Virginia Tech signs 20 players for 2011 recruiting class
National signing day has come and gone for the Virginia Tech football team, with the Hokies receiving letters-of-intent from 20 high school recruits, as well as one preferred walk-on. The haul includes 4 four-star recruits, 13 three-star recruits and 4 two-star prospects. The class has a national flavor to it as well, with 10 states represented.
But for most Hokies fans, the class of 2011 will come to be defined by the players Virginia Tech wasn't able to sign. Earlier Wednesday, five-star linebacker Stephone Anthony chose Clemson over the Hokies. Meanwhile two other top linebacker recruits from the state of Virginia -- Richmond's Curtis Grant (Ohio State) and Kempsville High's Travis Hughes (North Carolina) -- didn't even really consider the Hokies after some initial interest.
There's also Virginia Beach quarterback Lafonte Thouroghgood, a dual threat that had Virginia Tech's coaches thinking they'd found an eventual replacement for Tyrod Taylor. But after orally committing to Virginia Tech at the end of November, Thouroghgood had a change of heart in recent days and instead signed with Vanderbilt. Back in November, I had a recruiting story where Thouroghgood hinted he may just leave the state for school.
As a result, the Hokies' class has been downgraded to No. 33 in the country by Rivals.com, behind Florida State (No. 2), Clemson (No. 6), North Carolina (No. 15), Virginia (No. 25) and Miami (No. 33) among ACC brethren. The last time Virginia Tech had a class rated this low was back in 2004, when it finished No. 41 in the recruiting rankings. The last time the Hokies finished behind in-state rival Virginia was in 2007.
But before you jump off a cliff, try to remember that rankings and five-star recruits sometimes don't mean diddly in the long run. That 2004 class included three-star recruits like current NFL players Brandon Flowers and Josh Morgan, as well as Branden Ore, a two-star prospect. Likewise, the 2007 recruits just finished their careers in Blacksburg with three ACC titles in four years.
Coach Frank Beamer will share his thoughts on this class later today. But before rushing to judgment, take a look after the jump, where I have some pertinent information in addition to some highlights films for Virginia Tech's 2011 recruiting class. (Note: All recruiting rankings come from Rivals.com)
-- Ronny Vandyke – A 6-foot-3, 200-pound safety from South County HS in Lorton, Vandyke is a four-star recruit rated as the No. 21 safety in the country and the No. 8 prospect in Virginia. Earned first-team All-Met honors last season after finishing with 106 tackles, 13 TFLs, 3 INTs (two of which he returned for TDs) and 19 receptions for 246 yards. Also blocked three punts. Vandyke missed his entire junior season with a shoulder injury. Had offers from Boston College, Maryland, Pitt, Rutgers, Virginia and West Virginia.
-- Kris Harley – A 6-2, 265-pound DT from Warren Central in Indianapolis, Harley is a four-star recruit rated as the No. 24 defensive tackle in the country and No. 3 overall prospect from Indiana. Recorded 46 tackles, 7 TFLs and 6 sacks to earn first team all-state honors as a senior. He's from the same high school as former running back Darren Evans. Also had offers from USC, Nebraska, Michigan, Oklahoma, Stanford, UNC, Iowa, Illinois, Cincinnati, Purdue, Minnesota and Colorado among others.
-- Kyshoen Jarrett – A 6-1, 182-pound CB from East Stroudsburg High in East Stroudsburg, Pa., Jarrett is a four-star recruit rated as the No. 175 overall prospect in the country, the No. 18 cornerback in the country, and the No. 5 recruit from Pennsylvania. Finished his senior season with 43 tackles, 16 pass break ups, 4 INTs, 1,200 yards rushing and 11 TDs. Originally committed to Pittsburgh before Dave Wannstedt was fired, and also had offers from Penn State, Michigan, Wisconsin, Maryland, Stanford, Virginia, Michigan State, Illinois, Vanderbilt, Duke and Connecticut among others.
-- Corey Marshall – A 6-2, 239-pound DE from Dinwiddie High in Dinwiddie, Va., Marshall is a four-star recruit rated as the No. 21 defensive end in the country and No. 7 prospect from Virginia. He was named first team all-Group AAA as a senior, finishing with 122 tackles, 13.5 sacks and 27.5 TFLs. Also had offers from Connecticut, ECU, Georgia Tech, Michigan, NC State, Virginia, WVU and Tennessee among others.
-- Adeboye Aromire – A 6-0, 192-pound CB from H.D. Woodson High in Washington, Adeboye was a three-star recruit rated as the No. 37 cornerback in the country and the No. 3 recruit out of D.C. He was a second-team All-Met selection after snagging 3 INTs and breaking up eight passes this year. Also returned three kickoffs and two punts for touchdowns. Adeboye is already on campus this semester and will participate in spring practice. He also had offers from Illinois, Maryland, UNC, WVU
-- DeWayne Alford – A 6-3, 220-pound DE from Nansemond River High in Suffolk, Va., Alford was a three-star recruit and the No. 29 prospect in Virginia. As a senior he had 90 tackles, including 12 TFL and five sacks. Also had offers from James Madison and Old Dominion.
-- Michael Cole – A 6-3, 198-pound safety from Cave Spring High in Roanoke, Cole was a three-star recruit and rated as the No. 21 prospect in Virginia. He was a first team All-Group AA selection in Virginia as a senior after finishing with 88 tackles and 3 INTs on defense and 1,400 all purpose yards and 16 TDs on defense. Also had offers from Penn State, Maryland, Virginia, U-Conn. and Duke among others.
