Tyrell Smith should have no problem with the lofty ambitions that surround Virginia Tech football each season. The Hokies’ most recent recruiting commitment hails from one of the nation’s most successful high school programs.
A rising senior offensive lineman, Smith attends Don Bosco Prep in Ramsey, N.J. Under coach Greg Toal, a former Tech fullback, the Ironmen won six consecutive private school state titles from 2006-11 before dipping to 8-3 last season, their worst finish since 1999.
Various publications and polls awarded Don Bosco Prep national championships in 2009 and ’11.
Smith is the Hokies’ 12th commitment for 2014, the fourth from out-of-state and the second offensive lineman, clearly a position of need. He pledged late Tuesday night via Twitter, 24 hours after defensive back/receiver Shawn Payne of L.C. Bird High near Richmond did the same.
Like Payne, Smith earned a scholarship offer from Tech by showing well at a recent camp in Blacksburg. According to Rivals.com, Florida Atlantic and Massachusetts also offered him.
I’ve been unable to reach Toal this morning, but he told the Roanoke Times’ Andy Bitter that Miami and Rutgers also had shown interest in Smith and that Smith had attended camps at Boston College and Maryland.
Toal’s sons, Greg and Brian, played at Boston College — Brian, a linebacker, broke a fibula against Tech in 2008. The elder Toal lettered at Tech in 1974 for coach Jimmy Sharpe.
As you’d expect for a renowned program, commitments and signings are SOP at Bosco. Tight end Tom Sweeney pledged to Boston College this week, and acclaimed defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad signed with Miami in February.
And let’s not forget the Ironmen’s most notable football product, my long lost cousin, quarterback Mike Teel, who played at Rutgers.
Rivals lists Smith at 6-foot-4, 260 pounds. Toal told Bitter that Smith is 6-5, 255.
Outside linebackers coach Cornell Brown was Smith’s primary recruiter, with assistance from new offensive line coach Jeff Grimes.
Like Bosco, Tech in 2012 endured a down season by its standards. The Hokies were 7-6, their worst mark since 1992.
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