The summer recruiting that the coaching staff is putting in has continued to pay off, and the Hokies gained two commitments Saturday, both in the defensive secondary. Henri Murphy, a cornerback from Arkansas (by way of East Central Community College in Decatur, Mississippi), and Malik Willis, an athlete from Atlanta, committed in quick succession. They are the twelfth and thirteenth commitments to Virginia Tech for this cycle, and likely fill in the cornerback slots for now, barring someone big coming in. Murphy will also be enrolling in a month, thereby allowing him to play in the fall. He is also running track, as his speed is one of his greatest assets. Willis was a recent offer, grabbing attention at a recent Hokie satellite camp in Atlanta. Willis is rated as a three star athlete by Rivals and Scout, and unranked by 247 and ESPN. Murphy is unranked by 247, rated as a three star wide receiver by Rivals, a two star wide receiver by Scout, and has no profile on ESPN. Murphy is also a former recruit of Fuente's, as he tried to get him in at Memphis, but that had fallen through.
Blessed to say I have committed to Virginia Tech! #STATEMENT17 pic.twitter.com/LVTgcXKwlO— Henri Murphy (@_hendog10) June 18, 2016
I wanna thank God, my family, and friends for pushing me to work hard and be humble Iwant to say I'm committed to Virginia tech #gohokies— 〽alik Willis (@Willis_Malik7) June 18, 2016
On to tape! Doubling down tonight...
Malik Willis (Atlanta, GA. 180lbs, 6'-2". Athlete)
Willis has been offered by many small schools at quarterback- Ball State, Elon, Georgia State, Southern Miss, Tulane, Ohio, etc. But he's kind of similar to Caleb Farley- a very athletic kid playing quarterback because that's the position the coach can most easily use his talent on offense. He's quick and has upfield speed with better-than-average size. I highly doubt he'll play quarterback at Tech, but I do like the deceptiveness of his ball fakes. Honestly, he's a Farley twin and Fuente's going to likely do the same thing with him- find a place to put him and leave him there. His vision is okay, but I really can't project him as anything other than a guy that has a scholarship. He did work out as a wide receiver at the Georgia satellite camp, but I'm not sure that's where he'll end up.
Henri Murphy (White Hall, AR via Decatur, MS. 175lbs, 5'-11". Wide Receiver/Cornerback)
Murphy unfortunately mostly has highlights of himself at wide receiver, which from all the prevailing winds around his recruitment is that he's wanted at cornerback. He apparently does PLAY cornerback, but I can't evaluate much more than his athletic talent. And of that, he does have plenty. He's exceedingly fast. It's pretty cool to have a guy just blow right by people on offense- though that was the plan with Demitri Knowles, and that don't end up going anywhere productive in the end. He's sort of a body catcher, which is not ideal. I think that he's still going to need coaching and time, but due to the thin nature of our cornerbacks (mostly young and if we have injuries like last year), and of course being a junior college player, a redshirt seems impractical to impossible. We'll see what the coaches can get out of him.
Either way, these are two more of what we're finding to be Fuente's favorite type of recruit- hidden guys with high athletic talent that might be playing out of position or be a versatile player that he's going to specialize. Welcome to the Statement17, guys, and Go Hokies!