To say Virginia's private schools are 'loaded'
with D-I football prospects this year might be an understatement. Already,
five prospects from the privates have made D-I commitments. Topping our list of
Top 30 Private School Prospects is Fork Union offensive tackle Mark Shuman. The 6-foot-6, 280 pound left tackle prospect ended his recruitment
in April when he gave Virginia Tech a verbal commitment. Ranked
The younger brother of Ryan Shuman, the
starting senior center for the Virginia Tech Hokies, Mark Shuman has been on the
recruiting radar for quite some time now. Fork Union head coach and father of
the prospect, John Shuman, says, "He is a very good athlete, he's rangy and has
good speed and good hands. He plays on both sides of the ball with a lot of
energy. The dominating thing he's got is his footwork. He's an elite left tackle
that everyone is looking for. Coaches hear about him and they know he's a
coach's son, but when they see him at camp they are impressed. In one-on-ones
he's very good blocking with the pass and run." He had offers from Virginia
Tech, Tennessee, Georgia, Virginia, Rutgers, North Carolina, N.C. State, Duke
and Notre Dame among others, before deciding to pick the Hokies!
Though his father coaches the Fork Union
Post-Graduate football team, Mark plays for Micky Sullivan, who coaches the
under-graduate FUMA football team. Sullivan shared some comments about his
commitment and abilities about Mark with VirginiaPreps.com's Rod Johnson earlier
"I don't know that any one factor pushed him
over the top (commitment). You have to know Mark. He is not infatuated with
the recruiting process. I think that he just decided 'this is where I am going,
so let's get it over with and move on'; that's Mark. He liked Virginia Tech and
he liked the atmosphere there. He likes the coaches and he's got a longstanding
relationship with Coach Cavanaugh who recruited his dad to VMI. We talked about
the different options, but Virginia Tech is where he wants to go."
According to Sullivan, the Hokies are getting a
good one in Shuman.
"He's got great feet. He moves exceptionally
well for a big guy. Not only is he a great athlete, but because of his genetics
-- his dad was a great college player and his brother is a great college player
and now, here comes Mark and he's bigger than both of them -- people are looking
at him and thinking that he's going to get even bigger. I think that he's going
to be even better than what they [Virginia Tech] think."
Sullivan is obviously excited about Shuman's
future, with good reason.
"He's probably going to get at least another
inch taller and, once he's in their weight program, he'll gain thirty or so
pounds, so in a few years, you are looking at a 6-foot-8, 310-pound tackle who's
athletic. He is one of, if not the best, undergrad basketball players in the
school. He has enough athletic ability to be great even if he was smaller, but
because he is big and going to get bigger, he is going to be really good."
Sullivan also likes Shuman's mental approach
not only to the game but also to how he approached recruiting.
"He didn't get all caught up in that. He
understood that everyone thought that he was going to go to Tech, but he looked
at a lot of places and during all this stuff, Mark Shuman has always been Mark
Shuman. He's a good coach's son who really knows the game."