Over the past two weeks the Virginia Tech Hokies have received several commitments from the famed 757 area code in the tidewater region of Virginia. Historically, this area has been the breeding ground of some of footballs most electric talent, not only at the high school level, but also in college and the NFL. The 757 has long been seen by the Virginia Tech coaching staff as a priority when it comes to recruiting and talent acquisition. However, the last 3-4 years the Hokies have not been as successful in landing the top talent from this region, or more specifically, the players they actively want and recruit.
There are several things that, in my opinion, could be to blame for the lack of success:
- Other schools are recruiting the area more heavily, which means that less players were inclined to choose from VT and UVA.
- The culture (coaches, 7-on-7 programs and families) in the area have just simply grown tired of the Hokies and Hoos.
- The staffs in Blacksburg and Charlottesville have lacked in their approach and discipline in devoting time to maintain and further develop relationships in the area.
A combination of all three have had it's effects and unfortunately caused both staffs problems in keeping top-talent at home. But this down-turn seems to be plateauing to a certain extent. There is no convincing evidence that the first bullet is changing and probably is unavoidable, but I do think that the cultural perception and approaches are shifting in a positive direction. What are the indicators?
The newest commitments to the 2016 class, Tavante Beckett and Phil Patterson, seem to be indicators of a cultural shift that is the result of a more disciplined dedication by Frank Beamer's staff. These two student-athletes have both mentioned that more 757 high school coaches see VT as an appealing place to send their pupils, not because Tech lacked academics, but because the Hokies are on the verge of putting a very talented bunch back on the grid iron. Hopefully it will all pay off.
Let us know your thoughts.