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2006
24
Jul

Waiting for Tyrod

Has there ever been a less-suspenseful recruiting announcement? All-everything high school quarterback Tyrod Taylor last Friday ended weeks and months of quasi-speculation by announcing he would attend Virginia Tech. Was there ever really any serious doubt?

Most every college from Canada to Central America had attempted to get involved with Tidewater’s latest quarterback wunderkind. None got anywhere except for one. Tech had glommed onto Tyrod his sophomore year at Hampton High and stuck to him like glue ever since. All of the Urban-come-latelies were beating their head against a stone wall.

Those around Tyrod had attempted to interject a bit of drama into the proceedings. The televised state-wide announcement attempted to generate a little ratings buzz as some doofus from Channel 10 in Tidewater billed the Battle for Tyrod as a contest between Tech and Florida . That was about as equal as was the Arab-Israeli Six Days War.

A clue could be gleaned from Tyrod cancelling a planned recruiting visit to Florida , then immediately setting his announcement date. Elite prospects do not generally commit to schools sight unseen. Another was provided by Roanoke ’s Channel 7; whenver Mike Stevens spoke of Tyrod, it was always accompanied by video of Taylor chatting on Tech’s practice field with Mike O’Cain. Somehow I doubt Urban Meyer was watching the announcement on pins and needles.

As he listened to Channel 10’s boob asking him how he winnowed the recruiting field to Tech and the Gators, Tyrod, nattily attired in a suit rather than an appropriate ‘I’m With Stupid’ t-shirt containing an arrow pointing to the left, went through something about getting to the NFL before announcing, as has become the fashion, that he would attend the ‘University of Virginia Tech.’ Cornell Brown would be proud.

Tyrod is the latest in what is becoming a pretty long line of high-quality quarterbacks hailing from Tidewater. There was Aaron Brooks, Ronald Curry, Michael Vick, Bryan Randall, MVToo and now Tyrod Taylor. It ain’t just high-caliber linebackers and d-backs coming from there anymore. Provided nothing goes awry and Tyrod graduates early and enrolls at Tech in January, as he indicated he was contemplating, 2/3 of them will have ended up at Tech. 2/3 of the previous three have done pretty well for themselves.

Yet another high-profile quarterback opting for Tech indicates that the recruiting effect of Mike Vick continues to be strong. It would also seem that any fallout from the MVToo situation is negligible. The top kids are still coming to Blacksburg . Tech fans are no doubt happy that Tyrod seems a solid citizen as well as athlete. An honor student, he looks to be more of a Bryan Randall off the field than Tech’s most recent quarterback.

Aaron Brooks became a Hoo just before Frank’s program took off at Tech. The other non-Hokie in the group was Ronal Curry. Most know how that turned out.

It was amusing to read and hear about the fervor with which Big John Bunting was pursuing Tyrod. It was an utter waste of scarce recruiting time and dollars. Although NASCARL Torbush is no longer setting the standard for coaching incompetence at Carolina, there was no way under the Peninsula sun Mike Smith was going to allow another of his prized pupils to be screwed up by any Carolina staff. The fact that Frank Beamer has an existing roster stocked with highly-recruited quarterbacks and the number Big John can count is very close to zero meant nothing; Tyrod was most definitely not going to Carolina . Mike Smith would not have allowed it.

Yes, that Mike Smith. The legendary coach at Hampton High, he of the celebrated love for the Hoos and disregard for the Hokies, is now sending his most coveted prospect since the Ronald to Tech, of all places. This was the guy who once showed up for a meeting with Frank wearing a Hoo shirt. Times seem to have changed. When it comes to burning George’s long-standing recruiting bridges, algroh is an arsonist on a par with Oshichi.

Tyrod made mention during his post-announcement interview of the role new Tech assistant Curt Newsome played in his recruiting. Newsome is certainly getting his Tech coaching career off with a bang. Does anybody still wonder why Danny Pearman is now making his morning runs around the field at Kenan Stadium rather than Lane?

Just as comments from people named Vick, Boddie and Reamon about how well, or not so, Mike was prepared for the NFL caused Frank Beamer to exile Ricky Bustle to some RUTS Belt hyphen [Frank had also grown weary of listening to the arguments between Bustle and Billy Hite about the nature of the offense], Pearman was deemed expendable in order to bring aboard a guy with much better relations with Mike Smith than anyone around Merryman. One does wonder how many more coaches-in-waiting Frank has stashed around waiting for an incumbent to leave. Many more than algroh or Chuckie seemed to.

The Tyrod Taylor recruitment again points out the difference between coaches who brag about what a top-notch program they will build and those who actually have done it. In this part of the country, Schaub and Rivers notwithstanding, there is only one coach who has a demonstrated track record of developing the type of talent Tyrod is supposed to possess in large quantities. That would also be the coach with whom Tyrod has cast his lot. Imagine that.

All of the recruiting hoopla surrounding Tyrod Taylor’s announcement seems kind of silly. We are talking about a kid who has yet to play a down for Tech and, for that matter, won’t even begin his senior year for a few more weeks. We are also talking about someone who is not likely to see live action at Lane Stadium until 2009 or 2010.

The message board set which, at the first sign of the growing pains that will surely come from Glennon or Whitaker will be declaring that Tyrod will be THE MAN in 07 should pay close attention to the history of Frank Beamer. If Frank would man the QB position with a defensive back in 98 rather than pull off Mike’s red-shirt, the same will be done with Tyrod. The quality of quarterback on hand in Blacksburg is much higher now than it was back then. I suspect Mike Smith has received some pretty solid assurances from Frank and Curt that Tyrod will have the benefit of the all-important red-shirt year.

While this or any other recruiting battle continues to seem silly, especially one as media-contrived as was this one, it did add a little spice to the otherwise Dead Zone. Welcome aboard, Tyrod.

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