Hokies add 28 recruits, 15 from inside Virginia
BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP)
Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer didn't hide the fact that the Hokies missed out on some of their top targets in recruiting this year, but said recent history shows that it's not always the most highly acclaimed players that can change a program.
''A couple of guys I think are good players, we didn't get,'' Beamer said, ''I think sometimes you've got to watch yourself. I think the Seattle Seahawks just proved that this weekend. They're playing with a third-round quarterback. Most of their football team wasn't highly recognized, but when they come together and give great effort and play their position smart and are dedicated to winning, you see that.
''I'm sorry for the ones that we missed on, but I'd much rather talk about the ones we got.''
The Hokies got letters of intent from 22 players, and they joined four players who enrolled in January and two who signed with Virginia Tech last year, then spent a year in prep school.
Perhaps their most notable recruit is linebacker Melvin Keihn, a 6-foot-2, 215-pounder from Towson, Md. He was joined in the class Wednesday by Raymon Minor, a 6-3, 215-pound linebacker from Ashland.
The class includes 15 players from inside Virginia, and 17 players projected to play offense, including 12 skill players.
''We felt like, with our receivers, we needed to upgrade there,'' Beamer said. ''I feel good now that we've got some with experience, a couple of more that we redshirted, and then the guys that we signed. I think we really helped ourselves with guys that can catch it and do something after the catch.''
The Hokies made wholesale changes to their offensive coaching staff before last season, and those new connections also allowed Beamer and his staff to expand their coverage area. They signed three players from Pennsylvania and Florida, two from Ohio, Maryland and New Jersey and one from Georgia.
While coaches often prefer to give incoming freshman a redshirt year to allow them to get stronger, Beamer said ''I do think in this class there are some guys who could step in and (play right away).''
National rankings (Rivals 25; ESPN 31; Scout 35).
Best in class: Melvin Keihn, LB, 6-2, 215, Towson, Md.
Best of the rest: C.J. Reavis, DB, 6-0, 190, Chester, Va. Marshawn Williams, RB, 5-11, 224, Hampton.
Late addition: Raymon Minor, LB, 6-3, 215, Ashland, Va.
One that got away: Ja'Von Harrison, WR. Committed to the Hokies long ago, but showed up at his signing in a Florida State hat and signed with the home-state Seminoles. Would have been highest-rated recruit.