Virginia Tech Basketball: Adam Smith Will Transfer For His Senior Season

The Virginia Tech Hokies had an up and down basketball, but there is a lot of optimism for next season. However, the Hokies made an announcement today about a transfer that most fans will be disappointed to here.

The Hokies announced that Adam Smith has decided to transfer for his senior season. Smith started his career at UNC-Wilmington before transferring after his freshmen season and playing for the Hokies for the last two seasons.

Smith will be eligible to play immediately as he is on course to graduate this spring. Smith joins Joey van Zegeren as the second player to make the decision to transfer following graduation this May.

Smith was the Hokies’ leading scorer averaging 13.4 points per game while also being Virginia Tech’s best three-point shooter. Smith struggled over the course of the final three games with only 20 points over the course of those games.

We will have a more in-depth analysis coming later today.

Hokies Baseball: Rahiem Cooper’s Diving Catch and Triple Play Makes SportsCenter Top 10

Triple plays are a rare occurrence at an level of baseball, and the Virginia Tech Hokies had not had a single triple play since joining the ACC. Of course, that is not an extremely long period of time, but that all changed yesterday against East Tennessee State led by outfielder Rahiem Cooper.

Fans voted on Twitter to get the impressive diving catch by Rahiem Cooper and triple play that followed to number 2 on SportsCenter. That play likely would have been number 1 on SportsCenter if it wasn’t for the Old Dominion buzzer-beater to beat Murray State.

It is rare to see a triple play, but even rarer to see a triple play that starts outside of the infield which makes this extremely impressive. For Cooper and the Hokies, this is a great moment for the program in a bounce-back season that could see Virginia Tech make a return to the NCAA Baseball Tournament.

There is definitely a lot of Hokie pride after this great triple play that all started with an impressive diving catch by Rahiem Cooper.

Hokies Recruiting: 3-Star DL Clay Dean Commits to Virginia Tech

The Virginia Tech Hokies have gotten off to a solid start on the recruiting trail for the Class of 2016 with eight commits led by 4-star athlete Reggie Floyd from Northern Virginia. However, the Hokies entered today without having a single commit on the defensive line despite how Charley Wiles got off to a solid start recruiting defensive linemen last season.

Today, the Hokies gained their first defensive line commit.

Clay Dean is a defensive linemen from Woodgrove High School in Purcellville, Virginia that most likely profiles a defensive tackle as long as he continues to add some more weight to his 6’2”, 240-pound frame. Dean is the fourth in-state and ninth overall commit for the Hokies.

Dean is an under-the-radar prospect that has an offer from Virginia Tech, but many schools are now likely to look at his tape to see how good he is. Even though the Hokies were the only team to offer Dean so far, it seems like Virginia Tech is gaining more recruiting momentum in Northern Virginia, especially after the commitment of Tim Settle.

Dean has been ranked as a three-star defensive tackle by 247 Sports with the 247 Sports Composite having him as the 61st best defensive tackle and 49th best junior in Virginia.

Clay Dean looks like a player that will take some time to develop and add some more weight, but he does show a lot of potential with solid speed and some quality block shedding moves. Dean also seems to be fairly explosive though part of that may be due to the fact that he is a little undersized currently for a defensive tackle.

Dean was also productive for a defensive tackle at the high school level with 82 tackles and 14 sacks. Many coaches will probably look to see if he can add some more strength and back up these numbers as a senior.

However, Dean is a guy that seems like he would certainly need a redshirt year if he didn’t arrive early on campus though Dean does remind some of Woody Baron as an undersized defensive tackle with above-average speed.

At this point in the process, a lot of thing can change and Dean does not seem like he may necessarily be a solid commit for the Hokies based on an article from the Washington Post after Virginia Tech first offered him.

Though this is his first offer, Dean said Virginia and Boston College have showed early interest, too. He’d love for Virginia to offer as his preference, at least at this stage, is to stay close to home for college. However, Dean does not have any plans to make an early commitment.

Not many fans will like hearing that Virginia may flip Dean if the Cavaliers offer him, but that seems very possible. However, Dean also did not plan on making an early commitment at that time so some things may have changed.

Clay Dean is a Hokie for now though things could end up changing before National Signing Day 2016.

Virginia Tech Baseball: What Should the Hokies Starting Lineup Be?

The Virginia Tech Hokies are already looking like a team that will be on the NCAA Baseball Tournament bubble this season with the Hokies off to a solid 5-4 start in ACC with a 12-12 overall record.

At this point in the season, we are starting to get a feel for the talent the Hokies have on this roster. The biggest question that manager Patrick Mason will probably look at is his batting order and starting lineup.

