News With Commentary by TSL Staff

Wednesday, February 4, 2004
by Will Stewart,

Hokies Sign 14 to Letters of Intent
Recruiting Class of 17 Includes 3 Early Enrollees

Virginia Tech received no major surprises in football recruiting Wednesday, and they even got some good late news, as highly sought-after wide receiver Eddie Royal, the #2 player in the state, signed with the Hokies. 14 national Letters of Intent came into the Tech football office by 2:00, bringing the 2004 recruiting season to a close at 17 players, including three early enrollees in January 2004.

Royal made his announcement at a 10:00 a.m. press conference at Westfield High School that featured him and high school teammate Sean Glennon signing their Letters of Intent (LOIs) for VT. QB Glennon was the first player to commit to VT for the 2004 class, back on August 30th, and Royal was the very last.

Glennon signed his letter of intent and wore a white #7 Virginia Tech jersey and hat on the podium as he spoke briefly of his reasons for selecting the Hokies (he cited the comfort level with the players and coaches).

Then Royal took the podium and stripped off a sweatshirt to reveal a maroon VT jersey. He reached into a bag, pulled out a Virginia Tech cap and put it on, then announced his intention to attend Virginia Tech. Royal spoke of the "family atmosphere" at Tech as being the main reason he selected VT.

Royal's signing was big for the Hokies in several ways. He becomes the fourth wide receiver to sign with VT, and as the #2 player in the state, his commitment to VT prevented the Hokies from being shut out of the top 5 in-state for the first time since 1997. (The Hokies got a signed LOI from #3 Tyrone Robertson in 1997, but Robertson never enrolled at Tech. He failed to graduate from high school, went to prep school, and enrolled at Georgia.)

VT has now landed at least one player from the top 5 in-state for seven years in a row, after being absent from the list for much of the 80's and early 90's.

Royal's VT commitment also ensures a lively off-season debate between Hokies and Hoos, because it appears the in-state recruiting battle was a draw, as you can see from the Top 30. Had Royal gone to UVa or even Marshall, the Hoos would have edged out the Hokies for in-state recruiting bragging rights (in the opinion of this writer).

Royal was the 19th player to commit to Virginia Tech for the 2004 recruiting class, and of those 19, three (George Bell, Justin Harper, and Josh Morgan) were already enrolled at VT, and 14 others FAXed their letters into the VT football office Wednesday, as expected.

The other two verbal commitments -- DE William Wall and CB Rod Council -- were not expected to FAX their letters in. According to Roanoke Times reporter Doug Doughty and VT sources, the Hokies will not accept Wall's letter at this time. Wall is expected to enroll at Hargrave Military Academy for academic reasons, and he wants to attend Virginia Tech after prepping for a year.

As for Council, he has bigger issues. Virginia Tech is taking a wait-and-see approach to find out the outcome of charges Council is facing that he and one other person stole $16,000 worth of computer equipment from Council's high school in Charlotte, NC.

Here's the complete list of signees, sorted by position. Bell, Morgan, and Harper are included on the list.

2004 Virginia Tech Recruiting Class
(list includes three early enrollees)
Stars Pos Name Ht Wt 40 Hometown, State
QB Glennon, Sean 6-4 195 4.7 Chantilly, VA
RB Bell, George * 5-11 225 4.45 Fayetteville, NC
RB Ore, Branden 6-1 197 4.4 Chesapeake, VA
FB Green, Michael 6-1 240 4.8 Deptford, NJ
WR Gilchrist, Jeremy 5-10 175 4.55 Virginia Beach, VA
WR Harper, Justin * 6-4 190 4.5 Catawba, NC
WR Morgan, Josh * 6-1 200 4.5 Washington, DC
WR Royal, Eddie 5-10 173 4.4 Chantilly, VA
OL Holland, Brandon 6-6 275 4.8 Roanoke, VA
OL Shuman, Ryan 6-3 263 5.0 Zion Crossroads, VA
DT Howard, Carl 6-5 295 4.8 Matawan, NJ
LB Bowman, Andrew 6-1 230 4.6 Richmond, VA
CB Flowers, Brandon 5-11 180 4.4 Delray Beach, FL
CB Miller, Theodore 6-2 181 4.4 Washington, DC
S Sturdivant, Purnell 5-10 205 4.4 Norfolk, VA
ATH Reevey, Maurice 6-3 225 4.5 Highland Springs, VA
ATH Wheeler, Sam 6-3 240 4.68 Blacksburg, VA

* Enrolled at VT in January 2004
Unsigned verbal commitments: DE William Wall CB Rod Council

In the coming days and weeks, will bring you detailed profiles of many of these recruits, as well as analysis and commentary on the class and the recruiting process. Stay tuned, and subscribe to TSL Pass to learn all about the new batch of recruits!


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