Whoo boy, ladies and gents, this is going to be a long one. The Blacksburg BBQ Bash provided a LOT of new commitments to the class of 2017, along with one for the class of 2018- and it wouldn't surprise me if there was another a day or so afterward (last year we had a couple laggards, so while that's no guarantee of another year with a couple late pops, there is precedent).
Let's skip the chitchat and go right to the tape.
Sean Savoy (Washington, DC. 177lbs, 5'-9". Wide Receiver)
I've previously reviewed Savoy's tape and not much has obviously changed. He's a consensus 3 star wide receiver across the board, though 247 has him as bordering a four star level. Virginia Tech beat Miami, Maryland, Penn State, Kentucky, and Iowa among others for his commitment. Savoy isn't a classic burner, but he's definitely an open-space playmaker that has the speed to get beyond people if need be. He's very agile- his feet are great, and he uses them to great effect. He kind of reminds me of how Jayron Hosley could weave his way through a defense or a punt team. He obviously has positional versatility, as he's experienced on defense and offense, but he projects as a slot guy more than a cornerback in this day and age- unless he's playing nickel, which can be a problem if he's asked to cover split tight ends or something due to his height. Either way, he's an intriguing athlete and versatile performer with plenty of in-space talent that Fuente's going to need for his YAC based offense.
Jaylen Griffin (Rome, GA. 217lbs, 6'-2". Outside Linebacker)
Griffin is an interesting case. Scout has him as a 3 star inside linebacker, ESPN has him as a low three star outside linebacker, 247 has him as a mid-range three star outside linebacker, and Rivals has him as a two star outside linebacker. So what is he? Well, in Foster's scheme, he's likely a Backer, though he could be a Mike with some more weight. He's definitely more of an attacking or blitz linebacker, though I don't think he's terrible in coverage- he's going to have to learn to do it without chucking wide receivers or tight ends like he does in high school. He's got good speed and strength, but sometimes I think he doesn't take the greatest of angles on pursuit and his tackling is alright, but leaves something to be desired. I think that he's a good take as a developmental guy, which is what almost all our linebackers are due to the youth of the whole corps. I stay he'll likely stick at backer and end up behind Tremaine for a couple of years. A former California commit, we also beat out ECU, BC, Louisville, and Illinois for his commitment.
Aiden Brown (Potomac, MD. 277lbs, 6'-3". Offensive Guard)
Brown's a bit of a mystery. He's completely unranked by all services, but earned a scholarship from Vance Vice at a camp this summer. His only other FBS offers are Navy, Marshall, Air Force, and ODU- the rest are FCS offers like Maine, Delaware, Townson, and Coastal Carolina and so forth. So why the unheralded nature when his tape is at the very least 2-star level interesting? Well, he's again playing a bit out of position. He's a right tackle on most of his tape- he's too small for that on a major college level, especially in weight. Body type doesn't look like it's built for much more than that, either. He's dominating smaller competition. His high school is a private school that doesn't often produce huge recruits, too- outside Dwayne Haskins at four stars last year, Rivals has them as producing 7 three stars, 4 two stars, and a one star- along with a bunch of unranked players. Only Haskins has a number rating, and though they do have a couple NFL players in their relatively recent history- Tanard Jackson and Moise Fokou- it's not big enough to get a ton of notice. Enrollment is about 800 and that's from second grade to high school. I'll chalk this one up to ‘You see something at camp and find an under-the-radar guy from a tiny school that isn't getting a ton of attention'. Hopefully something will come of his commitment.
Bryce Thompson (Irmo, SC. 185lbs, 6'-0". Athlete)
Thompson is the first commitment for 2018, and is the teammate of another wide receiver that the Hokies are or were targeting, Austin Connor. Due to this early time he's one of the many unranked prospects out there. I mean, we're really projecting. His main film is his freshman year as a quarterback (not shown). His sophomore film is at running back. So what skills does he have overall? His vision's pretty good, and while he's not a burner he's agile...hrm. Seems to be a trend with Fuente. He's looking for guys that can move or get open in space, right? YAC offense- create mismatches, force the open man, and attack the edges and the one-on-one matchups you get in order to get results. Until you get a more complete highlight with more of a sense of where he's going to be, it's hard to get a great read on where they're going to put him, but I believe he's another midsize quick receiver in the making.
Stay tuned to Gobbler Country for any other commitments coming up in the coming days or week or so.