Defensive back, and cornerback in particular, has been a top priority for Virginia Tech in the Class of 2018 with the Hokies having 6 commitments from projected DBs including 4 from cornerbacks. However, the Hokies are still looking to add another cornerback while also pursuing a few top 2019 guys.
Not Done Yet at CB in 2018
The Hokies have four commitments from likely cornerbacks, but VT isn’t done yet at cornerback as they are heavily pursuing four-star CB Kalon Gervin while showing a good amount of interest in three-star CB Jermaine Waller and JUCO CB Jeremy Webb.
Three-star CB Braxton Clark was the first cornerback to commit to Virginia Tech as the Orlando recruit committed within days of being offered by the Hokies. Clark definitely isn’t an immediate-impact guy but he’s an intriguing athlete with great length at 6’3” and is a very intriguing prospect as a cornerback due in part to having the type of size that you want in a cornerback. Clark still has a lot of development, but Clark definitely gives Brian Mitchell an intriguing talent to work with.
DJ Crossen is the Hokies’ other true cornerback commit as the former teammate of Hendon Hooker’s was a great get for the Hokies as VT was able to get him after having decommitted from North Carolina during this past winter. Crossen is an intriguing talent that has the size and athleticism you want while having the potential to come in and push for playing time as a true freshman especially with Crossen planning to be an early enrollee.
Nadir Thompson is one of two athletes that the Hokies have committed that are projected to play cornerback with Thompson being more certain of the two to play cornerback. Thompson is a great athlete with impressive speed who reminds me some of Greg Stroman due in part to him being a great athlete that also could replace Stroman as the Hokies’ punt returner in 2018.
Armani Chatman was a big get for the Hokies as Virginia Tech’s first and only in-state commit so far in this class while also being one of the top recruits in the 757. Chatman is another intriguing talent as a versatile player who could end up playing cornerback or wide receiver for the Hokies with WR becoming a larger possibility with VT only having 2 WR commits in Tre Turner and Darryle Simmons.
The top cornerback target for the Hokies, and one of VT’s top overall remaining targets, is four-star CB Kalon Gervin who will be visiting Virginia Tech this weekend as a part of the Hokies’ big recruiting BBQ event. Gervin decommitted from Notre Dame in May, weeks after a visit to the Hokies with Virginia Tech becoming the favorite for him since then with Oregon as the top challenger.
However, Alabama has emerged into the picture as the Crimson Tide just offered Gervin this past weekend on a visit he took to Tuscaloosa. Even though Alabama just offered this past weekend, it’s hard not to think that the Crimson Tide are a serious contender for Gervin given simply how Alabama has been the best team in college football by far over the past several years.
Despite Alabama offering this past weekend, Virginia Tech still is the favorite for Gervin with the Hokies having a chance to make another great impression this weekend with this visit being an important chance for VT to continue to build their momentum for the talented Detroit cornerback.
While Gervin is the top priority, the Hokies also have some interest in JUCO CB Jeremy Webb and three-star CB Jermaine Waller, who VT offered at their Washington D.C. satellite camp. The Hokies have shown a moderate amount of interest in Webb and if VT sees Adonis Alexander leave early, their interest in Webb could increase more with that situation increasing the Hokies’ need for more, immediate-impact cornerbacks.
Waller is an intriguing name to watch as he told us that VT is among three standing out for him along with NC State and Maryland. Waller was offered by the Hokies at their Washington D.C. satellite camp and is expected in Blacksburg this weekend with the D.C. area CB currently planning on making a decision at the end of the month. With numbers being tight, it will be interesting to see how hard the Hokies push for Waller with not a lot being known how much room their truly is for defensive backs currently.
2019 Focuses on the 757
Virginia Tech’s first commit in the 2019 class came from four-star 757 CB Tayvion Land who decommitted from VT this past February on National Signing Day, but remains one of the Hokies’ top CB targets along with fellow talented 757 cornerback and four-star recruit Cam’Ron Kelly.
Tayvion Land’s decommitment was a little bit of a surprise with no talk of a decommitment though it also happened on the same day of Tahj Capehart’s decision to flip from Virginia Tech to Maryland, something that likely had some sort of role. However, to think that Land was going to stay committed all the way till National Signing Day 2019 was a stretch but despite the decommitment, VT remains a serious contender.
Land has an impressive offer list that includes Florida, Georgia, LSU, Auburn, Tennessee, Maryland, NC State, and FAU in addition to the Hokies with Land at one point calling Georgia his leader according to 247 Sports. Maryland may be one of the least prominent schools on this list, but the Terps have had plenty of success in the 757 lately and are definitely a team to watch. There is one big concern with Land via his height as Land is only 5’8”, making it difficult to project him as an outside cornerback though he will for sure be a top 250 recruit if he grows a couple of inches, something that is obviously out of his control.
The other big time 757 cornerback on the board is four-star Oscar Smith CB Cam’Ron Kelly who has emerged as one of America’s top cornerbacks with offers from Florida State, Clemson, Auburn, Michigan, Georgia, Stanford, Tennessee, Penn State, Virginia Tech, Oregon, Missouri, North Carolina, West Virginia, Maryland, NC State, Duke, Georgia Tech, and many more.
Kelly is a very intriguing cornerback prospect as a great athlete with the type of size that you want from a collegiate cornerback. Virginia Tech has Kelly as one of their top 2019 DB targets with the Hokies having a great opportunity here to get Kelly with VT having a lot of past success at Oscar Smith along with being the favorite to get his teammate and four-star 2018 LB Keshon Artis. Kelly’s recruitment is going to be quite national with plenty of major programs looking to poach Kelly, but VT should be a serious contender for the four-star cornerback.
Another name to watch is Myles Bell out of South Florida powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas. The Hokies were the second school to offer Bell after Illinois with the Hokies having him on campus before he gained a few more power 5 offers from Penn State, West Virginia, Mississippi State, and Syracuse. Bell is high on Virginia Tech’s board and has the size at 6’1” that coaches are looking for in cornerbacks nowadays.
Virginia Tech is still looking to add at least one more cornerback despite four likely cornerbacks already committed while the 757 will be a top priority at cornerback in the 2019 class along with a talented cornerback out of powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas.