The Virginia Tech Hokies have seen their recruiting take off over the past several weeks with nine commits from Mother’s Day till today headlined by commitments from four-star WRs Tre Turner and Darryle Simmons. Virginia Tech has gained an impressive six commits in the month of June including talented 757 athlete Armani Chatman most recently.
However, July has the potential to be even better for the Hokies with 5 top targets either scheduled or likely to announce their commitments in early July. With that said, here’s a look at the five guys to watch at the beginning of July.
3* LB Alan Tisdale: July 1st
Three-star LB Alan Tisdale is set to announce this Saturday with Virginia Tech, Notre Dame, Ole Miss, Louisville, and NC State making his previous top 5. All indications are that Virginia Tech is the heavy favorite to receive a commitment from Tisdale as VT looks to add a third talented Greensboro recruit to their class in addition to Tre Turner and DJ Crossen.
Tisdale is the Hokies’ lone OLB target currently, which may seem strange but isn’t surprising given how well they are doing with Tisdale and the fact that linebacker spots are limited this class after the Hokies signed four linebackers in the 2017 class. If the Hokies get Tisdale as most expect, Virginia Tech’s linebacker attention will shift fully to Dax Hollifield and Keshon Artis, both of whom project as likely mike linebackers though both are talented enough to force Bud Foster to get creative as well if both end up in Blacksburg.
If the Hokies land Tisdale as most expect, Virginia Tech’s #NC2VT movement would only gain more momentum that could prove quite valuable as VT continues to heavily pursues more top North Carolina recruits like Hollifield, four-star DT Alim McNeill, and three-star OG Jovaughn Gwyn along with being able to try to use that North Carolina momentum with the 2019 class.
Alan Tisdale is the Hokies’ lone linebacker target that doesn’t project best at mike linebacker, making him a very high priority and a must get especially with how he appears to have the skill set and versatility to play either at backer or whip.
RB Caleb Steward: July 4th
Caleb Steward has tweeted out recently that he will announce his commitment on July 4th and decide between Virginia Tech and South Florida, eliminating Duke, Purdue, and Wake Forest who all made Steward’s top 5. Steward has become a top target for the Hokies at running back with Justin Fuente and his staff likely to have their full attention on Steward hoping for some great news on the national holiday.
Virginia Tech has missed on some other top targets at the RB spot including Ricky Slade (Penn State), Jamal Elliott (Oregon), and Anthony Grant (Tennessee) while also never gaining any traction with Mychale Salahuddin (USC), making Steward an even higher priority along with Mataeo Durant (who announces a few days after Steward).
While USF may not seem like a formidable challenger given how they are in a Group of 5 conference, they are the in-state school that has had a decent amount of success beating other power 5 schools for Florida recruits while also having the well-respected Charlie Strong as their head coach. However, Steward is from a Jacksonville area that has been friendly recruiting territory for the Hokies in the past with VT getting a talented WR by the name of Isaiah Ford from there a few years ago along with having Chamarri Conner committed this cycle and many more over the years.
Heading into his July 4th decision, Virginia Tech is the favorite but this recruitment is far from over with USF ready to give it all they got to upset the Hokies for Caleb Steward.
3* RB Mataeo Durant: July 8th
Three-star RB Mataeo Durant has announced that he will make a commitment on July 8th with Duke and Virginia Tech being among the favorites for the South Carolina RB. Durant recently released a top 5 that included Virginia Tech, Duke, Wake Forest, Georgia Tech, and Wofford with it being safe to assume that those 5 are his finalists.
Virginia Tech, Duke, and Wake Forest have been the three big players for Durant who told us back in May that those 3 schools were standing out for him. Georgia Tech has recently gotten involved and gained some traction but it seems unlikely he’ll end up in Atlanta while you can just about certainly rule out Wofford.
Despite Durant having set a decision date, his commitment remains hard to predict as both Duke and Virginia Tech can be argued as the favorite while Wake Forest has been lurking quietly throughout this process. Even Durant doesn’t personally have a clear picture on where he may commit telling us that it will be “a tough decision.”
Mataeo Durant appears ready to end his recruitment but what is quite unclear is where Durant will end up committing.
3* OT Jordan McFadden: TBD (Likely Early July)
Three-star OT Jordan McFadden recently told us that he is considering making his commitment in early July, specifically mentioning July 1st and 4th as potential dates for a decision. When we talked to him, McFadden named Virginia Tech his leader among his top 4 which also includes Duke, Michigan State, and Rutgers.
Virginia Tech has cast a wide net on the offensive line with very limited success so far. However, gaining McFadden would change that as it’s been clear for months that the South Carolina OT is high on Vance Vice’s board and would be another top OL target to commit to the Hokies along with three-star Georgia OG John Harris.
McFadden recently took visits to Virginia Tech and Duke with his Blacksburg visit going much better than his one to Durham. The consensus is that this is a two-horse race between the Hokies and Blue Devils; but with VT claiming the lead after these visits combined with McFadden now being close to making a decision and not having anymore visits scheduled, the Hokies are the clear favorites.
With the Hokies only having one offensive line commit, Jordan McFadden has become a must get and right now, VT is exactly in the position they want to be.
4* TE Kyle Pitts: TBD
Just to recap things: LB Alan Tisdale is announcing on July 1 and Caleb Steward on July 4. TE Kyle Pitts is slated to announce soon. #Hokies
— Ricky LaBlue (@RickyLaBlue) June 28, 2017
Four-star TE Kyle Pitts is the biggest name nationally on this list as the talented Pennsylvania recruit is getting very close to a decision. Florida is seen as the favorite by many, but Virginia Tech is still fighting for him with VT commits even trying to push hard to get him to Blacksburg including Virginia Tech QB commit Quincy Patterson who told us that his primary recruiting focus at The Opening will be Pitts.
Florida has been trending for the past month or so since Pitts took a visit to Gainesville that definitely went quite well. Virginia Tech has made Pitts one of their top offensive priorities while also having a commitment from teammate Nasir Peoples which definitely helps the Hokies’ chances with Pitts.
Despite those things and the fact that Quincy Patterson plans to heavily recruit Pitts at The Opening, it’s getting hard to imagine the Hokies landing the four-star TE especially with everything pointing towards him ending up in Florida. While the Hokies can’t be ruled out, this is the one recruit on this list that it’s tough seeing the Hokies picking up, but it can’t be ruled out yet.
Wood TE Kyle Pitts said he's pushing his commitment back this summer to fit in visits to Georgia & Virginia Tech.
— Daniel Gallen (@danieljtgallen) June 29, 2017
Pitts said his top 4 entering his commitment is Florida, Georgia, Virginia Tech & Maryland. He's looking at places where he can play early.
— Daniel Gallen (@danieljtgallen) June 29, 2017
It appears Kyle Pitts is going to wait a little longer than expected to make his decision with Georgia and Virginia Tech set to receive visits from Pitts according to Penn Live’s Daniel Gallen while also cutting down his list to the Hokies, Florida, Georgia, and Maryland.
This is definitely good news for the Hokies and Georgia who has now emerged as a threat for Pitts while Maryland definitely is the heavy underdog at this time. With Pitts not having visited Blacksburg since his great Florida visit, the four-star tight end’s willingness to wait and take a visit to VT will be quite welcomed in Blacksburg though the emergence of Georgia definitely makes this recruiting battle even more interesting and less clear.
July has the potential to be at least just as good as June with the Hokies having the chance to add a few commits within the first 8 days of July. The question that remains is whether the Hokies will be able to close on these top targets?