The weekend pitching rotation seems solid, but there have been some rotating parts in certain positions on the roster. A couple players have been hitting at levels that were unexpected, whether that is good or bad.

Now, let’s take a look at what we think the Virginia Tech baseball starting lineup should be.

  1. CF Saige Jenco
  2. LF Phil Sciretta
  3. SS Alex Perez
  4. 1B Brendon Hayden
  5. 2B Erik Payne
  6. C Andrew Mogg
  7. 3B Ryan Tufts
  8. DH Sean Keselica/Mac Caples (when Keselica is pitching)
  9. RF Miguel Ceballos

It all starts with one of the best leadoff hitters in the ACC at the top of the order, Saige Jenco. Jenco hasn’t had as strong of a season at the plate this season as he did in 2014, but Jenco still has a .303 batting average and .381 on-base percentage with 5 stolen bases and 12 walks. That type of plate discipline and on-base skills make Jenco a difference maker at the top of the order, and he should play better over the next few weeks.

The first surprise in this lineup may be having Phil Sciretta starting in left field and batting second. Sciretta doesn’t bring great power, but he is a solid contact hitter that provides some run production as shown by his 12 hits(11 singles), 4 walks, and 9 RBIs in 45 at-bats. Sciretta has proven that he should get a chance in the second spot in the order with his .267 batting average and .353 on-base percentage.

Sciretta could have been lower in the order, but preserving a middle of the order that includes Erik Payne, Brendon Hayden, and Alex Perez makes sense.

Perez has been the Hokies’ best hitter so far with a .337 batting average, .429 on-base percentage, .589 slugging percentage, 3 home runs, 14 RBIs, 5 doubles, 5 triples, and 16 walks. Perez has been excellent this season and has the defensive talent to be the Hokies’ shortstop instead of playing second base.

Brendon Hayden is definitely Virginia Tech’s best power hitter with 6 home runs so far this season though his .587 slugging percentage is second on the team. Hayden does a great job of driving in runs, and he is also the power hitter that you want hitting in the cleanup spot. Hayden’s defense at first base is solid and should be the regular first baseman instead of rotating between first base and the DH spot.

Erik Payne has been a great addition for the Hokies this season with a .323 batting average, 3 home runs, 17 RBIs, and a .404 on-base percentage. Payne has been batted third in some games when Perez has hit second but Payne should stay in the fifth spot in the lineup where he can do a solid job of continuing big rallies or picking up the slack for Hayden.

The sixth spot in the order is where you can see one of the more significant changes with Andrew Mogg hitting there. Mogg has been much better-than expected at the plate with a .271 batting average, .342 on-base percentage, 1 home run, 9 RBIs, 7 walks, and 6 doubles. So far, Patrick Mason has kept him in the eighth spot, but the Hokies should move Mogg up to the sixth spot in the order.

Ryan Tufts has hit fairly well in limited appearances for the Hokies and can provide some solid defense at the hot corner. Tufts has 6 hits and 22 at-bats, and those hits are spread out over multiple games which is a good sign that he can provide a positive impact on the starting lineup.

Sean Keselica is solid hitter that should be in the eighth spot in the order when he isn’t pitching while Mac Caples could be a solid replacement for when Keselica is pitching. Caples has been streaky at some points this season, and has a lot of upside if he becomes more consistent.

At the bottom of the order is Miguel Ceballos and while he doesn’t provide much offense, Ceballos does provide quality defense. Ricky Surum has struggled this season and while he may have a bright future, he needs to be taken out of the regular starting lineup.

What do you think about our lineup? Tell us more about what you think about who should start for the Hokies.

Virginia Tech Football: Seven Players Have Left the Hokies’ Program

Football is back in Blacksburg for a month as the Hokies started spring practice this morning. The Hokies also released an updated spring roster to the public and there were multiple players that were surprisingly not on it.

The first two players that were reported to not be on it were WR Kendrick Holland and DE Dewayne Alford. Then, The Key Play reported that they had received confirmation that Holland and Alford have left the program.

This definitely is a surprise to see that both Alford and Holland have left the program though a similar thing happened with Jerome Wright and he ended up returning to the program. However, that is usually a rare occurrence and is not likely what will happen in the cases of Alford and Holland.

Over the last few weeks, most of the talk about the backup defensive ends from coaches has been centered on Seth Dooley and Melvin Keihn with Dewayne Alford’s name not even being mentioned which was surprising.

Today’s news that Alford has left the program makes the fact that his name wasn’t talked about make a lot more sense. Alford would have battled for a backup defensive end spot, but the Hokies have younger talent that was better and more athletic with Dooley and Keihn.

