ACC: Vincent Mihota

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.

Storms don't ruin VT's big weekend

April, 27, 2012
4/27/12
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Rainstorms sent fans packing and had Frank Beamer disappointed that his team couldn't finish spring practice the proper way. But the Virginia Tech coach received more than enough good news Saturday to turn his weekend around.

Six prospects — including one from the Class of 2014 — pledged to the Hokies on the day of their rained-out spring game. Another committed to the program two days later, giving the Hokies 10 commits for the 2013 class.

Four-star quarterback Bucky Hodges and three-star offensive tackle Parker Osterloh gave Virginia Tech their word, along with outside linebacker Andrew Motu'apuaka, cornerback Charles Clark and guard Braxton Pfaff.

Class of 2014 defensive end Vincent Mihota was the 2014 prospect. Four-star athlete Carlis Parker committed two days later.

I caught up with our East and Southeast recruiting reporter Dave Hooker for his thoughts on the Hokies' big week.

"I think the stability of Virginia Tech's program can overcome a lot, including bad weather," Hooker said. "What Frank Beamer has, along with Bud Foster, is a long-term proven record of success that very few programs in the nation can compete with. If you sign with Virginia Tech, the chances are you're going to be coached by Beamer for your entire career."

Hooker praised Beamer's attention to detail in recruiting, saying the 26-year Virginia Tech coach locks in on the right fits for the program who make good on their words.

The Hokies' classes may not rank up there with Florida State's and Clemson's every year, but it is hardly an obstacle to overcome for a school that has won four of the last eight ACC titles.

"The thing to remember with Virginia Tech is I don't think they have to have the top-rated class to win titles," Hooker said. "A combination of recruiting and player development is the key to their success."

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