In my post yesterday about running back Drew Harris having to prep a year at Fork Union after failing to qualify academically at Virginia Tech, there were a few questions about whether or not the Hokies would be able to re-sign him next winter (and for the record, running backs coach Shane Beamer was optimistic that they would).
So I thought it’d be a good idea to look up where past signees who have had to prep a year (or go the junior college route) ended up.
A couple of things first …
1) This was a painstaking process. Using Rivals’ database, it’s easy to see guys who prepped and came back. Less so for guys who signed one year, prepped and signed elsewhere. So if you see someone I missed, someone who shouldn’t be on this list, a wrong year or any other inaccuracies, please add a comment in the section below and I’ll fix it.
2) Every player has a different situation, so it’s not a guarantee that whatever trend this list shows will apply to future players and whether or not they reconsider their recruiting options.
Anyway, here’s the list (the year listed is the first year they signed with Virginia Tech):
- 2011: WR Robert Lockhart (Fork Union) –> Miami
- 2011: TE Chris Hall (Fork Union) –> Marshall (did not qualify at VT)
- 2010: DE Justin Taylor (Hargrave) –> Virginia Tech
- 2009: DB Theron Norman (Hargrave) –> Virginia Tech
- 2008: WR D.J. Coles (Fork Union) –> Virginia Tech
- 2008: RB Tony Gregory (Fork Union) –> Virginia Tech
- 2008: DL DeAntre Rhodes (Hargrave) –> Louisville (this somewhat explains his situation)
- 2008: LB Derrick McCoy (Georgia Military) –> ????
- 2007: DE Leon Mackey (Hargrave) –> Texas Tech (this somewhat explains his situation)
- 2007: LB Quillie Odom (Hargrave) –> Virginia Tech
- 2007: ATH Kendrick Pressley (Hargrave) –> Virginia Tech (released to sign with Kent State)
- 2006: DT Olufemi Ajiboye (Hargrave) –> South Carolina
- 2006: DE Mike Gee (Nassau Community College) –> Alfred State/Indiana University of Pennsylvania (academics)
- 2005: WR Todd Nolen (Fork Union) –> signed with Virginia Tech again in ’06, didn’t qualify
- 2004: OL Brandon Holland (Hargrave) –> Virginia Tech
- 2004: DE William Wall (Hargrave) –> Virginia Tech
- 2004: LB Sam Wheeler (Hargrave) –> Virginia Tech
- 2003: CB Brandon Flowers (Hargrave) –> Virginia Tech
- 2003: WR Justin Harper (Hargrave) –> Virginia Tech
- 2003: QB Cory Holt (Hargrave) –> Virginia Tech
- 2003: WR Josh Morgan (Fork Union) –> Virginia Tech
- 2003: DB D.J. Parker (Hargrave) –> Virginia Tech
- 2003: ATH Maurice Reevey (Fork Union) –> Virginia Tech
- 2002: DB Corey Gordon (Hargrave) –> Virginia Tech
- 2002: DB Michael Hinton (Hargrave) –> Virginia Tech
- 2002: WR Josh Hyman (Fork Union) –> Virginia Tech
- 2002: ATH Demetrius Hodges (Georgia Military) –> East Carolina
- 2002: DE Lamar Veney (NW Mississippi CC) –> Carson Newman
- 2001: DL Jim Martin (Fork Union) –> Virginia Tech
A few thoughts:
1) Of the 29 players on the list, nine did not re-sign with Virginia Tech. That doesn’t include Nolen, who tried to sign with the Hokies again in 2006 but didn’t make the grade.
2) The feeling a lot of fans have about losing guys who prep a year is probably shaded by the most recent class, in which Lockhart decommitted to sign with his hometown school of Miami and Hall failed to make the grade to get into Virginia Tech.
3) If you’re counting, that’s 16 players to Hargrave and nine to Fork Union.
4) The Hokies used to have a whole lot more guys prep for a year. Look at 2002 and ’03. There are 11 guys there, with some recognizable names — Hyman, Parker, Morgan, Harper and Flowers. You don’t see a bunch of stars in recent classes who have prepped, which makes you think that along the way Virginia Tech altered its recruiting philosophy.
UPDATE: As some have pointed out, not everyone on this list signed, then went to prep school, the re-signed. Many, including a bunch from earlier in the 2000′s, were recruited directly from Hargrave without having previously signed. So it’s not a perfect comparison throughout the years.