The Washington Post

National Signing Day 2012: Virginia Tech’s defensive recruits

Virginia Tech’s 2012 recruiting class is complete, so here’s a complete rundown of what sort of recruits the Hokies got on the defensive side of the ball. All rankings included in this post are according to .

DB Donaldven Manning (5-11, 176 pounds) – From Miami Central High in Miami, Manning committed to Virginia Tech three days after last year’s signing day and stuck to his word despite a brief flirtations with Notre Dame and Nebraska this fall. Recruited by Torrian Gray, Manning is already enrolled at Virginia Tech for spring practice and should compete for playing time at cornerback. A four-star recruit, he’s rated as the No. 140 prospect and No. 11 cornerback in the country. With more than 20 offers from the likes of Alabama, LSU and Wisconsin, Manning is the Hokies highest-rated recruit this year.

LB Deon Clarke (6-3, 200 pounds) – From L.C. Byrd High in Chesterfield, Va., south of Richmond, Clarke was recruited by assistant Shane Beamer and committed to Virginia Tech last June. A four-star prospect, Clarke is considered the No. 6 player in the state and the No. 13 outside linebacker in the country. He’s also a top 200 recruit (No. 162) nationally and finished with 98 tackles, including 19 for loss and 14 sacks. Also had offers from Miami, Maryland, Tennessee and Virginia, among others.

DE Ken Ekanem (6-3, 240 pounds) – A two-time All Met from Centreville, Ekanem announced he would be a Hokie on Signing day, becoming the seventh four-star recruit to commit to Virginia Tech this year. Ekanem was rated the No. 209 prospect in the country by this year and could play either outside linebacker or defensive end in college. Recruited by defensive coordinator Bud Foster, Ekanem had 72 tackles and 18 sacks as he led Centreville to the Virginia AAA Division 6 state championship game. He tore his ACL and meniscus at the end of the season and may take a redshirt next year to heal. He had more than 20 scholarship offers and chose the Hokies over Notre Dame. Click here for more video on Ekanem

RB-LB Trey Edmunds (6-2, 200 pounds) – From Dan River High in Ringgold, Va., Edmunds is the son of former Maryland and NFL tight end Ferrell Edmunds. He is the first Parade all-American Virginia Tech has landed since Tyrod Taylor and Darren Evans in 2007. A four-star prospect recruited by offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring, Edmunds is considered the No. 9 player in the state and No. 16 outside linebacker in the country this year. As a running back this past season, he rushed for 2,596 yards and 33 touchdowns and also had 143 tackles as a linebacker. Edmunds, who could play either position at Virginia Tech, committed to the Hokies in August after weighing offers from Maryland, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia, among others.

LB Devin Vandyke (6-0, 205 pounds) – From South County High in Lorton, Vandyke is the younger brother of Virginia Tech redshirt freshman safety Ronny Vandyke. Devin Vandyke decided to follow in his brother’s footsteps last July, choosing the Hokies over offers from Kentucky, Maryland and West Virginia, among others. Recruited by defensive coordinator Bud Foster, Vandyke was a first-team All-Met after leading South County to the Virginia AAA Division 5 state title game. He finished with 96 tackles (15.5 for loss), 4.5 sacks and three forced fumbles. He’s considered a three-star recruit and the No. 11 player in the state this year.

DT Alston Smith (6-3, 270 pounds) – From Cox High in Virginia Beach, Smith is the son of former Hokies great and Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Bruce Smith. Alston Smith committed to Virginia Tech in July during a summer recruiting camp, choosing the Hokies over Syracuse, East Carolina and Western Michigan. Recruited by offensive line coach Curt Newsome, Smith is considered a three-star recruit and the No. 24 prospect in the state this year. He finished his senior season with 42 tackles, including 13 for loss and four sacks.

