Coach Frank Beamer and his staff felt like they have had their class of 18 recruits wrapped up for some time, and even their worst season in 20 years followed by wholesale changes to his offensive coaching staff didn’t cost the Hokies players they wanted.
A class heralded by recruiting services as one of Beamer’s best in recent years includes 5-start recruit Kendall Fuller, a cornerback from Baltimore ranked among the top prospects in the country. He’ll be the fourth Fuller brother, and perhaps the mostly highly anticipated, to play for Beamer with the Hokies.
“The tough thing about Kendall Fuller is, he’s the last one,” Beamer said of the 5-foot-11, 180-pounder. “Kendall I think is extremely athletic. I think he’ll have a chance to figure in in our secondary play. I think he needs to get his hands on the ball some. We’ll work with him as a return guy. And maybe even after he gets settled defensively maybe get a couple offensive packages or an offensive package he might get involved with. He’s quite a player.”
Fuller will join brother Kyle in the Hokies’ secondary next season. Older brothers Vincent and Corey have already been through the program.
Virginia Tech also signed Bucky Hodges, a 6-foot-5, 230-pound quarterback from Virginia Beach who draws comparisons to the Hokies’ quarterback the past two seasons, Logan Thomas, not only for his size, but for the way he plays. Both can run to buy time, or gain yardage, and both have strong arms.
Hokies recruiting coordinator Bryan Stinespring said Hodges will benefit greatly from having Thomas around as a mentor for a year.
“I think you have a guy in Logan who understands how important it is to develop as a quarterback, because you just can’t rely on skill and ability,” Stinespring, the Hokies’ offensive coordinator until Beamer shuffled his staff this offseason, said. “There are nuances of the game that you have to develop. And I think Logan is such a personable guy that he’s a guy that anybody would benefit to be under, because he’s always going to want to help others.”
Beamer has always focused first and foremost on recruiting Virginia hard, and 12 of his 18 signees are from within the state.
They also include a pair of 6-2, 200-pound free safeties in Holland Fisher of Richmond and Anthony Shegog of Stafford, and 6-0, 225-pound linebacker Andrew Motuapuaka of Virginia Beach, who Stinespring compared to former Hokies linebacker Vince Hall, one of their best defenders ever.
“Vince Hall just had a knack of being around the football and making plays around the football. And Andrew has that same knack. The ball is snapped, all of a sudden you look up and there’s Andrew. Like he’s dialed in, got a GPS on the football. He plays the run well. He’s a very good blitzer,” Stinespring said.
Beamer, like Stinespring, was loathe to compare recruits to former players, but couldn’t help himself in discussing Carlis Parker of Statesville, N.C.
“I told him he reminded me a little bit of Michael Vick, and not only because he’s left-handed, but some of the things he does on the field would remind you of that,” Beamer said. “He’s an excellent athlete but he can throw the football. That’s what we recruited him for, is to be a quarterback. And I think he will be.”