Rounding Out VT's 2014 Recruiting Class With The Newest Members Of "DBU"

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

With signing day finally here, let's examine the new Hokies who will vie for top billing on Tech's elite "D-Block"

At last, National Signing Day is here. I won't be going in depth on the historical classes as I've done in the past few articles, rather refer to Krista's great article on the "DBU" and the legacy they've created: D-Block

Check out the summaries on the incoming defensive backs and athletes and where we think they'll end up!

Holland Fisher – Manchester (Midlothian, VA)

6’1" 200lbs

24/7 – 4*

Rivals – 4*

Offers: VT and Penn St.

Holland Fisher #1 (via Hunter Bottoms)

Holland Fisher, a standout consensus four star athlete out of the greater Richmond area is set to re-sign with the Hokies after having to prep in 2013 at Fork Union Military Academy. Rated the No. 1 prep school player in the nation by 247 sports, Fisher was also an Under Armour All-American. He will report to Blacksburg on May 27, which is when summer one session begins.

Fisher has been listed a potential free safety, strong safety (rover) but I feel he will ultimately end up at the "WHIP" linebacker spot which will accentuate his abilities to make tackles in space while being able to cover wide receivers, tight ends and running backs at various spots on the field. I expect Fisher will challenge for a place on the two deep at WHIP and Rover.

Travon McMillian - C. D. Hylton (Woodbridge, VA)

6’1’ 203lbs

24/7 – 3*

Rivals – 3*

Offers: VT, Auburn, Tennessee and 11 others

Travon McMillian - Final Highlights 2012 (via Travon McMillian)

Travon McMillian out of Hylton High School is an interesting prospect. Playing in talent rich Northern Virginia, McMillian spent the bulk of his stellar high school career at quarterback. While most feel it’s a foregone conclusion that he will be switched to wide receiver or safety, watching his film running the spread-veer option shows a lot of explosive plays and speed.

I feel Coach Scot Loeffler should oblige and give McMillian a legitimate shot at QB, as I see a lot of similarities to Hokie great Tyrod Taylor. Ok, quiet down with the laughter I’m being serious. While he may not be the complete passer that Taylor was, not many 18 year olds really are, he’s a dual threat in every sense of the word and a smart young man who plans to major in engineering. McMillian garnered offers from Cal and GT; two highly prestigious academic institutions. We all know to play QB, you can’t be "no dummy.’ If quarterback doesn’t work out for him, he certainly has the ability to see the field early as a play maker with the ball in his hands or help fill depth in the defensive secondary.

D.J. Reid – Thomas Dale (Chester, VA)

6’1" 195lbs

24/7 –  3*

Rivals – 3*

Offers: VT

DJ Reid (via VirginiaSportsMedia1)

If there ever was a "utility" player much like they classify in baseball, it’s D.J. Reid. Reid, who had to prep for a year along with classmate Holland Fisher at Fork Union is versatile enough to play running back, receiver in the slot or in the defensive backfield. In high school alone, Reid played QB in the wildcat formation, tailback, safety, outside linebacker while returning kicks and punts. Reid also catches the ball very well and has great speed. All things considered this will definitely help him get on the field sooner than later. Depending on how the roster shakes out in the spring with forthcoming attrition and position swaps, it will have a big impact on whether Reid is seriously considered for playing time in 2014.

Xavier Burke - Brunswick (Lawrenceville, VA)

6’4" 250lbs

24/7 – 3*

Rivals – 3*

Offers: VT

#8 Xavier Burke 2013 Highlights (via Quintin Williams)

Xavier Burke, who was lightly regarded coming out of Brunswick High School in Lawrenceville, VA (south side of Virginia) is also a versatile athlete. Burke, has played quarterback, running back, tight end, defensive line, outside linebacker and even safety. He further displays his overall athleticism as a three sport star playing basketball and running track.

Burke will ultimately end up at tight end or on the defensive line, that will be determined this fall as I expect him to take a red-shirt while he adjusts to the speed of major division one football. Burke is certainly the definition of under the radar, but so was a guy named Kam Chancellor who rated as a low three star and collected offers from only JMU and Kent St. In no way am I comparing the two, just putting star ratings in perspective and sometimes playing in a lower classification with less talent sometimes gets you overlooked. I’m rooting for Burke, and hope he establishes himself as a productive player for Tech.

*Interesting tidbit, his uncle on his father’s side is former NFL WR Plaxico Burress. Good bloodlines FWIW.

