After having a month-long drought in recruiting, the Virginia Tech Hokies gained their first commitment of July via Twitter from three-star OLB Emmanuel Belmar. Belmar became the twelfth player to commit to the Hokies joining a group headlined by QB Joshua Jackson and athlete Reggie Floyd.
Then a teammate of Floyd committed to join the Hokies a little farther down the road.
2017 S Devante Smith of Stonewall Jackson High School in Manassas, Virginia committed to the Hokies after Virginia Tech was the first school to give him a scholarship in June. Smith is the first player to commit to the Hokies in the Class of 2017, and could be valuable in trying to get some of the big-name Virginia recruits in 2017 to come to Blacksburg.
Smith has not been scouted much by the recruiting sites though Rivals has given him a three-star rating. The Hokies are the only program to have offered Smith so far, but that seems likely to change at this commitment will cause him to draw more attention now that he has committed to Virginia Tech.
Smith also makes it the fourth straight class that a player from Stonewall Jackson High School has committed to the Hokies. This started with Greg Stroman in 2014, and was followed by Tim Settle in 2015 and Reggie Floyd in 2016. Stroman wasn’t the first Hokie out of Stonewall Jackson as it all started in 2008 with future star running back Ryan Williams joining the Hokies.
Smith has also played quarterback and wide receiver for Stonewall Jackson, and his above-average athleticism and speed shows at those different positions. Smith also shows a lot of toughness through his scrambling style at quarterback to go right at opposing defenders to gain a few extra yards.
Smith is still fairly raw as a safety and could end up playing quarterback or wide receiver at the collegiate level instead. However, Smith does seem to have good form as a tackler and has good pursuit skills while having two full high school seasons to develop more as a safety.
Devante Smith is a great first addition to the Hokies’ Class of 2017 that has the potential to take back the state of Virginia. However, the Hokies’ ability to take back recruits in the state of Virginia could depend on how well Virginia Tech plays this fall, but Smith is a good start for 2017 recruiting.