Recruiting rankings mean only so much. We hear that every year.
No program however exemplifies the adage better than Virginia Tech.
Under Frank Beamer, the Hokies have had scores of players come through the program that were NFL talents. Very rarely, however, has Tech received much love in the recruiting rankings.
The Hokies are outstanding at developing talent. Indeed, many of Tech’s future pros began their careers as walk-ons. Players like veteran NFL defensive end John Engleberger and last season’s standout linebacker Cody Grimm began as walk-ons.
Grimm recently earned an invite to the NFL combine despite his diminutive size.
Tech gets a lot out of almost every player they bring in, even if they aren’t the five-star, household name kind of kids coming out of high school.
That’s not to say they don’t get those players too.
Michael Vick was rated the No. 5 quarterback in the country by SuperPrep coming out of high school.
Vick’s success led to Tech landing the biggest recruit in school history in Kevin Jones. Jones was rated the No. 1 recruit in the nation according to SuperPrep and Rivals , among others.
Marcus Vick was considered the No. 6 QB in the country when he came to Tech and Tyrod Taylor was ranked No. 4 by Scout.
Clearly, the Hokies put a lot of stock in getting good quarterbacks, and the program is capable of getting “big-time” talent.
The 2010 class is no different. There are five All-Americans among Tech’s 20 signees.
There are several standouts, including ESPNU 150 safety Nick Dew, by far the highest rated recruit in Tech’s 2010 group.
The focus for Tech continues to be to recruit the Commonwealth of Virginia first, and there was plenty of success. Thirteen of Tech’s 20 recruits hailed from Virginia, including much of the top talent.
“We like to make sure we take care of our home state first, and I believe these are certainly some of the better players in the state,” head coach Frank Beamer said of the class.
“And then, the ones we got from out of state are really quality players, which you always want to be the case, too.”
There are a number of important offensive line recruits, including Laurence Gibson, rated the No. 2 prep school player in the country.
The others come from Virginia. Mark Shuman (No. 7), Matt Arkema (No. 18) and Caleb Farris (No. 39) are all ranked in the Roanoke Times top-40 prospects in the state.
The Hokies also kept a number of family connections going, with players like Shuman whose older brother Ryan was also an offensive lineman for Tech.
“When we get brothers coming...you like the statement it makes about your program and how you treat people,” Beamer said.
In an era dominated by recruiting hostesses, text message limits and recruiting star rankings, Virginia Tech continues to stick with what works.
The Hokies have developed some valuable recruiting connections and the program remains true to the bedrock principles of Frank Beamer.
Be fair, honest, loyal and work hard, and you’ll get those things in return from your players.
Recruiting stars notwithstanding.