September 20, 2010

Hughes breaks down official to Tech

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Virginia Tech had an official visitor on campus this past weekend in linebacker Travis Hughes from Virginia Beach (Va.) Kempsville. The Rivals250 prospect took his second straight official and came away impressed.

"It went really well," he said. "I got there on Friday and just went to the hotel. I woke up Saturday morning and ate breakfast with Coach Newsome on campus.

"Then, I went to go see Coach Beamer and meet with the academic coordinator. I spent a little time over there and it was a pretty good tour. I wanted to see the programs they have for the majors that I want to get into, criminal justice and sociology. They have a pretty good course for criminal deviance. It's a bit different from Maryland, as it's more criminology, sociology and psychology, but it was pretty good."

Following his academic tour, Hughes went back to see the new Tech locker room.

"It wasn't my first time there, I had seen it when they were working on it," he said. "It's huge, that's the biggest locker room I've been in."

Of course, Hughes in part was there for the game and the significance of the Hokies getting their first victory wasn't lost on him.

"The game started off slow, it was pretty exciting the whole day," he said. "In the second half they really came around and looked like the Virginia Tech of old. They were getting after it like they are supposed to and looked really good. They were real exciting.

"The linebackers had a lot of missed tackles, but they made adjustments in the second half and did a much better job. I think they had some alignment problems, that's what Bud Foster told me. Lyndell and Bruce Taylor had real good games and were making plays. I liked what I saw from the linebackers, Virginia Tech is an aggressive team and they blitz the mess out of them. I love blitzing teams, they get after it."

After the game, Hughes went out to dinner with Coach Curt Newsome and Bud Foster and then spent time with his host, Lyndell Gibson.

"We had an awesome time," he said. "I was with the players the whole night and it was good to see Lyndell. He had a great game and all the players were excited about their first win of the season. Lyndell is funny. I love him to death; he's an awesome host for me. I remember in ninth grade Lyndell inducted me into high school football when he laid me out as a freshman. He's still laying people out. I got a good feel from him on the visit."

While on campus, Hughes spent time with a lot of the prospects from the 757.

"I hung out with just about every 757 boy up there, Tony Gregory and Nick Dew," he said. "I didn't hang out with Tyrod (Taylor) too much, but I saw him earlier in the day."

Before heading out on Sunday, the No. 9 inside linebacker in the country had a final meeting with Frank Beamer.

"Coach Beamer is a good guy, he's a great coach out there and just signed a six year contract extension with them, I know he's going to be there," he said. "They have a stable coaching staff and that's by far the most stable in the ACC. I'm real happy about that. Coach Beamer expressed to me that he wanted me up there with him and the university can help me and I can help them out.

"I also credit Coach Beamer, the way he took all the bad press and came out with a pretty solid win. I still want to see if they really are the team they are supposed to be as they got Boston College coming up. I know this was a pretty important game to start off their season and hopefully they can build on that win."

Overall Hughes was impressed.

"It was a good visit overall. I went with my father and grandfather," he said. "I loved seeing the fan support."

So, with a good visit, does Hughes have any favorites now?

"I can't give out a favorite right now," he said. "A lot of stuff is changing. I do like Virginia and they have come back in the picture. I like how they are looking and the way they went out to USC. I think they should have won that game. I'm actually thinking about making a visit there an official. I love the coaching staff over there and I have players and friends there. I definitely don't want to overlook it since it's two and a half hours away.

"In general, recruiting is getting harder too as I'm trying to narrow it down. I would still like to decide by the end of October, but that's getting hard. I want to see what happens at North Carolina first."

Although Hughes next visit is technically set for LSU on October 1st, he is unsure about his plans and is readjusting his schedule at this time. He maintains he's continuing to look at LSU, Clemson, Maryland and North Carolina as well.

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Brian Mohr has covered recruiting in the mid-Atlantic since 2004 and has covered Virginia Tech since 2006 for To contact Brian, please email him at [email protected] for questions, comments or tips, which are always welcome and appreciated

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