Our scouting report series of Virginia Tech's 2023 class continues as we take a look at one of the last commitments in this class, three-star RB Jeremiah Coney out of Richmond.
Here's a rundown of the players who we've done scouting reports on so far.
- 3* QB Dylan Wittke
- 3* QB William Watson III
- 3* RB Tralon Mitchell
As mentioned above, Coney was one of the last commits to VT in the 2023 class as the Hokies extended an offer to him late in the cycle before flipping his commitment from Appalachian State where he had been committed for most of it. Iowa was also involved late in his recruitment though the Hokies were able to get the job done before the Hawkeyes gained too much traction with him.
The late cycle offer shouldn't come as a surprise as Coney was one of the best offensive players in the Commonwealth of Virginia during his senior season. He was a star for Hermitage HS in Richmond, VA having 1,408 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns on 209 carries averaging an impressive 6.7 yards per carry.
Coney brings plenty of size potential with a 6' frame at 189 pounds that seems poised to see him grow into a physical running back. That would fit well in this offense that is built in part on trying to be a power-running team which we saw on display when Tech had some of their best offensive games with Malachi Thomas who profiles as that between-the-tackles running back who gets extra yards consistently through contact.
So what does the tape have to say about Coney? Let's take a look.
One thing you always love to see in a running back in someone who isn't afraid of contact or playing physical and that shows some in Coney's highlight tape. He may not be a bulldozer-type back but he can run through contact and shed tacklers which may be in part helped by his two-way background playing linebacker as well for his high school team.
His speed doesn't set the world on fire, but he does have fairly good speed for a running back and will be able to outrun many players at the collegiate level on the first 2 levels of the defense. He also shows good long-range speed which can be important for turning 30-40 yard runs into 70-80 yard game-changing touchdowns. His speed will likely be an area for most growth though early in his collegiate career.
Coney shows some good footwork during his runs being able to be light on his feet which helps his agility. His good balance is also a plus as there are some runs where many would go down given the hits he took, yet Coney is able to show off his strong balance and add 10+ more yards onto the run.
One of the things that you love to see with Coney is the fact that he is very decisive and attacks when he sees what he wants. If you want to be a great running back, you can't get caught being hesitant when you make your cut, and Coney definitely isn't hesitant when he attacks holes.
Now with that said, a lot of his highlight runs show a guy who has a clear hole at what appears to be the primary point of attack so there may be some room for development of his vision. This will be tested once he gets to the collegiate level and has to choose between some not so good options and then be decisive if he wants to maximize the opportunity.
One area for growth will likely be as a receiving back as he wasn't used in that role much in high school. That's definitely something that can be developed though, but can be considered a weaker part of his game currently.
One thing that stuck out to me watching his highlight tape was that he saved the final portion of it to focus on his blocking ability as a running back. And on the positive, that blocking highlight tape is pretty solid both in pass protection and becoming a lead blocker for QB runs, something that we can likely expect more of from the VT offense given the shifts we saw as the 2022 season progressed.
Now Jeremiah Coney isn't a guy who's going to be able to come in and make an immediate impact as a redshirt seems likely especially with Malachi Thomas and Bhayshul Tuten at the top of the depth chart plus Bryce Duke. However, Coney is a very solid three-star recruit who has loads of upside to become a very good power running back who should be a good fit given the power-running emphasis.