Tech thoughts V: 2020 recruiting… Cultural ca-ca-changes, SOS, and Tech-Tidbits!

Very grateful to you fine FREE gents this summer——>b.street!!!

Presently, the scoreboard shows that we have been breaking records and that’s never a bad thing. So Thx at Coach God! And thanks for all the comments and replies and for pretty much: “representin’ and keepin’ it real”. Sans any and all TOS or suspensions or warnings or any of that mitchy cucked-up type modern era social police self-assault “bleep”.

I could not be more pleased. That being said… I do wanna take a final run at the (immediate) Fu’true of Recruiting. The 2019 S.O.S. (strength of schedule) metrics and what they really mean or really… don’t. A looksee at two of the Top-3 pay-side Q & A’s this summer and finally a fundamental look at a few 2019 August Camp movers and shakers. So here we go as this may (possibly) be the last Tech Thoughts before the @B.College preview, drops. 

Mo’ R.A.T.T. Patrolling of the recent Recruiting/Social trajectories of Virginia Tech football…

So after my very first babblings, I mean, dabblings in recruiting… and in the now 2019 social-media opinion accelerations… and in the whispers from the 2019 coaching clinic… I found this little nugget per Will -freakin’- Stew’s very own initial 2019 pre-season Monday Thoughts…

Now, you and Mae West can “call me anything… just call me often“.

2020 Va. H.S. in-state Top-23!

Before you do; how in the name of Coach God do even the most ardent half-fulls among you call this a good-look for Virginia Tech recruiting? (seriously, put me on point here as I just ain’t connecting your… dot)


o for 23 as the current Virginia High School in-state Commonwealth Top-23 rankings go is actually a good O&M look?

Though what? o for 24 and then not so much b.street?!? LOL!

I mean really… I like a good beer too. Or two, or occasionally several… plural. Nevertheless, just how drunk do you gotta be to believe that getting (clean) swept out to sea in our very own O&M Tidewater backyard is a good look for all things Vee.Tee.football?

That’s #HardDumbTough(Shite)!

To put it another way… do any of you really believe that there is no Hokie takes in the Top-23 ballers in-state for this recruiting season? Or that the entire Virginia H.S. Top-23 are all outta our Duck Pond depth? (read: beneath us and therefore not good enough to play for the most recently .461 winning percentage Hokies)?

I and Oscar Robertson triple-double-dawgg dare any of you subscription ¢anceling P.A.T.T.’s to stick your tongue to that—–>

Because there is no way, and I mean no way that scoring a perfect 0% per going o for 2020’s Va. H.S.’s Top-23 is a good sign men. Or that all Top-23 Commonwealth kids suck, or that we did not offer anyone in the instate Top-23. We may have offended some, sum or at least a pretty fair to middling portion of them… although this only serves to further reinforce and confirm the pretty shady coaching clinic vibe that came outta the 24060 this summer. A.K.A. a lotta modestly to pretty dang urban/streety home-state, home-grown, home-spun kids won’t even give VeeTee a sniff right about now.

And if you wanna know what time it, R.A.T.T., is?

…jus’ watch!

And that aforementioned lack of sporting pheromones from all Recruiting things VeeTee would not be so dang bad if it were not for the contracting neighborly to the mid-Atlantic recruiting market(s) where the cost of doing business just went up. As 10 big 2019 VicTories could not possibly come at a better time folks. Because as we all know, winning is the ultimate rising-time. And a rising tide lifts all boats.

 Nonetheless… where does this slim 2020 in-state Virginia Tech football recruiting class project in R.A.T.T. 2023 to ’24 terms with real live teams like Florida State,
@Clemson and @Whiskey on our schedule?

Or did I just throw… shade?

***

The 2019 football schedule: Proof of Concept …or… a falsepositive?

So, and for touchstone baseline point(s)… last year? Well, last years 2018 Virginia Tech football schedule was no meat-grinder. It was more parts bologna and less parts beef-Wellington. As we finished the year with a science-fact objective Résumé S&P+ Rk: 78th toughest in all the land. Or a softer schedule than on D-1 average.

Looks petty inviting/easy… doesn’t it?

