The Hokies had a big day recruiting the defensive side of the ball with commitments from 2016 LB Emmanual Belmar Jr. and 2017 Safety Devante Smith. Emmanuel Belmar Jr. is the Hokies’ 12th commitment of the 2016 cycle and Devante Smith is the 1st commitment for Hokies’ 2017 cycle. The Virginia Tech coaching staff invested early in both of these players, being the first offer for both, and the belief from the staff has paid off as both announced their commitments in what turned out to be a big Monday for the Hokies.
Emmanuel Belmar Jr.
2016 ☆☆☆ OLB | 6’2″ 220 lb | Collins Hill High School | Suwanee, GA
The Hokies defensive staff made Belmar Jr. a huge priority in the 2016 class since the Hokies became the first program to offer Belmar way back in February. Since then, the 6′ 2″ 220 lb Linebacker has made it to double digit offers but none more meaningful than that first one. Belmar is the second LB commit in 2016, a year in which the Hokies would really like to bolster their Linebacking corps.
Belmar Jr, out of Collins Hill High School in Suwanee, Georgia, is listed as a 3-star 86 by 247Sports.com. Emmanuel joins Victor Greene as the only Linebackers to commit to the Hokies so far in 2016. The Hokies will look to add at least one more Linebacker in the 2016 class (*pssst* keep an eye on Tavante Beckett and Brock Miller). He also joins Deandre Plantin and Brandon Facyson as some of the only Georgia Hokie commitments in recent years. Though, Georgia will be an area of interest moving forward for the Hokies as they look to broaden their recruiting horizons.
The Hokies got a good one in Belmar as the 2016 class continues to take shape through the Summer. In the coming months a few more of the dominoes should fall and we will get a clearer picture of how this class will really shake out. If the Hokies continue to add talented players in positions of need then I think we will be in good shape moving forward.
2017 Safety | 6’1″ 185 lb | Stonewall Jackson High School | Manassas, VA
The Hokies got off to an early start to the 2017 class with the commitment of Safety Devante Smith. The 6’1″ 185lb Safety from Manassas, VA is the latest in the line of Stonewall Jackson Hokies following the lead of Greg Stroman, Tim Settle, and Reggie Floyd. Smith’s verbal to the Hokies means that the 2017 class will be the 4th straight Virginia Tech class with a commitment from Stonewall Jackson, those 4 are: 2014 – Greg Stroman, 2015 – Tim Settle, 2016 – Reggie Floyd , and (now) 2017 – Devante Smith.
Devante is the first commitment for the Hokies in the 2017 class and looks to have all the requisite traits to be one of the next to run #DBU. If Torrian Gray believes in a DB enough to offer, then I believe in that DB. If Torrian Gray believes in a DB enough to offer this early in the game, then I get excited about that player. If you take some time to check out his Sophomore year highlights below you will see some of what I’m talking about. You will see a Sophomore who is already playing at 6’1″ 185lbs and moving well. His highlights show him largely on the offensive side of the ball, mostly at QB, similar to Greg Stroman’s highlights when he was at Stonewall Jackson. From this we can see his athleticism and speed, in addition to the fact that he is already bigger than Stroman and still just a Rising Junior in high school. In his highlights we do get to see a few clips of Smith lined up in the defensive backfield. In these clips we see that he is more than just a willing tackler, which is a key trait for a Hokie DB. Take a look at his film and see what you think for yourself.