2015 Football Recruiting in the Commonwealth of Virginia

Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

This is the first segment of a multi-piece project where we will take a look at the top football prospects in Virginia, where they come from, talent level in recruiting territories, and trends in recruiting within the Virginia Tech Football program. We will be following all of these promising recruits as high school camps gear up for next season. Here is a general overview of the top prospects in the 2015 Recruiting Class:

Like most college football teams, in-state recruiting for Virginia Tech is a top priority. The more talented in-state prospects that commit, the better for coaches recruiting trails and reputation among high schools and communities across the state. But as was discussed in previous posts, in recent years more and more Virginia prospects are being lured away by out of state football programs, and recruiting the top-tier prospects in Virginia has been a difficult task for the Hokies' coaching staff.

Currently there are 59 players in the NFL who went to high school in Virginia, ranking the state ninth on the list of most NFL players by state. What's even more interesting is that in terms of most NFL players by high school, Virginia's own Deep Creek High School in Chesapeake currently boasts five players in the NFL, which is good enough for second best behind St. Thomas Aquinas in Fort Lauderdale, Florida with ten. Deep Creek has produced Ras-I Dowling and Chris Crocker, along with former Hokies Darryl Tapp, James Anderson, and DeAngelo Hall.

Predicting where prospects will land is a tricky business that is both time consuming and mind numbing. But what we will do is begin by presenting you with and following Virginia's top players throughout the recruiting process (I like to use Rivals for my rankings so we'll start with Rivals rankings).

Other sites have different players and orders in their top 25 or 30. I used Rivals and VirginiaPreps back in high school as I followed recruiting and still do to this day, so I'll use it here. So here we go with the Top 25 prospects in Virginia for 2015 according to Rivals/VirginiaPreps:

LAST UPDATED RANKINGS: MARCH 22. 2014

NAME


POSITION


HEIGHT/WEIGHT


STAR-RATING

(RIVALS)

TOWN/SCHOOL


Josh Sweat

DE

6’5"/236

4

Chesapeake (Oscar Smith)

Garret Taylor

DB

6’1"/188

4

Richmond (St. Christopher’s)

Jahvoni Simmons

LB

6’2"/240

4

Virginia Beach (Ocean Lakes)

Ricky DeBerry

LB

6’2"/237

4

Richmond (St. Christopher’s)

Matthew Burrell, Jr.

OL

6’4"/286

4

Woodbridge (C.D. Hylton)

Tim Settle

DT

6’2"/307

4

Manassas (Stonewall Jackson)

Clelin Ferrell

DE

6’5"/220

4

Richmond (Benedictine)

Austin Clark

OL

6’5"/295

4

Lexington (Rockbridge)

AJ Turner

RB

5’10"/180

3

Clifton (Centreville)

Jaason Lewis

ATH

6’4"/246

4

Virginia Beach (Ocean Lakes)

Darvin Taylor II

DT

6’2"/311

4

Chester (Thomas Dale)

Chad Smith

LB

6’4"/210

3

Sterling (Dominion)

Trevon Hill

DE

6’2"/233

3

Virginia Beach (Salem)

Brandon Polk

WR

5’9"/150

3

Ashburn (Briar Woods)

Deshawn McClease

RB

5’10"/178

3

Chesapeake (Oscar Smith)

Aaron Crawford

DT

6’0"/303

3

Ashburn (Stone Bridge)

Harry Lewis

DT

6’0"/260

3

Hampton (Phoebus)

Juan Thornhill

DB

6’1"/175

3

Altavista (Altavista)

Aramis Alexander

WR

6’2"/222

3

Burke (Lake Braddock)

Justin Skule

OL

6’6"/305

3

Clifton (Centreville)

Chuck Davis

DB

5’10"/167

3

Ashburn (Broad Run)

Nhyre Quinerley

DB

5’10"/170

3

Norfolk (Lake Taylor)

Chance Hall

OL

6’4"/290

3

Roanoke (Northside)

Gary Jennings

ATH

6’2"/195

2

Stafford (Colonial Forge)

Jamez Brickhouse

DB

5’10"/165

3

Virginia Beach (Bayside)

Star Breakdown:

There are ten four-star recruits on this list, fourteen three-star recruits, and one two-star recruit, giving the Top 25 prospects an average star-rating of 3.36 according to Rivals/VirginiaPreps.

As we all know, star-ratings will change over time as the season progresses and eventually teams' coaches will mold players into higher star-ratings than listed when entering college. This is something that Virginia Tech has done consistently over the years with a variety of players. And some players won't even fulfill their star-ranking, which is a pitfall in the recruiting process for players, coaches, and fans alike.

But overall, this class has some elite talent, some of which Virginia Tech has already landed or is seemingly in the running for. But out of state competitors are hitting Virginia hard once again.

This class is spearheaded by weakside defensive end Josh Sweat who is basically at the top of every FBS school's list and will most likely be a five-star recruit. He's seeing a lot of interest from Virginia Tech, Florida State, Georgia, Ohio State, and Oregon. But it is predicted that it will come down to the Hokies and the Seminoles in the long run, and it's guys like this that Tech misses out on and has been the problem when it comes down to making the jump from great football program to elite and possibly a national championship team.

This class has a lot of size and athleticism that if Tech can snatch up, it will be able to reload again next season as it's done many times in the past. But Tech will have to sell itself once again that it is the best team in the Commonwealth and is on the rise, trying to make a return to the top of the ACC while trying to be a national championship contender.

