Tech Signs 19 to Football Grants-in-Aid
Five All-Americans highlight 2006 class
February 1, 2006

BLACKSBURG - Five 2006 prep All-Americans, along with a strong defensive group of players, highlight a football recruiting class composed of 19 student-athletes who signed grants-in-aid with Virginia Tech on Wednesday to go along with two athletes who graduated high school early and five other previous signees who enrolled at Tech in January.

"I think we got some great signees from the state of Virginia," head coach Frank Beamer said. "I think this is a talented class and a very good character class. I really like the makeup of a lot of the guys in this class. We're disappointed, as always, in some of the guys we didn't get, but I'm very excited about the ones we did get. They have good athletic ability, good work habits. We'll look back in a couple years and determine if this was a good class or not, but I would bet we'll look back and a lot of these guys will be tremendous contributors to the success of Virginia Tech."

Tech received six NLIs from Virginia products this year, the fewest amount under Beamer. Highlighting that group is defensive end John Graves (6-3, 249), an All-American who is ranked as the No. 7 player in the state of Virginia by The Roanoke Times.

Tech received a majority of its commitments from out-of-state players. Jason Adjepong (6-3, 248, pronounced ADD-juh-pong) is ranked the No. 7 strongside defensive end in the country by rivals.com and the No. 4 player in the state of New Jersey. In all, Tech signed three of the top 12 players in the Garden State, according to rivals.com. Defensive end Mike Gee (6-1, 228) is rated the No. 11 weakside defensive end in the country and the No. 10 player in the state, while receiver Zach Luckett (6-3, 190) is ranked the No. 33 athlete in the country and the No. 12 player in the state. All three earned All-America honors from postseason recruiting publications.

Adjepong, Gee, Graves and offensive tackle Aaron Brown are the four SuperPrep All-Americans to sign with Tech. The four of them also were named All-Americans by PrepStar, along with Luckett. Brown was also named to PrepStar's postseason Dream Team - the top 100 players in the nation.

"I think when you look at Aaron Brown out of Cincinnati, as well as Jason Adjepong, Zach Luckett and Mike Gee out of New Jersey, it's an indication that our name is known outside the state of Virginia," Beamer said.

The five other players from the state of Virginia are or were all ranked in the top 23 in the state by The Roanoke Times. Tech's other signees from Virginia are Norfolk's Kam Chancellor (#21), Bedford's Daryl Robertson (#18), Centreville's Beau Warren (#23) and Hampton's Matt Wright (#16), along with Hampton's Todd Nolen, who was ranked 10th following his senior season in 2004. Wright is listed as the No. 24 inside linebacker in the nation while Robertson is listed as the No. 27 defensive tackle in the country, both by rivals.com. Chancellor, from Maury, is ranked the No. 27 pro-style quarterback in the country and Warren is rated the No. 55 offensive guard in the country, both by rivals.com. Nolen, who re-signed after signing with Tech last year, is attending Hargrave, but played his high school ball at Hampton High. He is rated the No. 13 prep school player in the nation by rivals.com and scout.com lists him as the No. 24 wide receiver prospect in the country. Robertson, Warren and Wright all were all-region selections by PrepStar.

"It's just one of those years where more guys than usual left the state, but we'll continue to work hard to get the best players in the state of Virginia," Beamer said.

The Hokies inked two offensive linemen from Ohio, including the No. 7 offensive tackle in the country (rivals.com) in Brown. At 6-6, 290, the Cincinnati product is ranked the No. 4 player in the state by Ohio High and is listed as the No. 52 overall player in the country by USA Today. Also signing with the Hokies was Clark Crum (6-7, 282) from Dublin. Crum is rated the No. 40 offensive tackle in the country by rivals.com.

"Offensive line was a concern and we got a couple of big guys there," Beamer said. "We lost some good ones along the defensive line [from last year's team] and felt like we needed to bring some quality replacements in. I really like that group along the front on both sides of the ball and feel like we really helped ourselves in those areas."

