Our scouting report series on Virginia Tech's 2020 recruiting class continues with three-star defensive end Robert Wooten, one of the Hokies' two signees from Texas. Below are the players that we have already covered in this series of scouting reports.
- 3* WR Tyree Saunders
- 3* RB Marco Lee
- 3* RB Jordan Brunson
- 3* RB Jalen Hampton
- 3* TE Wilfried Pene
- 3* WR Dallan Wright
- 3* OL Kaden Moore
- 3* OT Parker Clements
- 4* DE Alec Bryant
A coaching change at Missouri opened the door for Virginia Tech to get involved for three-star DE Robert Wooten within the final weeks before the Early Signing Day. The Hokies took advantage bringing Wooten on an official visit days before Early Signing Day and then landing his commitment and signature right after that.
Wooten had a solid senior season with a high volume of tackles (73) headling his stats along with 7 total tackles for loss, 6 of which were sacks.
Here's a look at the tape on Robert Wooten.
Wooten is a solid athlete with good speed, but he definitely shows room for growth both as an athlete and with his speed. Additionally, Wooten was listed at Signing Day at 6'3'' and 230 pounds, and should have some room to grow into his frame more, possibly reaching around 245-250 pounds which should give him some additional strength that he will need at the collegiate level.
One of the biggest pluses with Wooten is the fact that he does show some good refinement as a pass rusher with an arsenal of pass rush moves both off the snap and with his instincts depending on where the QB is in the pocket. While there is room for growth, Wooten definitely brings in a solid foundation of pass rushing fundamentals that could give him a route to early playing time as a pass rush specialist.
Like fellow Texan defensive end Alec Bryant, Wooten also has a good motor and also has a good eye for making a play when the pocket starts falling apart, taking advantage of solid coverage to get coverage sacks. He's also shown plenty of toughness largely due to his time as a two-way player and being a tough blocker both in pass protection and run blocking.
The down season in terms of tackles for loss and sacks is a small concern, but his highlight tape does show that he has plenty of the skills that you look for in a quality pass rusher. He definitely is more of a pass rush-first defensive end with plenty of room to grow on the edge as a run defender, though spending time in a collegiate weight room with Ben Hilgart should help him physically in that regard as well.
Overall, Wooten would likely benefit from a redshirt year this upcoming season while taking advantage of the four-game redshirt rule to get some experience against weaker teams on the schedule at home like Liberty, Georgia Tech, and North Alabama. In the long term, Wooten could break into the defensive end rotation within a couple years largely as a pass rush specialist while having the talent to develop into a starter down the road.
Virginia Tech found a quality defensive end in Robert Wooten who at minimum can be a pass rush specialist for the Hokies with the upside to develop into a quality, ACC starting defensive end.