In this week’s edition of ‘Crootin, we’re talking about a handful of top targets for which the Hokies are major contenders. The goal for the entire ‘Crootin series is to familiarize Hokie fans that may not closely follow recruiting with some important names that may hopefully don the Maroon and Orange in the future. Fair warning: a major theme of this will be “I don’t know” because usually the correct response to “Where will X or Y recruit commit to” is ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. But, today I’m going to talk about 3 HUGE names that the Hokies are targeting in the 2016 class.
First up, Grant Holloway:
Chesapeake, VA | #14 in the state of VA
Grant Holloway will likely be a future Olympian, but, the Hokies hope he is also a future Hokie. The 6’2″ 190 lb speedster holds a number of big offers but from all indications Virginia Tech is a major contender with what they offer on both the Football and Track and Field side of things. One thing to know about the 2016 class is that the coaching staff and new WR Coach Zohn Burden are going after Wide Receivers HARD because we lack true depth at the position. You may be thinking that we have two young studs in Isaiah Ford and Cam Phillips which is true, but there is a significant gap between them and our #3 receiver. With Joshua Stanford leaving the program and a number of WR prospects that have yet to make an impact, there will continue to be room for talented pass catchers to make an impact right away. Holloway is poised to be one of those quick impact guys, a player with his combination of speed and play-making ability will always be welcome on an offense that has lacked a great depth of quick and talented players at the skill positions on Offense. Many believe the Hokies are the team to beat here and I would have to agree with that. The biggest determining factor will be opportunities on the track. The Hokies have a solid pitch both on the field and on the track and should feel good about their chances. However, there are lingering questions about Holloway’s intentions at the next level and whether football is a priority for him at all.
Holloway’s recruitment is very much “wait and see” and at this stage of the game it’s hard to get a read on exactly what his plans are. Though, if Holloway does choose the Hokies then I believe, like David Wilson before him, he could lead the Hokies to more ACC Championships on the football field and on the track.
We need Offensive Tackles and we need ’em bad. The Hokies Offensive Line hasn’t been particularly good for a while. As such, the offense as a whole hasn’t been good for a while. In fact, it seems that more often than not our offensive skill position players succeed in spite of the Offensive Line. That’s not how good offensive football works.
First solution, bring in big, talented Offensive Linemen and develop them. Landon Dickerson definitely fits the bill. Dickerson has seen his stock rise rapidly in recent months and has major programs begging for his services. The Hokies are a contender but this one will be a battle. Some other teams to keep an eye on are FSU, South Carolina, and Tennessee who will each be a major factor in Dickerson’s recruitment. As reported by 247Sports.com’s Virginia Tech site, VTscoop.com, Landon made a visit to Virginia Tech on Wednesday.
Dickerson has a ton of reasons to like Virginia Tech. His grandfather played for the Hokies, he’s quite familiar and comfortable with the team and the coaching staff, and, per VTScoop, he was blown away by the Engineering Department from an academic standpoint. Though, he does have some hang-ups, namely the possibility of Coach Beamer being gone in the next year or two. It’s an issue that’s becoming more and more common with our recruits as the future becomes more and more clouded regarding Coach Beamer’s tenure with the Hokies. It’s a completely reasonable worry to have for a kid that’s had 3 different high school coaches and there isn’t much the Virginia Tech staff can do to ease those worries.
That said, it’s clear the Hokies are a contender for Dickerson and have worked hard to show why they could be the best fit for him as a player. Will it work out in the end? Nobody knows for sure.
Folks, mark this day down in your Lisa Frank day planners. July 31st. That’s the day Tino Ellis is set to announce the school of his choice and make one fan base incredibly happy. Though Ellis did waver slightly with his commitment date, it seems he has talked it over with his family and coaching staff and is once again set to announce his decision on the 31st. While a lot of schools have been heavily recruiting the immensely talented Wide Receiver it seems that it is down to a two team battle with both teams having good reason to be optimistic heading into the final stretch. Maryland has a strong pitch for the talented playmaker – stay home and play for your home state. It’s a pitch that has endured the test of time. But, I think the Hokies make a solid case in their own right. First consider that Ellis’ cousin is Donovan Riley and Cam Phillips is a former teammate and close friend of Ellis’ as well. The Hokies are no longer the ground and pound team we’re used to seeing and under new management the Offense has relied on the pass more and more each season. This trend will only continue to grow as more and more talent comes in at the skill positions out wide. Ellis is one of my favorite, if not my #1, prospect in the 2016 class and it would be huge if he chose to spend his collegiate career in Blacksburg.
In the last week of his recruitment and leading up to his announcement next friday, things have been changing rapidly. Initially, he was going to postpone his announcement, then quickly changed his mind. On top of that, he was done with all visits until the 31st. Then, it came out that he’d be visiting Virginia Tech this weekend. Theennn, he decided not to visit this weekend. So, to say his recruitment is hard to read at this point would be a major understatement. Hokies fans and Terp fans alike have been flip-flopping on whether they feel supremely confident or completely hopeless. My advice, let it all play out. His decision will be made in a week and till then all we can really do is wait.
In other ‘Crootin news…
This weekend is an enormous recruiting weekend for the Hokies with a long, long list of big name prospects making the trip to Blacksburg for the weekend camp.
— Devon Hunter (@devonhunter11) July 22, 2015
— TKP Recruiting (@TKP_Recruiting) July 17, 2015
That’s just 5 recruits.. the full list is in excess of 30 big time prospects making the trip to Blacksburg this weekend.
The best way to follow the latest up to the minute recruiting news and scoop is with 247Sports VTScoop.com. I’m a member and they do some of the best work when it comes to Virginia Tech recruiting. That’s not to take away from sites like Tech Sideline or the Rivals affiliate HokieHaven as far as paysites go. If you’re just getting into recruiting or just don’t want to pay for news about high school football players then I have to recommend The Key Play, who I know every single one of you already know about. But, you may not know that in the past year they’ve really stepped up their recruiting coverage and have made up some ground on the aforementioned paysites.
In Drunken Gobbler news…
There’s been a lot going on with the site recently and I’ve been working at make the site look less terrible. So, here’s some of the stuff we got goin on in the DrunkenGobbler universe.
2. The DrunkenGobbler T-shirt is available to preorder now!
3. Much, much more on the horizon, thanks y’all for reading