Virginia Tech’s one-day prospect camp is over, and while there were a few nuggets of information to come out of it — honestly, they’re mostly about the players currently on the team — there wasn’t a ton.
So I thought I’d hit it briefly in bullet points style here on the blog.
– First things first: Virginia Tech did get a commitment. It came last night from kicker Michael Santamaria of Athens, Ga.
There seems to be some conflicting information about whether it’s a scholarship situation or not. The Athens Banner-Herald says he got a scholarship offer. I’ve heard it’s a preferred walk-on deal (similar to the one Brooks Abbott had last year), which would give him the chance to get on full scholarship eventually.
The 5-foot-9, 160-pounder, who is left-footed, recently got a “five-star” status on Chris Sailer‘s kicking rankings. He is ranked No. 13 nationally in Sailer’s rankings.
– The big uncommitted recruits in the 2014 class at the camp were defensive tackles Derrick Nnadi (4 star/Ocean Lakes High/Virginia Beach) and Ricky Walker (4 star/Bethel High/Hampton) and athlete Raymon Minor (3 star/Benedictine School/Richmond). None of them worked out during the camp but took in the festivities from the sidelines.
Hokies defensive end James Gayle served as the unofficial chauffeur for Nnadi and Walker, never more than an arm’s length away from them.
Nnadi (pictured), who is the No. 4 player in the state according to Rivals, was making his fifth trip to Tech. His father, Fred, was a student here.
“I’ve basically seen all I need to see about Tech from all the times I’ve been up here,” Nnadi said. “Right now I’m just chilling here with the football players, all the coaches. It’s basically like a family reunion.”
Nnadi said he’d like to make his decision after he takes all five of his official visits. He said Florida State was one school he definitely wants to visit. He might get back to Tech, although he’s seen it so often that he might not take an official trip here.
He’s also considering official trips to Ohio State, Michigan State and Penn State.
– It didn’t seem like there was anybody of the 214 players who worked out Saturday that were going to earn an immediate scholarship offer today. That might change once coaches have a chance to watch the film, but it doesn’t appear that any commitments from the camp are imminent.
A few players who have already committed were in attendance, including cornerback C.J. Reavis, athlete Shawn Payne (who did work out again), defensive back Terrell Edmunds and offensive linemen Tyrell Smith and Billy Ray Mitchell.
– Chatted with cornerback Antone Exum for a few minutes. He said he’s at 65 percent in his rehab from a torn ACL, which isn’t a number he pulled out of thin air. It’s a statistical number he’s gotten through tests to his acceleration, deceleration and various other things.
Exum said he’s “not making any guarantees” about the Alabama game. He’ll see how he progresses. I’ll have more on Exum in a story for tomorrow’s paper.
– Trainer Mike Goforth said there are certain things that they’re allowing Exum to do and certain things they’re not, but added that Exum is further along than he anticipated at this point.
Goforth was quick to point out that guys who have had this type of injury in the past have said they don’t quite feel like themselves again until a year after the surgery. He also pointed out some quick rehab success stories like running back Lee Suggs, who was injured in the 2001 opener, but in Goforth’s opinion could have played in that year’s bowl game if he wanted to.
“If this was one of us three, no offense, if we tore our ACL, it’s going to take a while,” he said to myself and another reporter. “But these guys are Lamborghinis before they get hurt. And they get back to being Lamborghinis. They’ve just got a better base to work off of than what we have.”
– Goforth said quarterback Brenden Motley is coming back from meniscus surgery in the spring and has been cleared to do everything except contortional drills.
Defensive end Ken Ekanem had his knee scoped, a cleanup procedure from a high school injury, about two weeks ago. He’s doing pretty much everything.
Safety Greg Jones is three months removed from shoulder surgery and is expected to be fully cleared for the start of the season.
Goforth said guard/center Andrew Miller, linebacker Tariq Edwards and receiver D.J. Coles are all good to go.
Acree tore the ACL in both of his knees during his career, one in high school and one before the start of last season. He also re-tore his meniscus last fall, an injury that continued to bother him this spring.
A weight room standout whose 505-pound bench press is a program record, Acree’s football career never got off the ground at Tech. A four-star signee who Rivals listed as the No. 9 prospect in the state, he worked briefly at defensive tackle his freshman year before transitioning to offensive line.
He appeared to be turning a corner developmentally at offensive tackle last August when he tore his left ACL and missed the entire season. He came back this spring but had to be shut down in the second week of April with a few practices to go.
– Tech is still waiting to find out whether ’13 signees Cequan Jefferson and D.J. Reid will qualify this year. They might have to go a prep school route if they don’t. Safety Holland Fisher is already going to prep this semester at Fork Union.
– Weight watch: Running back J.C. Coleman looked stockier than he did in the spring. He said he was up around 185 pounds and certainly looked bigger in the shoulder area.
Left tackle Jonathan McLaughlin is a big guy but looked bigger than he did in the spring. He said he’s up around 310 pounds after being around 304 a few months ago.
Gayle said he is at about 255 pounds after starting last year at 270.
“This is a quicker, more explosive weight,” Gayle said. “As I cut weight [last year], I always felt faster. Toward the end of the season I felt I was a better player than I was at the beginning of the season, so I just feel like that’s probably the best way to start a season.”