Hokies Will Welcome Eight Spring Enrollees

by JustinC on December 31, 2012 · 18 comments

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6 44850 300x154 Hokies Will Welcome Eight Spring EnrolleesThe 2012 football season is officially in the record books. For Tech fans, they can now begin talking to their families again, catch up with their son or daughter who, surprisingly, has aged four months since you last saw them, and start attending those anger management classes your wife has suggested. But, these days, the football calendar never truly ends. Sure, this is a down period for most coaching staffs but Signing Day for the 2013 recruiting class is just around the corner.

After that comes spring practice meetings, workouts, and then four weeks of practice ending in the annual maroon and white spring game.

For those who are looking forward to spring practice next year, here’s a quick list of new faces you might want to familiarize yourself with. These individuals are either members of the 2012 class who are greyshirting or members of the 2013 class who are enrolling early.

TE Seth Dooley – Roanoke, VA

There is a lot of unknown with Dooley, who played just about every position during his tenure at Glenvar High School. With the Hokies stockpiling depth at defensive end, I would be shocked if our coaching staff started him out on the offensive side of the ball. Dooley has good ball skills and his frame makes him a good receiving tight end prospect. The latest update on the former Glenvar captain lists him at 6’5” and 245 pounds. Dooley has only played two full years of football so the extra time to develop will be beneficial for the Roanoke product.

DT Woody Baron – Brentwood, TN

Virginia Tech normally does well recruiting players from athletic families. Woody is Jim Baron’s nephew. Of course, Jim was a former dominant defensive lineman back in the early 1990’s. Baron is a good prospect that needed to sort out his grades a bit. It appears he’s done just that and he’ll enroll this January.

Baron is a good prospect but he’s similar to Corey Marshall in his skill set. He’s quick off the ball but his 6’3”, 260 lbs. frame will likely force him inside to defensive tackle. However, he plays more like a defensive end, so that transition may be what causes him to either sink or swim at the collegiate level. What I like most about Baron is he seems to be the type of player that brings a “presence” to the defensive line. Even though he’s greyshirting, Baron will likely redshirt to adjust to his new position.

RB Jerome Wright – Richmond, VA

Wright is a player who I can’t quite figure out. Not from a skill standpoint but I don’t really know where to slot him. I think he may start off his career at MIKE linebacker but I’ve heard that he could end up at running back as well. Since the Hokies have stockpiled talent at running back, I don’t know how true that is. To me, Wright could be a force at middle linebacker and the Hokies are clearly thin there with Bruce Taylor exiting stage right this year. If he does start his career at linebacker, he’ll most likely redshirt this fall. Tech returns both Jack Tyler and Chase Williams at MIKE.

RB Drew Harris – Downington, PA

Perhaps the most talented player enrolling this spring is Drew Harris out of Pennsylvania. Harris is still awaiting word from the NCAA Clearinghouse so we shouldn’t count our chickens before they hatch. But, Harris admitted to accomplishing all of his academic goals at Fork Union so hopefully that means good news coming our way shortly.

Harris has been likened to Kevin Jones, who once torched a few Pennsylvania high school fields in his heyday. To me, Harris would be a good fit in a downhill, power running attack. He has good hips and possesses powerful leg drive. He’s quick to the hole and will run you over if he has the chance. It wouldn’t shock me to see Harris make a major impact next fall. But, first, he needs to squeak through the NCAA Clearinghouse.

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ATH Brandon Facyson – Newnan, GA

A late addition to this list, Facyson is a WR/DB recruit that could play on both sides of the ball. Right now, I have him slotted at a wide receiver just because his film indicates that he might be more polished on that side of the football. I do think Facyson could develop into a really good safety but the Hokies need to develop some wide receiver depth. With him enrolling early, he’ll have a chance to strut his stuff this spring.

QB Carlis Parker – Statesville, NC

Bucky Hodges stole the headlines when he committed to Tech this spring but Tech fans shouldn’t sleep on Carlis Parker. The North Carolina native has blazing speed and at the very least, could start off his career making a lot of plays with his legs in a wildcat type package. However, Parker will need to redshirt and work with a quarterback’s coach before he sees any extensive playing time. His mechanics need a lot of work, which could force him to move to wide receiver eventually. Thankfully, he’s enrolling early so he’ll have a full year to hone his skills at quarterback.

