Photo courtesy of 247Sports.com
There's no better cure for a massively disappointing regular season than one of the best recruiting classes in recent memory.
Virginia Tech got exactly that on national signing day.
The Hokies, despite entering the season ranked No. 16, finished with a depressing 7-6 record. In the process, they both ended their streak of eight straight 10-win seasons and gave Frank Beamer his worst season since his hair was considerably less gray, aka 1997.
Nevertheless, things are already looking up after a (mostly) no-nonsense signing day.
Yet Another Fuller
Before we get started, let's just take a second to give Mama Fuller some praise, as this is the fourth son she has sent to Virginia Tech this millennium. Thanks mom!
How many games will Fuller start as a true freshman?
Kendall, the younger brother of soon-to-be senior Kyle and former Hokies Corey and Vincent, is arguably (but probably not according to them) better than his older bros.
According to 247 Sports' composite rankings, the speedy cornerback is the 16th-best prospect—and No. 3 corner—in America. He is the first 5-star prospect the Hokies have cajoled to Blacksburg since Tyrod Taylor in 2007.
Fuller, who was the All-Met Player of the Year on offense as a wide receiver, is a true lockdown corner. He doesn't have overwhelming height (6'0"), but he has the strength and quickness to attach himself to defenders as well as the intelligence and breaking ability to effectively sit in a zone.
Expect the youngster to contribute right away.
Maybe It's Time to Stop Throwing on The Hokies. Forever.
Hyperbole aside, Virginia Tech's secondary is in terrific shape both immediately and in the foreseeable future. Not only did the Hokies bring in Fuller, but they got a letter of intent from Holland Fisher, who is a talented safety also capable of making an impact right away.
There may be some question marks about the youngster's character—he was forced to hold his signing day ceremony from home due to a suspension from school—but there are certainly none about his talent.
Fisher is listed by 247 Sports' composite rankings as the seventh-best safety in America. He has an unreal combination of size (6'1.5", 207 pounds), speed (4.55 40-time) and hitting ability (experience at outside linebacker), and according to J.C. Shurburtt of 247 Sports (via the Roanoke Times), it wouldn't be surprising to see him in games as a true freshman:
"[He's] a big, versatile safety prospect, the type of player that fits into Virginia Tech's defensive scheme perfectly," Shurburtt said. "Every time I saw him this spring and summer at camps, combines, what have you, he went out and competed. He competes on the football field. He's an all-around good football player and he plays the game every snap like it needs to be played."
Throw in fellow gem-of-the-class defensive end Wyatt Teller and 4-star cornerback Charles Clark, and this is undoubtedly one of the elite defensive classes in the country.
The Never-Ending Drew Harris Saga
Drew Harris is unbelievably talented, but it's starting to look like he's never going to be a Hokie.
Dont expect the Drew Harris issue to be resolved until June, at the earliest. 4 star RB, originally a 2012 commit, won't sign NLI today.— Mark Giannotto (@HokiesJournal) February 6, 2013
How would you grade the Hokies' 2013 class?
Harris, who attended Fork Union Military Academy after failing to qualify academically as a 2012 recruit, was supposed to enroll early with the Hokies' other seven January enrollees.
Yet, "a paperwork error" prevented that from happening, and now that he is obviously still not cleared to sign, we must wait another four months to see if he will indeed suit up in the maroon and orange.
Harris has the skills to immediately step in as the No. 1 running back in Blacksburg, but he has to get there first.
Nevertheless, this is just a minor blip on an otherwise successful day. Unlike last year, the Hokies weren't expecting any surprises or relying on any last-minute decisions and came away with one of the nation's best classes as a result.