The Virginia Tech Hokies have put together a solid 2017 recruiting class so far led by four-star WR Tahj Capehart and three-star QB Hendon Hooker. However, the Hokies still have some work to do with multiple top targets still on the board at some key positions in this recruiting class. With that said, here’s our ranking of the top 5 remaining recruiting targets for the Hokies as of the beginning of October.
Honorable Mention: Cornerbacks, DT
Right now, Virginia Tech has their fair share of top targets at cornerback including Donovan Johnson, Harrison Hand, and Ameer Speed. Meanwhile, Virginia Tech also is keeping an eye on Janaz Jordan and Xach Gill as DT options. Johnson, Hand, and Speed are right outside this top 5 as clear top targets while DT recruiting is still somewhat in flux at this point.
5. OTs Mekhi Becton, Tyran Hunt
Virginia Tech currently has two offensive line commits with three-star OG Aiden Brown and OT Silas Dzansi who signed with the Hokies as a part of the Class of 2016 but will enroll in the spring after spending a semester at Fork Union Military Academy. However, the Hokies want one to two more offensive linemen in this class, and it is clear that Mekhi Becton and Tyran Hunt are the Hokies’ top targets.
Becton is the more highly-regarded one of this in-state duo as Becton has an impressive offer sheet that includes national programs like Georgia, Michigan, and USC with Michigan, Michigan State, Georgia, Virginia, and Virginia Tech all being seen as main contenders. Becton has a tremendous frame at 6’7” and profiles as a prototypical offensive tackle with that tremendous size and huge upside.
Meanwhile, Tyran Hunt has been more under-the-radar but is intriguing due to having a good deal of athleticism plus a great frame to add to at a listed height of 6’7”. Hunt currently has plenty of offers from across the East Coast but Virginia Tech, Duke, and Syracuse seem to be the main players in his recruitment currently.
For now, the Hokies are in the thick of it for both Becton and Hunt but they will need to close on one of them. One thing that definitely will be helping the Hokies is their strong start to the season especially with Hunt who has tons of interest from some struggling programs like Duke and Syracuse. If the Hokies can’t close on one of these guys, expect some more offensive line offers to go out.
4. RB Jalen Holston
After not signing a running back in the 2016 class, the Virginia Tech Hokies have made it a priority to a sign at least one running back in this class and more in coming classes. With Khalan Laborn committing to Florida State over the summer, Virginia Tech was left with one of their top two targets in three-star GA RB Jalen Holston.
Holston is clearly a top priority for the Hokies and a commitment elsewhere would have the Hokies looking to either flip some other backs or go back to square 1 and offer another running back or two. Holston has a very strong list of offers that also includes North Carolina and South Carolina but the Hokies continue to be the clear favorites while maintaining a prediction from us that Holston will be a Hokie.
Zohn Burden has been the primary recruiter for Holston and is one of the best guys on the staff that you could have leading the charge for one of the Hokies’ main targets. Right now, everything looks good for the Hokies to get Holston but it will be up to VT to finish the job on their only main RB target left on the board.
3. 4* DE/OLB Nathan Proctor
Nathan Proctor is one of the top priorities left for the Hokies and a guy who could be a main face of a statement recruiting class if Justin Fuente and his staff can seal the deal. Proctor’s recruitment may also be one of the biggest unknowns as Proctor hasn’t been one to release public lists of top schools or really seem to say much about his recruitment.
Currently, Maryland, Penn State, and Virginia Tech seem likely to be three of the top contenders given the fact that Proctor is from Maryland but Proctor has a strong offer sheet with many major programs from across the country. One potential factor may be the fact that some see him as an outside linebacker while others seem him as a defensive end and that preference could have a big factor.
Proctor’s visits should give us a better picture of who the main contenders are in this recruitment but currently, Proctor still hasn’t been listed as taking any visits. That should change soon but until he starts taking some visits, it’s going to be hard to get a feel on where Proctor may end up.
2. 4* DE Tyjuan Garbutt
Four-star DE Tyjuan Garbutt was the star of the Hokies’ 2017 class before decommitting over the summer but despite that decommitment, Garbutt has continued to be one of the top targets for Justin Fuente and the Hokies in the Class of 2017. Bud Foster has played a big role in his recruitment and after getting Tim Settle, Foster has the Hokies again in good position for a top defensive line recruit even if he decomitted earlier in the cycle from Virginia Tech.
Currently, the Hokies still seem to be the favorite for Garbutt with Pittsburgh making the hardest push to try to poach Garbutt out of Virginia. Virginia Tech and Pittsburgh both have received visits so far this fall and while Garbutt’s visit to Pittsburgh went well, the Hokies still are maintaining their frontrunner status.
Expect the Hokies and Panthers to get official visits while it is unknown if any other schools may also get official visits from Garbutt. Even if those schools do, this seems to be a recruiting battle between the Hokies and Pittsburgh to get the highly-regarded defensive end with us still leaning towards Garbutt committing to the Hokies.
1. 4* DB Devon Hunter
There is no doubt that Virginia Tech’s top recruiting target is four-star 757 DB Devon Hunter and it has been that way since Virginia Tech started recruiting the Class of 2017. Hunter is arguably the top recruit in Virginia this year and is a must-get for the Hokies at this point in the 2017 recruiting cycle.
Virginia Tech has been the leader for the last several months as multiple challengers have risen and fallen including Clemson and North Carolina. Currently, Florida seems to be the biggest led by former VT assistant Torrian Gray whose strong relationship with Hunter put the Gators in the hunt for Hunter almost immediately.
While Florida gained some ground after Gray’s departure, the Hokies are still in the lead and have a strong grasp on that position. Hunter has not announced any of his official visits yet but it seems likely that at least the Hokies, Gators, and North Carolina will get an official visit. For Justin Fuente and his staff, they know that Hunter can be a statement-making commitment and will do everything they can to seal the deal and have Hunter sign his National Letter of Intent for the Hokies.