OT Parker Osterloh – Williamsburg, VA

The Hokies are losing two offensive tackles this year so having a true freshman enroll early could pay dividends if Osterloh can impress. Obviously, it’s hard to project how he’ll do this year since Tech will have a new offensive line coach this upcoming spring. But, I’m intrigued at what Osterloh brings to the table. He has the size you want in a linemen. At 6’8” and 290 pounds, he already has the mass you want at tackle. Plus, he moves well, which helps when facing a speed rusher on the outside. Right now, I lean towards a redshirt year upcoming for the Williamsburg native but Tech is ultra thin at offensive tackle. If he impresses, he may have a chance to dress this fall.

OL Jonathan McLaughlin – Fork Union, VA

The Hokies most recent commitment is still unconfirmed when it comes to when he’ll enroll. If McLaughlin did enough in the classroom this past semester, he can enroll this January. However, if not, he’ll return to Fork Union for one more semester and enroll in July with the rest of the 2013 class.

McLaughlin is a raw player but he has some tools to work with. Like Osterloh, he’s a player that’s tough to project just because we don’t know our new offensive scheme or who our next offensive line coach will be. However, in the right system and with the right coach, I think McLaughlin can develop into a starter down the line. He needs to hit the weight room and work on transforming his body. I think he has a little too much baby fat still on him.

 

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Ryan December 31, 2012 at 11:05 am

I have said this before…. I would love to see Jerome Wright at fullback! Having an athletic FB and not just a blocker could be huge for our offense, but youre right he will probably start off at MIKE

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justinc December 31, 2012 at 4:50 pm

I like that idea but we are short on depth at linebacker, especially since Edmunds is looking like he’ll stick at running back long term. In the past two classes, we’ve signed two inside linebackers and two athletes. Edmunds is at RB and Wright may start out there as well. That leaves two LBs in the past two classes. That’s treading lightly at those positions. Granted, we never rotate LBs so if two guys stay healthy all year, they’ll take 95% of the snaps. But, I would like to have 3 capable players at both positions at any one time.

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jp_daddi0 December 31, 2012 at 2:50 pm

6’8″ 290?!?! Holy smokes, that’s insane. Would love to see him dominate. That size sounds like a thin King Dunlap

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justinc December 31, 2012 at 4:45 pm

He’s a big guy but he’s a little raw, as are most high school offensive linemen. If he can get coached up and put in the work needed in the weight room, he has a high ceiling.

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hokiegrad December 31, 2012 at 4:19 pm

what about Thomas Smith?

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justinc December 31, 2012 at 4:47 pm

He’s taking classes down in North Carolina at a Community College and living with his Dad who’s in the armed forces. He’ll enroll in July with the rest of the 2013 class. I think he needed Algebra II and one other class to enroll at VT. I think his test scores were fine. Just a class or two short.

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jay December 31, 2012 at 7:37 pm

gregory,holmes, coleman, edmunds, mangus, harris, wright, d.j reid, and marshawn williams in ’14. You don’t think we have too many running backs?Also, these backs are very close to each other in terms of their class.I’m expecting at least two transfers out of this group.

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Josh December 31, 2012 at 8:02 pm

DJ Reid is an athlete and I’ve read that he may move to WR and that was thought to be the case with Mangus originally too. Hopefully, Edmunds can get moved back to LB, although I’ve read he sounds like he’s sticking at RB. There are too many bodies at the RB position currently and if some of the guys cannot find another position will see themselves on the outside looking in and may transfer before all is said and done. I think the face of the program lies with Harris, Coleman and Edmunds. Also a thing to note is that Marshawn Williams hasn’t officially signed his LOI so he is not at VT just yet. It’s a waiting game and I guess we will all see what happens in the coming months and years. One thing for sure is that VT can really recruit at RB. If a quality running back cannot be found in the bodies they have then something is wrong. haha.

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justinc January 1, 2013 at 10:39 am

I think Sparko below did a good job outlining the situation. I do expect some players to move out of running back, just because you can’t have more than 5, or at the most 6, scholarships tied up at that position. One thing to watch for is some attrition from that spot. It wouldn’t shock me if TG decided to take his degree and move on. I really like his determination, and he gave us a spark this season, but he’s not the answer long term. Plus, with 3 ACL tears in his career, he needs to put his health before his career. Also, Holmes is going to be an interesting player to monitor, especially if Harris enrolls this Spring.

