January 27, 2012

Hokies pick up All-American

The pledges keep coming for the Hokies as Tech pulled a walk-on from down south earlier today. The 6-foot-3, 185-pounder elected for the Hokies over a pair of other offers.

"I committed about an hour ago," Jacksonville (Fla.) Bolles kicker Brooks Abbott said. "I told Shane Beamer and he was very excited. He told me so far no kickers from last year's roster are returning for next year. He saw me out at the U.S. Army All-American game and he was really excited."

Abbott actually started his official visit yesterday and is still on the trip until tomorrow.

"My host tonight is Brent Benedict and last night it was Griffin Hite," he stated. "I've talked to Brent a lot over the last couple weeks, we've gotten to know each other since he went to my school. He's helped me out through this."

Abbott clearly was impressed by his first visit to campus, but what made him pick the Hokies over offers from Army and Western Kentucky?

"I really loved the visit and thought it was the right choice, everybody here definitely loves Virginia Tech," he said. "It's just the people that surround the football program and the academic buildings. I talked to people that graduated from Tech and they must love the place to work where they graduated from, it seems like a great place."

There was more from the visit that sold Abbott.

"I've been impressed with everything," he said. "My family and I kind of felt like Virginia Tech was going to be the place and then we had our coach face-to-face meeting and the meeting itself didn't sell me, but when we sat down, my father and I with Coach Beamer, we talked about it and decided we felt right at home. I'm very excited about the opportunity."

The chance to play under Frank Beamer was big as well.

"All the coaches seem like very trustworthy guys that are committed to the program," he said. "The fact that Coach Beamer has been there so long, that's a big factor. He emphasizes the kicking game and he is going to keep an eye on me. It's not a graduate assistant. He respects the kicking game and he makes time for it to make sure it does the right thing during the game."

Abbott is ecstatic with his choice.

"I'm glad to have this opportunity," he said. "I really want to come in and show my stuff, help Virginia Tech win some football games and a national title. I'll do anything I can to help them out, I'm glad to be here."

In terms of his chances, Abbott was told he's got a good chance to see the field this fall.

"They are saying I should win the start for kickoffs," he said. "They are not promising anything, but if I execute to my ability I'll definitely be the contender for kickoffs and in competition for field goals. They haven't talked about when they'd offer if I get one of those.

"I do punt and I'm starting to work on that a lot as that makes me more valuable since I know they are not very solid punting. I'll do anything I can to make myself more valuable."

Abbott his 11-of-15 field goals with a long of 47-yards this year. He posted 85% on touchbacks on the season and averaged 41-yards per punt.

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