Things on the football field are quiet for now, but the recruiting trail is heating up for all teams including Virginia Tech ahead of the first ever December Signing Day. With most teams not starting their bowl prep just yet, coaches are spending their extra time on the trail visiting recruits at schools, sending out new offers, and making a few in-home visits with top 2018 targets.
James Mitchell Sets a Decision Date
James Mitchell has been one of Virginia Tech’s top 2018 targets for over a year and now, the talented three-star tight end is ready to make a decision.
December 15th, 2:30 pm @ Union High School I will announce my college decision. 📍🏈
— James Mitchell (@j_mitch82) December 4, 2017
Mitchell announced that he will decide between Virginia Tech, Georgia, and Duke on December 15th. Mitchell is the Hokies’ only tight end target at this point, and is a priority for the Hokies even with numbers being tight.
The Hokies are currently the favorites to get one of the most talented Southwest Virginia recruits of the past decade. Mitchell should fit well in the Hokies’ offense as more of a Bucky Hodges-style tight end who likely will be used more as a receiver, but also could have some blocking responsibilities unlike Hodges. Currently, we are standing by our prediction of Mitchell to Virginia Tech.
However, Duke can’t be ruled out, and there are some rumblings in the Bristol area that the Blue Devils have a better chance than most would think according to our own Dwight Lester.
Large contingents areound here think it will be Duke
— Dwight Lester (@HokieHiVPI07) December 4, 2017
Duke has been the surprise throughout Mitchell’s recruitment, making multiple cuts while more prominent SEC, ACC, and Big 12 schools have missed out. The Blue Devils also still have an official visit schedule a week before his decision according to 247 Sports. If he takes that visit, it could be a major sign that Duke has a serious shot at getting Mitchell out of Southwest Virginia.
Georgia can’t be ruled out, but the Bulldogs already have one TE commit in three-star John Fitzpatrick and are seen as the favorite for four-star TE Luke Ford. The Bulldogs will host Ford for an official visit on the same weekend Mitchell will make his decision according to 247 Sports, a likely sign that UGA’s focus is on Ford and not Mitchell.
KJ Henry Gets an In-Home Visit From Virginia Tech
Recently, five-star DE KJ Henry received an in-home visit from Justin Fuente with Bud Foster and Charley Wiles stopping by as well.
— K5 💭 (@thekjhenry_) December 5, 2017
The Hokies are underdogs in Henry’s recruitment, but it would be insane to think that Virginia Tech doesn’t have a decent shot at Henry. Virginia Tech has made the state of North Carolina a priority this cycle and have done well with five commitments including four-star WR Tre Turner. However, getting Henry would be a statement not only in the Tar Heel State, but also on the national stage that VT can be a major player for elite recruits outside of the Commonwealth.
Right now, Clemson is the favorite based on the 247 Sports Crystal Ball while Georgia and Alabama are both teams to watch with the Crimson Tide still having the opportunity to bring him on campus for an official visit. South Carolina is also a part of his top 5, but the Gamecocks have slim odds at this point (though they can’t be ruled out at this point).
John Huggins Considers Virginia Tech After Decommitting From Florida State
Three-star safety John Huggins started to look around as the Jimbo Fisher to Texas A&M rumors picked up. After Fisher did decide to go to A&M, Huggins decided to re-open his recruitment.
I’ve decided to reopen my Recruitment!
— John Huggins (@jhuggins_23) December 1, 2017
Before re-opening his decision, Huggins told us that multiple schools had reached out to him with Virginia Tech being the only school he initiated contact with early last week. The Hokies have reciprocated that interest since while Louisville, Miami, Missouri, and USF were among some of the other schools to reach out before Jimbo’s decision.
Saturday, Huggins picked up a new offer from former UCF HC Scott Frost and Nebraska. After that offer, Huggins told the Orlando Sentinel that Nebraska, Louisville, and Florida State were among his top schools.
Nebraska is benefiting from having a small class that gives Frost the type of flexibility that the Hokies don’t have at all. Scott Frost is also bringing most of his UCF staff with him to Nebraska that instantly gives the Cornhuskers plenty of valuable Florida recruiting connections.
Huggins told us last week that he is looking to take a visit to VT while also planning to visit Louisville. However, the Hokies have a more uphill battle now with Nebraska getting involved. With the Hokies having some ground to make up and very little scholarship room, it’s hard to see VT as a serious threat, but the Hokies can’t be ruled out especially if Huggins does visit Blacksburg.
Virginia Tech Makes The Top 7 for 2019 Four-Star S Litchfield Ajavon
The pace of 2019 recruiting is starting to pick up as the 2018 recruiting cycle nears its conclusion. That was on display recently as 2019 four-star S Litchfield Ajavon out of Northern Virginia recently released a top 7.
I’m truly grateful for all the schools that have given me the opportunity to play football at the next level. I will be narrowing my options down to these seven schools (not in order). No interviews please. Thanks to @Recruit_Edits for the picture. pic.twitter.com/11epVG9cYw
— Litchfield Ajavon (@litch_ajavon) December 2, 2017
Virginia Tech made the top 7 for Ajavon alongside Clemson, Georgia, Wisconsin, Penn State, Notre Dame, and Michigan. Ajavon has emerged as one of the top recruits in the state of Virginia, and the Hokies at least have a shot early on at keeping Ajavon in-state.
While Virginia Tech has had a fair amount of recent recruiting success in Northern Virginia highlighted by Tim Settle, Episcopal HS is the one place where VT has consistently had some problems at. Ajavon would be big for that pipeline, but Notre Dame appears to be the early frontrunner according to the 247 Sports Crystal Ball.
Ajavon is a recruit to keep an eye on but at this point, it’s too early to tell if VT will be a serious contender or not.