Three-star CB Marcellus Barnes Jr out of Chattanooga, TN announced today that he has decommitted from Virginia Tech.
Barnes originally committed back in June as a big part of Virginia Tech's strong 2024 defensive recruiting class. His decommitment leaves the Hokies with three DBs committed in three-star CB Joshua Clarke, three-star S Quentin Reddish, and three-star DB Noah Jenkins who could play numerous positions at the collegiate level.
The decommitment is a disappointment for the Hokies, but shouldn't come as a surprise including if you're a TLP Insider as we mentioned yesterday evening that things were trending away from the Hokies for Barnes. Georgia appears to be the clear frontrunner for Barnes at this point while Ole Miss has been rumored as another possibility if he ends up not being a take at UGA though his decommitment seems to suggest he is.
So where do the Hokies go from here? Well there's no doubt that you can expect the Hokies to take another true cornerback in this class even with Noah Jenkins having the skill set to be a CB at the collegiate level.
Michigan State CB commit Jaylen Thompson is a name at the top of my radar. The Hokies offered him soon after the Spartans fired Mel Tucker and have made a big push for him since. There are also plans for a December official visit as the Hokies appear to be the clear threat to flip him as our TLP Insiders were first to here about prior to discussion about the traction that Tech has for him.
Beyond Thompson, Tech could look to flip a few other guys committed elsewhere if they can't land Thompson. Indiana commit Judah Jenkins may be committed to a Big 10 program, but I'd think Tech could open some dialogue if they wanted to, especially given the hot seat Hoosiers head coach Tom Allen is on. Tech could look to flip a recruit committed a Group of 5 program as well like ODU commit Javion Randall (from Richmond) or Georgia State commit Deuce Walker (from North Carolina).
Minnesota DB commit Zahir Rainer and three-star ATH Gregory Smith III continue to be targets for the Hokies regardless of Barnes' decision with the Hokies looking for a second true safety to add to this class. Barnes' decommitment does not affect Tech's pursuit of either of them.