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Since the May Evaluation Period ended, the Virginia Tech coaching staff has a pretty good idea of which players are at or near the top of their recruiting board this year. More names will be added as football season begins, but there is a lot of talent on Virginia Techís early recruiting board.
(The following star ratings are from Rivals.com.) Rivals currently lists 19 four and five star players that are interested in Virginia Tech. That number could grow, or shrink, as Rivals updates their rankings throughout the year and players commit to different schools.
Not surprisingly, most of those players are projected as defensive players, or as athletes that will likely play defense in college. Just five of the 19 players are projected to play on the offensive side of the ball at the college level.
The headliner of the group is 5-star quarterback Tyrod Taylor, from Hampton, VA. If you havenít heard of Tyrod Taylor by now, then chances are you havenít been reading TSL, or any other publication that covers recruiting. Taylor is the #1 target on Virginia Techís board, and the Hokies are hoping to gain a commitment from him sometime in July.
The Hokies are listed with another 5-star recruit, running back Caleb King from Georgia. King is the #1 running back in the nation. However Tech is an extreme long shot for King at this point.
Tech is also in on two 4-star wide receivers who are among the top100 players in the nation. If Tyrod Taylor commits to Virginia Tech, he could very well bring Jay Smith, from Virginia, and Mark Barnes, from South Carolina, with him to Blacksburg. Both would be tremendous pickups for the Hokies. Barnes is the #44 recruit in the nation, and Smith is #95.
Andrew Nuss is the fifth and final 4-star offensive recruit. Rivals likes Nuss and has him listed among the top offensive linemen in the country. However it isnít clear what the Tech staff thinks of him. They have offered, but they appear to have him a little further down their list than do most recruiting services.
Virginia Tech is listed with a number of players on the defensive side of the ball, including six 4-star defensive ends. However the Hokies only stand a real chance with a couple of them. Tech is in the race with Tony Tucker, from Washington, D.C., as well as Devon Still of Delaware. Georgiaís D.J. Stafford also recently listed the Hokies among his top five.
Scotty Cooper of Lake City, SC is the only 4-star linebacker that is currently listing the Hokies. He projects as either a whip or rover at the college level. At one point he favored Tech, but now the Hokies appear to be even with several other schools. Cooper would be a big pickup at a major position of need.
Perhaps the best defensive player on Techís board is North Carolina cornerback Marcus Gilchrist. Gilchrist is a 4-star prospect and the #61 player in the nation. He excels as a kick returner and punt returner, as well as cornerback. He returned four kickoffs and three punts for touchdowns last year, and he also picked off 11 passes. He currently lists Tech in his top five and it appears VT is squarely in the race.
Perhaps the most important in-state recruit on the defensive side of the ball is Varinaís Davon Morgan. Morgan is projected as a safety at the college level. He is #7 on TSLís top 30 list, which was released this past Tuesday night. He is the highest rated uncommitted defensive recruit in the state. He is a priority recruit for Virginia Tech.
Other 4-star defensive recruits that the Hokies are listed with, but are not expected to sign, are DT Tydreke Powell, DE Cliff Matthews, ATH Doug Wiggins and ATH Harrison Smith.
As the summer months drag
by, and football season begins, the Tech coaching staff will be able to make
further evaluations on recruits whom they have not yet decided whether or not to
offer. The Hokiesí summer camp from July 9-11 will also give the coaching
staff an important opportunity to evaluate recruits that are on the fringe of
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