Virginia Tech is putting together a strong offensive line class in the 2018 cycle with three commits so far and at least one more being possible. However, the Hokies may take a bigger offensive line class in 2019, and one of their top targets is three-star OG Riley Simonds out of Georgia powerhouse Buford High School.
Virginia Tech was the first to offer Simonds last April. Less than six weeks later, his recruitment blew up as he added offers from Oregon, Florida, Mississippi State, Michigan State, Maryland, Rutgers, and Florida Atlantic. Simonds added an offer from Alabama over the summer and recently was offered by Georgia Tech.
As his offer list shows, Simonds is one of America’s top offensive guard prospects with the rankings backing that up. The 247 Sports Composite ranks him as the 14th best guard while 247 Sports ranks him 12th among guards and Rivals ranks him ninth. Simonds is also ranked as a top 40 recruit in the state of Georgia by both 247 Sports and Rivals.
Though Simonds doesn’t have a leader in his recruitment, it’s hard to not think that the Hokies are the favorite currently for the Buford, GA guard. Simonds had a “great experience” when he visited over the summer and plans to return to Blacksburg when the Hokies play UNC.
Another reason for that is the fact that Simonds has built a great relationship with Virginia Tech OL coach Vance Vice. Simonds said that Vice is the coach whom he has the best relationship with and expanded on that when we asked him why that is the case.
“He’s just the kind of guy that makes you want to win and get better,” Simonds told us.
This is a profound comment from Simonds and in a recruiting world where relationships are critical, this is a big boost to the Hokies’ hopes of landing one of their top, interior targets.
Virginia Tech appears to be the favorite and is among those recruiting him the hardest, but Simonds also recently mentioned Georgia Tech, Florida, and Rutgers being among those recruiting him the hardest.
Georgia Tech is particularly intriguing as the in-state schools that recently offered Simonds and has made him a priority ever since. Meanwhile, Florida could be a team to watch as well, especially with the Gators currently only having one 2018 offensive line commit and likely planning to take a large group in 2019.
However, the biggest threat may be a school that hasn’t offered yet, Georgia. Simonds recently visited Athens and the Bulldogs are definitely keep an eye on him. Georgia appears to have its best team since Aaron Murray led the Bulldogs and UGA would likely become a major player if they choose to offer and pursue him.
For now, Virginia Tech is off to a great start and making it harder for a school like Georgia to hop in later and have a serious chance at getting the Buford offensive guard.
Riley Simonds is one of the top offensive guards in the 2019 class and after getting John Harris in the 2018 class, the Hokies are looking to keep the pipeline of Georgia offensive guards to Blacksburg open.