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May 21, 2012
LANDOVER, Md. - It's been an impressive class of 2013 haul for Virginia Tech, which included two Rivals250 recruits in Holland Fisher and Bucky Hodges, but the Hokies are still looking to round out the class. A number of top prospects, including Virginia Tech targets were busy at work yesterday at the Chesapeake Bowl selection camp at Prince George's Learning and Sports Complex adjacent to FedEx Field. HokieHaven.com was on hand to break down the targets Hokie fans should keep an eye on. Five-star CB Kendall Fuller came to watch but did not participate so he is not on this list.
Performers listed below in no particular order.
Chesapeake Bowl selection camp
DE Da'Shawn Hand 2014
6-4/237, Woodbridge (Va.) Woodbridge Senior
Simply put, Hand is a man among boys. His physical strength is amazing, but he also has the quickest moves of any prospect you'll ever see. Going against the camp's offensive linemen, Hand never got beat, but got his only battle of the day from Derwin Gray. Above all, the most impressive is Hand's personality. Hand is one of the nicest players you'll ever meet, constantly high-fiving other players during drills. He's a coach's dream.
6-0/210, Virginia Beach (Va.) Salem
He might be a little shorter and stockier than you'd like, but don't be fooled. Motuapuaka can cover. He's a rangy linebacker that got beat covering faster receivers a few times but never gave up on the play. He'll figure in more at Virginia Tech as a run-defender, his strength, but he can also cover when needed.
6-4/289, Lynchburg (Va.) Liberty Christian Academy
Pfaff looks even taller than his listed height and he might not be done growing. Pfaff is a big lineman, but he struggled at times at the Chesapeake Bowl camp and got beaten a few times in one-on-ones. He needs to work on his footwork and staying low. Too many times, he sits too high. But you can't teach size and Pfaff has a huge upside.
6-0/182, Stafford (Va.) Mountain View
One of the more athletic prospects in attendance, Hamilton is a burner. But what makes him so attractive is that he can also play cornerback, as well as wide receiver. That's especially what's endeared him to Virginia Tech's coaches. Hamilton has great hands and caught just about every ball thrown near him.
CB Jalen Tabor 2014
6-0/181, Washington (D.C.) Friendship Collegiate Academy
Tabor covers about as well as any cornerback in the country, regardless of age in high school. He's extremely quick and even when horsing around makes split-second decisions. His ability to read the quarterback is remarkable. He might not have telepathy, but he's close, as well as he knows where the ball is going.
5-10/182, Virginia Beach (Va.) Bayside
Like most camps, Mizzell didn't get the chance to run with the ball, but man, he's a missile when he takes off. An unbelievable quick burst gets him going and his legs keep churning. He also has great instinct and great hands when catching the ball in the flat or over the middle.
6-3/196, Nokesville (Va.) Kettle Run
Parker is just a pure athlete. He's one of those guys where even if you think he isn't trying hard, he makes the play. He does play hard, but makes it look effortlessly at times. That also leads to some lackadaisical coverage plays on occasion, but Parker is certainly one of the top defensive backs in the country. If he can keep his academics in order, he'll be a huge get for someone.
S Quin Blanding 2014
6-2/196, Virginia Beach (Va.) Bayside
There's not a whole lot of space Blanding can't cover. And wherever he isn't on the field, he can get there in a hurry. He doesn't have the glove coverage like Tabor, but Blanding is certainly a physical defensive back who can blanket opposing receivers. Great against the run too, which he doesn't get to show off at most camps.
DT Ricky Walker
6-1/260, Hampton (Va.) Bethel
Looks a bit undersized in person, but has great burst off the ball. It's easy to see why Virginia Tech jumped on Walker with an offer. His stock is about to soar, especially once the season starts. Going against some solid linemen like Derwin Gray and Na'Ty Rodgers, Walker mroe than held his own.
WR Paul Harris
6-4/186, Upper Marlboro (Md.) Frederick Douglass
Not as big, but height-wise and being able to catch the ball, Harris reminds me of a young Plaxico Burress. He definitely has the size and ability you look for at the position and can grab just about any ball thrown his direction. Harris is a lean, chiseled receiver and could be a huge pick-up for someone.
6-2/222, Richmond (Va.) Monacan
A longshot as far as him ending up at Virginia Tech goes, but Wingo-Reeves is worth mentioning because he had a stellar camp. Multiple times, Wingo-Reeves looked like he was beaten by a receiver when he recovered and made a play by deflecting a pass. He looks to have come a long way and will be a big get for someone. Whether it's for a school the level of Virginia Tech remains to be seen, but he'll be a solid player at the college level.