DB Desmond Frye (6-2, 175 pounds) – From Thomas Dale High in Chester, Va., south of Richmond, Frye committed to the Hokies in April after attending Virginia Tech’s spring game. Recruited by Shane Beamer, he’s a three-star recruit who is considered the No. 21 prospect in Virginia this year. Frye finished his senior season with 91 tackles and three interceptions while playing safety. He also had 16 catches for more than 420 yards at wide receiver. Frye, who will likely play defense in college, chose the Hokies over Duke, Maryland, South Florida and Virginia.

DE Jarontay Jones (6-2, 240 pounds) – From Stephenson High in Stone Mountain, Ga., Jones committed to Virginia Tech back in June during a campus visit for a recruiting camp. Recruited by defensive backs coach Torrian Gray, Jones is a three-star recruit and the No. 23 weakside defensive end in the country. Considered a top 250 recruit nationally before his senior season, Jones had 115 tackles and 14.5 sacks this year. He had 19 scholarship offers and chose the Hokies over Auburn, Clemson Florida, Florida State, Michigan and South Carolina, among others.

LB Dahman McKinnon (6-2, 200 pounds) – From South View High in Hope Mills, N.C., McKinnon committed to Virginia Tech during the Hokies’ junior day last February. Recruited by defensive line coach Charley Wiles and projected as a whip linebacker, McKinnon, who finished with 155 tackles this past season, is considered a three-star prospect and the No. 24 recruit in North Carolina this year.

DB Donovan Riley (6-0, 190 pounds) – Riley, from Polytechnic High in Baltimore, committed to Virginia Tech after the Hokies’ spring game last April. Recruited by wide receivers coach Kevin Sherman, Riley is a three-star recruit who projects as either a cornerback or safety. Considered the No. 22 player in Maryland this year, he finished his senior season with 48 tackles and five interceptions. He chose Virginia Tech over offers from Wisconsin, Pittsburgh and Vanderbilt, among others.

CB Davion Tookes (5-11, 165 pounds) – From Creekside High in Fairburn, Ga., near Atlanta, Tookes was the first commitment in Virginia Tech’s 2012 recruiting class, agreeing to become a Hokie two days after last February’s signing day. Recruited by Torrian Gray, Tookes is considered a three-star recruit and the No. 25 ranked cornerback in the country this year. He played alongside four-star defensive back Joshua Holsey (Auburn) and finished with 55 tackles, 14 pass break-ups and six blocked punts during his senior season. Tookes had more than 15 scholarship offers, choosing the Hokies over Ole Miss, Nebraska, South Carolina, Maryland and Virginia, among others.

DL Woody Baron (6-2, 258 pounds) – From Brentwood Academy in Brentwood, Tenn., Baron is the nephew of former Hokies defensive lineman Jim Baron (1994-95). Recruited by defensive line coach Charley Wiles, Baron committed to Virginia Tech back in July. A three-star recruit, he finished with 40 tackles and eight sacks this year. Rated the No. 19 prospect in Tennessee, he also had offers from Arizona State, Syracuse, Louisville and Vanderbilt, among others.

DE Seth Dooley (6-5, 230 pounds) – From Glenvar High in Salem, Va., Dooley received an offer from Virginia Tech at the team’s recruiting camp in early July and almost immediately committed to the Hokies. Recruited by offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring, Dooley is a three-star prospect and is considered the No. 28 recruit in the state. He only played two years of high school football and had 93 tackles, 22 tackles for loss and four sacks as a senior this season. Dooley also had offers from James Madison, Norfolk State and VMI.

DL Nigel Williams (6-3, 270 pounds) – From The Benedictine School in Richmond, Williams was another defensive line commit from Virginia Tech’s July recruiting camp. Recruited by Shane Beamer and Jim Cavanaugh, he is a three-star recruit who is considered the No. 15 player in the state and a top-50 defensive tackle nationally this year – though he could play end in college. He finished with 57 tackles, including 20.5 for loss and eight sacks, during his season season. Williams chose the Hokies over offers from Maryland, North Carolina State and Virginia, among others.

Mark Giannotto is a Montgomery County native who covers high school sports for The Washington Post. He previously covered Virginia and Virginia Tech football for five years.


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