The Virginia Tech Hokies and Florida State Seminoles have had a few recruiting battles over the last few years, and the Class of 2017 is already setting up for at least one battle for arguably the best recruit in the 757 and all of Virginia.
Khalan Laborn is one of the top running back recruits in the nation, and will be playing for Chris Scott at Bishop Sullivan in the 757 this fall. After that, Laborn already seems almost certain to either end up playing in Blacksburg or Tallahassee for the next four years.
Laborn has 18 offers from many top programs in addition to Virginia Tech and Florida State including Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Miami, Ohio State, Tennessee, Ole Miss, Penn State, Arizona State, North Carolina, West Virginia, Louisville, and Virginia with that total likely to only grow despite the fact that this already seems to be a two-team recruiting battle.
Laborn is a top 80 junior nationally with ESPN ranking him as the 75th best Class of 2017 recruit, the 247 Sports Composite ranking him 39th, and Rivals ranking him 29th. Both Rivals and the 247 Sports Composite have Laborn as the top recruit in the state of Virginia while ESPN has him second behind Devon Hunter.
Laborn visited the Hokies over their Junior Day the Saturday after National Signing Day, and will make at least one return visit to Blacksburg this spring along with at least one visit to Florida State. Other programs that may be in the hunt include Ohio State, Georgia, and North Carolina but those programs have a lot of ground to make up if they are going to have a chance.
One advantage for the Hokies may be the fact that Virginia Tech has their RBs coach as the primary recruiter for Laborn in Zohn Burden who had been the primary recruiter for Laborn previously. The fact that Burden was retained on the staff has also helped the new staff quickly build connections in the 757 led by the well-liked Burden.
However, Burden will be leading the charge for the Hokies for the first time against Florida State’s Odell Haggins now that Bryan Stinespring is at JMU. Haggins has been success recruiting in the Commonwealth, and has had plenty of success poaching top talent out of Virginia including Levonta Taylor, Derrick Nnadi, E.J. Levenberry, and Darvin Taylor.
For the Hokies, getting Laborn to come to Blacksburg would send a significant message across the state about Justin Fuente and the new Virginia Tech staff. Getting Tyjuan Garbutt was a good start, but the Hokies need to get more than just him including Laborn, Devon Hunter, Eric Crosby, Yetur Matos, Ellis Brooks, and other top in-state recruits.
With Khalan Laborn set announce on June 1st, the Hokies and Seminoles will both be making hard pushes to gain the commitment of one of America’s top running back recruits knowing the impact he can have on their respective recruiting classes.