In point of fact… the 2018 Virginia Tech regular season football schedule was one of the softest in recent campaigns… as when you run the numbers as far back as the numbers go… Virginia Tech is ranked a surprising/impressive 42nd nationally in S.O.S. (strength of schedule) since entering the All Coach Conference or for the last 13 years worth of data.

As Frank and Co. and all less last year’s soft-touch docket tended to play a harder than average schedule year-in and year-out. Maybe not So. Eastern Conference or Klingon tough, although tougher than your average D-1 men’s football club scrummed against virtually always.

The 2019 Virginia Tech men’s football regular-season schedule you ask? Well, it’s Charmin soft or more parts potted-meat and less parts filet mignon.  As things narratively stand in subjective pre-season terms… Virginia Tech’s ranks 100th hardest in pre-season S.O.S. (strength of schedule) for 2019 so far.

New River innertube 1o1…

Or in other words sports-fans… such a flimsy-looking itinerary can only validate a negative. Because if you can not go at least .5oo or six up and six down vs. this set of cupcakes you buttercup need to toughen up!

If you do win seven to eight games I’d call that fair to middling. With only nine or 10 VicTories potentially validating this pretty severe and farreaching entry year #1 gone year no.3 cultural reboot attempt. Anything ≤9 wins and I’ma not so sure? As we could easily be favored as often as 88% of the time and that means we should be in line for a shiny looking final-record. As .88 statistically suggests 10.56 wins itself. And the possibility of a Bowl match-up that is (R.A.T.T.) outta our depth for it. And beyond that shiny of s season Hokie-fans?

Beyond that, the only thing that 2019 can credibly validate is south of ½-full.

Caveat emptor indeed.

POWER to my peeps!!!
They sure did give you the one guy who reported to camp a little bit too gutty for his own good in the last Tech Thoughts.

Did they not?

From vtlee: of Will’s Subscriber’s Board…

Ch-ch-changes. Hokie football went from a mom & pops to a corporation.

During that time period. Our QBs (normally team leaders) were mercenaries (Brewer, Evans, Jackson, Bush, Willis). Unlike the seniority system of years before, it became produce or you’re gone. Years ago, Brenden Motley would have become our Grant Noel, Al Clark, Bryan Randall, or Glennon. Trey Edmunds, Shai McKenzie, Marshawn Williams & Travon McMillion well-liked guys that we moved on from for a variety of reasons were respected teammates and leaders. Remember Kalvin Cline the TE & cadet that became a face of our program and then just disappeared. We switched Oline coaches every year, moving on for more money or lack of production. Fuente signed a big contract, replaced a bunch of coaches. We lost guys like Beamer, Stiney, Cavanaugh, Ballein, Garnes, Gentry, & Lester. Like them or not, they were glue guys that made our program more like Mayberry than Memphis. A small-town family. Work hard, wait your turn & eventually you’ll become the leaders of this family too. Discipline changed. Guys that once we’re given a good talking to and multiple warnings were now being thrown off the team. Many of these guys were well respected and liked by the players (Reavis, Alexander, Mook, T Hill, T. Beckett). Our recruiting operation began to grow (HS, Transfer, and now JUCO). Competition for jobs grew. Many players realized it was becoming a business in Blacksburg and decided to look out for their own best interest (transfers/NFL). Today we see fans doing the same, dropping their season tickets, lowering donations, and wanting to fire coaches. Most schools had made these changes over the past decade or more, we did it in just a few short years. I’m not saying change is bad but it can certainly destroy the confidence of a team and fanbase.

my reply:

“And you just recognized big-picture subtleties vtlee sans the kick/reactionary posturing of those below.

That is, rare…
—————-
Kinda an anti-Perestroika?

Did we cross too far, too fast, across too many Merryman political/cultural boundaries?

Skipping lockeroom Socialism in our rush to business —or whatever the sporting equivalent would be?

p.s. bonus points for “mercenaries” hereby awarded!

oOo

Sooooooooo, is ^that^ a pretty good stanza or summary of what has just happened over in Blacksburg, Va, 24060 on 25 Beamer Way?

Was Justin’s the Fu’ture is now move, the right move; although a Bridge Too Far?

Or at the very least… a Bridge Too Fast for a more than a quarter-century worth of “Maybury” style family/therapy-first, next, last football to stomach in just a season or two?

