The Virginia Tech Hokies have gotten off to a solid start on the recruiting trail for the Class of 2016 with eight commits led by 4-star athlete Reggie Floyd from Northern Virginia. However, the Hokies entered today without having a single commit on the defensive line despite how Charley Wiles got off to a solid start recruiting defensive linemen last season.
Today, the Hokies gained their first defensive line commit.
I am proud to say that I have committed to Virginia Tech to play football. Go Hokies! pic.twitter.com/YNnQ7iznQo
— Claybrooke Dean (@ClaybrookeDean) March 25, 2015
Clay Dean is a defensive linemen from Woodgrove High School in Purcellville, Virginia that most likely profiles a defensive tackle as long as he continues to add some more weight to his 6’2”, 240-pound frame. Dean is the fourth in-state and ninth overall commit for the Hokies.
Dean is an under-the-radar prospect that has an offer from Virginia Tech, but many schools are now likely to look at his tape to see how good he is. Even though the Hokies were the only team to offer Dean so far, it seems like Virginia Tech is gaining more recruiting momentum in Northern Virginia, especially after the commitment of Tim Settle.
Dean has been ranked as a three-star defensive tackle by 247 Sports with the 247 Sports Composite having him as the 61st best defensive tackle and 49th best junior in Virginia.
Clay Dean looks like a player that will take some time to develop and add some more weight, but he does show a lot of potential with solid speed and some quality block shedding moves. Dean also seems to be fairly explosive though part of that may be due to the fact that he is a little undersized currently for a defensive tackle.
Dean was also productive for a defensive tackle at the high school level with 82 tackles and 14 sacks. Many coaches will probably look to see if he can add some more strength and back up these numbers as a senior.
However, Dean is a guy that seems like he would certainly need a redshirt year if he didn’t arrive early on campus though Dean does remind some of Woody Baron as an undersized defensive tackle with above-average speed.
At this point in the process, a lot of thing can change and Dean does not seem like he may necessarily be a solid commit for the Hokies based on an article from the Washington Post after Virginia Tech first offered him.
Though this is his first offer, Dean said Virginia and Boston College have showed early interest, too. He’d love for Virginia to offer as his preference, at least at this stage, is to stay close to home for college. However, Dean does not have any plans to make an early commitment.
Not many fans will like hearing that Virginia may flip Dean if the Cavaliers offer him, but that seems very possible. However, Dean also did not plan on making an early commitment at that time so some things may have changed.
Clay Dean is a Hokie for now though things could end up changing before National Signing Day 2016.