Grading Virginia Tech's National Signing Day 2017

By: Tim Thomas | @TimThomasTLP | Feb 02, 2017
[caption id="attachment_5414" align="aligncenter" width="700"] VT receives a poor grade for their National Signing Day performance. [Credit: Harley Taylor][/caption]National Signing Day 2017 has come and gone with just about every team having their Class of 2017 set though there are always a few guys who are late qualifiers along with a few guys who wait till after National Signing Day to make their decision like three-star DE Zion DeBose. The Virginia Tech Hokies entered National Signing Day looking to have a strong finish after having gained five commitments including 3 four-star commitments in an eight-day period that came inside of two weeks to go till National Signing Day. Virginia Tech did have 27 commitments entering National Signing Day as well but reports suggested that they had the room to still add a few more. However, they won't have to test to see if they could have really brought in more than 27. Virginia Tech ended up with a -1 in the commitment category yesterday for the Class of 2017 as four-star WR Tahj Capehart flipped from Virginia Tech to Maryland while the Hokies were able to not add any new commitments to their class. Virginia Tech does have a good chance at adding Zion DeBose on Friday, but DeBose is the last 2017 guy that is on the board for the Hokies still. The biggest story of the day was the last-minute flip of Tahj Capehart as the 757 athlete flipped to Maryland after taking an official visit to College Park days earlier. There have been wild Twitter rumors about Capehart having an offer revoked after visiting Maryland by Virginia Tech, but those rumors do seem to be purely crazy given how the Hokies clearly did what they could to keep Capehart in the final days before National Signing Day. The failure to keep Capehart is a major disappointment especially with the Hokies having only three defensive back commits and there being talk of having Capehart move to cornerback instead of wide receiver and yes, failure is the right term for the Hokies getting beat by Chris Beatty and Maryland for a 757 recruit after a year in which the Hokies won four more games than Maryland. Virginia Tech also had four uncommitted targets all announcing on National Signing Day in Brad Johnson, Ameer Speed, Mekhi Becton, and Dazz Newsome with the hopes that VT would at least gain one commitment, specifically from Becton, from that group. However, the Hokies fail to gain a single commitment from that group while also being unable to flip any committed recruits into their class. The Hokies had put together fantastic efforts to make themselves serious threats for Brad Johnson and Ameer Speed, and forced South Carolina and Georgia to put more efforts there with the Gamecocks being able to keep Johnson in-state and UGA being able to keep Speed from going too far away from Jacksonville. Meanwhile, Dazz Newsome had been trending towards UNC and him committing to VT would have been a big surprise, but it is still a disappointment given his legacy status with his brother Deon and father Myron. The big surprise came out of Richmond with Mekhi Becton choosing to go to Louisville over the Hokies less than three weeks after having a visit to Virginia Tech that made us wonder if he'd even make it to National Signing Day still uncommitted. Louisville did a fantastic job to find a way back into it and to beat out the Hokies in-state in a recruiting finish that is purely a head scratcher and makes you wonder what else Virginia Tech could have done to get Becton. However, there was a big positive as Virginia Tech closed out what was a consensus top 25 class and by some, a top 15 to 20 class that had 26 commits including 6 guys that we consider four-star recruits (have a four-star grade from 2 of 4 rankings: ESPN, Rivals, 247, and the 247 Composite) in Devon Hunter, Nathan Proctor, Dylan Rivers, Tyjuan Garbutt, Caleb Farley, and Hendon Hooker. So what is Virginia Tech's grade for their National Signing Day performance?

Grade: C

The Hokies get a C as this grade is about their performance on National Signing Day, not about their overall recruiting performance with the Class of 2017 (which would be a lot higher grade than this). Virginia Tech's ability to keep all but one is a positive, but their failure to keep Tahj Capehart and inability to add Mekhi Becton make this is a C. If the Hokies would have done one of those two things, they would have gotten a B and if they would have done both, an A- with an A coming if they would've also been able to add at least one of Brad Johnson, Ameer Speed, and Dazz Newsome. There you have it, our grade for what was not a great National Signing Day performance for the Hokies even with what is a very good recruiting class that would receive a much higher grade from us.

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