The Virginia Tech Hokies wrapped up the final weekend before the early signing period with two new commitments.
First, three-star offensive lineman Kaden Moore flipped to the Hokies after previously being committed to Bowling Green. A 6’3”, 305-pound mauler from Bethlehem, Pa., is a player who will need a couple of years in the weight room.
Moore is a bit of a late-bloomer who flew under the radar. It would explain his lack of offers and his commitment to Bowling Green. However, when watching Moore you see why Virginia Tech offensive line coach Vance Vice likes him. He is powerful and is a road-grader in the running game. He also plays with something you cannot teach and that is nastiness. That will give him a leg up at the next level.
Fortunately for the Hokies, they have enough talented young offensive lineman already on campus, so there is no need to rush Moore.
Later on Sunday, Tech picked up another commitment in three-star defensive end Justin Beadles. A 6’5 1/2”, 232-pounder from Sandy Creek High in Tyrone, Ga., is another prospect who was in Blacksburg this weekend.
Let me say, I absolutely love this pickup. Beadles has tremendous size and length. In watching some of his highlights, his athleticism jumps out at you. He is another player who can hit the weight room for year and perhaps make an impact in 2021. He has tremendous upside.
The commitment of Beadles signals that the Hokies are most certainly going in a different direction with their defensive linemen. We will see bigger ends and tackles and while I think Justin Hamilton wants this, I also think this is something head coach Justin Fuente has wanted for a couple of years, too. Expect to see the Hokies more in the mix for bigger defensive tackles and the defensive ends with length.
By signing a player like Beadles, you aren’t necessarily sacrificing athleticism. Tech has often preferred smaller defensive ends because of their speed and quickness off the edge. Now, the Hokies want to keep the speed and athleticism, but have size, too.
While Moore and Beadles are expected to sign this week, the Hokies are likely not done. A pair of defensive ends from Texas, four-star Alec Bryant and three-star Robert Wooten appear poised to be Hokies.
I cannot stress this enough, these will be enormous pickups for Fuente and Hamilton. It’s not just going to Texas and getting good players, but it is making a statement about your recruiting efforts. Virginia Tech will always recruit Virginia, but for the Hokies to take the next step they need to have a presence elsewhere as well. Florida, Georgia and Texas are excellent places to find talent. While nothing is official, there is a lot of smoke around Bryant and Wooten ending up in Blacksburg.
I would expect the Hokies to continue to monitor the cornerback position. A few players the Hokies were high on ended up elsewhere. A big reason why is the lack of a cornerbacks coach right now. Pierson Prioleau is filling in, but there is no guarantee he moves onto the full-time staff.
Moving forward, Tech needs to get back to recruiting the secondary better. Jermaine Waller and Caleb Farley have developed into very good cornerbacks and Farley looks poised to be a high draft choice in the future. Under Brian Mitchell, Tech wasn’t getting the same type of cornerback talent as in past year. That is a big reason he is gone.
Simply put, the Hokies cannot lose players to schools like Rutgers, Kansas, Kansas State, among others. One thing the Hokies have going for them is putting defensive backs into the NFL and that should always be a strong selling point.