The NCAA’s early signing period kicked off on Wednesday, and the Virginia Tech Hokies welcomed 19 new young men to Blacksburg. This class wasn’t without minor disappointments, such as running back Ramon Brown flipping his commitment on Tuesday to Maryland (of all places) — and quarterback Alex Orji signing with Michigan on Wednesday.
Considering that new head coach Brent Pry has only been on the job for over two weeks, getting most of this class signed, sealed, and delivered is a significant accomplishment. Overall, since Justin Fuente’s dismissal in the middle of November, the Hokies lost five commitments. Defensive lineman D’Andre Martin flipped to South Carolina earlier this month after seemingly being committed to both schools at one point. On Monday, three-star Malcolm Jones backed off his pledge and signed with Michigan State, and offensive tackle Jakson LaHue signed with Mississippi State.
Pry, J.C. Price, Shawn Quinn and Derek Jones were on the road for over a week, visiting every commit and spending time in most of Virginia’s premier high schools. It was a wise strategy and shows Pry gets it from a recruiting standpoint.
I’m excited to see how Pry finishes his staff and watch them work on the recruiting trail. The competition is tough as Penn State and North Carolina have made a living in Virginia in recent years. At the same time, archrival Virginia hired Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliott, who is expected to prioritize the home state.
Now, we look at the new signees. We won’t profile them because we’ve written profiles on each commitment when they made their pledge to Virginia Tech. The class includes three new signees in offensive tackle Brody Meadows and defensive end Keyshawn Burgos — two late flips from UVa. And also Gunner Givens’ high-school teammate, offensive lineman Hunter Mclain.
The Hokies currently have three commitments who chose not to sign Wednesday. However, defensive tackle Malachi Madison is expected to sign this week if he hasn’t already. The other two unsigned prospects are tight end Daequan Wright and offensive tackle Xavier Chaplin. Both will sign in February — hopefully with Virginia Tech. However, both are garnering late interest, specifically from SEC schools, which is always a concern.
Ideally, Pry finalizes his coaching staff in the next two weeks, and he can have Wright and Chaplin back on campus before they sign elsewhere. Both are a major priority with big-time upsides. The previous staff did an outstanding job getting in on these two players early in the process.
Overall, again, you have to credit Fuente’s staff. There is some quality talent in this class. I love the depth on both lines. Players such as OL Johnny Garrett, DB Mansoor Delane and WR Grant Holloway all received significant interest, and each stuck with Pry. By the way, those aren’t the only ones in this class who received outside interest, just the ones we heard the most smoke about.
Now, we introduce the 19 players who signed Wednesday. Notice, every player has a hyperlink under their respective name, indicating the profile we wrote on the player when they committed. We didn’t have a profile on Meadows and Burgos since they flipped this week or kicker John Love.
OL/DL Gunner Givens — Lord Botetourt, Daleville, Virginia
CB Cam Johnson — St, Frances Academy, Baltimore, Maryland
TE Benji Gosnell — Carroll County, Hillsville, Virginia
OT Brody Meadows — Graham, Bluefield, Virginia
G Johnny Dickson — Flour Bluff, Corpus Christi, Texas
CB Mansoor Delane — Archbishop Spalding, Severn, Maryland
DL Rashaud Pernell — Highland Springs, Highland Springs, Virginia
IOL Braelin Moore — Freedom, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
QB Devin Farrell — Milton, Alpharetta, Georgia
DL Kyree Moyston — King’s Fork, Suffolk, Virginia
EDGE Keyshawn Burgos — Matoaca, Chesterfield, Virginia
RB Bryce Duke — Tuscarora, Leesburg, Virginia
TE Harrison Saint Germain — Westfield, Chantilly, Virginia
DL Lemar Law — Green Run, Virginia Beach, Virginia
WR Tucker Holloway — Rabun Gap-Nacoochee, Rabun Gap, Georgia
OT Johnny Garrett — Boston College, Boston, Massachusetts
LB Reid Pulliam — Life Christian Academy, Colonial Heights, Virginia
K John Love — Spartanburg, Spartanburg, South Carolina
IOL Hunter Mclain — Lord Botetourt, Daleville, Virginia
Welcome each one of these young men to Virginia Tech. Excited to watch them over the next few years.
Now, let’s hope the Hokies add to this group and keep Wright and Chaplin in the fold. You will likely see heavy attrition in the coming weeks and the Hokies will also be busy in the transfer portal, looking for veteran depth for 2022, especially at quarterback.