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July 13, 2009

Shuman tops Virginia Private School Class

To say Virginia's private schools are 'loaded' with D-I football prospects this year might be an understatement. Already, five prospects from the privates have made D-I commitments. Topping our list of the Top 30 Private School Prospects is Fork Union offensive tackle Mark Shuman. The 6-foot-6, 280 pound left tackle prospect ended his recruitment in April when he gave Virginia Tech a verbal commitment. Ranked

The younger brother of Ryan Shuman, the starting senior center for the Virginia Tech Hokies, Mark Shuman has been on the recruiting radar for quite some time now. Fork Union head coach and father of the prospect, John Shuman, says, "He is a very good athlete, he's rangy and has good speed and good hands. He plays on both sides of the ball with a lot of energy. The dominating thing he's got is his footwork. He's an elite left tackle that everyone is looking for. Coaches hear about him and they know he's a coach's son, but when they see him at camp they are impressed. In one-on-ones he's very good blocking with the pass and run." He had offers from Virginia Tech, Tennessee, Georgia, Virginia, Rutgers, North Carolina, N.C. State, Duke and Notre Dame among others, before deciding to pick the Hokies!

Though his father coaches the Fork Union Post-Graduate football team, Mark plays for Micky Sullivan, who coaches the under-graduate FUMA football team. Sullivan shared some comments about his commitment and abilities about Mark with VirginiaPreps.com's Rod Johnson earlier this year:

"I don't know that any one factor pushed him over the top (commitment). You have to know Mark. He is not infatuated with the recruiting process. I think that he just decided 'this is where I am going, so let's get it over with and move on'; that's Mark. He liked Virginia Tech and he liked the atmosphere there. He likes the coaches and he's got a longstanding relationship with Coach Cavanaugh who recruited his dad to VMI. We talked about the different options, but Virginia Tech is where he wants to go."

According to Sullivan, the Hokies are getting a good one in Shuman.

"He's got great feet. He moves exceptionally well for a big guy. Not only is he a great athlete, but because of his genetics -- his dad was a great college player and his brother is a great college player and now, here comes Mark and he's bigger than both of them -- people are looking at him and thinking that he's going to get even bigger. I think that he's going to be even better than what they [Virginia Tech] think."

Sullivan is obviously excited about Shuman's future, with good reason.

"He's probably going to get at least another inch taller and, once he's in their weight program, he'll gain thirty or so pounds, so in a few years, you are looking at a 6-foot-8, 310-pound tackle who's athletic. He is one of, if not the best, undergrad basketball players in the school. He has enough athletic ability to be great even if he was smaller, but because he is big and going to get bigger, he is going to be really good."

Sullivan also likes Shuman's mental approach not only to the game but also to how he approached recruiting.

"He didn't get all caught up in that. He understood that everyone thought that he was going to go to Tech, but he looked at a lot of places and during all this stuff, Mark Shuman has always been Mark Shuman. He's a good coach's son who really knows the game."

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