November 27, 2010

Visitor pulls trigger for Hokies

It's a big day on campus and even before kickoff Virginia Tech has pulled in a commitment. Who is the fourteenth pledge for the Hokies class?

"I just committed to Virginia Tech," Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha kicker Michael Branthover said. "I was thinking about it. I had an offer from Maryland and a Virginia Tech offer.

"Maryland wasn't offering exactly what I wanted. I wasn't totally sure if it was a redshirt, greyshirt or what, it was questionable. Maryland told me they wanted me in training camp next year as a greyshirt. I didn't want to take a whole semester off.

"Virginia Tech was something better. Tech obviously wants me to punt or kick and offered me a scholarship in the second semester. So I thought, why not while I'm here on Saturday commit. When I saw Coach Beamer right before he went out on the field, he said it was great news. He then said, 'Now let's get the win.' I can't wait for the game."

He went further on Beamer's reaction.

"I'm pretty sure he knew it was coming," he said. "I love Virginia Tech, I'm wearing a Virginia Tech polo right now. I came ready and am now a Hokie."

Branthover was sold on a few things about Tech.

"It's a nice school," he said. "It's a beautiful campus and they are ranked now 13th in the nation. They are really consistent and Virginia Tech's special teams coach knows what he's doing. Coach Hite is a DeMatha guy, he knows Coach McGregor and it's good exposure. It's kind of like DeMatha, it's a brotherhood.

"Coming down to it there were no secrets to Virginia Tech. They have always been pretty good."

The 5-foot-10, 170-pounder noted Hite's connection to DeMatha and discussed that further as well.

"That was really big, his mom still lives up there and he was talking about her to me," he said. "He told me she's still moving around and doing great. I should see him soon again with the contact period coming up. Coach Sherman is up ever so often too."

Branthover was joined on his visit today by his father.

"My dad is with me and he is real happy for me along with mom and sisters."

Meanwhile, Branthover has made it no secret the Hokies have been high on his list for awhile, so how big is it to officially join Virginia Tech today?

"This has been huge since I stepped on campus in April," he said. "It's just beautiful here. I just saw the finished locker room and that is really something. Wow, that is nice. I don't think I've ever seen a locker like that, it's six feet taller than me, it's incredible.

"I'm happy I'm all done with my decision. It's been intense, but it's a great moment."

In terms of his possible job, Branthover will compete for the punter position first upon his arrival on campus this summer.

"Coach Beamer wants me to punt, he's not sure on the kicking job with (Chris) Hazley being a senior," he said. "He's not sure what's there with (Brian) Saunders graduating too and the other punters haven't been producing the way Beamer likes."

Obviously there appears to be an immediate spot available and he discussed that more.

"I've just got to come out and compete," he said. "I need to work out in the weight room in the offseason and of course, I got the Crab Bowl on December 19th and the Chesapeake Bowl on December 27th to give me more looks to get ready."

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