Virginia Tech Football: Family Ties & the Hokies

Ryan McCartCorrespondent IIIMay 6, 2012

Family ties are important at all colleges around the country. It is often education-related, but on certain rare occasions, it is because of a sports program. Sometimes, a family just has a certain unbreakable tie to a school.

Virginia Tech has had an inordinate amount of family members come through its doors to become football players.

The Hokies recently received a commitment from Deon Newsome out of Hampton High School. He is considered a 3-star athlete. He is the son of former Hokie linebacker Myron Newsome. Myron played for the Hokies in 1995 and 1996.

The Newsomes are the latest family members that both decided to play football in Blacksburg.

The list seems to get longer every year. Virginia Tech currently has two sets of brothers on the roster; Corey Fuller (receiver) and Kyle Fuller (corner) as well as Antoine and Derrick Hopkins (both defensive tackles).

Those aren’t the only families that are represented well in Hokie history.

The Fullers are the younger brother of former DB Vincent and are the older brothers of Kendall (a potential recruit). Incoming freshman Alston Smith is the son of Hokie great Bruce Smith. In the middle-2000s, both Nathaniel and Xavier Adibi were roaming around on the defensive side of the ball. The infamous Marcus Vick followed his older brother Michael to Virginia Tech.

This pattern isn’t just players but coaches as well. Head coach Frank Beamer and running backs coach Shane Beamer are father and son (both are former Hokies players).

So the question is why does the Virginia Tech program appeal to all of these families? The best answer is a simple one; continuity.

Bruce Smith is the only player I mentioned who wasn’t coached by Frank Beamer. If Beamer had left for another school, retired or been fired, it is doubtful that all of the players mentioned would have chosen Virginia Tech.

The continuity doesn’t stop at the head coach. Offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring and defensive coordinator Bud Foster have been in Blacksburg for well over a decade. Beamer often hires his old players to be coaches. This continuity has done something special in Blacksburg—Frank Beamer hasn’t just built a football program, he has built a family around him.

That family is one of Beamer’s biggest advantages when he recruits high school talent.

He is the winningest active FBS coach and the longest-tenured FBS coach. That doesn’t come easily, but when Virginia Tech gave Frank Beamer the head coaching job, he built an environment that was inviting to players.

Frank Beamer and his staff are the biggest reason that the Hokies have been able to keep these family ties alive. None of the players mentioned earlier would have come to Virginia Tech if their familial predecessor(s) hadn’t enjoyed their time in southwest Virginia.

Beamer’s biggest strength when it comes to recruiting is continuity and it is the reason the Hokies can get commitments from players like Newsome or be the favorites to land players like Kendall Fuller.