Letter From the Editor: The Start of a Fun Project
by Will Stewart
TSL Extra, Issue #21

Dear Readers:

This issue kicks off a pet project of mine that I've wanted to do for a long time: rank the Virginia Tech recruiting classes.

People have suggested to me for months that I ought to do more features on past recruiting classes. Very often, readers will look over an old recruiting list, perhaps from the late 80's or early 90's, and will wonder who in the world all those guys are. Each old list of VT signees includes at least a handful of "Who the heck is that?" names that make you shake your head and wonder whatever became of that Top-25 player the Hokies signed 14 years ago that you've never even heard of.

Ranking the recruiting classes doesn't exactly answer those kinds of questions, but it does allow you to place recruiting classes -- and players -- in their proper historical perspective. In this issue, we rank the 1990 recruiting class, and the exercise of going through and evaluating the career of every player in the class pointed out to me, for example, what a great player Maurice DeShazo really was. The much-maligned DeShazo had an excellent career at Tech and still holds many Tech records, some of which will surprise you.

What the ranking doesn't tell you, though, is whatever happened to linebacker Mike Tennant, a 1990 recruit out of Philadelphia who was supposed to see playing time as a true freshman but never even lettered for the Hokies. All the ranking system does is assign zero points to Tennant, because he was a recruiting bust who never enrolled at Tech or played a down of football.

(For the record, Tennant was mentioned in a Hokie Huddler from 1991 that said he was denied admission to Tech in 1990, chose to remain at home in Philadelphia, and would probably never play college football.)

The 1990 class was a good one that included DeShazo and four future NFL draft choices: Jim Pyne, Antonio Freeman, Tyronne Drakeford, and Ken Brown. Just how good that class was is something we'll figure out in future months, as we rank classes from 1991 onward, and get a chance to put the 1990 class in its proper place.

Elsewhere in this issue, we've got some great articles about VT recruits playing in the recent VHSCA All-Star game (plus an interesting update on Ahmad Brooks, if you can stand more Brooks speculation). Jim Alderson tells us that the issue of a playoff versus the BCS comes down to, as one of my old bosses used to say, "Who pays how much and who gets paid how much."

Lastly, more stadium expansion thoughts and a fascinating little article about the origins of the word hokey/hokie.

Hang in there, folks. As I write this, it's July 24, and Virginia Tech's first game of the 2002 football season is only 32 days away.

Enjoy issue #21.


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