Damnation… way to (actually) think vtlee! Now that could actually be… Because in my book that’s not umpossible at all.

Observe… this section does not say or even remotely suggest the move was ‘rong {sic: itself}. Nor does it refute that it was possibly even long overdue with the next decade right around the corner…

It does, however, actively say that the paradigm shift -even if truly necessary- was indeed too far too soon. And that the ensuing recoil or reflexive knee-jerk reaction from such a bipolar shift across such a hellaciously one-of-a-kind O&M successful yesteryear football culture continuum was unavoidable at best; and rather dangerous at worst. As we went from Mom & Pop’s neighborly to the imperative measured analytics of a 12th grade late prom night ethos of: “put out or get out” style of management. And this was just too dang much for so many refugee Grandpaw Frank kids to absorb in ~12+ months worth of on and off-field critical mass.

A Chernobyl of chemistry if you will —whereby the Beamer Barn’s cultural or containment dome, finally 2018 cracked.

i.e. Fu's changes were not 'rong, they were merely too much (all at once).

Agree or disagree?

You tell me down below… TIA!

Q.

(That’s what the always likable and fairly pensive ‘lag wrote in to ask regarding how did Fu’ win at Memphis)

A.

’cause the *culture* he inherited there did NOT even exist!

Whiskey Tango Helen football culture does a Keith Lee, William Bedford hoops school have?

This is soooooo, John Locke… right?

Tabula Rasa in classical applied Psych terms…

i.e. it is VASTLY easier to write *your* pet culture on a “blank slate“. That is virgin to chalk and has known mister eraser his ownself.

Fast-forward to @Virginia Tech and Fu’ had to overwrite the paradigm of all-time Family/Therapy first, next, last… culture.

With very mixed results thus far… n’est ce-pas? Meaning: even if the Fu’ cultural template is an upgrade -or even modern-era outright 2019 necessity- a quarter century+ worth of all-time Wins leading culture is very hard to unwrite. You’d better bring a k.Kong-sized shredder when you wanna tear-up that script.

Do you see a… trend?

It just really is a big ask… all the more so when exactly 18.18% of that former all-time culture is a huge part of your brand new Staff. (i.e. Bud+Wiles). And guess where the biggest performance slips and roster transactions have occurred?

Or did that just make too much, sense?

August camp early Tech-bits:

  • Q is cut all to hell! Shewie! Tough to carry soleus (calf-muscles) cuts at his weight like this. Even if BAX did beat him out; he has got to see the field. Q to Rb? Q to Wr/Te? As Bax can move. He might have the better pure Pirelli’s (i.e. wheels) than Q. Albeit mounted on noticeably smaller, rims. My best take is they really want BAX to be an only plays in break-glass in case of emergency Qb2 this year. (NC2A appeal willing). BAX is a custom fit for R.P.O.’s. Exceptionally self-assured guy. Not quite a Richard synonym, tho’ he’s got as much self-trust as any Qb down there since the better/smoother days of MV2. As Coach Confucius say: “man with hand in pocket 24 hour feel cocky all-day“. Accordingly, let’s not Ike Whitaker Q. Find a way… as Q still goes America’s Cup Dennis Connor on his sailing throws. (Which get, picked). As this true signature of a pure physical opus won’t’ get any better playing every bit as much as me and you combined.

    Before:
  • Fuga is the only Dt scoop my peeps gave yah. He sure is a lump-bowl-of-mashed-potatoes. Extra lumpy vs. the run at that.
  • Waller is making a Cb move.
  • My boy Cannon is getting Oline2 and a little Oline1 work. Great on him. Self-made-man 1o1.
  • Conner with the best/prettiest practice field INT of the last few years. He gets it as a ball-hawker at Cb.
  • Holston is the best 1st-contact tackle-breaker right now. By far. Not quite power-to-the-Peoples— tho’ he’s the between the Ot’s gear-grinder when you need it.
  • Divine may have a modest ding(s)… yet he looks sleek and ripe. (the anti-Ashby who needs to trim that beer-gut; back) Ash’s cut a couple of lbs. already– and he’ll prolly cut a few mo’ before @B.C. As he’s nearly overloading what is not a big ole frame like this. Divine, however, is also playing a bit more physically this camp for a guy with something of a leaner-finesse oriented skillful tag.

