Tyjuan Garbutt’s recruitment has taken some twists and turns after he committed to Virginia Tech in February of 2016 before decommitting over the summer, but still stating that Virginia Tech was the leader in his recruitment. Now, Garbutt has reached the end of the process and is down to Virginia Tech and Pittsburgh in an interesting battle that has come down to the end of this recruiting cycle.
Underdog: Pittsburgh (10% Chance)
Pittsburgh has been the one team that has been able to get in the hunt and challenge the Hokies for Garbutt with Pitt turning the pressure on over the course of fall and making Garbutt a high priority.
Pat Narduzzi paid an in-home visit to Garbutt this week and Pitt hosted him on an official on the second weekend in January, one week before Virginia Tech. Pittsburgh has had the disadvantage of having their official visit before the Hokies, but have found a way to keep this recruitment alive even if only for a few extra days.
However, Pittsburgh’s chances aren’t great as the Panthers haven’t been able to get Garbutt on campus nearly as much as Virginia Tech while the Hokies also have the in-state appeal that has been gaining a lot of momentum recently with the Hokies gaining commitments from Devon Hunter and Dylan Rivers recently. On top of that, Virginia Tech received the final official visit and even though both teams had in-home visits after that, getting that last official visit is always preferable especially in this situation.
Pittsburgh has a chance to pull the surprise and stop Tyjuan Garbutt from recommitting to Virginia Tech, but the odds are quite small ahead of Garbutt’s big decision.
Favorite: Virginia Tech (90% Chance)
When a player decommits from a school, it’s not often that the decommitted player says that the school he decommitted from is still his leader yet that was the situation here when Tyjuan Garbutt decommitted from Virginia Tech over the summer. Virginia Tech has seemed to maintain pole position in Garbutt’s recruitment throughout the process and now seems to be poised to get his commitment.
Now, the Hokies have started to gain a few defensive linemen lately with Nathan Proctor, Robert Porcher IV, and J’Bril Glaze; but Garbutt has seemed to become the top target on the Hokies’ board after Devon Hunter’s commitment to VT with Garbutt not only being a target at a high priority need spot at DE but also being one of the top 12 players in the state of Virginia and giving the Hokies a chance at adding a fourth four-star recruit from Virginia.
Bud Foster has been critical in this recruitment as the area recruiter for Garbutt’s home area of Fredericksburg, and Foster was a big reason why he committed to Virginia Tech in the first place. The stability of Foster being Garbutt’s recruiter now for a couple years is paying dividends for the Hokies and puts Virginia Tech in a strong position to seal the deal.
Prediction: Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech has been the frontrunner throughout his recruitment and they are now poised to bring Garbutt back into this class after he was the headline name for months throughout last spring and into last summer. Garbutt would be a big in-state splash that would continue to help the Hokies make their in-state statement with having a class full of some of the top Virginia recruits with Hunter, Rivers, Garbutt, and Tahj Capehart.
Pittsburgh has made this recruitment a little more interesting, but Garbutt has been in Blacksburg a lot this past fall and winter; and he seems very likely to be a Hokie as Virginia Tech seems set to beat Pittsburgh again on the recruiting trail for a top target with another battle still remaining between the two plus Missouri and Illinois for three-star DE Zion DeBose.
Tyjuan Garbutt’s decision will make a big statement whether he stays in-state with the Hokies or whether Pittsburgh is able to go down into Virginia and poach a four-star recruit that the Hokies had made a high priority.