In the Greenberg Era, Seth was able to sign 8 recruits ranked in the Top 100 according to Rivals.com. They were:
- 2004 – Marquie Cooke – #57
- 2006 – Lewis Witcher – #99
- 2007 – Jeff Allen – #77
- 2007 – Malcolm Delaney – #89
- 2010 – Jarell Eddie – #70
- 2011 – Dorian Finney-Smith – #31
- 2011 – Robert Brown – #82
- 2011 – C.J. Barksdale – #99
Arguably, Cooke and Finney-Smith were the two biggest on that list, and not just because they had the highest rating. Yes, Jeff Allen was a huge, national recruit, too, with experience at Dematha and Oak Hill, but I’ll still put Cooke and DFS above him.
Cooke was seen as a huge get for Virginia Tech back in 2004, Seth’s first full year of recruiting. Cooke was from the 757 and played in the prestigious Boo Williams AAU program. Tech didn’t get Boo kids in the ricky stokes reign. But Marquie instantly appeared to be a headcase and was kicked off the team after one season. He transferred to colorado state and was quickly booted from there. Cooke finally finished out his college career this past season playing for elizabeth city state university in North Carolina (“Lots of people go to college for 8 years,” “Yeah, they’re called doctors.”).
Finney-Smith was regarded as Tech’s biggest recruit since Dell Curry, Tech’s last (and probably only) McDonald’s All-American. Doe Doe wasn’t a McDonald’s All-American but was right on the cusp of it, along with near 5-star status. He struggle at times this past season, missing 25 straight shots early on in ACC play (he didn’t make a FG in a 5 game stretch between ACC game #3 through 7), but did get better at the end of the season and made the ACC All-Freshmen Team. Yet, now Doe Doe is extinct in terms of Hokie status.
It is hard to say how much was Seth’s fault in either case, and we’ll likely never know. But it isn’t a great trend (well, if you can call 2 guys a trend). You could look at the positive side and say that of the 3 guys on that list above that stayed all 4 years, 2 of those 3 (Allen and Delaney) garnered multiple All-ACC honors (Allen as a freshman and senior, Delaney his last 3 years including back-to-back First Team All-ACC honors). Plus, Dorenzo Hudson, who was top 100 on some lists and #110 with Rivals, also was named 2nd Team All-ACC his junior year. But…
The charge for Coach Johnson will be not only getting top 100 recruits, but keeping them. Can Tech only get the problem childs of top recruits? The malcontents? We’ll see. But clearly the issue for Coach Johnson starting today will be landing those top guys (VA has 3 top 100 recruits in the 2013 Class) and getting them to the graduation podium.