Virginia Tech also picked up four players from Maryland. Brandywine's Nekos Brown is listed as the No. 19 weakside defensive end in the country and the No. 14 player in the state by rivals.com. Andre Smith, from Germantown is ranked as the No. 51 tight end in the country and the No. 18 player in the state by rivals.com. He is also listed as the No. 20 prospect on the Mid-Atlantic 47 by SuperPrep. Clinton's Rashad Carmichael also signed with Tech and is ranked the No. 23 player on the Mid-Atlantic 47 by SuperPrep and the No. 23 player in the state by rivals.com. Brown, Carmichael and Smith all earned all-region honors from PrepStar. The final signee from Maryland is all-state receiver Douglas McNeil (6-4, 190) from New Town High.

Tech also tapped into North Carolina's talent, signing three players: Devven Sutton, Jacob Sykes and Joey Hall. Sykes, from Goldsboro, was an All-Atlantic Region selection by PrepStar as a wide receiver and is listed as the No. 28 player in his state by rivals.com. Sutton, a projected fullback from Elizabeth City, is ranked the No. 35 player in North Carolina by SuperPrep. Hall is a defensive lineman from Sanford who totaled 75 tackles, including 10 sacks, his senior season. Additionally, defensive back Devin Radford joins this class. The Fayetteville product is ranked as the No. 27 player in North Carolina by SuperPrep and was an All-Atlantic Region selection by PrepStar.

The Hokies also grabbed two players out of the Peach State, signing defensive tackle Ladi Ajiboye (pronounced LAH-dee ADD-jih-boy) and safety Mario Edwards. Edwards, from Atlanta, is ranked the No. 25 safety in the country by rivals.com, while Ajiboye, from College Park, is ranked the No. 27 defensive tackle in the country by that same service.

Two of the 21 players in this year's recruiting class - Aaron Brown and Radford - enrolled at Tech in January and are already participating in offseason workouts. Also enrolling in January were previous signees: defensive end Steven Friday (Hampton, Va.), offensive lineman Brandon Holland (Roanoke, Va.), running back Kenny Lewis, Jr. (Danville, Va.), offensive lineman Sergio Render (Newnan, Ga.) and cornerback Stephan Virgil (Rocky Mount, N.C.).

2006 Virginia Tech Football Signing Class
NamePositionHgt.Wgt.Last SchoolHometown
Aaron BrownOffensive Tackle6-6290Princeton Cincinnati, OH
Devin RadfordDefensive Back5-8174E.E. Smith Fayetteville, NC
Beau WarrenOffensive Line6-4250Centreville Clifton, VA
Clark CrumOffensive Tackle6-7282Scioto Dublin, OH
Devven SuttonFullback6-0239Northeastern Elizabeth City, NC
Joey HallDefensive Tackle6-3246Lee County Sanford, NC
John GravesDefensive End6-3249Meadowbrook Richmond, VA
Jacob SykesWide Receiver6-0180Goldsboro Goldsboro, NC
Rashad CarmichaelAthlete5-9175Gwynn Park Clinton, MD
Mario EdwardsSafety/Cornerback6-1181Westlake Atlanta, GA
Jason AdjepongDefensive End6-3248Carteret Rahway, NJ
Todd NolenWide Receiver6-3185Hampton Hampton, VA
Nekos BrownLinebacker6-3225Thomas Stone Brandywine, MD
Matt WrightLinebacker6-2215Phoebus Hampton, VA
Zach LuckettWide Receiver6-3190Holy Spirit Mays Landing, NJ
Ladi AjiboyeDefensive Tackle6-2290Banneker College Park, GA
Andre SmithTight End6-4235Seneca Valley Germantown, MD
Mike GeeDefensive End6-1228Queen of Peace Englewood, NJ
Daryl RobertsonDefensive Tackle6-3285Liberty Bedford, VA
Kam ChancellorQuarterback6-4210Maury Norfolk, VA
Douglas McNeilWide Receiver6-4190New Town Baltimore, MD