The Virginia Tech Hokies did a great job of recruiting defensive linemen this past year with six defensive linemen signing with the Hokies. Yosuah Nijman is starting at defensive end, but there is definitely the potential for him to end up at offensive tackle if he doesn’t work out on the defensive line.
The Hokies brought in two linebackers who both project as outside linebackers though they could be used in a Deon Clarke-like role and not at the middle linebacker spot. Tremaine Edmunds is seen as someone who could shift from OLB to DE, but Edmunds will likely stay at defensive end.
The Hokies also brought in plenty of defensive backs with Adonis Alexander probably being the only player that can only play safety. All five of the defensive backs are at least six-feet tall, and seem to be players with tons of upside.
Now, let’s countdown the top 3 instant-impact freshmen for 2015.
3. DT Tim Settle
Tim Settle is definitely the most talented recruit that the Hokies brought in from this recruiting cycle. Settle has the potential to be one of the greatest defensive tackles Virginia Tech has ever had.
Settle already has a NFL-size body at around 6’3” and 315 pounds with the strength to power through many interior offensive linemen. Settle is also fairly nimble for a guy of his size, and is very explosive off of the line.
The biggest reason why Settle is here on this list is the fact that Virginia Tech has an extremely talented group of defensive tackles. Luther Maddy, Corey Marshall, and Nigel Williams are clearly the top 3 defensive tackles while Ricky Walker and Woody Baron will compete for the fourth spot with Vincent Mihota being a sleeper for that spot.
Settle also may end up at prep school depending on his grades and SAT scores which would make it impossible for him. Settle has the talent, but his position on the depth chart really hurts his freshman impact.
2. DE Trevon Hill
The Virginia Tech Hokies have two tremendous defensive ends in Dadi Nicolas and Ken Ekanem, but the depth behind those two is not very good entering this spring. Dewayne Alford and Seth Dooley seem to have upside, but DL coach Charley Wiles will be ready to give some of the freshmen a chance to earn playing time especially Trevon Hill.
Hill has a great frame that should allow him to add 15 pounds of muscle from his current 6’4” 220-frame over the course of the next year. Hill has above-average speed for a defensive end and also is a very good athlete which always helps a player find a way to get on the field.
Hill will definitely be eager to compete for a job as a backup defensive end knowing that Nicolas will be gone after 2015 and Ekanem after 2016. Hill also will want to continue to shine as one of the lead guys in this class after being one of the Hokies’ top player-recruiters for this class.
Trevon Hill will find a way to get some playing time as a backup defensive end this fall, and while his impact may not be too big, he will make a decent-sized impact.
1. CB Mook Reynolds
Mook Reynolds is the top incoming defensive back for the Hokies, and after having him on campus for a couple of weeks, Bud Foster already thinks that Reynolds could make an instant-impact. With Chuck Clark moving to free safety, Reynolds will have the chance to be one of the Hokies’ top 4 cornerbacks.
Reynolds will have to go against Greg Stroman, Shawn Payne, and Terrell Edmunds for that fourth cornerback spot, but Reynolds could be the guy to beat. Reynolds has very good speed and ball skills while also having some solid man coverage skills which should improve a lot this spring working with Torrian Gray.
Reynolds has a fairly high football IQ while he can get up and make plays against bigger wide receivers. At 6-feet tall, Reynolds is still quite athletic for a cornerback though he is probably the shortest defensive back of the DBs that the Hokies brought in.
Reynolds definitely has the talent to take a Brandon Facyson-like role this fall as a fourth cornerback with the potential to thrive like Facyson though no one should expect 5 or 6 interceptions. Reynolds is going to be a great cornerback for the Hokies and it will start in 2015.