    After: (Becketball sure looks pretty dang committed to football to me!)
  • We are the stem to stern overall unit-deepest we’ve been at Oline and at Wr right now since the best senior-heavy C.News oLine –or since the Nebraska Orange Bowl oLine– and since I don’t know when at Wr? Mad, crazy Marianas Trench deep here.
  • Ditto Tre. Two very effortless/easy John Stallworth types here men. (Tre+Divine I mean). IF Tre is not very careful Tre is gonna do real sniping good YAC work. Possibly, very. Kinda like a Park Place man’s D.Clowney with better instincts and a vastly smoother hew.
  • Jay’ Griffin (Chris’ best call in a while) is working ~De2 right now. Don’t know if he can do this/that today? Nevertheless, he is a quintessential physical intrigue. Playing with hand-n-dirt for the first time takes a year or so in my book more often than not, however.
  • Holt has a left-shoulder ding (may St.Christopher bless). Ditto Tisdale.
  • Really like the new floater of an End-around (to King) direct snap. Take that R.P.O. triple-mesh-point(s) everywhere! (tho’ you did not get this one from, me)
  • All-World recruit D.Hunter looks much more physically settled in. Really nice strapping good shoulders and clavicle width. Lottsa performance traits to work-with and/or develop here. Just missing on raw: ‘specimen’ status visually. Real close. Noticeably less scheme jumpy. Not having to *think* the game as much right now. Starting to see it. As his Bud Bøck schema is starting to proverbially “slow-down”. Accordingly, I’d be kinda surprised if Hunter does not work/will his way into all-A.c.c. Honorable Mention; eventually.
  • Smitty getting left-G work. Sure hope he develops and his light goes on. He’s put his reps/times in for dear ole V.P.I. to see the field with at least Guard2 P.T. (playing-time) love.
  • If there is such a thing as a smaller power-lifting champion at 288 lbs.? It is J.Hewitt. As he might just have a little more burst to his game for his trimmer B.M.I. (body mass index) too. Time=verfiy, here. Tho’ it seems/looks like he wants to play quicker, more N-S explosive.
  • Scrimmage/practices have had a couple of picks and turnovers… they are emphasizing to play the ball a bit more. Very J.Madden high-risk Oaktown Raiders football-capture max’ philosophy. (this also hints they know they need the points/breaks sans more traditional looks/gains)
  • Wheatley with a really nice lengthy jaunt. Don’t know where he slots, though? Rb3? Rb4? Dunno…
  • Yes, I know I’am stirring the good pot this time… however; there is a lotta more camaraderie on the team right now. Lotta more mutual-support or reinforcement in classical terms. They are actually ordering/scripting this top-down. No joke! You have almost a rah-rah meet-n-greet organized cheer for each other opening segment to the day/drills now.
  • HOOPS sources say: … M.Young has them really cracking the iron. A very ferrous weight-lifting team in particular in the northern hemisphere. And sadly (may St.Nikon bless),  Kabongo was whispered to be one of the extra prime weightroom movers. Dang, dang, dang…
  • HTH‘s!

Going forth, 2019's soft schedule will R.A.T.T. do what to/for Recruiting???

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upset Index=4045% (right now, mid-August)

#wimps!

Virginia Tech2.5, Boston College+2.5

LETS GO!

HOKIES!

bourbonstreet**

 

 

32 Responses You are logged in as Test

    1. Yup.

      And even if a cupcake sugar-binge watching-a-thon does not necessary prove
      a culture… it might be just what a culture lacking a sweet tooth needs.

      i.e. some big blowout VicTories to get some swagg/cultural-confidence, back.

      b.street

  1. I’ll add a hot take to your question of the rapidity of cultural changes and redraw the question as, were they actually too slow? You and others had opined in the past that certain players were just never going accept the new paradigm under Fuente, and it was only a matter of time before they left, be it by transfer or dismissal. I also recall speculation that the coaches saw the writing on the wall, too, but decided to forego laying down the law in 2016 (and some in ’17) for a variety of reasons. Some thought it was because they saw the raw talent available to them and saw high win totals. Personally, I wondered if it was partially a case of golden handcuffs, i.e. how can you breathlessly talk about how great Beamer was, and institute the #25 game jersey, and in the very next sentence jettison a whole bunch of players he recruited?

