The ship continues to leak water. 247 4-star and ESPN and Rivals 3-star recruit Troy Pride has decommitted from Virginia Tech. There was a lot of speculation the past few weeks that Pride was increasingly looking at Notre Dame, and while he hasn't committed to ND yet, that wouldn't surprise me. The last prediction for him, however, came in for Clemson- which makes sense considering how well they're doing and he's a South Carolinian.
To put it bluntly? This stinks. I hate being in this position. It was going to happen eventually- I fanshotted something by Samuel Denmark, an early enrollee recruit, saying that he was committed to the school and not to Frank, that he knew that Frank was likely going to end up retiring while he was at school. To me, decommitting over Frank retiring seems almost like an excuse. I say ‘almost' because, yes, you cannot guarantee what Tech gets next, and recruits are often looking for the staff they feel can best develop their talents, especially if they're looking at the next level of production beyond college. Most colleges are going to give a lot of the same perks educationally: tutors, private help (hopefully nothing that breaks NCAA rules, but that happens as well, we all know it), and etc. Some of these guys commit to a staff- institutions are buildings. A lot of guys feel out schools equally. That means that their private relationships to people are what guide them where they go. So as of right now, the fact that our whole situation is in flux- is anyone going to be here? Foster? Grey? Both? Neither? Stinespring? Loeffler? Either?- we're going to suffer. I can guarantee that Babcock will have a coach in place almost immediately after the regular season ends. We only have 15 recruits remaining in this class, and unless you do huge sell jobs? It's going to be hard to keep that up, or increase it. Luckily we don't have a ton of outgoing seniors and are playing (and on occasion paying for) young guys learning and getting experience.
Below are the players still in season, thanks to playoff games. Players out of season include Jimmie Taylor, Divine Deablo, Reggie Floyd, and Khalil Ladler.
Jovonn Quillen (Hampton, VA. 185lbs, 6'-2", Athlete)
(senior year highlights)
Hampton's stomping of the competition goes right on into the playoffs, beating up the Maury Commodores, 42-6. Quillen tossed two touchdowns in the first half, then scored on a touchdown run, a two-point conversion pass, and then three more rushing touchdowns. No stats on him defensively unfortunately- that's where he's currently projected- but he did make first team defense for his district.
Victor Greene (Spotsylvania, VA. 215lbs, 6'-0", Outside Linebacker)
Courtland got revenge for an in-season loss with its first playoff game, running all over King George with a 42-0 blanking to send the Foxes home. Greene ran for 127 yards and 2 touchdowns. One thing that has impressed me throughout the season is his stiff-arm move, which was on full display on one of his touchdown runs. He's VERY strong and hard to tackle. If he'd pick up his legs a bit more, he'd be a clone of Darren Evans- not that fast, but punishing with good balance. Did I mention we're recruiting him as an outside linebacker? I think I have.
Eric Kumah (Woodbridge, VA. 205lbs, 6'-3", Wide Receiver)
Sorry, no current video.
Kumah joins the ranks of the currently out-of-season players as Forest Park lost for the second consecutive week to CD Hylton, 28-14. Kumah had a fumble recovery for a TD (he plays corner as well as WR), but he did not record a single catch on the night, despite being the offensive player of the year in his conference. He did have 3 rushing attempts for 40 yards. As of right now, his tweeting says he's still planning on heading to Tech- and his page still has his commitment announcement pinned to the top.
@mlovern5 that's the plan— The Gifted EK3 (@Eric_Kumah11) November 14, 2015
Joshua Jackson (Saline, MI. 200lbs, 6'-2", Dual-threat Quarterback)
Sorry, no current video.
Saline's season also ended this week. The generally productive offense was completely stifled, only scoring once in the 4th quarter when the game was out of hand. Canton dumped Saline 27-7, with Jackson passing for the single touchdown. He was only 8-20 for 73 yards on the night in terribly cold weather. He continues to be committed to Virginia Tech, even giving out a celebratory tweet when we beat the Yellow Jackets. I appreciate that he's still watching and involved.
There we go!— Josh Jackson (@joshiejack17) November 13, 2015
Samuel Denmark (Charleston, SC. 175lbs, 6'-0", Wide Receiver)
Hanahan star WR Sam Denmark on deciding to enroll early at Virginia Tech, even with news of Frank Beamer retirement pic.twitter.com/tKydowQ1Bk— Scott Eisberg (@SEisbergWCIV) November 11, 2015
Unfortunately that's three playoff losses in a row, as Hanahan lost to Brookland-Cayce, 34-31. Denmark was still impressive in the loss, however, recording a 78-yard TD kickoff return and a 5-yard receiving TD, but it wasn't enough. Denmark will be in on the South Carolina Shrine Bowl game, and I will make sure to add that to the reporting list. Denmark is also reporting early- January- as planned. I definitely believe he's worth the scholarship, and that any new coach would be crazy to let him go. He's been one of if not my favorite recruit this whole cycle, and I appreciate that he's loyal to the school.
Thomas Jarrett Hopple (Suffolk, VA. 270lbs., 6'-6", Offensive Line)
Sorry, no current video.
Um. Four playoff losses in a row. Nansemond River was beaten by Norview, 19-7 in a rockfight that Hokie fans would appreciate. Nansemond River ends their season at 7-4. Nothing to report in terms of him changing his mind one way or another, as he's not active on social media.
Tavante Beckett (Chesapeake, VA. 215lbs, 6'-0", Outside Linebacker)
Okay, back on track- Indian River hammered Bethel, 47-7. Beckett rushed for a 55 yard TD, two sacks (with a penalty for the suplex on the first, keep your head on straight), and an additional TFL. Right now he still seems to be committed fully to the Hokies, but obviously that could change.
Clay Dean (Purcellville, VA. 255lbs, 6'-2", Defensive Tackle)
No current video, sorry.
Woodgrove continues on after beating Heritage 40-13. I couldn't find an article with any stats, sorry.
Myles Wolfolk (Upper Marlboro, MD. 185lbs, 5'-11", Cornerback)
That's three wins in a row, as Wise snapped Bowie's playoff dreams in almost a repeat performance of their previous woodshedding, 42-8. Wolfolk was, as always, a multipurpose terror, with a couple of long punt returns and a touchdown receiving on the day. Not much on confirmation end from Wolfolk, though.
That is the 10th consecutive running clock!— Wise Athletics (@WisePumaSports) November 14, 2015
Bowie scores a late touchdown score is now 42-8— Wise Athletics (@WisePumaSports) November 14, 2015
Emmanuel Belmar (Suwanee, GA. 220lbs, 6'-2", Outside Linebacker)
Hey, sometimes those 5-5 teams can surprise people. Collins Hill jumped up and bit Lambert High, beating them 35-13 to keep their season going. Belmar showed off some of his run-stuffing ability as a DE. His size and strength for that position at that level are great, but again, he's going to have to learn to stand up at the D-I level. So far no obvious indication from him, but he did recently follow the Gobbler Country twitter feed.
Patrick Kearns (Rome, GA. 270lbs, 6'-5.5", Offensive Line)
Darlington is also out of the playoffs, losing 31-0 to Pace Academy. Kearns still has himself in a Tech jersey as his profile picture, and recently retweeted a #Gameday4Frank tweet by Buzz Williams.
Tune in next week for more high school updates.