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Virginia Tech Nets Fifth Commitment Of 2014 Recruiting Class

After a banner 2013 class (most of which has even yet to enroll at Virginia Tech), the Hokies landed their fifth commitment officially Saturday evening from Durham, Nc. Hillside High School defensive back Kalen McCain. For a breakdown of McCain as a player and what this means for the Hokies' 2014 class, read ahead.

Kevin C. Cox

McCain's commitment to the Hokies means two things principally:

1. Tech shouldn't be in such a pinch with defensive backs going forward as they were a season ago, even taking potential transfers into account.


2. Tech is quickly filling up their defensive backfield, so with AT LEAST six in last year's class and two already in this year's class, don't expect to see many more DB's in this class (we think).

Looking at McCain individually, here are the conclusions I came to after watching his highlight tape:

McCain has good ball skills and is great at making last minute adjustments to get to the ball, though some of his interceptions are simply the result of being a defensive back and playing against a quarterback that makes a bad pass. As the old soccer adage regarding great goalscorers vs. scorers of great goals would assert, he may be an interceptor of bad passes rather than a great interceptor period.

He looks athletic enough, and has some shiftiness to him, but based off of one of the highlights I watched midway through the tape, he may do a little too much dancing a la Mike Imoh (not a glowing endorsement as Tech fans well know).

Kalen mentioned in a recruiting article I read that he needed to become a better tackler. This is true, as on many of the tackles I saw, he did not possess good tackling form. Instead, he relies on his speed going into the tackle, laying his body out to make big hits, swiping at the ball or wrestling the player to the ground with his arms. In a bubble, if that works, that's fine. But in college football, none of those techniques have worked consistently enough to call them reliable.

All in all, I'm not going to base my evaluation of him on a four-minute tape of his junior year while at an unfamiliar position. I'll wait off to see some of his senior tape and maybe some camp footage should he decide to go that route. Here is what we do know though:

1. He wants to be a Hokie, and was very excited to commit.

2. He had offers from several other conference rivals.

3. He has the versatility to play either cornerback or safety in college, which is a plus.

At 6'1" and 175 pounds, his size would be a great asset as a cornerback, and it sounds like after talking to coaches at Tech, that's the way they're leaning with him. Of course there's a long way to go before that happens, so we'll have to wait and see.

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