--Wedley Estime – A 6-4, 215-pound DE from Atlantic High in Delray Beach, Fla., Estime was a three-star recruit but didn't play organized football until his senior year. He was originally a Minnesota commit, but backed out last minute. Estime finished with 70 tackles and 11 sacks. Also had offers from Kansas and Western Michigan. From the same high school as Flowers and current Virginia Tech cornerback Jayron Hosley.
-- James Farrow – A 6-0, 178-pound ATH/CB from Minnetonka High in Minnetonka, Minn., Farrow was a three-star recruit rated as the No. 40 cornerback in the country and the No. 2 recruit from Minnesota. He finished with 50 tackles, 4 INT and 6 TDs as a senior. Farrow originally committed to Minnesota, but also offers from Miami, Michigan State, West Virginia, Arkansas and Illinois among others.
-- Jake Goins – A 6-5, 288 pound OT from Manchester HS in Midlothian, Goins is a three-star recruit rated as the No. 67 offensive tackle in the country and the No. 17 prospect from Virginia. Earned first team All-Group AAA honors as a senior. Also had offers from Virginia, Maryland, Clemson and Duke.
-- Chris Hall – A 6-4, 231 pound athlete from Dinwiddie High in Dinwiddie, Hall is a three-star recruit rated as the No. 24 prospect from Virginia. A teammate of Marshall's, he played quarterback the past two years, and had 3,124 yards of total offense, 21 rushing TDs and 18 passing TDs as a senior. Will probably switch positions like former quarterbacks Davon Morgan, Greg Boone and Kam Chancellor have done in the past. Also had offers from Marshall and Virginia.
-- Michael Holmes – A 6-0, 200-pound RB from Harrisonburg HS in Harrisonburg, Holmes is a three-star recruit rated as the No. 25 prospect in Virginia. He's a two-time Group AA player of the year; and gained 2,878 rushing yards and scored 41 TDs as a senior. Also had offers from Virginia and James Madison.
-- Robert Lockhart – A 6-1, 180-pound WR from West Boca Raton HS in Boca Raton, Fla., Lockhart is a three-star recruit. He only played high school football for one year, but had 34 catches, 686 receiving yards, 6 TDs, 86 tackles, 2 INTs and 4 FF as a senior. Also had offers from Nebraska, Kansas State and Vanderbilt.A
-- Luther Maddy – A 6-2, 285-pound DT from Atlantic High in Delray Beach, Fla., Maddy is a two-star recruit and a teammate of Eskime's. He had 13 sacks as a senior. Originally committed to Marshall, but only had offers from Western Michigan, Middle Tennessee State, UNLV and Northern Illinois.
-- Ryan Malleck – A 6-5, 230-pound TE from Point Pleasant Borough High in Point Pleasant Boro, NJ, Malleck is a three-star recruit and the No. 22 prospect from New Jersey. He caught 36 passes for 652 yards and seven touchdowns, and also had 63 tackles, including four sacks and three INTs, as a senior. He was originally committed to Maryland until Coach Ralph Friedgen was fired, and also had offers from Miami, Nebraska, NC State, Rutgers, Virginia, Vanderbilt, Army, Navy, Conecticut and Central Florida, among others.
-- Darius Redman – A 6-4, 241-pound TE from H.D. Woodson High in Washington, Redman is a two-star recruit. He was a second-team All-Met selection as a senior after finishing with 25 catches for 337 yards and 5 TDs, in addition to 5 sacks and 2 blocked punts. He originally committed to Virginia and had offers from North Carolina and Marshall as well.
-- Christian Reeves – A 6-3, 214-pound TE from Eagle’s Landing Christian School in McDonough, Ga., Reeves is a three-star recruit rated as the No. 29 tight end in the country and the No. 47 prospect from Georgia. He finished his senior season with 43 catches for 872 yards and 11 TDs. Also had offers from Western Michigan, Air Force, Central Florida and Western Kentucky
-- Matt Roth – A 6-4, 225-pound DE from Nease High in Ponte Vedra, Fla., Roth is a three-star recruit rated as the No. 14 weak-side defensive end in the country and the No. 74 overall prospect from Florida. He finished with 65 tackles and 17 TFLs as a senior. Also had offers from Michigan, Illinois, Utah, Virginia, Texas A&M, South Carolina, Purdue, Northwestern, Miss State, Georgia Tech and Duke, among others.
-- Kevin Asante – A 6-0, 175 pound WR from Mallard Creek High in Charlotte, Asante was a two-star recruit. He had 1,003 receiving yards and 14 TDs as a senior, and got his scholarship offer as the Hokies were trying to get his teammate, four-star QB Marquise Williams to commit.
-- Michael Branthover – A 5-10, 170-pound kicker from DeMatha, Branthover is a two-star recruit and is expected to walk on this coming season. He hit 7 of his 8 FGs this year, two of which were longer than 40 yards; high of 49 yards; 59 of his 69 kickoffs resulted in touchbacks. He was a first-team All Met selection as a junior and senior. Also had offers from Akron and Maryland.
--Demitri Knowles – A 6-1, 175-pound ATH/WR from Liberty Christian Academy in Lynchburg, Knowles is a three-star recruit. He had 25 catches for 338 yards and 6 TDs as a senior. He grew up in the Bahamas and is one of the faster sprinters in the state. He plans to run for Virginia Tech’s track team. Also had offers from Virginia and Connecticut.
| February 2, 2011; 2:35 PM ET
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