    For whatever reason, taking 3 years to clean out everyone who wouldn’t march to the new drumbeat helped to inculcate the idea in the fanbase that the program is regressing. Everyone “knows” that you “should” be showing improvement in the 3rd year, not going 6-7. Because of that, what if the order of seasons were reversed? What if Fuente gone immediate scorched earth in ’16, and gone 6-7 or worse? You follow the ’15 year, which was pretty ugly, with a similar or worse one in ’16, and instead you have fans calling that bottom, instead of the top. Look at Nebraska, new coach in 2018 (albeit even higher touted than Fuente was) and they’re terrible, they’re 4-8. 2019 preseason polls show up, and they’re #20. Fans and media are a lot more forgiving of failing early than late.

    But now that the idea has taken hold of the fanbase, every gripe, be it real or imagined, is more fuel for the narrative fire. Even Foster’s retirement is now Fuente’s fault to some folks. And the thing about wildfires is, the only truly effective way to stop their advance, is to dig a trench around the perimeter.

    1. a case of golden handcuffs, i.e. how can you breathlessly talk about how great Beamer was, and institute the #25 game jersey, and in the very next sentence jettison a whole bunch of players he recruited?

      What if Fuente gone immediate scorched earth in ’16, and gone 6-7 or worse? You follow the ’15 year, which was pretty ugly, with a similar or worse one in ’16, and instead, you have fans calling that bottom, instead of the top. Fans and media are a lot more forgiving of failing early than late.

      Well struck… very!

      +several!!!
      b.street

      1. Or in other words… Fu’ has descended when most (should/normally) start to ascend.

        That’s quite a send… off. (so to speak).
        Or a topsy-turvy one at best.

        b.street

      2. “the new drumbeat helped to inculcate the idea” Nice Scrabble word – inculcate – I admit, had to look it up. Helping us inculcate the need to keep learning. I am still learning to decipher B. StreetTalk though. Not really MainStreet. Go Vee Tee!

        1. 1. Left-click…
          2. Drag through to the left…
          3. Search Google for “_____”.

          You B.F.F. when reading little ole me.

          and thx!
          b.street

  2. To be fair, Reavis and Alexander were not kicked off the team.
    Reavis was kicked out of school by non-athletic decision.
    Alexander failed out by academics.

  3. Good read thanks for the info . My guess is Fuente’s last 2 teams at Memphis would have beaten
    Beamer’s last 2 teams at VT . Go figure that one, or in other words after 2 years at happless non P5
    Memphis he was able to build a team from nearly nothing to what was left of the VT legacy 25 or so years what does that tell you ? You could add LB and TE to your position groups they are in best shape I have seen in a long while . I look at this as Fuente”s first year he now has enough of his guys to make this his team going forward the transition is complete so we shall see what happens . Guys leaving early and or getting booted from the team last 2 years really hurt the transition no one to fill those holes so we got 2018 . This is still very young group so don’t know what record will end up at but think we improve as year goes . He has recruited well so far will wait and judge this year when it is over .

    1. My guess is Fuente’s last 2 teams at Memphis would have beaten Beamer’s last 2 teams at VT.

      Well, ^there’s^ the Fresh Take OTD.

      Far out… I’m not sure… tho’ they are not walkovers for the twilight Beamer teams.
      interesting…
      ——————
      Te? Yah; could be.

      Lb? Very elite top-heavy. Not quite as deep to me. And will Whip matter
      ever again in another 13 games? Prolly, not.

      b.street

    2. This is a good example of the division of the fan base. its not pro Fuente or anti Fuente The base is divided as to those willing to wait and the rest who are not. Would not matter who the coach is.

  4. The recruiting thing bugs me a bit. but worse is how poorly we tackled last year. Now that we have reviewed all the excuses with the chart of misery; I look forward to a more physical, experienced, and tough team. Run the d&mn ball, stop the run, wreak havoc in the backfield and make big plays. I am now sick of talking about how good we might be on offense (the Oline the te the receivers, really?). These players need to do it….together. TEAM. That’s how we fix the recruiting class. Not just winning agst a weak schedule….dominating the teams on the field with relentless physicality – an LPD staple. The 99 team played a weak schedule but absolutely destroyed it; now let’s see if 20 yrs later we can right the ship.

