ACC: Isaiah Ford

Virginia Tech did not have a top 25 recruiting class this year, but the Hokies did a great job filling several areas of need on signing day. I had a chance to catch up with recruiting coordinator Bryan Stinespring for his thoughts on the incoming group.

The skill positions were a huge area of need, and you seemed to have met them. How many do you think can contribute right away?

Stinespring: We hope all of them. But first off, I want to say I thought our staff from the beginning to the end did a great job being diligent in making sure we met our needs. You’re always looking for the best players you can get regardless of position, but you also need to focus on your primary needs. For us to get the skill position guys we got -- not only the quality of the player but in terms of creating depth, creating competition -- I thought we did a terrific job and we’re excited about it.

[+] EnlargeIsaiah Ford
Miller Safrit/ESPNFour-star wide receiver Isaiah Ford was part of a big Virginia Tech haul at the skill positions in the 2014 recruiting class.
At receiver, you have a guy like Isaiah Ford who has an opportunity, a two-sport guy who is very impressive in both venues; an in-state kid like Jaylen Bradshaw, a very skilled athlete. A guy we've been impressed with is Greg Stroman. He's one of those guys that in recruiting you go into the school and people have great things to say about him, but when you go out and people talk about him who’ve seen him play, he’s just one of those guys that kept popping up no matter where you went, just about how impressive he is. With Cameron Phillips and Kendrick Holland, too, I know how excited we are about that bunch.

What about at running back? You already have Marshawn Williams and Shai McKenzie on campus and enrolled. Will they push for playing time?

Stinespring: We also have Braxton Pfaff (OL), Andrew Ford (QB) and Vinny Mihota (DE) in here early. But as for the backs, Trey Edmunds is going to be out of spring practice so we’ll get a chance to get a look at some of these younger tailbacks. Shai is still recovering from a knee injury he had in high school. He will have no contact but we’ll see some things in the spring practices. To almost rush for 5,000 yards in high school and miss three-fourths of your senior year, that’s pretty impressive.

Williams and McKenzie are similar in size. Are they similar in how they play?

Stinespring: They are somewhat different in their running styles. We wanted to get a couple bigger backs and we felt like we were able to do that. Marshawn is probably the biggest. When you think of him, you think of power and strength. You don’t want to be the first tackler on Marshawn, you want to be the second or third guy because that first one, it's hard to determine who’s the hammer or the nail. Shai has size but he relies on the ability to make people miss and he does a great job of that.

You also signed several quarterbacks, including Ford, Chris Durkin and Travon McMillian. Is the plan to keep McMillian at quarterback?

Stinespring: Initially, McMillian will concentrate on the quarterback spot, but Andrew is here and will go through spring practice and we can evaluate where he is. With Durkin and Travon, we still want to be able to see where Travon is as a quarterback. We felt like with where we are at quarterback, we needed to re-up the numbers there and we were able to do so.

Offensive line was also an area of need. How do you feel you did at that position?

Stinespring: We’ve got potentially four seniors starting up front this coming year, so it was certainly very important for us to go out and be able to get the numbers in that grouping to enable us to develop and create some depth. We also have time available to develop these guys. They all share similar qualities we were looking at this go around -- they all move around real well, they’ve got good feet, they’re athletic. We feel like our strength and conditioning program will benefit them tremendously.

There were a few guys who got away on signing day, but overall how do you feel about the class you signed and what are some area of needs headed into 2015?

Stinespring: We met our needs for the most part. We never get all that we want. We're all like 8-year-olds on Christmas, we all appreciate what's under the tree but we're not opposed to having another present no matter what. When you go into a numbers game, this year was paramount for offensive line and the skill positions. We got three defensive linemen, so we’re going to immediately turn our attention back to that area.

Bold predictions: ACC 

February, 4, 2014
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It is becoming a bit cliché, but the saying holds true every year on the first Wednesday of February: Expect the unexpected on signing day.

With the direction signing day and recruiting have been going, a prospect simply signing his letter of intent to the college he has been committed to for months qualifies as a mild surprise.

Here are five bold predictions for ACC signing day.

ACC class rankings analysis 

January, 22, 2014
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video NC State coach Dave Doeren told ESPN colleague Jeremy Crabtree that the Wolfpack would finish the 2014 recruiting cycle strong despite a winless ACC campaign. Raise your hand if you believed him.

NC State was one of the few risers in the updated class rankings this week. A look at the Wolfpack's rise and other trends across the ACC:


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Signing day is a little more than two weeks away, meaning the next 15 days are going to be very interesting. Here are five storylines in the ACC to keep an eye on come signing day on Feb. 5.


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ACC recruiting storylines: Sept. 26 

September, 26, 2013
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Virginia Tech is trying to capture the attention of a Louisville commitment from Florida, the Seminoles' offensive line appears to be in good shape for recruiting, and Miami is looking to impress in Tampa this weekend.

All this and more in this week's ACC recruiting storylines.


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ACC class rankings analysis 

September, 25, 2013
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Another week passes without movement among the ACC schools in the class rankings. A commitment from three-star Ryan Izzo (Sparta, N.J./Pope John XXIII) was not enough to launch Florida State past Alabama and back into the No. 1 spot. With Izzo’s pledge out of the way, it does not appear any conference school is on the verge of a commitment any time soon.


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