Our series of Virginia Tech football recruiting breakdowns continues at defensive tackle which may be one of the greatest position of mystery for the Hokies in this cycle and the next one. With that said, take a look at our breakdown along with the rest of our pieces so far.
Work to Do In 2023
Virginia Tech doesn't have a defensive tackle committed currently in the 2023 class after signing 3 last cycle though 1 in Rashaud Pernell decommitted and has since joined Liberty though that doesn't include Gunner Givens who started out at DT and looked fairly good there in the Spring Game. That probably means Tech will look to add another 2 or 3 defensive tackles this recruiting cycle though the large 2022 class could allow Tech to go smaller and focus on 2024 but 2 feels like the minimum must.
Any conversation about Tech's defensive tackle recruiting should start with Northern Virginia standout Elijah Hughes who Tech has made a priority and has hosted on campus multiple times including for an official visit this past weekend. Maryland and Duke are among the other notable offers in what is proving to be a very regional recruitment for Hughes.
Tech hosted Ayobami Tifase out of Maryland on an official visit early last week followed by trips to Arkansas and Florida State. In the end, having the last visit proved fruitful as the Seminoles have landed his commitment over the Hokies and Razorbacks, taking one of Tech's DT targets off the board as of the evening after the release of our breakdown on Tuesday, June 14th.
Four-star DT Stephiylan Green out of Rome, GA was mentioned by Rivals as having Virginia Tech among the schools most actively pursuing him. However, Tech seems like a longshot with Clemson appearing to be a frontrunner and Ohio State also set to host him on an official visit this weekend after taking one to Clemson the first weekend of June.
In-state three-star Rodney Lora out of private Woodberry Forest included Virginia Tech in his top 6 with the Hokies hosting him earlier this spring. Tech will need to get him on campus sometime soon even for a midweek unofficial with Lora having taken an official to Rutgers and reportedly having ones to Michigan and North Carolina the next two weekends per On3. Though there will be nearby guys who sometimes use official visits purely for farther away schools to save money, Tech definitely could use getting Lora on campus.
Defensive tackle is another position where Tech may fill a spot or two based on fall evaluations with a couple in-state players with FBS offers to watch including Qwenton Spellman out of Mineral, VA and Northern Virginia's Zachary Dantzlerward who has visited Virginia Tech previously including for a camp in June.
Tech's defensive tackle recruiting for 2023 is definitely cloudy at the moment to say the least, but this may be a case where the Hokies can take a smaller class given the large amount of talent influx from the 2022 cycle at DT.
2024 Remains Open
2024 defensive tackle recruiting remains fairly wide open with the board still coming together on many fronts.
Any talk starts in Maryland at Baltimore powerhouse St Frances as the Hokies have offered a pair of DTs in three-star Emmett Laws and Darrion Smith. Tech has had some early success at the Baltimore powerhouse under Brent Pry beating out Maryland for a commitment from three-star DB Dante Lovett in the 2023 cycle.
Tech recently offered three-star DL De'Andre Cook out of Washington D.C. who some have listed as a defensive end yet his size suggests he could easily grow into a DT by the time his high school career is done with his current 6'3'', 255-pound frame. DD Holmes is another Washington D.C. three-star DL who seems more likely to be a defensive end but also could grow into a defensive tackle.
Three-star Aaris Bethea out of Brooklyn was recently on campus for a Virginia Tech camp where he earned an offer from the Hokies. Bethea expressed interest in getting back on campus this fall as well and Tech seems to have good early traction here. Arizona State could be a school to watch as he has a brother who plays in Tempe.
Tampa DT Peter Pesansky visited Virginia Tech for the Spring Game and looks like a DT prospect to watch for the 2024 cycle.
Looking in VA, Lynchburg DT Micah Pennix has an early offer from Liberty and could be a guy watch this fall with Pennix being on Tech's radar having camped in Blacksburg earlier this month. He's also being coached up by former Virginia Tech standout DT and current VT IMG pregame analyst Luther Maddy which is a good coach to have.
2024 defensive tackle recruiting is still coming together but the recruiting board is already full of some intriguing names.