Kendrick Holland missed last season due to injuries and you have to wonder if he decided that it wasn’t worth the risk of injury to continue playing. Holland definitely would have been a contender to be the number 3 or 4 receiver for the Hokies next fall, but has decided to leave the program instead.

After the initial report from The Key Play, Andy Bitter gave the scoop on five more players who had decided to leave the program.

Adam Taraschke and Zach Snell were two players that were unlikely to receive much if any playing time in the future so losing them only opens up some scholarships for the Class of 2016.

Josh Trimble and Dahman McKinnon both could have battle to be on the main depth chart in the fall with Trimble projecting to be a top contender for the whip linebacker spot. However, Bud Foster did not mention Trimble’s name in interviews when talking about the whip linebacker which was a likely indication of this while injuries may be the reason for McKinnon stepping away from the team.

Carlis Parker is probably the biggest surprise with Parker being the early frontrunner to be the number 3 wide receiver before today’s news. Parker did have to leave the program before the start of last season to deal with off-the-field issues and that may be part of what has led to this point. Parker is a disappointing loss as the Hokies’ wide receiver depth is definitely weakened.

Overall, none of these losses are very significant, but the Hokies have lost some wide receiver depth, which may put more pressure on Jaylen Bradshaw, Demitri Knowles, and Kevin Asante to step up.

Hokies Recruiting: 3-Star OLB/RB Victor Greene Commits to Virginia Tech

The Virginia Tech Hokies are starting to build a solid recruiting class with seven commits led by 4-star athlete Reggie Floyd who is likely to play safety. The Hokies have recruited well out-of-state, but only entered today with two in-state commits in Floyd and three-star athlete Jovonn Quillen. Now, the Hokies have gained a third in-state commit.

Victor Greene is a three-star recruit from Courtland High School in Spotsylvania, Virginia. The Hokies are currently the only team that have offered Greene a scholarship, but more scholarships seem likely to be on the way.

Bud Foster was the primary recruiter for Greene and it seems like the Hokies have recruited Greene to be an outside linebacker over his other high school position, running back.

Greene has decent size right at six feet and 200 pounds, but will need to add some more weight onto his frame to get to at least 220 to 230 pounds. As a running back, Greene shows a lot of toughness and a high work ethic which will translate very well to his performance at the next level as an outside linebacker.

Greene is also a very physical runner and already has a decent amount of strength despite the fact that he is only at 200 pounds. Greene has solid speed for an outside linebacker while he also shows solid discipline which is critical when going against some of the option running attacks that have become somewhat prevalent in spread offenses.

Greene is an under-the-radar prospect that only has a grade from 247 Sports. The Hokies have once again found a very good under-the-radar prospect in Greene, who is ranked as the 33rd best OLB and 14th best player in Virginia by the 247 Sports Composite.

Greene is the first player that the Hokies have received a commitment from in the Class of 2016 who had Bud Foster as his primary recruiter. Foster has recruited the Fredericksburg area fairly well with Vincent Mihota and Steve Sobczak being two guys that the Hokies got out of that area.

Victor Greene is a very good addition to a recruiting class that has a strong foundation to be a very strong class by National Signing Day 2016.

Hokies Spring Football: Holland Fisher, Darius Redman Are Making Position Changes

Spring Football has arrived for the Virginia Tech Hokies with the first workouts happening this past week. Some of the best Hokies are out for the spring, but this will be a great opportunity for some younger players to get reps along with other players to make position changes.

One player that we knew would be making a position change is Chuck Clark who is moving from cornerback to free safety. However, Clark is not the only notable player making a position change this spring.

Holland Fisher will not be in the battle to win the starting job at rover but instead, the former four-star recruit will be making the switch to the whip linebacker position. Recently, Bud Foster talked about this position change with Andy Bitter of the Roanoke Times.

“We’ve moved Holland Fisher up there(whip linebacker). I think Holland has shown he’s a little better closer to the line of scrimmage at this level. So those will be a couple guys that’ll battle at that spot.”

Coming out of high school, Fisher was seen as a more effective safety in the box than in coverage with some wondering if he might end up at the whip linebacker spot in Blacksburg. Fisher should be an intriguing player to watch to see if he can beat out Ronny Vandyke and Josh Trimble for the starting whip linebacker job.

One thing that definitely helps Fisher is that his coverage skills should be above-average for a whip linebacker, which is definitely a boost to the Virginia Tech defense. If Fisher can reach the potential that he showed coming out of high school, Vandyke and Trimble may not have much of a chance of beating Fisher for the whip linebacker job.

Darius Redman is entering his senior season with the Hokies, but that isn’t stopping him from making a position change.

