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Over the years, the highly touted defensive tackles we’ve brought into the program have generally struggled. The undervalued, under-recruited types generally flourish. Steve Sobczak chose between Virginia Tech and James Madison University. Nick Saban never called him up to chat and even UVA never recruited him that hard. I think it’s clear that Sobczak will fall into that latter category and be one of the more pleasant surprises in this recruiting class.
Much like Derrick Hopkins, Sobczak has a very low center of gravity and possesses a wide frame. He’ll need to improve his back squat, front squat, and dead lift numbers in the weight room but physically, he fits what generally works on our defensive line.
Athletically, he’s not a combine guy and I think that’s why some schools decided to pass on him. Sobczak is really the type of player the Hokies convince to walk-on here and then in three year’s we’re wondering why that guy wasn’t more heavily recruited.
Virginia Tech, JMU
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This 2014 class will be the 8th recruiting class I’ve covered in-depth during my years as a blogger. Over that time, you learn several things. First, after the top 500 players in the country, recruiting services spend a lot less time trying to figure out the rest. 90-percent of their profits come by way of their top 250 and the hype it generates. Why would they invest any time elsewhere?
Second, everybody matures at different rates and over various amounts of time. A perfect example of this for Virginia Tech fans is Steph Curry, who was completely undervalued by every major basketball school in the country only to turn into a 1st round pick in the NBA draft when he left Davidson a year early. Had Curry physically developed faster, Virginia Tech probably would have offered him a scholarship.
For Steve Sobczak, he’s not a top 500 player in the country thus the amount of type 247Sports or Rivals is going to spend evaluating him is relatively low. They probably look at a few minutes of his film and then slap a label on him as either a two star or three star prospect. From there, one analyst will rank him based on the rest of the defensive tackles in the country based on some completely subjective analytical scales that measures his physical traits moreso than his physical ability.
Sobczak is going to be a good player at Virginia Tech and we might see him on the field as early as this fall depending on what Derrick Nnadi does on Signing Day. Tech needs a 4th defensive tackle to emerge and they’re probably going to have to rely on a true freshman to fill that void. Sobczak, now that he’s enrolling in July, will have every opportunity to win that job. If he doesn’t then a redshirt year wouldn’t be the worst thing for him.
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