    1. Tackling was okay… then so-so, then sloopy then so army as to be gone by @Pitt.

      I literally went back and looked… four different Q’s across four different games with 8 missed tac’s or more. Then another Q with 11. Geeeeeez.
      : (

      I knew it was ungood tho’ that’s just downright not-caring/not-trying, sorry as Foxtrot.
      (and not seriously physically bothering in a Terminal Contact sport is when you do get hurt)

      b.street

  5. Q to RB, wait for it as the man is built like Adonis with the perfect body to be the primary rock carrier in FuFense.

    Just imagine what opponent safeties and weak side LBs day to looking into that backfield and seeing Q running downhill after planting that foot.

    As for the D being a bit ball hawkish—always thought Coach Mitchell downplayed it for a more safe approach..love our speed trying to steal a few….also do know nothing helps the DBs more than a pass rush, and that IMO is the delta between Fuente’s icy hot boxer shorts for next off season and 10+ W telling all 2018 was a pothole. TBD.

    Lastly, love mashed potatoes with heavy cream, but not sure that’s a good combo for our new DT. Again TBD.

    Nice call out to the TSL board posts re: culture change, as said many times, biggest challenge for a new CEO is talent management and if you’re gonna be successful, the talent has to be on the same VT page, otherwise it’s group of individuals noise…not music!

    Let’s Go…Hokies!!!
    Make some Music by Beating BC!!!

    1. This year?
      I doubt we see much of him…

      E.T.A. 2021-2022.
      (Fu’ will have a very tough time playing a non-Spring-baller).
      Tho’ his r-shirt football season and his T&F eligibility expired the year before.

      b.street

  6. I think Coach Fu was tied by the bowl streak and not being able to kick off the malcontents early on. I think he was probably hoping they would work themselves out of the system but they became too much of a problem. Reavis, Mook and Alexander weren’t his fault though.

    I agree about the corporate mentality. Seems like he wanted to be the CEO coach which is fine but you still have to interact with the players. If you are letting the coordinators do their job then the head whistle needs to take on the additional jobs of team morale, recruiting, etc. Dabo would be the perfect example. He goes from WR coach to the head man, he probably couldn’t game plan anyone by himself.

    CJF is young, mistakes were make and seemingly corrected. We shall see.

    1. Indeed… this is where he (Fu’) really missed G.Scott and Mitch’
      working that good-cop/bad-cop tag-team routine on all
      those managerial little to medium things.

      b.street

  7. In business you make your changes swiftly. Put the pain behind you and move on. No doubt VT Football is a business and I fully support the decisions Coach Fuente made. In hindsight the only thing I might change is making them sooner but I don’t know all of the facts. Time will tell, but I believe we will be much better in the long run.

    1. Sooner would have been vastly more codified and less the mixed-message.
      that was a major no-no.

      Tho’ it was also a major no-no to giving away at least a couple year no.1 and year no.2
      wins. And most say: “yes yes” to that {sic: winning}.

      (one source said he could not resist the talent(s); another said he wanted the wins
      to pocket to sure up his tenure/career footing taking over such XL shoes)

      b.street

  8. I wasn’t feeling great about 2020 recruiting, but after seeing that graphic it might even be worse that I imagined. If all you needed to be successful were 3-star scat backs, I think we’d be golden.

    Careful BStreet, when you become a realist on this board, some posters will want to have you banned. Last year’s defense was painful to watch – do you think we’ve improved?

    1. Our performance percentage was up between 15 and 45% with Divine and Farley
      on the field together last year. (which did not have much beyond the mid-point)

      so that right ^there^ is a R.A.T.T. objective sci-fact marker of yah; they have to be
      a bit better. Dline might be deeper if less peaked sans a good Walker.
      Lb is loaded. Hind-7 is stronger than front-4.

      Tho Gaines and now Debose may be done for the duration and we are really
      uncertain upfront. Truly hanging on by an O&M thread.

      b.street

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