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Thursday, February 7, 2013
One of the feelings that Virginia and Virginia Tech were spared on national letter-of-intent day was the chagrin of having a committed player sign with another school.
At North Carolina State, where former Northern Illinois coach Dave Doeren took over for Tom O’Brien, the Wolfpack was unable to hang onto a couple of Virginians.
All-purpose threat Chris Holmes, rated the No. 34 prospect in the state by The Roanoke Times, signed with Duke. Another player who had committed to the Wolfpack, tight end Chris Burton from George Washington in Danville, signed with Cincinnati.
Burton’s “flip” didn’t come as a big surprise. The staff of new Bearcats coach Tommy Tuberville includes Robert Prunty, well known in Southside Virginia from his days as head coach at Gretna High School and Hargrave Military Academy.
Cincinnati also signed Mark Wilson, a defensive end from Phoebus High School in Hampton.
Burton was ranked 39th on The Roanoke Times’ list. The highest-rated player to “flip” was No. 26 Demetri McGill, a defensive lineman from Ocean Lakes in Virginia Beach, who had committed to Maryland.
When the Terrapins withdrew their scholarship offer, McGill started looking at other schools and picked East Carolina.
UVa was the beneficiary of an 11th-hour change of heart, landing 6-6, 294-pound offensive lineman Eric Tetlow from Mills Godwin in Richmond. Tetlow, ranked 36th, earlier had committed to Wake Forest.
-- Virginia Tech and Virginia both landed walk-ons whose commitments were not announced, including Abingdon High School kicking specialist Mitchell Ludwig, who visited Blacksburg this weekend.
Ludwig told the Bristol Herald-Courier that he will be placed on scholarship in January 2014. Ludwig punted for a 43-yard average this past season, when he also booted 11 field goals and sent 40 of 46 kickoffs sailing into the end zone for touchbacks.
Virginia, which earlier had taken a commitment from Woodberry Forest quarterback Jacob Rainey as a nonscholarship player, will be adding his 6-foot-6, 291-pound teammate, Phillip Berry, as a recruited walk-on.
Berry and Ludwig were 73rd and 80th, respectively, on The Roanoke Times’ prospects list.
-- Sam Rogers, a two-time first-team All-Richmond Metro choice from Hanover High School, picked Tech over UVa as a walk-on destination. Rogers (5-11, 210) had more than 1,000 yards rushing and passing this past season.
When University of Miami offensive coordinator Jeff Fisch went to the NFL to become offensive coordinator for the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Hurricanes reached across the state for his replacement.
James Coley, the Florida State offensive coordinator the past five years, took the Miami job at a salary of $500,000. Not only was that a bump from his FSU salary of $335,000, but he will call plays, a duty handled by head coach Jimbo Fisher in Tallahassee.
n Chris Beatty, who won three consecutive state championships at Lands-town High School in Virginia Beach, is out after one season as the co-offensive coordinator at Illinois, his third stop in three years.
Beatty was at West Virginia for three years, 2008-2010, but was not retained when Dana Holgorsen replaced the late Bill Stewart as head coach. Beatty coached at Vanderbilt in 2011.
-- George McDonald, who had accepted an offer to be a position coach at Arkansas, will be the offensive coordinator for new Syracuse coach Scott Shafer. McDonald formerly coached wide receivers at the University of Miami and with the Cleveland Browns.
Season opens soon
The four ACC teams that play men’s lacrosse are all in the top seven of the preseason Division I poll, including Virginia at No. 7. The others are No. 2 Maryland, co-No. 4 North Carolina and No. 6 Duke.
Two of the schools that will be joining the ACC in coming years, Notre Dame and Syracuse, are No. 3 and 13, respectively. Defending national champion Loyola is ranked first.
-- Johns Hopkins, which shared the No. 4 ranking with North Carolina, has been mentioned in recent days as a lacrosse-only member of either the Big Ten, the new home of its geographical neighbor and lacrosse rival, Maryland.
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