July 19, 2010

Hokies land commitment No. 8

It's been nearly a month since the Hokies landed their last commitment. Virginia Tech got back on the board earlier this evening with a pledge. Who's the latest player to pick the Hokies?

"I committed just a few minutes ago," Suffolk (Va.) Nansemond River defensive end Dewayne Alford said. "I talked to Coach Newsome and he just said he was vey excited and very proud of me. He said I was what they were looking for, a good player, a good character and a hard worker. He said he was really happy and if he could he was going to shout it from the rooftops. He was very excited to have me.

"He told me he thinks I have the ability and talent as well as the grades to play. Eventually he thinks I can get my masters and said he is really looking forward to me coming up there. He wants me to come up this fall to take in some games."

Alford picked the Hokies greyshirt offer over scholarships from James Madison and Old Dominion. He went into detail why he selected Tech.

"I went back and checked the academics on Virginia Tech," he said. "I felt good about the football, but it was more about academics and I felt like the academics are the first part. I looked at what I'll be studying, health, food and nutrition. It's a good program there that I can excel at and eventually they can help me become what I want to be, a physical therapist.

"I also felt comfortable with the coaching staff and the social life at Virginia Tech. I remember what Coach Wiles said to me at camp during drills. He told me, 'You're moving fast, but I want to see you move faster.' He pushed me and told me, 'I don't care what you have to do, move your arms everywhere,' I liked that. He tries to push his players.

"I like Coach Newsome too. He's a great guy and believed in me when others didn't. He stuck his neck out on the line for me and I really appreciated that. He's just a very genuine guy and real. He's got integrity and if you met him on the street you wouldn't know he's a football coach. He's happy go lucky and honest. As for Coach Beamer, I really like Coach Beamer and everything he stands for. I can see where the team gets it from, he's trying to build the future for athletics as well as the young man."

It wasn't just the coaches that were a major factor in Alford's choice; the defense he'll join helped too.

"They are one of the top defenses in the nation and who wouldn't want to join that."

The magnitude of landing an offer and then committing to the Hokies isn't overlooked by Alford.

"I'm very grateful to God for giving me this opportunity, it's once in a lifetime," he said. "Two years ago I was in private school and no one visited our school. The biggest person was a coach for Old Dominion and it was for basketball.

"I transferred from Portsmouth Christian to Nansemond River with something to prove. I wanted to show I could play at a higher level and it turns out I can compete at this level with the Phillip Sims and Evan Hailes.

"This offer was really big from Virginia Tech. I've really been working hard and sometimes wondered why nobody is really saying anything about me even though I felt I was competing better than other guys have. It all works out though and it really does show that hard work does pay off."

The season is quickly approaching, what are the 6-foot-3, 220-pounder's expectations for this fall and what he hopes to prove.

"More than anything I just want to get better," he said. "I've been fortunate to be able to work with coaches that saw more in me and pushed me to be able to go to Virginia Tech and I want to pass that on this season. I never was the superstar, I really worked and it really all paid off."

Alford plans to enroll at Tech in January 2012.

He earned honorable mention all-district honors as a junior this past season after posting 61 tackles, 10 for loss, six sacks and one fumble recovery.

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