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June 1, 2012

VT Commitments Receive Ranking Changes

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It's been a week of change among the Rivals.com football rankings.

On Tuesday, the Rivals100 was released, as Virginia Tech target Kendall Fuller bumped up one spot to No. 3 in the country, still the nation's best cornerback.

But while potential Hokies jostled for rankings positions, Hokie commitments saw jumps as well.

On Tuesday, Virginia Tech's highest ranked commitment, to date, Manchester (Va.) safety/linebacker Holland Fisher saw a slight drop, moving from No. 72 in the Rivals100 to No. 82. But Fisher has still shown he has the ability to successful for the Hokies.

He's ranked as the No. 7 safety in the country.

"Fisher looked as good as he has at the safety position and is off-the-charts when it comes to athleticism," Rivals.com national analyst Mike Farrell said of Fisher after the VTO Sports Virginia camp in April. "He broke on the ball well, was very physical and despite covering solo essentially as a cornerback, he stayed with almost everyone."

Fisher's performance earned him the No. 3 ranking of all defensive backs at the VTO camps by Rivals. He'll also participate at the prestigious Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge June 22-24 in Atlanta.

Not earning quite as high of a ranking, but certainly also proving his worth was Salem (Va.) quarterback Bucky Hodges. Like Fisher, Hodges also stumbled a bit in the new rankings, checking in at No. 217 after his No. 202 previous ranking. He's the No. 12 pro-style quarterback in the country.

Statesville (NC) quarterback Carlis Parker is the next highest rated Virginia Tech commitment, with a three-star, 5.7 Rivals Rating that has him ranked No. 17 among dual-threat quarterbacks.

Parker's ranking didn't change with the newest rankings.

Four other Hokie commitments saw new rankings next to their name.

After an impressive spring, Salem (Va.) linebacker Andrew Motuapuaka was given the ranking of the No. 33 inside linebacker in the country.

Matuapuaka made a splash at the Chesapeake Bowl selection camp last month in Washington D.C. Farrell, who was on hand, said he was impressed with how Matuapuaka handled himself against some top competition.

"Motuapuaka is a very solid linebacker with great field awareness and coverage abilities," Farrell said of Matuapuaka's performance at the camp. "Many times during the 7-on-7 drills Motuapuaka was calling out the coverage and making sure people were lined up correctly. He had the speed to keep up with the running backs and didn't bite on many double moves. The future Hokie should work on his explosiveness and ability to close on the receiver, but he has excellent instincts. He's a bit stubby in his build which could be troublesome against some big tight ends down the line, but he was very impressive in coverage and running with faster players."

Henrico (Va.) athlete Cequan Jefferson saw a bump to the No. 43 athlete in the country. Jefferson's big performance came at the Nike Training Camp last month in Baltimore. He also performed well at the Virginia VTO Sports camp in April, earning the No. 3 defensive back ranking by Rivals for the camp.

"Jefferson is very shifty, has a thick build and he is an aggressive player in press coverage," Farrell said after his VTO performance. "He was very solid and worked with the A group all day long, showing he could play with the big boys."

Patrick Henry (Va.) athlete David Prince is now ranked No. 58 as Rivals.com analysts were impressed with his highlight film and seeing him last year.

Lastly, Liberty Christian Academy (Va.) offensive tackle Braxton Pfaff turned in a pair of impressive performances this spring, at the Virginia VTO Sports camp in April and at the Chesapeake Bowl selection camp last month in Washington D.C.

Farrell was on hand for both and ranked Pfaff the No. 61 offensive tackle in the country.

"Pfaff has good size and he is a willing combatant," Farrell said after the DC camp. "When he doesn't lunge or get off balance and keeps his feet moving, he can be very good. It's when he backs straight up rather than kick slide and reaches with his arms where he gets in trouble. A few mechanical tweaks and he should be all set, but it will take some good coaching."

Kings Fork (Va.) cornerback Charles Clark, Hampton (Va.) athlete Deon Newsome and Warhill (Va.) offensive lineman Parker Osterloh all remained at three stars and a 5.5 rating.

North Stafford (Va.) safety Anthony Shegog is the lone commit not rated, but that should change with the addition of his film, which is being reviewed by Rivals analysts.



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