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Jalen Holston Commits to the Hokies

Hokies have their RB for the Class of 2017, as Georgia running back Jalen Holston committed to Virginia Tech tonight.

NCAA Football: Virginia Tech at Syracuse Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

In a season-long flirtation with a 247 prediction jammed all the way to favorite, Jalen Holston has finally ended the speculation and committed to Virginia Tech. As his team was recently dropped from the playoffs (Kicked out by Jaylen Griffin’s Rome high school team, incidentally), Holston felt that the time was now to publicize his pledge to the class of 2017.

Holston is the 18th commitment to Virginia Tech, and the first running back (at least at the moment in consideration of where athletes might be put). He is also the fourth commitment from the state of Georgia, following Lecitus Smith, Jaylen Griffin, and Malik Willis. His offer list is quite extensive, including UNC, Florida, Duke, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Missouri, Mississippi State, Minnesota, NC State, South Carolina, and others. He’s rated 3 stars by 247, Scout, and Rivals, and ranked at four stars by ESPN. He will enter a young and crowded backfield- with none of the major players being older than current redshirt sophomores. Despite this, I believe he gives us something we need with our current setup- one cut and go downhill running.

Let’s take a look at the tape.

Jalen Holston (Stockbridge, GA. 200lbs, 5’-11”. Running Back)

Holston is something you don’t see altogether that much anymore, and that’s a straight downhill runner. If I was running a zone blocking scheme in college, I’d want this kid. He’s not got an overwhelming abundance of speed, but he’s got a very strong running style- he glides a bit, but it’s all in one direction. He’s a spear on the field- plant and drive straight forward. His size is fine for his weight and position and he looks pretty solidly built. He’s got a decisiveness for holes that I like, and doesn’t go down to arm tackles or incidental contact that easily. I still think he reminds me of Darren Evans, which is perfectly fine with me- Evans was a very solid college running back. The one worry is that he can run upright a little bit, but that’s a timing and body kinetics thing that can be fixed with time and repetition. He’s also got some receiving chops out of the backfield, which is something we haven’t actually seen unleashed in this offense much but for Sam when he’s in. We’ll see if that’s weaponized with a more fluid runner than Sam Rogers.

Welcome to the #Statement17, Jalen.