Friday, February 15, 2013

Hokies, Cavs recruiting ranks 3rd, 4th in ACC, or 6th and 7th

Doug Doughty

Doug Doughty's College Notebook Plus is exclusive to roanoke.com and is posted by 5 p.m. Fridays.

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It was so odd as to seem contrived.

When I checked the final rivals.com rankings for the 2013 football recruiting class, I saw where Virginia Tech was 22nd and Virginia was 27th.

Then, I checked the 2012 rivals.com rankings for the sake of comparison and saw where Tech was 22nd and UVa was 27th.

Two years in a row!

Not sure how that happens, but it's not a first. The Hokies had back-to-back recruiting classes that were ranked 23rd in both 2009 and 2010.

It's like somebody is taking a look at Tech's class and saying, "It's Virginia Tech, so it has to be 22nd or 23rd."

Actually, the rankings are based on a formula that includes stars based on a 1-5 scale, with five the highest. And, when you think of Virginia Tech, what's one of the first things that comes to mind: consistency.

Consistency in recruiting rankings is reflected by consistency on the field (to make a point, will throw out 2012 as an aberration).

ON THE OTHER HAND, there is enough difference between the lists put out by a variety of recruiting services to make you wonder how much stock to put in any of them.

If you're a Tech or a Virginia fan, or if you're one of those rare fans of both schools, you have to be heartened by the rivals.com rankings that have the Hokies and Cavaliers in third and fourth place among ACC teams.

On the other hand, scout.com has the Hokies in 34th place nationally and the Cavaliers in  40th place. That puts them in sixth and seventh place among ACC teams.
Rivals.com has only the recruiting classes at Florida State and Clemson ahead of the Hokies and Cavs.

Scout.com has Tech and UVa behind Clemson, Florida State (in that order), Pittsburgh, Miami and North Carolina.

IT'S INTERESTING to compare rivals.com and scout.com because those are the two services mentioned in the contract of Maryland offensive coordinator Mike Locksley when he was hired in December 2011.

The contract stipulates that Locksley will receive a $25,000 bonus when the Terrapins' recruiting is ranked among the top 40 in the country by rivals.com or scout.com.
Fortunately for Locksley, it's an either-or proposition because Scout.com has the Terrapins in 48th place. Rivals.com has them 32nd.

There's another clause that spells out a $20,000 bonus for Locksley, long considered a top recruiter, if the Terps have one of the top four recruiting classes in the ACC.
That didn't happen this year and one wonders what becomes of the second clause now that Maryland is joining the Big 10.

ASIDE FROM the scout.com list, Virginia Tech's recruiting class is a consensus Top 25 pick.

The Hokies get their highest ratings from ESPN.com (19th) and 247 Sports (20th). Virginia is 34th and 29th on those two lists, respectively.

Turning back to rivals.com, Virginia has finished in the top 25 in four of the past five years and was 33rd in the other year (2011). The Cavaliers annually have finished higher in the rivals.com rankings than four teams that beat them last year -- Maryland, Wake Forest, Duke and Georgia Tech.

In three of the past four years, rivals.com also has rated Virginia's classes ahead of North Carolina's, superiority that hasn't been reflected on the playing field.

PART OF THE REASON that Virginia Tech handed over Bryan Stinespring's play-calling duties to former quarterbacks coach Mike O'Cain was a desire to free Stinespring for late-week recruiting trips to Tidewater.

Curt Newsome was Tech's assistant coach in charge of the 757, at one point handling both sides of the water. Now Newsome has been replaced as offensive line coach and Stinespring has been given full responsibility for south Hampton Roads (Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Chesapeake, etc.).

Stinespring, formerly the Hokies' offensive coordinator, may have assigned himself those duties.

Cornell Brown has been given Newsome's old Peninsula District haunts and also will have responsibility for Lynchburg, Brown's hometown. Stinespring will have Danville, Roanoke and Martinsville.

As for the Roanoke Valley, not a football recruiting hotbed in recent years, it appears that 6-foot-5, 295-pound Salem High School offensive lineman Alex Light will get a lot of FBS looks but he's at a position where all but the best have to prove themselves at one-day camps.

The only in-state offensive linemen with offers from Tech and UVa for 2014 are Coleman Thomas from Fort Chiswell and Steven Moss from Chancellor outside Fredericksburg.

Rivals.com also lists 6-5, 310-pound Mike Herndon from Riverheads in Augusta County with an offer from the Hokies.

Among the 18 FBS schools that have offered Moss (6-4, 270) are Florida State, Penn State, Auburn and South Carolina, with Notre Dame and Ohio State among those expressing interest.






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