Editor's Note: Hokie fans will know early tomorrow whether they have the best class ever across the board coming to Blacksburg. Right now it's up in the air, with room for debate, as there are no five-stars. Let it be said here, if it hasn't been said elsewhere: If the four remaining four-star targets on the board opt to become Hokies on Wednesday, then it will go down as the best class to date. With something quality at virtually every position of need. It also seems that this year doesn't contain the usual filler. But that's a discussion for another day. What, you didn't think recruiting ends tomorrow did you? We're Nick Saban men over here, no time to relish the victories!
DEPTH IS A PROBLEM AT END AS WELL
I'm not really sure what to say here. As you can see that paragraph is pretty short. Not exactly what anyone wants to see out of a premier defensive program's churn. But as you can see below it's possible some immediate help is on the way.
Vincent Mihota - 6’4" 252lbs
Offers: VT and Alabama
24/7 – 4 Star
Rivals – 3 Star
Vincent Mihota 2014 DE (Spotsylvania, VA) (via 247SportsStudio)
Vincent Mihota, who enrolled a few weeks ago, hopes to take advantage of our lack of depth on the defensive line and get a running start at his college career. In reviewing his video, Mihota has a nice first step and uses his hands very well. He looks strong in the upper body and I’m wondering once he gets "Gentry-fied" if his ultimate destination is at tackle. While he only had two offers and the other being from the Devil himself, Alabama coach Nick Saban says a lot of your potential. Mihota has long since been a Hokie verbal, and telling Saban "thanks, but no thanks" earns Mihota a special place in our hearts. If Mihota can stack on an additional 10-20 lbs and acclimate to the speed of the college game, I give him a good chance at avoiding the redshirt this fall.
Ricky Walker- 6’2" 275lbs
Bethel (Hampton, VA)
Offers: VT and 20 others including Michigan St, Nebraska and South Carolina
24/7 – 4 Star
Rivals – 3 Star
Ricky Walker. Bethel High School (via 6wasps12)
Because Chip West went into the 757 and came out with two top defensive players in Virginia, Ricky Walker was an important get out of the Tidewater region. He has the tools to become a special player at Tech. Quick and agile for a 280lb guy, Walker can beat you with a bull rush, or he can utilize an array of his crafty swim moves to be disruptive in the backfield. Walker was sought out by some of the best programs in the nation, Hokie fans should feel good about his commitment and potential. I wouldn’t be shocked if Ricky dressed out for games this fall. But he may need to get stronger up top to compete on enough downs to make it worth burning his shirt.
Kevin Bronson – 6’4" 253lbs
Kevin Bronson Senior Highlights 2013 (via Village Academy Athletics)
This guy, Bronson. Wow. When I first watched his film that’s exactly what I said. His first step is incredible, exploding out of his stance like a champion sprinter. Bronson’s motor reminds me of former Hokie great Daryl Tapp, relentless aggression and downright scary. He’s got that "Florida" athleticism, runs very well just looking at his offer list tells you all you really need to know about how highly regarded he is. Three star or not, I’m more impressed with Bronson than any other Hokie defensive line recruit we have. I wished he was in school now, as Bronson is physically ready to help Tech out at defensive end, possibly slide over on the interior on third down passing situations. I’m looking forward to watching this young man this fall.
Steve Sobczak – 6’1" 305lbs
Steve Sobczak (via ACC Recruiting)
Sobczak, a late bloomer and very under the radar recruit may very well be the one who plays early in his career over the others. Teammate of Vincent Mihota at Massaponax High, Sobczak is 300lbs and displayed a great motor, strong bullrush up the middle with surprising agility. I’m not quite sure why he was so lightly regarded, garnering only an offer from JMU. I’m hoping Sobczak has the Luther Maddy impact for us, finding a gem late in the game.
WHAT IS THIS MASS OF HUMANITY?
With so much attention on the defensive line and the recruits, the ever so important linebacker positions is going to be a hotly contested battle this spring and fall. Veterans Jack Tyler and Tariq Edwards have exhausted their egilibility, Coach Foster will be looking to replace his "Mike" and "Backer" spots.
Depth is not as dire as the defensive line, but with many unproven players in the pool to choose from, we will undoubtedly go through some growing pains. Ronny Vandyke (r-Jr) who played in all 13 games in 2012, but he unfortunately missed all of 2013 while undergoing season ending shoulder surgery in the preseason. This was a blow to the Hokies defense as "RVD" was playing the ever so important play-making WHIP position. RVD has a chance to become a veteran on a very young and inexperienced LB corps. Deon Clark (Jr), Devin Vandyke "DVD" (r-So), Chase Williams (r-Sr), Jameion Moss (r-Fr), Dahman McKinnon (r-So) and Andrew Motuapuaka (r-Fr) all have a chance to emerge this spring and beyond, it’ll be interesting to see who takes that next step.
Finally, this brings us to our lone linebacker recruit in Melvin Keihn. Keihn, a fringe four-star recruit who boasts offers from the likes of Miami, Michigan St and Notre Dame has been steadfast in his commitment to the Hokies. With uncertainties regarding our depth at the positions, Keihn will have as good as shot as any to garner playing time this fall. He’s got good size and runs well, versatile as he can put his hand in the dirt and rush off of the edge as well. His video showed a lot of blitizing up the middle at LB, similar to the types of blitz schemes Coach Foster employs.
Melvin Keihn – 6’1" 225lbs
2014 DL/LB Melvin Keihn 2013 season highlights (via Prep1Force)
2014’s season will see a bunch of new faces in the Hokies front seven, Coach Foster and Coach Wiles will have a lot to evaluate and teach in order to keep one of the nations most elite defense performing at the level we’re accustomed to. The potential and quality of the incoming recruits is one of the best I’ve seen in some time at VT and if we can nab late potentials in four star DT Derrick Nnandi of Virginia Beach and LB Raymon Minor, it may very well be the best defensive haul in school history.
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