Three 2014 Hokies commitments — defensive end Vinny Mihota, quarterback Andrew Ford and running back Marshawn Williams – have signed financial aid agreements with Virginia Tech and intend to enroll in January, according to Frank Beamer‘s website.
In this instance, “signed” doesn’t mean what it usually does. The NCAA released an interpretation of its rules this year that allows midyear enrollees from high school to sign financial aid agreements prior to getting to school. In the past, they would begin class in January, then sign a formal letter of intent on signing day.
The agreement these three have signed binds the schools to the players but not vice versa. So technically, they can still go somewhere else and other schools can still recruit them.
Nevertheless, having already agreed to pay financial aid to players would seem to be like a pretty good incentive for those players to stick with that school. And none of those three has wavered. Ford and Williams observed practice last Saturday, in fact. This frees up the coaching staff to comment on them publicly.
Mihota, a 6-foot-4, 240-pound defensive end from Fredericksburg, broke a bone in his foot this year and missed most of his senior season at Massaponax High. 247 Sports lists him as a four-star recruit.
Ford, a 6-foot-3, 190-pound quarterback from Camp Hill, Pa., was named Pennsylvania’s Gatorade Player of the Year after throwing for 2,776 yards and 35 touchdowns this year to lead Cedar Cliff High to a 9-2 record. The three-star recruit got an invite to the Elite 11 quarterback camp.
Williams, a 5-foot-11, 215-pound running back from Hampton, is considered the top-rated running back in the state. Rated a four-star recruit by 247 Sports, he ran for 2,192 yard and 30 touchdowns for Phoebus High, which went 10-2.
“A guy we’re excited about,” running backs coach Shane Beamer said. “Obviously he had a huge senior season. Productive. I mean, every week we were coming into a staff meeting and Cornell [Brown] was talking about what his stats were and how many yards he ran for the night before. … Great kid. Obviously excited to throw him into the mix and let him compete going forward.”