Saturday will be more than a battle on the gridiron between Virginia Tech and Ohio State, it will be the beginning of a recruiting battle between the schools. Several coveted high school seniors, including a pair of five-star caliber players will take visits to both schools, beginning this weekend in Columbus. High school senior Kevin Toliver II is one of the blue chip prospects who will visit Columbus and Blacksburg this fall. In 2012 Toliver committed to LSU, but has decided to take all five of his recruiting visits, and will begin with Ohio State on Friday.
Rivals.com currently ranks Toliver second at the corner position and the 14th prospect overall nationally. Toliver is a strong, fast defensive back who uses his athletic ability to blanket receivers and win jump ball passes. His size would make him an ideal safety in many schemes, but his athleticism will likely keep him at corner.
Toliver is set to visit the Hokies on November 7th, and while is seems unlikely Toliver would be swayed away from Les Miles and LSU it is worth noting a ready made connection he has at Virginia Tech. Toliver attends Trinity Christian Academy in Jacksonville, and was a teammate there to current Hokie, true freshman receiver Isaiah Ford. It's not known if this connection would influence Toliver, but it would give an immediate sense of familiarity should he choose to play for the Hokies in 2015.
5-star CB Kevin Tolliver (@Toliver_Era) and 5-star DE Josh Sweat will spend official visits at Ohio State and Virginia Tech together.— Tyler Donohue (@TDsTake) August 20, 2014
Another recruit who will be taking visits at both schools is Virginia native Josh Sweat. Sweat is the top ranked defensive end in the country, and ranked fifth nationally per Rivals. Last season as a junior at Oscar Smith high school in Chesapeake he earned 22 sacks and 94 tackles. Sweat is billed as an elite pass rusher who never gives up on a play. He uses his size (6'5", 240 pounds), and speed to track down the quarterback, or running back after a hand off.
Sweat received upwards of 50 scholarship offers before narrowing his visits to five schools. His first visit will be this Saturday at Ohio State when the Buckeyes take on Virginia Tech, a school Sweat will visit Friday, September 19th. Sweat will also visit Florida State (Oct 17), Georgia (Oct 3), and will take his only west coast trip to Oregon University on October 31st.
Ohio State will also host two other recruits that are also on the Hokies radar this weekend. On Saturday cornerback Jordan Whitehead from Monaca, Pennsylvania and Woodbridge, Virginia native Matthew Burrell, an offensive lineman will be in Columbus. Currently neither of the four star recruits have scheduled a visit in Blacksburg, but both have received scholarship offers from the school, and continue to be recruited. Take a look at their junior year highlight films, first Burrell:
And then Whitehead....
With summer winding down, college football and recruiting season are now in full bloom. This Saturday provides a beginning to months of anticipation leading up to signing day. Four quarters of football will decide a winner between the Buckeyes and Hokies in this weekends game, but the battle between the schools for recruits such as Josh Sweat, and Kevin Toliver II will just be beginning.