Chip West has been recruiting his native Hampton Roads for most of the past 12 years, first for Colgate, then James Madison, Old Dominion and, now, Virginia.
But West never had a signing day like this: Nine of the Cavaliers' 26 recruits hail from the 757.
A graduate of Kecoughtan High, where he played for current Virginia Tech assistant Curt Newsome, West deflected credit and dismissed any suggestion that Virginia rules the area.
"I'm always learning," West said Wednesday. "I don't have all the answers. I just try to work as hard as I can, build the best relationships that I can and build trust."
West, who coaches the Cavaliers' cornerbacks, was well aware that U.Va. had struggled to sell Hampton Roads prospects under former coach Al Groh. That wasn't the case when West played at Kecoughtan and Cavaliers assistant Tom O'Brien mined the area for players such as Terry Kirby, Chris Slade and Jason Wallace.
"You view it as a challenge," West said. "No question, it's a competitive business. All of us love to win."
"Do you feel like you won today?" I asked.
"We have a ways to go," West said. "It's a work in progress. I feel as though we're making good (headway) in the 757. ... Since the time we got here it's been pretty positive, the reception from the coaches in the area."
And the advantage of head coach Mike London's Hampton Roads -- he's a Bethel graduate -- roots?
"No question it's huge," West said. "It's a great thing. We're blessed to have that."
Teel Time: Virginia assistant Chip West on recruiting the '757'
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