National Signing Day 2011: Three Simple Ways Virginia Tech Can Land Top Recruits
National Signing Day has come and gone, and the Virginia Tech Hokies have been hit with the 33rd-ranked class by Rivals. Solid, but it should be better.
Why isn't it better is a big question. But the biggest question of all is: Why do the Hokies struggle to land top recruits?
There are a number of reasons you could point to. An underwhelming offense for one, southwest Virginia isn't exactly South Beach, and, despite recent success, the Hokies aren't a traditional power.
The Virginia Tech coaching staff has been a family affair, you could say, under head coach Frank Beamer, which has its advantages and disadvantages.
But there's a way he could literally make this statement come true. Quite frankly, he should.
Here are three ways the Hokies can recruit better talent and increase their chances of performing better on offense.
Beamer should hire his son, Shane. Shane Beamer is currently the recruiting coordinator, special teams coordinator and spurs and strong safety coach at South Carolina.
Recruiting coordinator is the big thing here. Why? In Shane's first season as recruiting coordinator at South Carolina, he brought in the nation's 12th-rated class. The Gamecocks currently rank 20th in this year's class, and there's a good chance the nation's top recruit, Jadeveon Clowney, will sign with them.
What's great about Shane is that he's made his own way. He was a long snapper and wide receiver at Virginia Tech and graduated in 1999.
He was a graduate assistant at Georgia Tech and Tennessee, and then spent three years at Mississippi State as cornerbacks coach and recruiting coordinator before joining South Carolina in 2007.
He not only brings a lot of coaching experience, but recruiting experience, and a lot of it. What's also great about his recruiting experience is that he would open up another area of the country for Virginia Tech to crack into.
Mississippi State and South Carolina are both SEC schools. When you have ties like that, it's an upgrade to any program.
Re-Assign Bryan Stinespring or Fire Him
It's a really simple concept. Bryan Stinespring is not a good offensive coordinator, and numbers speak louder than words, so let's take a look.
Stinespring took over the play-calling duties in 2002. Since then, the passing offense hasn't ranked higher than 68th in the nation. That came in 2010.
Besides 2010, the second highest ranking for passing offense was 80th. The lowest it has ranked was 111th in 2008.
Rushing offense has been better, but not great. The highest ranking for rushing offense came in 2009 when the Hokies were 14th in the nation. The lowest ranking came in 2006 when the Hokies ranked 90th in the country.
However, it's not all bad with Stinespring. He is a very good recruiter, and he is responsible for bringing in some top-notch guys. He's just not a good playcaller.
So, Beamer should re-assign him to full-time recruiting coordinator, a position he's held in the past, or simply let him go if he doesn't oblige.
It's unlikely Stinespring would have many good offers at the FBS level to be the offensive play caller.
Where do the Hokies go from there? Next slide.
Hire Ralph Friedgen
Hiring Ralph Friedgen would be a two-for-one package. He's a very good offensive coach, and Maryland actually recruited at the same level as Virginia Tech since 2004, with a an average commit ranking of three stars.
That's pretty hard to do at Maryland, considering there's a lack of high school football in the state, and Maryland isn't exactly a powerhouse.
So, if Beamer hires Friedgen, he would get a great offensively minded coach, with the ability to recruit and he would gain even more recruiting territory. That sounds like something Beamer should consider if he truly wants to take the next step in the recruiting process.
In a perfect world, Beamer would hire his son Shane, re-assign Stinespring to another position on the staff and hire his old coaching buddy Ralph Friedgen to take over the offense.
It would enhance recruiting, and it would likely enhance results on the field as well.