So this month has been eventful after a long streak of not much news on the recruiting front. Of the twelve current commitments in the class of 2019, the Hokies gained six of them in the past month. Cam’Ron Kelly, Jaden Payoute, Nick Gallo, Jacoby Pinckney, Norell Pollard, and Tayvion Robinson now have some company, with the Hokies’ seventh commitment for the month. At a party at 2PM today, Florida defensive lineman Mario Kendricks committed to Virginia Tech, joining fellow Floridian Pollard on the defensive line for a class desperate for beef up front in the defensive trenches. Kendricks is rated as a three star across the board at defensive end, but at 275lbs, he’s likely to bulk up and become a defensive tackle in Charley Wiles’s scheme. Also, this commitment wasn’t much of a surprise: for once the twitter feed was pretty telling- Kendricks has been putting out a stream of Hokie tweets for a long time. Kendricks’s primary recruiter is Charley Wiles, of course, and other schools that offered him include Georgia Tech, Louisville, Indiana, Iowa State, NC State, Arkansas, Duke, Wake, and UVA, among others.
Let’s take a peek at his tape.
Mario Kendricks (Kissimmee, FL. 6’-1”, 275lbs. Defensive Tackle)
Okay, I can see why Kendrcks appeals more to someone like Charlie Wiles and not a bigger school. He’s not the right body type to play defensive end at the college level- though he destroys at it in high school. He’s got a really quick first step and moves a heck of a lot faster than his size says he should. He’s got a great motor and will run down and wrap up anyone or anything in the backfield. He’s got a halfway decent bull rush and rip move, which is a start. He’s strong and plays with a lot of explosive violence. But based on the highlights (admittdently, not much) he’s not one prone to over pursuit and diving at things that aren’t there. He wraps effectively, which is always a good foundational start. I think he’s a quality player that is playing out of his future position and has potential to be an active, penetrating DT.
Welcome to the class, Mario.