Tabyus Taylor - Hopewell (Hopewell, VA)

6’1" 220lbs

24/7 – 3*

Rivals – 2*

Offers: VT & JMU

Tabyus Taylor's First College Offer: Virginia Tech (via 804football)

Hopewell, VA native Tabyus Taylor played wide receiver and quarterback for the most part of his high school career. The majority of his QB play, though were designed runs from the read-option. Taylor will probably start his career at running back, but will most likely have to grey-shirt due to not having qualifying test scores at the moment. This will benefit Taylor in the long run, as it will put some distance between him and the log jam the Hokies suddenly have at RB.

In reviewing his high school film, Taylor is a power runner who will not be easy to take down. Tech will benefit from having a diversity of different running styles with it’s stable of running backs, particularly a power back such as Taylor as the Hokies have struggled mightily with its short yardage runs up the gut in recent years.

Greg Stroman - Stonewall Jackson (Manassas, VA)

6’0" 162lbs

24/7 – 3*

Rivals – 2*

Offers: VT, Wisconsin, UVa and 5 others

Greg Stroman Class Of 2014 Stonewall Jackson High School Senior Highlights "" Virginia Tech Commit"" (via Greg Stroman)

Joining Travon McMillian from Prince William County, Manassas, VA native Greg Stroman was the leader and quarterback for his Stonewall Jackson Raiders. While Stroman may be slight in stature, he has exceptional speed and agility, one of those players who can "stop on a dime" and make cuts that only some dream of doing on the football field.

While Coach Torrian Gray thinks Stroman is going to be slotted immediately at cornerback, I think you give a guy with that homerun ability a shot on offense first. His film is chalk full of explosive plays and jaw dropping moves, I believe his skills will be better served with the ball in his hands. Maybe I’m being over-sensitive to the offense, since we’ve been so anemic the past two seasons, but I want a "swiss army knife" choice of weapons! It will be fun to see where Stroman ends up, because he’s a definite baller.

C.J. Reavis - Thomas Dale (Chester, VA)

6’2" 207lbs

24/7 – 4*

Rivals – 4*

Offers: VT, Miami, Ohio St, Oklahoma, Tennessee and 13 others

CJ Reavis Senior Highlight Video (via hokiefan513)

"Reavis Island", already well known by the Hokie faithful for his twitter presence and constant selling of the Virginia Tech football program to other touted recruits. There may be nobody more proud of the fact that he will be putting on the orange and maroon in Blacksburg this fall than Reavis. He has the bravado and skill that embodies "DBU" and Reavis will no doubt continue the tradition of talented defensive backs at VT.

Hailing from Chester, VA and playing at Thomas Dale High School (ROV Desmond Frye and RB D.J. Reid also attended Thomas Dale) Reavis is expected to challenge immediately for playing time in the secondary. Whether that’s at corner or safety is yet to be determined. With an impressive offer list, Reavis never wavered from his commitment and he should be in line to perhaps compete for playing time in the thin Hokie secondary.

Terrell Edmunds - Dan River (Ringgold, VA)

6’2" 186lbs

24/7 – 3*

Rivals – 3*

Offers: VT, Cincinnati and Hampton

Terrell Edmunds (via ACC Recruiting)

Brother of Tech starting running back Trey Edmunds, Terrell Edmunds comes from a football family (father is former NFL TE Ferrell Edmunds) and apparently there is another brother waiting in the wings (Tremaine Edmunds). Fuller’s part deux? Edmunds, who prognosticators feel will be positioned at cornerback, is a versatile player who can certainly play offense if called upon. Running back and wide receiver, he has shown the ability to make big plays and is also a pretty good basketball player. With running back pretty much set, Edmunds will probably take a red-shirt and provide some depth at CB for 2015 and beyond.

Shawn Payne - Lloyd C. Bird (Chesterfield, VA)

6’3" 180lbs

24/7 – 3*

Rivals – 2*

Offers: VT & Charlotte

Shawn Payne (via ACC Recruiting)

L.C. Bird defensive back Shawn Payne, another under the radar recruit looks to make a name for himself and prove he’s better than the "experts" have him slotted in the rankings. Payne looks very active in the secondary and has shown the ability to lay the huge hit on unsuspecting pass catchers. I believe Payne will take a red-shirt and gain more seasoning on the scout team, preparing himself to compete for 2015.

This might be from top to bottom, the most talented group in the 2014 class. Especially with our WR class not panning out as we had hoped and with Javon Harrison flipping to Florida State. I expect Holland Fisher and C.J. Reavis to make an immediate impact on the two-deep, wherever the coaches may slot them. McMillian and Stroman have exceptional speed and game breaking skills, I hope we use them on offense but out of necessity may have to play in the defensive secondary.

We'll be back with a comprehensive recruiting wrap once all the Letter Of Intents are in. GO HOKIES!


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