Ron Crook hasn’t had much time to settle in since becoming Virginia Tech’s new offensive line coach just before spring practice. Former offensive line coach Joe Rudolph bolted for Notre Dame before spring football, leaving head coach Brent Pry in a difficult spot to find a replacement.
Eventually, Pry settled on Crook, who immediately got to work. And while Crook has been busy evaluating high school players and the NCAA transfer portal, he landed his first commitment with the Hokies Tuesday night in the form of Tommy Ricard.
Ricard is a 6-foot-4, 265-pound interior offensive line prospect from Hudson High School in Hudson, Ohio. He visited Blacksburg in the spring, where Pry and Crook offered him. He committed to the Hokies Monday and explained why to Evan Watkins of 247Sports.
“I chose VT because it has everything I’m looking for: great engineering school, great football program, and great campus where I will enjoy my time there,” Ricard said. “And Coach Pry is great, and I’m excited to work with Coach Crook as well.”
Committed to Virginia Tech! Thank you God for putting me in this position and blessing me so much every day. Can’t wait to get to work Hokie Nation!@HokiesFB @CoachPryVT @Crook_VT @RollHudFootball pic.twitter.com/bKESYUu6jn— Tommy Ricard (@tommy_ricard) May 24, 2023
Ricard is a three-star prospect according to the 247Sports composite rankings and is the No. 44 interior offensive line prospect in the country in 2024 and the No. 25 overall player in the talent-rich state of Ohio.
Ricard chose the Hokies over Minnesota, West Virginia, Kentucky, Michigan State and a host of others. Not a bad list of offers for Ricard before he enters his senior season.
Allen Trieu, an analyst for 247Sports, believes Ricard has a chance to move up in the rankings if he visits any camps and, of course, during his senior season.
He has great flexibility and can bend and get pad level. That should translate very well to guard or maybe center in college. He plays with tenacity and finishes blocks.
Ricard is commitment No. 6 for Tech’s 2024 class, following quarterback Davi Belfort, running back Tyler Mason, defensive back Joshua Clarke, defensive tackle Emmett Laws and defensive end Deric Dandy.
As for Ricard, anytime you have a chance to land a Midwestern kid who plays along the offensive line, sign me up.