Patterson QB McGirt makes commitment to Virginia Tech


Patterson quarterback Willie McGirt verbally committed on Tuesday night to accept a full football scholarship to play at Virginia Tech, Patterson coach Roger Wrenn said yesterday.

McGirt, a second-team All-Metro and a second-team All-State pick, will sign a national letter of intent on Feb. 1, the first day of the NCAA's seven-day early signing period for fall athletes.

Others known to have verbally committed to signing on Feb. 1 are quarterback Bobby Sabelhaus (Florida) and defensive back Dwayne Stukes (Virginia), both of McDonogh, and Gilman's two-way lineman Alex Mueller (Notre Dame). All three athletes were All-Metro picks.

McGirt, who carries a 3.3 grade-point average, still has not scored 700 on the Scholastic Assessment Test, but Wrenn expects that McGirt will in time to maintain his four years of eligibility.

"Coach [Frank] Beamer and Rod Sharpless, Virginia Tech's state recruiter, met with McGirt, his mother, and myself this week. They are going to stick with him no matter what," said Wrenn, adding that McGirt turned down "a serious offer" from Syracuse.

The 6-foot-3, 195-pound McGirt runs a 4.6-second 40-yard -- and has an option style similar to that of graduating senior Maurice DeShazo, who the last two seasons led the Hokies through nationally ranked seasons of 9-3 and 8-4.

Virginia Tech, which runs a multiple offense, beat Indiana in the Independence Bowl in 1994 and lost to Tennessee in this year's Gator Bowl.

McGirt is expected to be redshirted next season, with junior Jim Druckenmiller, last year's No. 2 man, redshirt freshman Albert Clark, formerly of Archbishop Carroll in Washington, and redshirt sophomore Cody Whipple all returning to the Hokies' program.

"The word is that with DeShazo gone, it'll be a battle in the spring practices between Druckenmiller, who is a drop-back passer-type, and Clark, who is an option-style passer," said Virginia Tech athletic director Jack Williams.

NCAA rules forbid college coaches from commenting publicly on an athlete until they actually receive the letter of intent.

At Patterson, McGirt accounted for 57 career touchdowns on 253-for-441 passing for 3,429 yards, and rushed 150 times for 1,363 yards. This season, he rushed 78 times for 1,007 yards and 13 touchdowns, and went 76-for-123 passing for 1,042 yards and 12 touchdowns.

With McGirt Patterson's three-year record was 30-4, including an 11-1 record last season in which the Clippers were ranked No. 1 for the first time in the school's history.

"He's rushed and passed for over 1,000 yards, and as far as I know, he's one of the first guys to do it in this state," said Wrenn.

"I've been coaching in the area for 25 years, and with Sabelhaus going to Florida, this is the first time I can remember two quarterbacks from the Baltimore area signing with big-time schools in the same year."

Gilman won a share of the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association crown largely because of players like Mueller (6-5, 260), who has quick feet and is effective as both a drive blocker and pass protector.

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