Christian Darrisaw committed to the Virginia Tech Hokies eight days ago after receiving an offer days early and visiting Blacksburg for Virginia Tech’s game against Georgia Tech the weekend before his commitment. The Hokies were the first FBS offer for Darrisaw though more may be coming as reports suggested that academic concerns prevented major programs from showing though those have been resolved, and the Hokies were the first and only FBS program so far to offer.
While many questioned whether Darrisaw was worthy of an offer from Virginia Tech given his lack of offers from FBS schools, the Hokies might just have gotten a steal who has a lot of upside and could be a quality starter down the road.
Darrisaw has a great frame for an offensive lineman at 6’5” and somewhere around 290-295 pounds with the potential to definitely add another 10-15 pounds on to that frame as he definitely seems to carry 290+ pounds well and adding 15 more pounds shouldn’t hurt his athleticism. Darrisaw definitely has the size to play wherever on the line whether it be at tackle as he currently is projected or whether that be a shift to guard when he gets to Blacksburg.
On tape, Darrisaw does show plenty of strength as someone who is able to get pancakes against other defensive linemen and not just when he is going to the second level and pushing small high school linebackers down. Darrisaw has a good amount of strength already and should only benefit from being in a collegiate weight room with Ben Hilgart and the Hokies’ strength and conditioning staff.
However, there are plenty of things that show how Darrisaw is quite raw as an offensive tackle and shouldn’t be expected to be a guy who could break into the two-deep depth chart in 2017.
Darrisaw’s footwork is at times fairly good but in general, his footwork is inconsistent overall as there are a good amount of times where he is flat-footed in his movement. Darrisaw pops out of his stance and into a stand up position too quickly in many of highlights causing him to be flat-footed. While Darrisaw is able to shut down opposing pass rushers on his highlight tape, he will not be able to get away with being flat-footed at the collegiate level.
Christian Darrisaw also seems to get lost on the field on some plays while also not advancing on to the next block after clearing one player out of the way and not having the vision to get the second tier guy after helping to create a hole. Both of those things can be taught and improved upon by Vance Vice and the Hokies’ coaching staff. Darrisaw does seem to know how to use his hands somewhat well but this is another area where he likely could continue to improve a lot under a collegiate coaching staff.
One thing that Darrisaw seems to have is somewhat of a mean streak and a high intensity that you can see from the way he finishes out some of his blocks. Finding a guy who is willing to be aggressive on the offensive line is something that offensive line coaches look for and is something that makes Darrisaw a very interesting prospect.
Overall, Darrisaw definitely is a guy with a high ceiling, but is someone that is raw as an offensive tackle and definitely could end up being a bust if he doesn’t put in the work required to play at the highest levels of college football. However, Darrisaw seems to have the work ethic with the way he has grown from around 260 pounds to 290 pounds within the last year while also getting his academic situation fixed.
Darrisaw definitely has a lot of potential but one thing that may not be a bad idea is for Darrisaw to prep for a semester at somewhere like Fork Union as Silas Dzansi is currently and then enroll the following spring. This would not only give Darrisaw a fall season at the prep level to develop more but also push his clock back a little and give the Hokies’ staff a less raw offensive lineman that would still have four years of eligibility.
However, Darrisaw does not necessarily need to go to prep school but if he comes to Blacksburg next summer, expect Darrisaw to redshirt in the fall as he adapts to Virginia Tech and begins to be coached up by Vance Vice.
Christian Darrisaw has the potential to be a steal that other power 5 programs wish they would have offered for the Hokies, but he also does have some potential to be a bust if he doesn’t put in the work off the field as an offensive lineman.
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