This looks to be a somewhat typical class out of Virginia with all the four-star guys, where a few may have the potential to be five-stars, and three star guys could very well move up to four-stars. But where is all the talent coming from?

Here is a nifty little map where you can see the top 25 recruits in Virginia on a map by name and rank:

https://rivals.yahoo.com/virginiapreps/football/recruiting/rankings/rank-3372/2015/map

As you can see on the map, most of the top prospects are coming from the 757 area and Northern Virginia. This has a lot to do with population density and overall talent as both area's have produced great players over the years. Next up we see the top talent in Richmond and the surrounding areas. Then scattered across the 540 the rest of the prospects round out the top 25, along with Altavista product Juan Thornhill.

But when it comes to recruiting news and rankings, I'm never sure which source is more credible than others. So here's another look at how the people over at 247Sports have ranked the top 30 prospects in Virginia for 2015:

LAST UPDATED RANKINGS: MAY 19, 2014

NAME


POSITION


HEIGHT/WEIGHT


STAR-RATING (247SPORTS)


TOWN/SCHOOL


Josh Sweat

WDE

6’5"/237

5

Chesapeake (Oscar Smith)

Tim Settle

DT

6’3"/318

5

Manassas (Stonewall Jackson)

Jaason Lewis

ATH

6’3"/233

4

Virginia Beach (Ocean Lakes)

Garrett Taylor

CB

6’1"/188

4

Richmond (St. Christopher’s)

Clelin Ferrell

DE

6’5"/225

4

Richmond (Benedictine)

Ricky DeBerry

OLB

6’2.5"/255

4

Richmond (St. Christopher’s)

Matthew Burrell

OT

6’5.75"/290

4

Woodbridge (C.D. Hylton)

Austin Clark

OT

6’6"/296

4

Lexington (Rockbridge)

Darvin Taylor

DT

6’2"/295

4

Chester (Thomas Dale)

Darrell Taylor

WDE

6’4"/220

4

Hopewell (Hopewell)

Deshawn McClease

RB

5’9"/175

4

Chesapeake (Oscar Smith)

A.J. Alexander

WR

6’4"/220

4

Burke (Lake Braddock)

Jahvoni Simmons

ILB

6’1"/225

4

Virginia Beach (Ocean Lakes)

Tremaine Edmunds

OLB

6’3"/200

3

Ringgold (Dan River)

Harry Lewis

SDE

6’2"/260

3

Hampton (Phoebus)

Trevon Hill

WDE

6’3"/210

3

Virginia Beach (Salem)

Chance Hall

DT

6’4"/288

3

Roanoke (Northside)

Felton Davis III

WR

6’3"/175

3

Highland Springs (Highland Springs)

Trevion Armstrong

WR

6’4"/215

3

Midlothian (Manchester)

Jamez Brickhouse

CB

5’9"/165

3

Virginia Beach (Bayside)

Mike Majette

ATH

5’11"/195

3

Woodbridge (Woodbridge)

Brandon Polk

WR

5’9"/152

3

Ashburn (Briar Woods)

Quincy Watts

WR

5’11"/165

3

Virginia Beach (Ocean Lakes)

Chad Smith

OLB

6’3"/200

3

Sterling (Dominion)

Juan Thornhill

ATH

6’2"/175

3

Altavista (Altavista)

Malik Clements

S

6’2"/185

3

Danville (George Washington)

AJ Turner

S

5’11"/180

3

Clifton (Centreville)

Gus Little

ILB

6’3"/230

3

Fredericksburg (Massaponax)

Christian Martey

RB

6’0"/215

3

Clifton (Centreville)

Tanner Krafa

ILB

6’3"/240

3

Ashburn (Stone Bridge)

According to 247Sports there are two five-star recruits, eleven four-star recruits, and seventeen three-star recruits in Virginia's top 30 list, bringing the average to 3.5 stars. There's some mixing of players and star-ratings between the two list, so take from them what you will.

Here are the players from the Top 30 that have already committed:

Name


School


Jaason Lewis

UCLA

Garrett Taylor

Michigan

Harry Lewis

Virginia Tech

Jamez Brickhouse

Old Dominion

Brandon Polk

Penn State

Chad Smith

Clemson

Juan Thornhill

Virginia

Malik Clements

Cincinnati

Here's a breakdown of recruits by area code:

AREA


NUMBER OF RECRUITS


Northern Virginia

9

757

8

Richmond Area

7

540 (Western and Northern parts of Virginia)

3

434 (Central and some of Southern Virginia )

3

Both Northern Virginia and the 757 lead the way with 17 recruits total from proven high talent level high schools. These two areas keep churning up football players left and right and don't seem to be letting up any time soon.

Meanwhile, the Richmond area isn't far behind with its seven recruits. Tech can usually snatch up promising players from here and develop them into four-star college athletes.

Finally, there are the few gems of the 540 and 434 where elite talent is hard to come by at times.

As of right now, the trend seems to be the same with the 2015 Top 30 Recruiting Class of Virginia. There are promising and talented players with elite skill waiting to be snatched up in the Commonwealth. But will the out of state schools lure them away once more, or will Virginia Tech be able to persuade the much needed elite talent to ship to Blacksburg in hopes of returning to its consistent winning ways and championship contention?

Stay tuned and check back with Gobbler Country where we'll have consistent coverage of recruiting in Virginia.

SB Nation Featured Video
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Gobbler Country

You must be a member of Gobbler Country to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Gobbler Country. You should read them.

Join Gobbler Country

You must be a member of Gobbler Country to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Gobbler Country. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker