4

4

100.0

23

5.8

7.7

0

0

9

0

0

148.3

Rushing

Rush

Yds

Y/G

Avg

Long

TD

Khalid Abdullah

137

732

104.6

5.3

69

10

Vad Lee

95

690

98.6

7.3

66

5

Cardon Johnson

98

689

98.4

7.0

80

8

Trai Sharp

6

73

73.0

12.2

64

1

Taylor Woods

18

60

15.0

3.3

17

0

Bryan Schor

10

39

13.0

3.9

19

0

Rashard Davis

5

35

5.0

7.0

12

0

Blaine Stewart

5

8

8.0

1.6

4

0

Dimitri Holloway

1

8

8.0

8.0

8

0

John Miller

2

7

1.2

3.5

4

0

Brandon Ravenel

1

0

0.0

0.0

0

0

Hunter Etheridge

1

-1

-0.3

-1.0

0

0

Receiving

Rec

Yds

Y/G

Avg

Long

TD

Brandon Ravenel

31

416

59.4

13.4

58

2

Deane Cheatham

25

370

52.9

14.8

52

3

Rashard Davis

23

258

36.9

11.2

32

2

Ishmael Hyman

12

233

46.6

19.4

66

3

Dominique Taylor

16

231

38.5

14.4

47

4

John Miller

15

149

24.8

9.9

27

2

Cardon Johnson

11

131

18.7

11.9

45

2

Jonathan Kloosterman

7

76

25.3

10.9

15

1

Khalid Abdullah

6

43

6.1

7.2

17

0

Logan Boyd

3

39

13.0

13.0

19

0

Daniel Clements

1

9

9.0

9.0

9

0

Taylor Woods

2

6

1.5

3.0

6

0

Daniel Schiele

1

3

3.0

3.0

3

0

Given the history of Babcock with JMU, it might be odd timing to go poaching off the north porch to dig down and make a lucrative offer to Coach Withers, but if I were Whit Babcock, I'd have been on the phone to his agent, already; and whatever administrators were necessary to get him interviewed after the season wraps.

Would he make the trip down I-81 for a chance to coach the Hokies? I don’t know. We’d probably really have to convince him that we were serious about getting our grove back, and get him the resources that he’d need to recruit and rebuild. I really like what I see from both his resume and his accomplishments. I just think that he might be a perfect candidate for the next run at greatness.

As Always... GO HOKIES!!!!!

Sources:

Yahoo Sports:

http://sports.yahoo.com/ncaaf/teams/jjb/stats/