While college football may or not happen this fall due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Virginia Tech Hokies are working to get better behind the scenes.
Recruiting has been a major discussion point for fans in recent years due to Virginia Tech’s inability to close with top targets. While the top schools such as Clemson, Ohio State and Alabama had numerous paid support members on its staff, the Hokies were a few years behind.
Even bitter rival Virginia has made strides to add more members to its support staff. Now, the Hokies are finally doing it, too.
On Wednesday, the hirings of former players, Jeron Gouveia-Winslow and Corey Fuller to the school’s football support staff, became official.
This was a tremendous move by head coach Justin Fuente and athletic director Whit Babcock.
Sure, there are no promises with the hirings of Gouveia-Winslow and Fuller, but Fuente realizes he needs a lot of help. The Hokies are way behind other schools due to a lack of cash, so doing anything to help the football staff is a big deal.
Gouveia-Winslow played at Virginia Tech from 2009-12. He started parts of three years at whip linebacker under former head coach Frank Beamer and defensive coordinator Bud Foster. He finished his career as a captain on defense and specials teams for the Hokies.
After graduating, Gouveia-Winslow returned to his alma mater, Stone Bridge High School in Ashburn, Va., as a coach. From there, he went to the University of Hawaii as a defensive intern before spending the last three seasons at Brevard College in North Carolina.
The addition of Gouveia-Winslow could help the Hokies in northern Virginia where they’ve struggled recruiting in recent years. Gouveia-Winslow certainly understands the landscape.
Fuller is one of the four famous Fuller brothers who played at Virginia Tech and ended up playing in the NFL. He transferred to Virginia Tech in 2010 after spending his first two years as a standout track athlete at Kansas.
He redshirted in 2010 and played sparingly in 2011 before a breakout season in 2012. Fuller caught 43 passes for 815 yards and six touchdowns.
He would go on to become a sixth-round pick of the Detroit Lions in the 2013 NFL Draft, where he spent parts of four seasons. He would spent parts of two seasons with the New Orleans Saints before his playing career ended after the 2017 season.
Fuller began his coaching career with Central Michigan in 2018, where Darryl Tapp was on staff.
Fuller brings NFL experience, a love for the program and can sell that family atmosphere better than anyone to recruits.
It’s important to note that Fuller and Gouveia-Winslow cannot go on the road with their recruiting duties. Only the coaching staff can go on the road, not the support staff. However, they will be doing a lot of work behind the scenes to help Fuente in recruiting.
Fuente had the following to say about the two former Hokies returning, via the school’s official website.
We are excited that Corey and Jeron have returned to Blacksburg to serve as assistant directors of player personnel. They both bring the skills and the talent we needed to add to our recruiting efforts. In addition to their vantage point as former Tech players, they also have a keen understanding of the type of individuals who fit our program and can succeed both academically and athletically at Virginia Tech.
Welcome back to Blacksburg, Jeron and Corey.