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On the recruiting trail with Seth Greenberg

Virginia Tech Coach Seth Greenberg has said he works with such a single-minded focus that basketball consumes him, perhaps to the point where it's unhealthy. That carries over, apparently, into recruiting.

Dave Telep, the national recruiting director for, said Greenberg is a nose-to-the-grindstone recruiter, citing how Greenberg travels to see prospects during the season. In fact, Greenberg was in Chicago on a recruiting trip on Wednesday.

"The reason why he’s successful as a recruiter is because he rolls up his sleeves and he’s not afraid to work," Telep said in a recent telephone interview. "I can’t tell you how many times I've been driving home 10 or 11 at night, and I get a call and it's Seth Greenberg calling with Bruce Springsteen playing on the satellite radio" as he is driving home from a recruiting visit.

Even in those late hours, Greenberg will want to talk shop about the recruiting world.

Part of what makes Greenberg a natural recruiter is his affable personality. But Telep said Virginia Tech has done well targeting under-recruited prospects and sometimes offering scholarships early on in the process. Telep said the Hokies like to look for players who have something to prove, a trait which Virginia Tech, regarded as a football school, shares as a member of a conference with storied basketball programs like Duke and North Carolina.

"It all comes back to that chip those guys put on their shoulders," Telep said. "That is how Seth recruits those guys. He tells them, 'I know exactly what you’re thinking about because I've got the same chip you do.' A guy like Malcolm Delaney, Jeff Allen, Dorenzo Hudson, they were all recruited by schools in the ACC, but they weren't necessarily the first option by every school. Seth Greenberg, he knows how to use that to motivate his guy and get them to be a better player. It's really simple. That’s his hook."

Asked about sharing an underdog mentality with players like Delaney, Greenberg said: "We have the same we’re-going-to-show-them kind of mentality. I really don’t care what they think, we’re going to find a way to figure this thing out."

As for the late-night conversations, Telep said he had not recently spoken with Greenberg.

"I'm jonesing for a call," Telep said. "I haven’t gotten one in a while."

By Mark Viera  |  February 19, 2010; 10:15 AM ET
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