After not bringing in a single true wide receiver in the Class of 2015, the Hokies are putting a large focus on bringing in multiple wide receivers from the Class of 2016. So far the Hokies have commitments from 10 players including wide receivers Samuel Denmark and Connor O’Donnell with O’Donnell being committed to a grayshirt offer.
However, the Hokies are in the lead for multiple other wide receivers with one from Maryland being the most notable.
Four-star wide receiver Tino Ellis of DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, Maryland told Ryan Bartow of 247 Sports at the Washington D.C. Nike NFTC camp that the Hokies are the leaders in his recruitment over Maryland.
The Hokies have done a successful job of making the transition from Aaron Moorehead to Zohn Burden being in charge of the recruitment of Ellis. Burden has proven to be the quality replacement for Moorehead on the recruiting trail that he was expected to be.
Ellis is seen as one of the top 300 recruits in the nation with ESPN including him in their final ESPN Jr. 300, the 247 Composite ranking him as the 261st best junior, and Rivals ranking him as the 139th best junior. Ellis is also one of the best juniors in Maryland with 247 Sports ranking him eighth in his home state, and Rivals ranking him as Maryland’s fifth best Class of 2016 recruit.
Schools like Rutgers, West Virginia, and Wake Forest are still lurking in the pursuit of Ellis while some SEC schools may be able to have a chance at him if they extend an offer. However, it is starting to become clear that the recruitment of Tino Ellis is going to come down to the Hokies and Maryland.
The home-state advantage doesn’t seem to be having much of an impact for Maryland, while both programs have had some very good wide receivers with the Hokies having Isaiah Ford and Cam Phillips currently, and Stefon Diggs previously playing for the Terrapins.
One thing that could really help the Hokies is the fact that Phillips is a DeMatha Catholic alum. The impact of having not only a wide receiver from DeMatha, but one that has had the early success that Phillips has had definitely helps recruiting another highly-rated wide receiver out of the same school.
Tino Ellis is currently slated to make his announcement at the end of July so there is a lot of time left in the recruitment of Ellis. However, the Hokies are definitely in a good position with less than 3.5 months till Ellis’s announcement.