Despite the fact that last season was his first playing high school football, wide receiver Brent Vinson out of Hampton (Va.) Phoebus is in the swing of recruiting and just recently got back from a trip to Virginia Tech. Will he continue the Phoebus link to Blacksburg or will he follow a former teammate to Charlottesville? Or perhaps neither?
"I loved it there, I like the atmosphere and there are a lot of people from around this area, the 757, who I grew up with," he said. "I felt real comfortable and at home there and the coaches made me feel comfortable, I felt like I didn't have to put on an act for them."
Vinson wasn't sure about Virginia Tech because of a former teammate.
"At first, I didn't think I'd like it because Phillip Brown, who used to go to Phoebus, wants me to go to UVA and has told me a lot about UVA, but I went for myself and enjoyed the visit. I plan on going back up for their spring game on April 16th.
"What I liked about the coaches was that they could care less if you're an athlete, their main focus is to get you an education and I like that. They also recognize their players for grades. I'll be going up there a lot more because they surprised me a lot."
The Hokies have now moved way up Vinson's list.
"The visit puts them at the top of the list," he said. "They'll be one of my first choices of schools. I enjoyed the visit and enjoyed Virginia Tech. I like that it's a good ways from home which keeps me focused."
Vinson also recently took a visit to Virginia two weeks ago.
"That's a good school and I like them too," he said. "I'm comfortable there too and I know most of the players there, I'm really cool with Marques Hagans (UVA quarterback," he said. "I like a lot of the training they do there, it's really advanced and includes a lot of running technique training and that's what I enjoy doing. I like Al Groh too because he's a straight-up honest person and he doesn't feed you lies. He tells you what you need to do and it's up to you to get it done. He was also a previous coach in the NFL."
How would he compare the visit to Virginia with Virginia Tech?
"I never knew that there were two schools in the state that are so different," he said. "Virginia is based around being calm, while Virginia Tech is calm too, but they have fun and do the work. Right now, I think Virginia Tech has got it a little over Virginia, but we'll see."
Other schools Vinson is looking at include West Virginia and Miami.
"I basically like the ACC schools because that's where the most competitiveness and talent is," he said. "The ACC is becoming one of the biggest conferences.
"I like Miami because it's a nice location to be and it's a good ways from home and I can be focused on my work. I want to get a chance to learn more about them though. This is going to sound silly to say, but I like West Virginia's uniforms."
Besides receiving interest in football, Vinson is also being recruited as a basketball prospect.
"I'm going to try to wait and keep my options open, but I had a couple 42-point games last year," he said. "I'm being recruited for basketball by Penn State, UNC-Wilmington, Mount St. Mary's, Virginia and Virginia Tech."
Is there a sport that Vinson would prefer to play?
"I thought I'd like to play basketball in college until I was in eighth grade, because I got bored with football," he said. "Then I realized that I didn't want to finish my high school career without playing football and now I'm starting to like football more again. I'd like to play both of them to keep me busy."
Is there a team the 6-foot-3, 185-pounder likes for basketball?
"I like Virginia Tech," he said. "Since they just now got into the ACC and I'd like to play for them and make them a better basketball team if I decide to go there. I also like Virginia too."
As for mail, Vinson is currently receiving recent interest from Pittsburgh and Kansas State.
"I've been told that Phoebus has never gotten mail from Kansas State and that has motivated me a lot," he said. "I might be going to Pittsburgh for a camp. I don't know too much about them, but I like the school and I want to learn more about them. I think Dave Wannstedt is a good coach and he knows my recreation league coach."
This spring Vinson is taking time off from basketball to prepare for the Virginia Tech Nike Camp. With all his work running hills and working on his speed, Vinson is certainly looking to make a name for himself his senior year.
"I want to try to be one of the best wide receivers to come out of Phoebus," he said. "Phoebus is always known as a running team, but I want to make them more known as a passing team. I'd also like to be one of the top wide receivers in the region."
Vinson's position in college is still somewhat of a question mark.
"I'm being recruited as both a cornerback and wide receiver," he said. "Right now I prefer wide receiver because it was the first position I played, while I didn't start playing cornerback until four games left in the season. I earned my respect there against Todd Nolen of Hampton as I contained him the whole game and even got an interception."
This summer Vinson is planning to take in camps at Virginia, Virginia Tech and Pittsburgh.
Last season, the wide receiver prospect was named all-district wide receiver and first team all-district in basketball.