Hokies load up on linemen on both sides of the ball
BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) Virginia Tech went hard after linemen in recruiting, and got plenty for each side of the ball.
The Hokies announced a class that includes seven players already enrolled and 17 who signed national letters of intent Wednesday.
Of the 24 players in all, six are defensive linemen and five are offensive linemen.
''We knew going in that we needed to recruit at the tackle spot offensively. We knew we needed some length and a couple of bigger guys that could play out in space,'' said recruiting coordinator and tight ends coach Bryan Stinespring. ''That was a major part of our recruiting class, and then with our defensive line, we were a little thin at spots last year ... so we needed to solidify those positions and prepare for the future. I think we were able to do a fantastic job of that.''
The biggest prize among the linemen signed is 6-foot-3, 315-pound defensive tackle Tim Settle of Manassas.
Virginia Tech also nabbed a quarterback in Dwayne Lawson from Tampa, Fla., whose dual-threat ability fits with how the Hokies like to play.
''He's got great size and great strength for a quarterback,'' Stinespring said of Lawson, who is 6-6 and 207 pounds. ''You like his skill set. He's got a strong arm, and he can keep plays alive. He can create plays. He's a true dual threat.''
Nine of the 17 who signed letters Wednesday are from Virginia, and four are from Florida.
Stinespring, a longtime assistant to Frank Beamer, served as the spokesman for the recruiting haul while the coach still recovers from throat surgery. But he said Beamer, who will enter his 29th season as coach next year, played a big role in helping to close the deal with athletes and their parents.
''On the last weekend that we had official visits, he stood up in front of the entire group that was there and outlined his plan and what we intend to do,'' Stinespring said. ''It was important for him, and he did a fantastic job. He met with all the recruits and their parents.''
Top 25 class: On the bubble.
Best in class: Tim Settle, DL, Manassas, Virginia.
Best of the rest: Dwayne Lawson, QB, Tampa. Florida; Austin Clark, OL, Rockbridge County, Virginia; Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Danville, Virginia.
Late addition: Zachariah Hoyt, OL, Salem, Virginia.
One that got away: None