November 10, 2010

Hokies sign all four for 2011

Virginia Tech made it official this morning signing all four prospects in the 2011 recruiting class during the early signing period, which started today. The class is easily Seth Greenberg's highest rated in his tenure in Blacksburg, ranking No. 18 overall by Rivals.com.

Three of the four commits for the Hokies come from Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham in, C.J. Barksdale, Marquis Rankin and Robert Brown. All three signed their letter of intent this morning at an 11:45 a.m. press conference.

"It went well, we had those three guys sign and seven total sign," Hargrave Military Academy head coach Kevin Keatts said. "They were ecstatic. Their parents came up, it was a good day."

Hargrave has only played four games this season and two of those were scrimmages. Still, Keatts has seen a lot from the Hokies future stars.

"Barksdale reminds me a lot of Jeff Allen who played here. He can score inside and out, he's athletic and finishes. He blocks shots at the other end, he's 6-foot-8, he is a run and jump forward," he said. "I think he's very similar to Jeff. Jeff weighed a bit more and was a tad more physical here, but as far as skill level goes. C.J. can shoot it and put the ball on the floor. He's great around the basket.

"For Robert Brown, he's a 6-foot-4, athletic wing, he can play the two or three. He can score off the bounce and shoot well from three. He's a long, rangy athletic kid. Robert is a guy who we saw this summer and he has been under the radar. I think only one person had him in the top 100 prior to our scrimmage. They found out then what we all knew, a lot of them have him in the 80's now, but he's capable of being in the top 50. I just think he can do it all. He handles the ball well, shoots it well and finishes at the rim. He's not one-dimensional; he can do all three.

"For Marquis, we call him our quarterback. He is an ultra quick guard, a very solid defender that can run the fast break. He's a pure point guard in this class."

At least part of having all three prospects at Hargrave is to get them to mesh and so far it's worked.

"We've got a great group not only those guys, but 12 kids that all get along," he said. "I think it certainly benefits those guys, cause you don't meet your teammates until you get to college, but these guys, two of them live together, Robert Brown and Marquis Rankin and then C.J. is always around them. They are developing a camaraderie and bond even before getting there."

With all that said, all three will be enrolled next season at Tech and what can they bring to the Hokies?

"I think they'll bring a little bit more experience than a regular high school player," he said. "Obviously Virginia Tech is going to lose four seniors. Those guys have a chance to come in, step in and play. Obviously there will be a learning curve, but instead of coming from a typical high school, they'll have played a little bit better competition and be ready to play as Jeff Allen was when he stepped right in and played and was on the all-rookie team and Dorenzo Hudson played against Wake Forest."

Meanwhile, the fourth prospect, the highest rated recruit in the class, Dorian Finney-Smith sent in his letter of intent as well.

"I'm really excited, I've been ready to get this over with for good," Finney-Smith said on Tuesday night. "I've been thinking about signing my whole life.

"I'm just ready to get it over with."

Finney-Smith called his future coach Seth Greenberg on Monday.

"He just told me it's less than 48 hours," he said. "He didn't say too much else, but it's good to sign my name.

"It means a lot, I can try to win a championship in my own state."

Currently the four-star prospect is preparing for the upcoming season, which tips off on December 3rd.

"I've just got to play hard," he said. "I'm trying not to think about making the state championship, that season is over, it's a new season.

"I just want to improve, work on my mid game jump shot, my in between game."

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