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Breaking Down the Buzz: Virginia Tech

By Chip Patterson | College Football/Basketball Writer

247Sports has Josh Sweat ranked as the top prospect in Virginia. (247Sports)
247Sports has Josh Sweat ranked as the top prospect in Virginia. (247Sports)

Each Monday, Wednesday and Friday, the Eye on College Football examines what current hot topic the fans of one BCS team are obsessing over -- rationally or not. Today's team: the Virginia Tech Hokies .

What fans are talking about ... five-star defensive end Josh Sweat. Virginia Tech is in the running for five-star defensive end Josh Sweat along with, well, everyone else. Sweat is an Oscar Smith (Chesapeake, Va.) product, the same school that has produced several Hokies but also former five-star defensive lineman Andrew Brown; who opted for Virginia as his in-state school of choice. The wounds from missing out on Brown and Da'Shawn Hand (five-star Alabama signee from Woodbridge, Va.) are still fresh in the hearts of Virginia Tech fans, so there is a sense of urgency in the recruitment of Sweat.

What they're saying is ... can we fend off the SEC? According to 247Sports, Sweat took unofficial visits to Georgia and Tennessee this month. The Bulldogs have new defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt working to land Sweat's commitment, and Florida State (where Pruitt led the defense in 2013) is expected to remain in the mix as well. Virginia Tech was thought to be the leader of the group early in the recruiting process, but these recent visits have fans burning up the message boards.

Selections from VTScoop, 247Sports' Virginia Tech site:

  • Visiting Tenn today and UGA tomorrow according to a bolt just posted on main page. Parents will also be with him during visits.
  • This is what we have to survive. If we can stay at #1 after those visits, we have a good chance of pulling this thing out.
  • Are we #1? We've got a scheduled official visit, thats it. You might want to temper your expectations a bit with Josh. He really hasn't started visiting many schools. When he does, we will truly know where we stand. We really don't know right now.
  • "#1 by default" situations haven't been working out well for us lately. As soon as they visit somewhere else, they gone.
  • Good, I want to get this one on the way in or know we need to move on. I hope we are telling this kid how important he is to VT. IMO he can be one of the biggest recruits we've ever had.
  • Josh is very aware of how VT feels about him and he is very humble young man. I had the privilege of meeting Josh and his father this past weekend at the Mike Vick camp and they are great people. Please don't make the mistake of comparing him to other highly in state recruits (and believe me, I understand why some of you do. And it's because we have been burned by great in state players before). His parents are very involved with every aspect of his recruitment and he plays for a high school football program that understands and respects recruiting the process.
  • Sweat would be a program changing talent at DE. It's been a long time since VT has had an NFL talent at DE. Really wish Worilds had stayed healthy in his low 20's. VT could annihilate the perception that we don't put guys in the league with a talent like Sweat. VT just hasn't had the horses since Worilds graduated.

What we think ... missing another in-state defensive stud will raise eyebrows across the country. The modern Frank Beamer-Bud Foster Virginia Tech program was built with talented in-state defensive recruits like Sweat. Missing out on a few notable stars in the last couple recruiting cycles has hurt the team, as an 8-year streak of 10+ wins ended after the 2011 season. The Hokies temporary slide (a 15-11 combined record in 2012-13) could be just that; temporary, but landing a big recruit like Sweat could at least calm the paranoia for a few months.

The good news for Virginia Tech fans is that Sweat is reportedly planning on January enrollment, so at least this stressful waiting won't last until early February.

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