Okay, there were rumors of an early commitment or two bubbling around this past weekend's barbeque- with at least one still remaining out there if the rumor mill is correct- but this was rather unexpected. One of the things that Virginia Tech rarely does is get super early commitments. Getting one from a class of 2019 recruit seems inexplicable to those of us that have watched this program and its recruiting classes over the past several years. But today, Virginia Tech got into the 757 talent sweepstakes early with the commitment of Tayvion Land, a cornerback at the newly invigorated Bishop Sullivan Catholic School football program (he played his freshman year at Ocean Lakes). He's also a member of the Thoroughbreds, the big 7-on-7 team down in the Beach area.
Let's put it this way: a couple years ago, that combination of things- an Ocean Lakes and Thoroughbred Virginia Tech commitment- would have been unheard of. Now, it's something we can credit Coach Zohn for clearing up and making happen. Obviously Tayvion is ‘unranked'- generally sites don't pay attention to recruits until they're committed (if early) or in their sophomore year. But he WAS a MaxPreps 2015 freshman All-American corner, which speaks well of him already at this young age. Heck, Tech offered him when he was in the 8th grade, which is also almost completely unheard of for the Hokies. It's going to be a long and challenging ride to make sure he stays committed- two and a half years is a long time to change your mind. But if we keep him? We might've landed one of the best cornerbacks of the class of 2019 while he only had one other scholarship offer as of yet (Maryland).
Let's go to the tape.
Tayvion Land (Virginia Beach, VA. 160lbs, 5'-8". Cornerback)
Watching freshman tape is kind of disorienting. Mostly because it's harder to fault a guy that's 14 for having difficulty at tackling kids that are three years plus older than him. It's not like fully grown men in the NFL or some of college. But considering he started at cornerback for one of the powerhouse teams in the country, it's pretty dang impressive. He's going to have to learn to not be so handsy and back off in coverage a bit, but you can already see good fundamentals and instincts in there. He's fast enough to stay in front of almost any receiver he's facing, and he's got above average hand skills- though there are a couple drops of potential interceptions, it's not because they were easy balls that he just dropped. He's pretty good at knowing when to turn to see the ball incoming, and he's got pretty good feet and hitting power for a kid his size and age.
This is kind of interesting territory for the Hokies, so we'll see how Land's commitment/recruitment continues- or doesn't. For all we know, this is truly it and Tech got the apparent #EnterNight19 started.
Congratulations, Tayvion, and welcome to Hokie Nation!