I would take all of those guys into this spring and see who adjusts to our new offense the best. Keep the top three there then maybe start deferring guys to other positions.

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sparko December 31, 2012 at 7:58 pm

gregory – graduates after ’13
holmes – could transfer .. but also talks of moving him to D side
coleman – a situational player who is still a playmaker…loves vt…not going anywhere
edmunds – stud
mangus – may end up playing in the slot
harris – not so fast my friend
wright – needed at linebacker
d.j reid – i think will end up as a WR or DB (classified as an athlete)
marshawn williams – ’14 and he’ll redshirt .. that’s two years away. we could be losing 1+ of these guys to the league (edmunds, harris) by then

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justinc January 1, 2013 at 10:40 am

Also of note, Reid is very close on qualifying so there’s a chance he may have to prep. That would alleviate our RB problems for the time being but it may make it hard for us to take two in the 2014 class if that happens.

But, I think we’ve learned in the past that stockpiling talent at RB is never a bad thing. In just a year or two all of that talent can leave early so you always need that next guy that’s willing to step up and contribute.

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LJ January 1, 2013 at 3:59 pm

VT and True Freshman
VT ranks near the bottom of all D-1 programs in developing true freshman. Quality teams are now playing freshman right away. TCU and Texas played the most true freshman (16), both won their respective bowl games, with the average D1 program playing 7.5 freshman overall in the last 4 years. More freshmen made impact at big time programs than ever before. Todd Gurley, Keith Marshall, Duke Johnson, Thomas Johnson, Landon Collins & TJ Yeldon & Cyrus Jones, DJ Humphries, Stefan Diggs, Jonathan Gray, Rushall Shell, Noah Spence, Doral-Green Beckham to name a few. For the first time ever an R-freshman won the Heisman Trophy. We played 3 true freshmen and Deon Clarke for all practical purposes wasted his eligibility. Our coaching staff has some phobias to get over in this area. They have no confidence that they can coach up true freshman, which they have not shown an ability to do on a regular basis primarily because they are not adept in teaching fundamentals which at VT take 2/3 years if ever at all…

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hokiegrad January 4, 2013 at 1:41 pm

I believe we played 6 true freshman (JC, Abbott, Hughes, Frye, Manning, and Riley) and a redshirt is expected to be granted for Clarke. Who else from this recruiting class would you have liked VT to play this year? Edmunds is the only one I think you could make a decent case for.

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LJ January 1, 2013 at 5:42 pm

Justin – Nice article in the Washington Post about Pep Hamilton and his ties to Northern Virginia. His recruitment of Kevin Hogan, a McLean native a couple of years ago, Alex Carter last year and Ryan Burns (both from Ashburn) this year is producing big dividends for Stanford. This guy is on the rise and would like to come back to the area (home). He would dominate Virginia, Maryland, DC and the mid-Atlantic in recruiting. BUT – I think Beamer will not seriously consider him and this is why; 1) Pep will want some reassurances that he will be considered for the HC position if he is successful at OC and 2) FB knows he will ultimately be putting Shane in jeopardy of being overshadowed if he does bring in a difference maker and 3) Pep will be a head coach in 2 to 3 years anyway even if he gets an offer from VT…the longer VT goes without a change the longer FB has to justify not making a change. As we are seeing in the bowl games the ACC may be on the rise and he who hesitates loses & timing is everything

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justinc January 1, 2013 at 6:11 pm

Those are some good points but Shane is in his 30′s. Probably shouldn’t worry about him being a head coach right now. Plus, if he wants to fill that trophy case, he’s going to need to bring in a big time OC like Hamilton to do that. We’re going to find out a lot about Frank this off-season. I think he makes the move but I’m trying to remain cautious.

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Vhokie January 4, 2013 at 10:33 am

Did Deon Clarke waste a year of eligibility?

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justinc January 4, 2013 at 12:18 pm

That’s something I need to check on. I know he and Stanford were two that were in question. Let me do some research and question asking and see if I can get an answer on that.

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hokiegrad January 4, 2013 at 1:48 pm

from back in October…

@RTD_MikeBarber: Shane Beamer said Virginia Tech is applying for a medical redshirt for LB Deon Clarke (L.C. Bird) because of a nagging knee injury. #Hokies

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