On Wednesday the college football world will hold its annual draft. O.K., I hear you, it's not a draft proper, but you get the general idea. Across the country players will be faxing (more on that later) their LOI's to attend college. LOI's are "Letters of Intent", and until athletic departments receive them, anything can happen. Last year former offensive coordinator Scott Loeffler was at the football offices at five in the morning staring at fax machine. When Dwayne Lawson's LOI came through, it was only then, the whole coaching staff could breathe again. This year is the first for Justin Fuente, and he made his intentions very clear from the start.
Coming for you 757!! pic.twitter.com/ycwV0g54mT— Justin Fuente (@CoachFuente) December 1, 2015
Fuente took control late in the process, so Wednesday is most assuredly not all on him. The biggest five things to know for National Signing Day are as follows:
#1 The Hokies won't be in the top 25 in recruiting THIS YEAR
Fuente wasn't tapped until near the end of last season after most of the kids have already decided. He has given a Herculean effort trying to score some late commits, but that is tough work. He was dealt the short stack, but has played it well. Fuente understands that most of the talent in Virginia lies in the Eastern Shore (757). He also has shown an open mind when it comes to signing JUCO talent, which brings us to #2.
#2 Jerod Evans might possibly be the best signing in years.
Everybody knows to be successful you need a great QB. Jerod Evans is the real deal. Don't think one JUCO transfer can make a huge difference in a program? Ask Gus Malzahn and Gene Chizik how Cam Newton worked out! Check out Jerod's highlights below:
Evans is 6'4" 230 monster. Fuente had great success with bigger quarterbacks at Memphis, and hopefully that will continue. Paxton Lynch is 6'7", and has already declared for the upcoming N.F.L. draft.
#3 Speaking of Quarterbacks, Joshua Jackson is pretty good as well
When Michael Brewer went down against Ohio State, the Hokies didn't have an answer. Brenden Motley did the absolute best he could manage, but the offense seemed out of sync most of the season. Jackson is a highly touted kid from Michigan who is already enrolled at Tech. I would be completely shocked if Evans didn't earn the starting role this year, with Dwayne Lawson and Joshua Jackson competing for reps. It will help Lawson with the added competition, and Joshua Jackson will surely bring that.
#4 Fuente and staff took some chances with late offers
Why not? The kids in question certainly saw the performance of Memphis last season, and the offensive numbers especially are fantastic. On the other hand, Bud Foster has an outstanding reputation as a defensive coordinator who knows how to get players drafted. It's a pretty perfect marriage. Hitting up guys like Jarrion Street (Ole Miss commit) shows that we will target anyone. You can see the news on Street here.
#5 Signing day, and the days leading up to it are insane. Nothing is guaranteed, and surprises are everywhere!
Silas Dzansi committed to Tech during the writing of this article. That should show you how fluid the situation truly is, Hokies.
#Hokies get commitment from Silas Dzansi, an offensive tackle from C.D. Hylton High in Woodbridge https://t.co/42uM7H6KOH— Norm Wood (@normwood) January 26, 2016
The real challenge of signing day will be confirming guys we already consider locks, and maybe grabbing a wish list kid or two. Make sure you stay with Gobbler Country as we are all over the signing day coverage. We will be breaking news all day, and let's hope there are a few surprises that surprise us!