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Tuesday, July 2, 2013
Mitchell plans to return VT to prominence

By Jared Shanker

Tyrod Taylor left Virginia Tech after the 2010 season, but he is still making a difference for the Hokies. Virginia Tech’s newest commit has been a Hokies fan since watching Taylor in Blacksburg.

Paramus (N.J.) Catholic interior offensive lineman Billy Ray Mitchell committed to Virginia Tech on Tuesday.

“It’s always been a great program with Beamer Ball,” Mitchell said, “and I grew up loving Tyrod Taylor. I loved to follow him.”

Mitchell, 6-foot-4 and 285 pounds, committed to the Hokies over NC State. Ever since Virginia Tech offered, the Hokies have led. Mitchell took visits to other programs, such as NC State, and he visited Ole Miss in early June, but neither program offered what Virginia Tech did for him. The Rebels did not offer Mitchell, whose father played for the Rebels, but he said at no point did the Hokies play second fiddle to the Rebels, despite family ties.

Although the Hokies have led for several months, Mitchell just wanted to be sure he was making the right choice.

“A lot of people thought Virginia Tech was playing second fiddle, but that wasn’t the case,” he said. “Virginia Tech has been my leader the whole time. It’s a big decision, and I wanted to weigh my options and make sure I made the right one.”

A fan of the Hokies for several years, Mitchell fondly remembers when Virginia Tech was in the national title hunt most seasons. The 2012 season was unkind to Frank Beamer, however, as the Hokies fell to 7-6 after eight consecutive seasons of double-digit wins.

Mitchell will do his best to get Virginia Tech back to that place, beginning with recruiting for the 2014 class.

“I want to get them back to the level they used to be at. They used to be a contender for a national championship, and the last few years Virginia Tech hasn’t done as well as it’s used to,” he said. “I want to contribute as soon as possible and put together a good class and get it to where it belongs.”