These quotes are from Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer’s conference call with reporters today.
OPENING REMARKS: With this recruiting class, I’ve been really impressed with the talent that we’ve been able to recruit and also with the character. I was doing an interview a while ago and I was kind of going down the list and I said, ‘Well this kid’s a great kid. This is a great kid, and this is a great kid.’ That’s kind of the whole deal. I’m really pleased what we’ve done, both from a talent standpoint and a character standpoint.
The state of Virginia is always going to be our home base, and I think we’ve had a tremendous year. The caliber of kid that we’ve been able to get there is tremendous. I think out of state, a guy like Drew Harris, who a lot of people compare to Kevin Jones up there in Pennsylvania, I think to attract the caliber of that, and there’s a lot of others involved there too.
Next thing I’ll say to you is I think we’ve had a tremendous year for guys walking on, coming here without scholarships, and that’s always a priority for us, and we’ve got several. I can’t mention names because they haven’t signed a national letter, but we’ve got several that gave up scholarships to other places to come here, and knowing our success with a John Engelberger or Cody Grimm or Jarrett Ferguson, to me that’s really exciting too as far as our recruiting goes. I think our in-state recruits, I’m glad to get that number.
ON JIM CAVANAUGH, DIRECTOR OF RECRUITING: Let me say this, I think he being the director of our recruiting, there has really been great leadership and organization there, and I think he deserves a lot of credit for this recruiting class.
ON THE CRAZY MORNING, WITH THREE TECH TARGETS MAKING ANNOUNCEMENTS: If you put [Joshua] Stanford in that group, we got three out of four, so we were extremely excited about that. The others were committed and you hope they’d stay committed. But there were four guys that made their decision today, and I go back to Trey Edmunds. If Trey had been in that situation where he had waited until today, that would have been another one that was right there in that same grouping, tremendous player on both sides of the ball, his dad was an NFL guy. But he made his decision earlier. Anytime you’ve got four guys still out there and they’re all great players, or you think they’re going to be great players, there’s a little nervousness there early in the morning.
ON THE FLORIDA REPORTER PUBLISHING DETAILS OF A PRIVATE PHONE CONVERSATION BETWEEN DECOMMIT JAWAND BLUE AND CHARLEY WILES: First of all, I think the kid wants to stay close to home, and we originally planned to bring him in in January, and then as we were watching some video for next year, there’s a couple of outstanding linebackers here in the state that we want to recruit. I think everything is going to turn out OK in that regard. I found it highly unusual that a newspaper guy would be Tweeting a private conversation that was being had there, and then I’m interested in how the newspaper guy got onto that conversation and us not be aware of it. It’s a little bit unusual there. We’re kind of checking into that right now.
HAVE YOU HEARD FROM THAT REPORTER: I think he talked to [Sports Information Director] Dave Smith and was very apologetic.
ON FINISHING STRONG: It is important to [finish strong]. I think guys that we got today, and I really mean this, you talk about a guy like Joel Caleb, what a terrific kid he is, not only player but a terrific kid. The Joshua Stanford kid, we got on him late, but he’s very impressive, and Ken Ekanem, what a sound, solid, smart guy he is. And that’s just kind of the way the whole class has been. We were really pleased with the way this day turned out.
HOW DID SON SHANE BEAMER DO IN FIRST YEAR AS RECRUITER FOR TECH: Well, I think he’s very detailed and he works at it. A lot of those kids, Jim Cavanaugh started them out, had a good start with Jim, and Shane I think did a good job of finishing up. Like I said, I think Jim deserves a lot of credit for this whole class too, the way it came together.
DISAPPOINTING NOT GETTING KORREN KIRVEN: It’s disappointing, but a kid’s gotta go where they … they’ve got to make that decision. We wish him well. We wish him the very best and hope he has a great career. We’re pleased with the guys we got. I think we took another step of reaching our goals here at Virginia Tech. There’s no question we’ve won a lot of games. We just need to take that next step and get some BCS games. Getting there is hard. We won a lot of big games to get to a big game in the BCS, but I think today’s class gives us a chance to next time we get to that BCS game to have more success.
HOW MUCH HARDER IS IT WHEN ALABAMA IS RECRUITING IN YOUR BACKYARD: Well, I think it depends on which kid you’re talking about. Certainly they had a great year, and I think have probably had a good recruiting year. There’s no question about the quality of their program, but there’s no question about the quality of our program either. We’re the winningest program since 1995. We’re the only team that’s won 10 games for I guess eight straight years. We’ve got some things to be proud of too.
ON TREY EDMUNDS: I think he is explosive. And what a great family. They kept the recruiting very much intact. It was just a real pleasure to recruit this guy and deal with this family and deal with him. I tell you, to me, he could be a great tailback. He could be a great outside linebacker. There’s a lot of things this kid can do, and when you put explosive, I think that kind of says it all. He’s got some of his dad’s genes, but his mom’s a pretty good track star herself. We’re really pleased to have him in our program. I think that’s a great, great catch for Virginia Tech.
WHERE COULD TREY PLAY: We’re going to work that out together. Again, he’s got such great talent that you try to figure it out. Whichever way it goes, I think Jim Cavanaugh made a reference to this, but if he’s an offensive player, there’s going to be certain groupings on defense that we’ll want to get him in there for, or if he’s a defensive player, there’s certain things on offense, certain situations that you want [inaudible]. I think he’s going to have to concentrate on one or the other initially, but as time goes by, I see him as a guy who can really play and help the program on both sides.
HOW GOOD DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THESE FRESHMAN TAILBACKS: That had to be a key for us. And again, Josh Oglesby did a great job for us. He graduated, and then Tony Gregory, our third tailback, he hurt his knee in the bowl game and had to have that operated on. So running backs was a key. I think Trey Edmunds, he certainly adds something. The Chris Mangus kid, as Cav said, great speed. He can really go. Drew Harris, they talk about him up there like Kevin Jones, and I think he is certainly a quality, quality player. The Jerome Wright kid is a guy is kind of guy we’ve talked about, and then J.C. Coleman of course is here now. We’re going to give them all a shot and figure out what the best options are right now, but certainly that had to be a priority, so to come away with the quality of kids we got at that position, that’s gotta be a big plus.
UNUSUAL TO GET THAT MANY TAILBACKS: No, it’s been a while [since we’ve had this many], but I think all these guys are competitive and all of them want a chance to play, and I think when you get guys like that there are different things you can do with them, but certainly I think all of them look forward to the challenge of playing tailback.
WHAT ARE YOUR BIGGEST NEEDS NEXT YEAR: I really feel good about this class, I mean really, really good. And we’ve already met for next year and already have enough film watched for next year and I think we’ll continue to … offensive line will be a key position for us, and then after that, it’s kind of how many we expect to get or how many we’d like to get at each position, or if we wouldn’t take one unless it’s just a great one. We’ve kind of got that all figured out. We’ve really got a good start on next year’s recruiting, to be quite honest with you.