With the Hokies likely to sign only one offensive guard this cycle (John Harris), Virginia Tech will likely look to bring in a larger offensive guard class in their 2019 class. One of their priorities at offensive guard is Riley Simonds from Buford, Georgia.
Since the Hokies were the first to offer Simonds, Virginia Tech has been consistently among the top schools for him. The Hokies hosted Simonds on a visit over the summer but this past weekend, the Hokies hosted him in Blacksburg for the first time this fall.
Going into the visit, Simonds told us that Virginia Tech was the leader in his recruitment. After his visit, Simonds said that this visit improved the Hokies’ standing with him.
Simonds told us that he had a “good” visit with “the atmosphere and the community” standing out to him. When we asked Simonds what stood out about those things, it became clear that Hokie Nation a made a strong impression on him as he said that it was “just how everyone said hello to me and talked to me, and how no matter what, everybody was excited and having a good time.”
Simonds also said that “the hospitality was way better than anywhere else,” another impressive mark that this was a great visit for Virginia Tech.
However, Virginia Tech’s coaches made a bigger impression and made Simonds feel like the “priority” that he is for VT. Simonds also said that his time with the Hokies’ coaching staff was “really great”, another good sign that Simonds and the Hokies’ coaches are meshing quite well.
Overall, Simonds said that this visit was a “pretty big deal” with the Hokies improving their standing as the leader in Simonds’s recruitment.
While this visit was really strong, this wasn’t the only time that the Hokies have put a lot of energy into recruiting Simonds and definitely won’t be the last time. Simonds told us that Virginia Tech is recruiting him the hardest with Simonds still having the best relationship with Vance Vice as he told us in early October.
Riley Simonds is one of the best offensive guards in the 2019 class as Rivals has him ninth among OGs, 247 Sports ranks him 13th, and the 247 Sports Composite ranks him 14th. Simonds is also among the top 60 recruits in the talent rich state of Georgia with 247 Sports ranking him 39th in the Peachtree State, the 247 Sports Composite ranking him 52nd, and Rivals ranking him 32nd.
While Simonds is well-rated, his offer list shows that the recruiting sites aren’t the only ones high on him. Here’s the current offer list for Riley Simonds:
- ACC: Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech
- SEC: Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Mississippi State, Kentucky
- Big 10: Michigan State, Maryland, Rutgers
- Pac-12: Oregon, Colorado
- Group of 5: Florida Atlantic
This offer list just shows how Simonds is one of the best offensive guards in the country. Despite offers from SEC schools like Alabama and Auburn, the Hokies have made a strong impression that has pushed them to the lead over those schools, Florida, Georgia Tech, and more.
Simonds doesn’t have a timetable for cutting down his list or making a decision but if Simonds were to make a decision soon, it’s very likely that he would end up in Blacksburg. While there’s no sign that Simonds will make a decision soon, Virginia Tech has done a fantastic job putting themselves in an almost ideal position for him at this point.
The one school to keep an eye on may be in-state Georgia. The Bulldogs haven’t offered Simonds and if there’s one school that could offer him and likely jump into the hunt, it’s probably the Bulldogs. Simonds has visited Georgia this fall so the fact that he said Virginia Tech’s hospitality was better than any other school should be encouraging even if the Bulldogs decide to offer.
Virginia Tech has made Riley Simonds a priority and for now, Simonds is making the Hokies a priority as well. The Hokies are in the lead for Simonds, but still have plenty of work ahead to gain his commitment.