Early Signing Day has come and gone with Virginia Tech signing 19 recruits last week including multiple recruits who have the potential to provide help for VT as soon as next season. However, the Hokies still may add a few more signatures in February with an interesting post-Christmas watch list that includes a Ohio State commit and a breakout Commonwealth recruit.
With that said, here are our names to watch for the final weeks of 2019 recruiting.
4* OL Doug Nester (Committed to Ohio State)
There isn't a name left higher on the board than four-star OL Doug Nester from West Virginia. The four-star OL seemed locked into Ohio State. While he's still committed to the Buckeyes, he's taken a step back opting not to sign with Ohio State and wait till February to make a final decision. Part of that decision seemed due to the coaching change but even with a visit to Ohio State since the announcement, Nester still decided not to sign early with OSU.
Virginia Tech is among the teams considered a contender for Nester. Nester surprised many earlier this fall as well when he visited Virginia Tech for their home opener against William & Mary, months before the news of a coaching change at Ohio State.
As long as Virginia Tech can get him on campus for an official visit, Virginia Tech should have a realistic chance to make a run at flipping to talented West Virginian.
Penn State is another serious contender for Nester with the four-star OL visiting Penn State recently.
While it doesn't appear to have been an official visit, it's clear that the Nittany Lions are a serious threat to flip the Ohio State commit along with the Hokies.
Things are setting up for a regional ACC-Big 10 battle over Ohio State commit Doug Nester with the Hokies right in the hunt.
3* LB Eugene Asante
There isn't a player in the Commonwealth that has blown up nearly as much as three-star Northern Virginia LB Eugene Asante. It started at the beginning of December with an offer from Virginia Tech. Since then, Asante has added seven more Power 5 offers from Miami, Nebraska, TCU, Maryland, North Carolina, Baylor, and UCLA.
The Hokies did receive an official visit from Asante days before Early Signing Day with that visit appearing to go quite well according to Asante's Twitter.
After his visit, we made a prediction in the Hokies' favor based on some of what we had heard and his official visit. Though Asante did not sign during the Early Signing Window, Virginia Tech still appears to be the frontrunner to gain his commitment.
However, the Hokies have a lot of work ahead especially since Virginia Tech has already hosted Asante on an official visit. Asante seems likely to take more official visits as well with those likely to give us an indication on which schools are the biggest threats for Virginia Tech.
Eugene Asante has emerged as one of Northern Virginia's top 2019 recruits with the Hokies emerging as the frontrunner going into the final several weeks of his recruitment.
3* ATH Jahad Carter (Committed to Virginia Tech)
Jahad Carter was the lone Virginia Tech commit to not sign during the Early Signing Window not because he isn't certain about his commitment to the Hokies, but rather due to issues that are prevented him from signing early.
Carter was Virginia Tech's longest commit at the time of Early Signing Day and has the versatility to be a wide receiver or defensive back. Given the Hokies' surplus of wide receivers this cycle, it seems more likely that he ends up at defensive back with it being possible that he would start at cornerback depending on the future position of Nyquee Hawkins.
Virginia Tech fans have no reason to worry about Jahad Carter flipping to another school as the Richmond athlete still intends to sign with the Hokies, just a little later than originally hoped.
JUCO DT Jaden Cunningham
Jaden Cunningham was one of Virginia Tech's multiple JUCO offers sent out during December. Cunningham took an official visit to Virginia Tech less than two weeks before Early Signing Day but despite what appeared to be a great official visit, Cunningham opted to wait till February to sign.
Virginia Tech should still be considered a major contender, but the Hokies also picked up some much-needed help at DT via three-star JUCO DT Dashawn Crawford and three-star VA DT Josh Fuga. Crawford is expected to be able to compete for the starting job while Fuga has the size and talent to potentially break into the two-deep as a true freshman similar to Ricky Walker.
With those additions and room being limited in Virginia Tech's 2019 class, there has to be some wonder as to whether the Hokies will have room for Cunningham especially after adding multiple JUCO recruits. In addition, the Hokies may keep their eyes open on the transfer and grad transfer markets to see what options are available.
At this point, Virginia Tech still seems like a main contender for Cunningham, but there's a lot of unknown as Cunningham's recruitment enters the final several weeks.
Photo Credit: Harley Taylor
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