Photo Credit: Harley Taylor
While the 2021 cycle has proven to be strong for in-state talent, the 2022 cycle looks even stronger in Virginia with Virginia Tech prioritizing lots of talented recruits from the Commowealth.
That group includes three-star DE Rashaud Pernell with the Hokies already off to a strong start in his recruitment.
Pernell told us that the Hokies are among three schools currently standing out in his recruitment along with Penn State and Minnesota. He had this to say about why the Hokies are currently standing out for him with an emphasis being on the relationships he's built.
"Coach (Darryl) Tapp and coach (Ryan) Smith are really cool dudes and whenever we talk, it’s always good vibes," Pernell said.
Pernell added that the Hokies and Minnesota are the two schools that are currently recruiting him the hardest.
As mentioned above, defensive line coach Darryl Tapp has taken a large role in Pernell's recruitment with the Hokie Hall of Famer building a strong relationship with Pernell.
"It's a bunch of just talking about anything thing that comes to mind," Pernell said about his relationship with Tapp. "He always asks about the family and what I’m doing to stay ready for when we have a season. I’m really comfortable talking to him. I know I can come to him about anything."
Pernell has also built a solid relationship with CBs coach Ryan Smith telling us that it's always "good vibes" when the two of them chat.
Pernell also has the benefit of having two coaches who played for the Hokies on staff at Highland Springs HS in head coach Loren Johnson and assistant Derrick Hopkins. Their careers at Virginia Tech give Pernell and other Highland Springs standouts belief that they could also thrive at Virginia Tech, but both coaches also do a great job of making sure their players choose the school that's best for them, even if it isn't Virginia Tech.
"We’ve all seen their highlights and how they impacted the program so I know that Virginia Tech is a place where players can thrive," Pernell said. "As far as then telling me stuff, they shy away from trying to sway me to pick that or any school in general. They want us as players to make the best decision for us, not what was best for them."
Looking ahead, Pernell may have to wait till the spring for a football season, but he does have goals in mine on how to get better at his craft.
"Just to get bigger, stronger, and faster; work on my pass rush, and just being a better player overall to contribute to my team," Pernell said about his goals for the fall.
Not only is Virginia Tech once again prioritizing in-state recruits in the 2022 class, the Hokies also are being prioritized by some of the Commonwealth's top talent including Rashaud Pernell.