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February 20, 2012

Mid-Atlantic mail: Hokies in good spot

MORE FARRELL: Around the Mid-Atlantic

Do the Virginia Tech Hokies look poised for another strong class this year?

Who are the top players in Maryland this next year and where will they end up?

And is Penn State positioned for a big-time class?

These questions are addressed by Rivals.com analyst Mike Farrell in the Mid-Atlantic recruiting mailbag.


Hokie power

Holland Fisher was a big early commit for Virginia Tech. Do the Hokies look poised for another strong class this year?

- Alex from Richmond, via Twitter

Fisher was a huge early pickup and he's well deserving of his national ranking. Cequan Jefferson is a quality player that not a lot of folks know about, but he's another solid addition.

There are a good number of in-state guys that Virginia Tech looks strong with in 2013, including Deon Newsome, Wyatt Teller, Matt Rolin and others.

In a banner year for quarterbacks in the state, Virginia Tech looks to be a serious player for Bucky Hodges of Salem. At running back, Daniel Reid favors Tech and Rivals100 back Derrick Green will give the Hokies a strong look, even though he's a big Ohio State fan.

In short, this has the possibility to be a Top 25 class once again for the Hokies and could be even higher if they close on five-star Kendall Fuller as many expect. It's a great year in the state of Virginia for talent, but many of the top prospects seem fine with leaving the state so we'll see how high the Hokies can go.


The skinny on Maryland

Who are the top players in Maryland this next year and where do you see them ending up?

- Phil from Alexandria, via Twitter

It's too early to tell where they'll end up but a few guys in the state have been awarded four or five stars.

The top player in the state is Kendall Fuller from Olney (Md.) Good Counsel and he's going to have his pick of any school in the country but obviously Virginia Tech is the team to beat. His teammate, four-star linebacker Dorian O'Daniel, has an offer list that's just as impressive and Michigan is the early team to beat.

Gilman is home to defensive tackle Henry Poggi and Alabama, Auburn, Michigan, Tennessee and Virginia, among others, are looking good with him. I think the Crimson Tide have the edge here but watch out for Tennessee.

Offensive tackle Na'Ty Rodgers of McDonough and linebacker Marcus Newby of Quince Orchard are both keeping their options open and the Maryland Terps have a shot with both. The D.C. duo of Derwin Gray and Yannick Ngakoue could be leaning toward Florida State with recent offers since Eddie Goldman is already bound for Tallahassee from the same school.


Latest on the Nittany Lions

Is Penn State positioned for a big-time class? That would be huge for Bill O'Brien in his first year.

- Jared from Newark

If the Lions play their cards right and have at least a solid season on the field this fall, I do think it could be a solid year.

Everyone knows they're in good shape with four-star tight end Adam Breneman and he's one of the nation's top prospects. Between Ryan Burns and Christian Hackenberg, Penn State is very well-positioned to land a top quarterback in this class as well, but it can't afford to be shut out at the position so the Lions must get one of the two.

Burns' teammate, Jonathan Allen, is another kid to keep an eye on. He attended the school's junior day and he really likes it up there.

Penn State also looks strong with several impressive offensive line prospects and some linebackers, such as Alex Anzalone, are definitely looking at them as well. They could certainly put together a nice haul if they get some breaks but the key is keeping many of the top players in-state. I can't really say they outright lead for anyone right now, but their junior day this past weekend was a big success and a great start.


QBs of the region

Who do you think the best quarterbacks in the region are in this next class?

- Stephen from Harrisburg

Let's start off with the three quarterbacks from Virginia just because it's such a strong year for passers from that state. Bucky Hodges, Ryan Burns and Christian Hackenberg are all four-star guys and that's pretty impressive. If I had to guess right now I'd say Hodges stays close to home with an in-state school while Burns and Hackenberg may be leaning toward leaving the state.

Kevin Olsen from Wayne (N.J.) Wayne Hills is the fourth quarterback I'd throw in that very top tier.

Less heralded but still worth watching? Brendan Marshall of Good Counsel, Christopher Laviano and Caleb Scepaniak of New York, Chavas Rawlins of Pennsylvania, Tim Boyle of Connecticut and Shane Cockerille of Maryland.

All of those guys listed above are BCS caliber guys and that's not a bad list at all.



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