Redman was unlikely to receive playing time at tight end so a position move to the offensive line makes sense. Redman will need to bulk up some from the 271 pounds he was at last season to probably around 290 to 300 pounds, but Redman does have decent size for the position if he can add the necessary weight to his 6’4” frame.

Holland Fisher and Darius Redman are joining Chuck Clark in making position changes this spring. It is certain that Clark will start at free safety, but these position changes might be what Fisher and Redman need to break into the Hokies’ starting lineup.

Hokies Recruiting: Virginia Tech is in the Top 5 for 4* DB Marlon Character

The Virginia Tech Hokies have gotten off to a solid start on the recruiting trail with seven commits, but the coach that has been doing a tremendous job on the recruiting trail so far is Torrian Gray. Four of the Hokies’ commits are defensive backs headlined by 4-star athlete Reggie Floyd who is slated to be a safety but could end up at running back

However, Floyd could end up at running back, especially since the Hokies are in the top 5 for Marlon Character.

Character is a four-star safety from Grady High School in Atlanta, Georgia that has received offers from over a dozen power-conference teams. This week, Character released his top 5 which included the Georgia Bulldogs, Alabama Crimson Tide, South Carolina Gamecocks, Virginia Tech Hokies, and Ohio State Buckeyes.

Character is a highly ranked safety that seems likely to receive a four-star rating from ESPN when they do their mass update along with his current four-star ratings from 247 Sports and Rivals.

Character is ranked as the ninth best safety by the 247 Sports Composite and the 13th best safety by Rivals. Rivals also has Character as the 18th best player in the state of Georgia while the 247 Sports Composite has him as the 20th best player in Georgia.

Marlon Character is definitely a top prospect and the Georgia Bulldogs have the proximity to home advantage to make them the favorites. Georgia also could give Character a chance to compete early while defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt has had a lot of success previously at Florida State and is still rebuilding the Georgia defense.

South Carolina has had plenty of quality safeties over the years and are also right in the hunt to get Character. Alabama and Ohio State have been two of the top four programs over the past few seasons, while they also have two of the best head coaches in the country in Nick Saban and Urban Meyer.

The Hokies may be the biggest surprise on this list, but the prestige of Virginia Tech’s defensive backs has to help. Having arguably the best defensive coordinator and best DBs coach in the country in Bud Foster and Torrian Gray also makes a big impact on the recruiting trail.

Virginia Tech is definitely not the favorite, especially with SEC schools like Georgia, South Carolina, and Alabama leading the hunt. However, the Hokies are in the hunt for Marlon Character and might just be able to beat the SEC schools and Ohio State for a top defensive back prospect in SEC territory.

Hokies Baseball: Virginia Tech Sweeps #1 Virginia

Entering this past weekend, almost no one probably expected that the Virginia Tech Hokies could sweep the #1 baseball team in the country, the Virginia Cavaliers. Even with the games being played at English Field, most still didn’t expect that the Hokies wouldn’t suffer at least one loss at the hands of the Cavaliers.

However, the Hokies shocked a lot of people around the nation this past weekend.

The Hokies didn’t win a single game by more than 2 runs, but all that matters is that the Hokies swept the Cavaliers. The Hokies also showed that they can win tough, close games against an elite team on their home field which definitely has to give this team a boost of confidence.

The player that had the best weekend for the Hokies was Sean Keselica who was effective on the mound and at the plate. On Friday, Keselica was lights out as he had a complete game with 4 strikeouts while only giving up 4 hits, 1 walk, and 1 unearned run. Keselica nearly didn’t get the win, but the Hokies’ plate discipline gave him the victory that he deserved with a walk-off walk for Brendon Hayden to win the game.

Keselica struggled on Saturday at the plate going 0-for-4, but played very well on Sunday at first base and at the seventh spot in the lineup. Keselica was 3-for-3 on Sunday and scored 1 run while also having no errors on Saturday or Sunday at first base. Keselica was very impressive this past weekend, and was a big reason why the Hokies swept the number 1 team in the country.

The pitching was quite good for the Hokies this weekend overall beyond Jon Woodcock who wasn’t too bad but didn’t have a great game Sunday. Aaron McGarity provided 6.2 quality innings of work with only allowing 1 run on 6 hits and 3 walks while also having 2 strikeouts.

The Virginia Tech bullpen also did well with Luke Scherzer shutting out Virginia on Saturday over the course of 2.1 innings to get the save. On Sunday, Connor Coward and Packy Naughton combined for 3.2 quality innings of relief with Coward only giving up 1 run and Naughton picking up his first career save.

