News With Commentary by TSL Staff

Tuesday, January 20, 2004
by Will Stewart,

Hokie Football Welcomes Eight January Enrollees

With the beginning of spring semester 2004 on Monday, the Hokies have added eight January enrollees to their football roster. Some were 2003 signees who prepped, some were 2003 signees who did not prep, some were 2004 signees from prep school, and one was even an early high school graduate who wanted to get his college football career started right away.

The eight players are offensive linemen Matt Welsh and Nick Marshman, linebacker Brett Warren, defensive back D.J. Parker, quarterback Cory Holt, running back George Bell, and wide receivers Justin Harper and Josh Morgan.

2003 Signees Who Delayed Enrollment (3)

Nick Marshman: Marshman, an offensive lineman from Turner Ashby High School in Harrisonburg, spent the fall working on getting bigger and stronger before enrolling at Tech. Though listed at 6-5, 270 when he was recruited, the Harrisonburg Daily News-Record reported last August that Marshman was 6-6, 285. The News-Record also reported in August that Marshman was to spend the fall as an assistant junior-varsity football coach at Turner Ashby, while taking classes at Blue Ridge Community College and lifting weights for football.

Matt Welsh: Welsh arrived last August and worked out with the Hokie football team, but he hurt his knee early in practice and was operated on before school even started to repair a torn right ACL and lateral meniscus. Welsh enrolled as a part-time student at VT this fall, paid his own way, and took classes and lifted with the team.

Brett Warren: Like Welsh, Warren spent the fall in Blacksburg, taking classes part time and lifting with the team.

Neither Warren nor Welsh practiced with the team, so all three players (Marshman, Welsh, and Warren) have all four years of eligibility, plus a possible redshirt year, remaining.

2003 Signees Who Prepped (2)

D.J. Parker (Hargrave): After failing to qualify academically, the athletic Parker, from Phoebus High School in Hampton, spent a semester prepping at Hargrave Military Academy. Parker is most likely destined for the cornerback spot at Tech.

Cory Holt (Hargrave): Holt, from Lexington High School in Lexington, North Carolina, also prepped at Hargrave, where he was the starting QB this fall, leading Hargrave to an 8-1 record.

Prep Players Signed in 2004 (2)

Justin Harper (Hargrave): Coming out of high school, Harper originally signed a basketball scholarship with Winthrop, but he decided to prep at Hargrave and play football, instead. In Hargrave's game against Virginia Tech's JV this past fall, Harper caught a 47-yard TD pass from Holt for the game's only touchdown.

Josh Morgan (Fork Union): In high school, Morgan didn't take the SAT until March, over a month after signing day, and after he scored 1,000 on it, he had qualified, but there were few schools with open scholarships left. Morgan eventually decided to enroll at FUMA, and after one semester there, committed to Tech and decided to enroll at VT in January. This is unusual, because Fork Union usually doesn't allow mid-year transfers. It's unknown to this writer if FUMA released him, or if Morgan paid the tuition for the full year and left without attending the second semester. In any event, he's at VT.

High School Players Who Enrolled Early (1)

George Bell: Bell, a four-star running back from Jack Britt High School in Fayetteville, North Carolina, finished high school early. Bell told in an interview last Friday, "It [enrolling early] is something I always wanted to do, ever since I found out as a junior that you could do it. I had to take some summer school courses, but I got it done." Bell's early entry gives him a great chance to learn the offense and get acclimated to school before the intense fall practices start. Bell suffered a nasty knee injury as a junior but reports that the knee is "no problem" now.


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