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Hokie recruiting. though this was interesting

John Iezzi went on a Hokie podcast called Sons of Saturday (Spotify Link) and really peeled back the curtain on why VT's recruiting seems to have taken such a nose dive. I mean, they had the worst class in all of the Power 5, with only one 4 star and only 3 TOTAL ranked in the Top 1000 composite.

Honestly one of the more revealing interviews I've heard from someone actively employed by a school.

The podcast is long (like, 89 minutes long), and I haven't gotten all the way through, but basically it sounds like Beamer fell asleep at the wheel, they fell behind in modern recruiting strategy, and are trying to right the ship now. Here's some highlights: (EDITED TO ADD FULL NOTES)

-First off, this is obviously Fuente-endorsed damage control, but the guy didn't come in with rehearsed answers.

-On staff departures: "The part of the interview where Iezzi stated he took over the 2020 class recruiting lead after Cantor left (and basically took all of his info with him) explains quite a bit as to why our class this year suffered. Cantor controlled most aspects of the operation when he was here and Iezzi and Diethorn had to start from scratch late in the game. I also think our 2018 season and Foster's departure with no clear path at DC/staff moving forward were additional reasons why our recruiting suffered greatly in 2020." This is what I meant by staff departures leaving a void.

-“there were two situations where recruits referenced our fan base as reasons why they weren’t committing to Virginia Tech” then Iezzi goes on and says the recruits loved Fuente but didn’t like seeing all the hate and instability on Twitter (Aka their fanbase is toxic and it's affecting recruiting)

-More on this: when players would announce their transfer or declare early for the draft recently, they'd get mercilessly assaulted by VT fans on Twitter, a public platform where everyone, include recruits and their parents, can see what people post. Shooting themselves in the foot.

-Their entire board seems split between "our Twitter fans are heinous" and "everyone's Twitter fans are heinous."

-Apparently some legitimately thought his name was "Lezzi" and not Iezzi. Ya know, because apparently capitalizing your last name is optional in Blacksburg

-So I heard wrong, their recruiting department didn't EXIST until 2014. And then, it was just one guy (Cantor?) until the new staff came in

-More context on HUDL: The premium account cost $3,000, almost all of the FBS has used it for over a decade to review prospect film and expand their recruiting pool. It's a standard support expense. One guys D3 team has had it since 2012...VT didn't have it until 2018. They didn't have $3K in the budget to buy some software that everyone already had, at every level of college football. And then, when they did get it, Fuente didn't even know they had it (not sure the accuracy of this last bit tbh).

-Barely related, but apparently the Hokie club didn't even have CRM software until 2 years ago either. Dothese people just assume we're still in 1997?

-He basically confirmed Fuente took a meeting with Baylor because the staff needed more investment from the AD just to be able to start catching up to their competitors. They've been under-budgeted and under-staffed for years and somehow managed to put decent classes together...until this year

-"Iezzi pointed out that the 2020 VA recruits were an extremely weak class. Not many kids they were interested in. Additionally, he said over the past decade, VA has not put out great kids. He mentioned though that this 21' class in VA is the best they've seen in a while and there will be a heavy push to get those guys"...Lmao, guess "he wasn't a take" is their final answer.

Basically, they're the cautionary tale at this point. If you aren't constantly pushing to make new connections, elevate your brand, and improving your strategy, you'll get demolished.

If anyone has time to do a thorough listen, I'm sure the board would love to read what you heard.

Posted: 02/11/2020 at 12:18PM


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Current Thread:
Hokie recruiting. though this was interesting -- heeljeff 02/11/2020 12:18PM
  Recruits see the mess going on in Blacksburg... -- Wahoos79 02/12/2020 09:55AM
  Thanks for the very imformative post. ** -- Hoos in da house 02/12/2020 07:58AM
  That guy is going to be let go. ** -- Mark Knophler 02/11/2020 7:20PM
  They are in good position for 2021 ** -- DTsBicep 02/11/2020 3:17PM
  Couldn't happen to a classier bunch. ** -- DubbleHoo 02/11/2020 2:48PM
  Completely self serving. -- Chuck Taylor 02/11/2020 2:42PM
  30 out of 22 starters...LMAO ** -- Buckeye Hoo 02/12/2020 1:31PM
  Glory Days ** -- Mark Knophler 02/11/2020 4:07PM
  This has always been my favorite talking point of theirs -- Kent Hoo Fan 02/11/2020 3:24PM
  Owen Wilson voice Wow ** -- PWillis52 02/11/2020 1:46PM
  Summation: Hokie football;douchebags being douchebags. ** -- Hoobedoobedoo 02/11/2020 1:29PM
  Me chuckles ** -- DearOleUVA 02/11/2020 1:28PM
  Wishful thinking on your part. ** -- edgarallenwrench 02/11/2020 1:42PM
  Best fans ever!! ** -- Mad Bowl Hoo 02/11/2020 12:24PM

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