Now, I played against Sherando High School. This was back in the 2004-2008 era of AA Ball in Northern Virginia. It’s a north Shenandoah Valley school pretty much at the intersection of I-66 and I-81. Back then it was Joey Christine and Ross Metheny at the defensive and offensive helms, respectively. Those were good teams for their level. Didn’t expect to see that high school’s name again for a while, though. Times have changed. And so has VT. Because Coach Fuente and Coach Foster pulled off a huge flip- 4-star linebacker Dylan Rivers. He was on a Penn State official visit this weekend, during which he apparently told the Penn State staff he wasn’t coming. And of course, I chose the exact right time to go out and check on adopting a rescue dog when he, on his way back, announces for Virginia Tech. Ah, well. I’ll wave the Andy Bitter flag on this one and just get on with it.
Per a Penn State source, the PSU coaching staff spoke to Dylan Rivers and does not expect to keep him. VT very much in play for 4⭐️LB!— VPI Gobbler (@VPIGobbler) January 22, 2017
Rivers is an across-the-board 4* linebacker, two on inside two on outside, but is projected as a mike linebacker in Foster’s scheme.
Let’s get to the tape.
Dylan Rivers (Stephens City, VA. 6’-2”, 225lbs. Linebacker)
Rivers and Dax Hollifield are a lot alike. It’s a lot of read and react instinct mixed with a good blend of speed and power. I like how Rivers sticks, wraps up, and drives through tackles. He still plays in the same dang 4-4-3 scheme I saw Sherando play when I was there, so his responsibility is mostly against the tight ends up the middle and the runs that are frequent in this area with all the sprint draws and QB reads- not altogether that different from what Tech asks out of their Mike linebacker. Totally weird out-of-body experience for me to see it again, but it’s pretty much the same thing. He’s just a very large, athletic guy being the do-it-all high school football athlete. He’s obviously faster than most linebackers and he’s most definitely stronger than many. There’s not a whole lot to say other than ‘Yeah, he’s a really good linebacker and is everywhere and really athletic and worth it’. It’s a case of you know it when you see it with him. A downhill attacking linebacker. Guess what? Tech needs more of those.
Awesome flip by Fuente and his staff. I know Foster wanted Rivers bad for the longest time- so many visits were done behind the scenes. Congrats to Dylan, and Go Hokies!