At the plate, the Hokies had different guys stepping up each day. On Friday, it was Brendon Hayden who was 2-for-3 at the plate with 2 RBIs and the walk-off walk. Hayden failed to reach base in the other two games, but his performance on Friday was critical to the victory.

On Saturday, the Hokies had three different players pick up RBIs with Ricky Surum being the only one to get a hit. Saige Jenco was one of the main star hitters on Saturday as he went 3-for-4 with one run scored and a stolen base. Meanwhile, Andrew Mogg was also solid with a 2-for-3 day and a run scored.

On Sunday, the Hokies’ power bats came alive with Alex Perez going 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs. Erik Payne also had a one-run home run while the earlier-mentioned Sean Keselica was 3-for-3 against the Cavaliers.

The Hokies played some of their best baseball of the season so far against Virginia who will definitely not be ranked #1 this week after the sweep. Virginia Tech is also starting to look like a team that could contend to make the NCAA Baseball Championships this season though it’s definitely not time to start talking about a possible College World Series run to Omaha.

Hokies Recruiting: Virginia Tech’s Pursuit of 3-Star WR Eric Kumah

The Virginia Tech Hokies have built the foundation for a strong recruiting class headlined by four-star athlete Reggie Floyd who plans to be a safety at Virginia Tech though he could also end up at running back. The Hokies have also had some success recruiting wide receivers with two current commits in three-star WR Samuel Denmark and three-star WR Connor O’Donnell who is committed to a grayshirt offer currently.

The Hokies also are targeting multiple other top wide receivers including four-star prospects Ahmir Mitchell and Tino Ellis. There is one other wide receiver who is currently a high three-star that could end up being a huge steal for the Hokies if they get him.

Eric Kumah is a three-star wide receiver from Forest Park High School in Woodbridge, Virginia that has been one of Virginia Tech’s top wide receiver targets. Kumah has already received 11 offers from various high-level programs including Virginia Tech, Tennessee, Kentucky, Boston College, Maryland, N.C. State, Pittsburgh, and Virginia.

Kumah is ranked as the 82nd best wide receiver by the 247 Sports Composite and the 67th best wide receiver by 247 Sports’ traditional rankings. Rivals has Kumah as the 21st best junior in Virginia while the 247 Sports Composite has him as the 17th best junior in Virginia, and the 247 Sports’ traditional rankings have him as the 14th best Class of 2016 recruit in the Commonwealth.

Kumah looks like a player who will end up making a big rise up recruiting boards over the next few months. Part of the reason why he may not be a four-star recruit right now is the fact that he is not a great route runner partly due to the fact that he doesn’t run a great variety of routes in high school.

However, Eric Kumah has huge potential due to the fact that he has great size for a wide receiver at 6’3” and 205 pounds. Kumah also has above-average speed that seems to be in the 4.5-4.55 range which is very good for someone of his size.

Kumah has a very good vertical and ball skills which makes him a great red zone target. Kumah does a very good job of getting his body in front of a cornerback on some passes to make sure he has the easier path to get the catch.

Kumah is an underrated wide receiver that has the athletic skills to make an early impact for the Hokies along with huge upside to become a great wide receiver. Kumah would be a great wide receiver for the Hokies to get.

Kumah does not seem ready to make a decision just yet, but the Hokies are in very good shape to get one of Northern Virginia’s top recruits.

The Hokies have Bud Foster leading the recruiting charge for Eric Kumah while Zohn Burden is also very involved in the Northern Virginia wide receiver’s recruitment. The Hokies have gained some momentum recruiting in Northern Virginia largely due to Tim Settle committing to the Hokies.

Kumah seems to be decent friends with Settle and current Virginia Tech commit Reggie Floyd while the proximity to home advantage will also help. Zohn Burden also has a track record for success developing wide receivers at Old Dominion while Kumah may be able to get some early playing time in Blacksburg behind Isaiah Ford and Cam Phillips.

The West Virginia Mountaineers haven’t offered Kumah just yet, but are currently lurking and may become Virginia Tech’s biggest challenger if they offer Eric Kumah. The fact that West Virginia will have its second first round wide receiver pick in 3 years with Tavon Austin in 2013 and Kevin White this year will also help out the Mountaineers recruiting wide receivers.

Virginia and Tennessee both seem like sleepers with the Cavaliers having the proximity to home advantage while the Volunteers have elite recruiter Zach Azzanni leading their pursuit. However, the Hokies are definitely in the driver’s seat for Kumah right now.

Eric Kumah has said he plans on cutting down his list of teams to 10 soon, but the Hokies have already emerged as the early favorites to get the highly-regarded three-star wide receiver. However, this recruiting battle still has a long way to go.