The 2011 season undoubtedly ended in a negative light for Hokies fans.
The team went 11-1 in the regular season and reached as high as fifth in the BCS rankings. However, the team got blown out in the ACC championship 38-10 by Clemson and then proceeded to lose a heartbreaker to Michigan in the Sugar Bowl, 23-20.
Throughout the season and since it has ended, though, the coaching staff has been hard at work trying to build a strong recruiting class after being out-recruited by rival UVA in 2011. With the additions of coaches Shane Beamer and Cornell Brown to the staff, the team has made just the right amount of adjustments, and the improvements in recruiting have shown already.
With National Signing Day on Wednesday, it appears that the Hokies are destined to sign as many as 28 players this year and could potentially have up to eight 4-star Rivals.com recruits. The team already has five in linebacker Deon Clarke, running back J.C Coleman, linebacker Trey Edmunds, running back Drew Harris and defensive back Donaldven Manning.
On Wednesday, it is expected that athlete Joel Caleb, defensive tackle Korren Kirven and defensive end Ken Ekanem will sign their letters of intent with Virginia Tech as well.
If the Hokies do indeed finish strong by signing these last three recruits, it will immediately rank this class amongst the best in Virginia Tech history. The team has taken the steps in the right direction with the changes in the coaching staff and is having much success recruiting in the state of Virginia, where they thrived for so many years.
For the 2012 season, the team has expectations that it can still compete and be amongst the ACC elite despite the loss of David Wilson, Jarrett Boykin, Danny Coale and Jayron Hosley. That is where the play of some of the Hokies recruits could come into effect very early in their careers.
Here is a look at five recruits who will be key in 2012: