Virginia Tech has peaked on the recruiting trail in recent weeks as several prospects have committed to the Hokies’ Class of 2019.
Tayvion Robinson and Jacoby Pinckney are the latest commitments for Virginia Tech, giving Justin Fuente two weapons in the passing game. The 5-foot-10 and 165-pound Robinson will fit nicely in the slot while the 6-foot-2 and 206-pound Pinckney will give the Hokies another taller option on the outside.
Virginia Tech now has three commitments from wide receivers, with Robinson and Pinckney joining Elijah Bowick. Between the three of them, and possibly athletes Jaden Payoute, Jahad Carter and Cam’Ron Kelly, Virginia Tech won’t be recruiting anymore receivers in this class.
In fact, Virginia Tech is likely winding down their recruiting for the entire 2019 class. The numbers are getting tight and with 12 commitments on board already, the Hokies only have a few more spots left.
The NCAA limits teams to 85 scholarship players. Here’s Virginia Tech’s projected scholarship situation heading into the 2019 season…
Quarterback (5) — Josh Jackson (R-Jr.), Hendon Hooker (R-So.), Ryan Willis (R-Sr.), Quincy Patterson (R-Fr. or So.), DeJuan Ellis (R-Fr. or So.)
Running back (6) — Jalen Holston (Jr.), Coleman Fox (R-Sr.), Terius Wheatley (R-So.), Caleb Steward (R-Fr. or So.), Deshawn McClease (R-Sr.), Cole Beck (R-Fr.)
Wide receiver (7) — Hezekiah Grimsley (Jr.), Phil Patterson (R-So.), Tre Turner (R-Fr. or So.), Damon Hazelton (R-Jr.), Sean Savoy (Jr.), Eric Kumah (Sr.), Darryle Simmons (R-Fr. or So.)
Tight end (4) — Dalton Keene (Jr.), Chris Cunningham (R-Sr.), Drake DeIuliis (R-So.), James Mitchell (R-Fr. or So.)
Offensive line (15) — Oscar Shadley (R-Fr. or So.), Patrick Kearns (R-Jr.), Aiden Brown (R-So.), Lecitus Smith (R-So.), Joe Kane (R-Fr. or So.), Silas Dzansi (R-So.), D’Andre Plantin (R-Sr.), TJ Jackson (R-Jr.), Zacariah Hoyt (R-Jr.), Jarrett Hopple (R-Jr.), Christian Darrisaw (R-Fr. or So.), Tyrell Smith (R-Sr.), Walker Culver (R-Fr. or So.), Luke Tenuta (R-Fr. or So.), John Harris (R-Fr. or So.)
Defensive line (14) — Houshun Gaines (R-Sr.), Zion DeBose (R-So.), Emmanuel Belmar (R-Jr.), Xavier Burke (R-Sr.), TyJuan Garbutt (R-So.), Eli Adams (R-Fr. or So.), Darius Fullwood (R-Sr.), Jarrod Hewitt (R-Jr.), Nathan Proctor (R-So.), Trevon Hill (R-Sr.), Jimmie Taylor (R-Jr.), Robert Porcher IV (R-So.), Cam Goode (R-Fr. or So.), Jaevon Becton (R-Fr. or So.)
Linebacker (7) — Rayshard Ashby (Jr.), Alan Tisdale (R-Fr. or So.), Rico Kearney (R-So.), Jaylen Griffin (R-Fr.), Dylan Rivers (Jr.), Dax Hollifield (R-Fr. or So.), Keshon Artis (R-Fr. or So.)
Defensive back (16) — Caleb Farley (R-So.), Bryce Watts (Jr.), Devon Hunter (Jr.), Khalil Ladler (R-Jr.), Divine Deablo (R-Jr.), DJ Crossen (R-Fr. or So.), Reggie Floyd (Sr.), Jovonn Quillen (Sr.), Jermaine Waller (R-Fr. or So.), Devante Smith (R-So.), Tyree Rodgers (R-Jr.), Nasir Peoples (R-Fr. or So.), Jeremy Webb (R-Jr.), Nadir Thompson (R-Fr. or So.), Armani Chatman (R-Fr. or So.), Chamarri Conner (R-Fr. or So.)
Kicker/punter (3) — Oscar Bradburn (Jr.), Jordan Stout (R-So.), Brian Johnson (R-Jr.)
Projected scholarship count for 2019 — 77 scholarships
Projected Class of 2019 size, excluding attrition and early declarations for NFL Draft — 9 scholarships
There could be a player or two that is no longer on scholarship, or a player or two that has been added on scholarship since their arrival, so these numbers may be slightly off. For this exercise, all three of Virginia Tech’s specialists are being counted as scholarship players.
Clearly, Virginia Tech is already over their open scholarship limit. Very few Hokies on this year’s team are seniors, and only a few underclassmen have a chance at being able to declare for next year’s NFL Draft.
Given that Virginia Tech can only take a few more players in this recruiting class, what positions should the Hokies emphasize?
Until Virginia Tech feels comfortable about their collective talent at running back, and I don’t believe they do, the coaches should continue to sign 1-2 running backs per class. Stuff as much talent in the pipe as you can and hope something good comes out on the other end. Virginia Tech has been after Jordan Houston for a while now and his versatility makes him a fit for Justin Fuente’s system. Tahj Gary is another possibility, as is NC State commit Jamious Griffin, the younger brother of Jaylen Griffin.
Defensive tackle must continue to be a priority. Norell Pollard will likely be a defensive tackle at Virginia Tech, but Fuente should add one or two more interior defensive linemen. The situation at tackle is rickety right now and when Ricky Walker leaves at the end of the year, it will be even worse. Mario Kendricks is very high on Tech, while Adarious Jones is another possibility. According to 247Sports, both Kendricks and Jones are scheduled to announce their decisions on Saturday, June 30.
Virginia Tech will be done recruiting this class very soon. Instead of working to sign three or four guys after the early signing period in December, the Hokies will likely have moved on almost entirely to the Class of 2020. It’ll be interesting to see how things play out over the next five months.