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Virginia Tech basketball: Hokies land talented forward for 2021 recruiting class

This was a surprise; a good surprise.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Virginia Tech at Florida
Virginia Tech guard Nahiem Alleyne with head coach Mike Young
Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

The Virginia Tech Hokies quietly added a talented player to their 2021 recruiting class when Jalen Haynes pledged to Virginia Tech on Thursday night.

A 6-foot-8, 215-pound from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, was originally a part of the 2020 class but reclassified to the 2021 class after spending this season at the prestigious Montverde Academy in Florida. Some of the more notable basketball stars who’ve attended Montverde in recent years are Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Cade Cunningham.

During his final season at Montverde, Haynes averaged 20 points and 11 rebounds per game, on a team that spent time ranked No. 1 nationally.

Virginia Tech head Mike Young released the following statement after Haynes signed with the Hokies.

Jalen possesses the type of skill and size we are looking for in our program. He reminds me of a lot of good players I have had the privilege of coaching in the past and we are excited to bring him to Virginia Tech. Jalen comes from a very good high school program and he has a great understanding of the game of basketball. We are excited for his future as a Hokie.

It’s not clear if Haynes will have a role on Virginia Tech’s 2021-22 team. The Hokies bring back plenty of talent and experience, allowing Haynes to either redshirt or serve in a reserve role. His body and playing style resembles current Virginia Tech forward, Keve Aluma.

Haynes is exactly the type of player who could thrive under Young. Look no further than Aluma and Justyn Mutts. And, he isn’t the typical freshman, having spent an extra year playing at one of the top high schools in the country. So, he could play next season.

Welcome to Blacksburg, Jalen.