Virginia Tech builds through development, not just recruiting

By Lee Roberts  |   Thursday, January 22, 2009  |  Comments( 2 )

Virginia Tech Hokies
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The Virginia Tech Hokies are the dominant college football program in the ACC. They've won the past two ACC championships and appear poised to earn a third consecutive trip to a BCS bowl next season. This tradition of success is a testament to the coaching abilities of Frank Beamer. While the Hokies rarely win on national signing day, they're always victorious when it counts.

Virginia Tech's roster rarely consists of a stable of four- and five-star recruits. This season's senior class, led by Victor "Macho" Harris, was rated the 18th best in the country by Scout. While the Hokies weren't a top 10 team this past season, they still won the Orange Bowl. That's certainly a far better result than Virginia and Miami, both of which finished higher in the recruiting rankings for that class.

The 2005 class was not just an aberration for the Hokies. In 2006, Virginia Tech finished 31th in the Scout recruiting rankings. The ACC teams that finished ahead of the Hokies that season were Maryland, North Carolina, Clemson, Miami and Florida State. In 2007, Virginia Tech's recruiting class was ranked 25th and 20th in 2008.

In that time span, the Hokies have only had one five-star recruit, Tyrod Taylor. Yes, Taylor has been phenomenal and kept the season afloat early after Sean Glennon struggled. However, for a team to have the potential to win three consecutive BCS conference championships, it's exceedingly rare to not have a single top 10 recruiting class in the program. For example, USC has not had a class ranked lower than ninth in the same time frame.

What does this mean? Well, Frank Beamer is a hell of a coach. He's been able to do two things better than any coach in the country - find underrated talent and develop role players into stars. Of course, not having high-profile players has helped Beamer convince his team to buy into his system - the famed Beamer Ball.

While fans across the country are poring over message boards and recruiting Web sites, the results of national signing day don't guarantee future success. Just ask perennial top 10 recruiter Charlie Weis. Meanwhile, if you're a Hokie fan, rest easy. While Beamer might not wow you with his recruiting class, they'll win when it matters.
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About Lee Roberts

Born in Richmond, Va, I moved south to UNC-Chapel Hill for college and received a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication. I currently live in Charlotte, NC and cover Auburn, LSU and the ACC.
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