Justin Fuente Building Strong Relationship With 2019 Four-Star WR Jacoby Pinckney

By: Tim Thomas | @TimThomasTLP | Jan 07, 2018
Back in the summer of 2016, Virginia Tech made Jacoby Pinckney one of their first WR offers from the Class of 2019. Since then, the Hokies have made him one of their top offensive priorities in the 2019 class. Recently, Jacoby Pinckney gave us an update on his recruitment. Pinckney told us that Virginia Tech was among multiple schools standing out for him including Ole Miss, Florida, Georgia, UNC, and Indiana. He also told us that Virginia Tech is the school that is recruiting him the hardest. When we asked Pinckney which coach he had the best relationship with, he said it was Justin Fuente. When we asked him why Fuente was at the top, he told us that Fuente "has always kept it real with me and made sure I knew I was a priority." It's rare for a head coach to be the guy that a recruit has the best relationship with and should be taken as a great indicator of the position the Hokies are in early on. Fuente and the Hokies have also done a great job of making it clear to Pinckney that he is one of their top priorities in the 2018 class. Jacoby Pinckney likely won't begin to close in on a decision soon as the four-star WR is looking to start cutting down his list of offers "by the end of summer." When he does make his decision, he told us that the most important factors would be the "(offensive) scheme, coaching and how comfortable I feel with the school." Pinckney told us that there are three schools which he feels really comfortable at: Virginia Tech, Georgia, and North Carolina. Pinckney is rated as a four-star recruit by ESPN, 247 Sports, and the 247 Sports Composite while Rivals has him as a three-star recruit. Nationally, 247 Sports ranks him as the 62nd best junior, the 247 Sports Composite ranks him 222nd, and ESPN ranks him 158th. Among South Carolina recruits, Pinckney is ranked as the second best Palmetto State recruit by ESPN, 247 Sports, and the 247 Sports Composite while Rivals has him third. Pinckney is also ranked as the 30th best WR by ESPN, 36th best by the 247 Sports Composite, and 16th best by 247 Sports. Pinckney's offer list is also quite strong and includes plenty of power 5 programs:
  • ACC: Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Duke, Wake Forest
  • SEC: Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, Ole Miss
  • Big 10: Indiana
  • Sun Belt: Appalachian State
Pinckney's offer list shows the type of high-end WR talent that he is. However, the Hokies have positioned themselves for a guy who is a Tre Turner-level WR target and talent in the 2019 class. Previously, we put in a prediction for Jacoby Pinckney to Virginia Tech and we continue to stand by that in part due to his relationship with Justin Fuente. It's not often when you see that strong of a relationship between a coach and player, and that's a great indication of the Hokies' standing in Pinckney's recruitment. VT has also been the one school that has consistently been at the top of his list and recruiting him the hardest. Georgia appears to be rising in Pinckney's recruitment while North Carolina looms, but it's hard to see the Tar Heels being a big threat to the Hokies for a top talent outside of the state of North Carolina. Florida offered not long after the arrival of Dan Mullen and could be a team to watch in the coming weeks to see how much they do pursue him. Clemson hasn't offered, but they have shown interest and likely would be a big threat if they offered. However, that likely would be limited to their on-field success as the lack of traction for South Carolina suggests that staying in-state may not be a big factor for him at this point. Jacoby Pinckney is one of Virginia Tech's top priorities, and Justin Fuente has put in the work to continue to improve VT's standing. At this point, the Hokies continue to be the on-paper favorite in part because of the relationship between Fuente and Pinckney.

Photo Credit: Harley Taylor

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