Photo Credit: Harley Taylor
A lot has happened involving Virginia Tech on the recruiting trail over the past couple of days from Dematrius Davis decomitting to VT extending a new offer to fast-rising QB/ATH Christian Charles, setting up a virtual visit with 3* OL Jaden Lindsay, and more. Here's some other news and notes from the recruiting trail.
4* DL Kelvin Gilliam
Four-star defensive lineman and one of Virginia Tech's top overall 2021 targets Kelvin Gilliam spoke with Rivals' Adam Friedman recently in an interesting interview where he discussed Virginia Tech, Penn State, and other top contenders.
WATCH: Checking in with #Rivals250 DL @Kelvin_Gilliam2. We talked about #PSU, #VT, #Texas, #OU, #Gamecocks, #Spartans, potential visits, & his commitment timeline https://t.co/LAAxcVatnL pic.twitter.com/jhsqzY2ISE— Adam Friedman (@RivalsFriedman) May 6, 2020
One thing that stood out the most to me is Gilliam discussing the change that is happening at Virginia Tech and seeming to be very pleased with some of the transition that has happened. Also, it's quite clear that defensive line coaches Bill Teerlinck and Darryl Tapp have put in the work to make VT a top contender with their NFL experience also providing a nice boost.
Gilliam told us that the Hokies were among a group of 5 standing out for him earlier this spring which continues to be the case, but Penn State appears to be emerging as a slight favorite with Virginia Tech right behind them.
Gilliam has been on campus multiple times previously, but his most recent visit to Blacksburg was last August. While it's unknown when schools will be able to host recruits on in-person visits again, it will be critical for the Hokies to try to get Gilliam on campus mainly for him to spend time in person with VT's new defensive line coaches in Blacksburg and just from a past school visit.
Gilliam did mention that he plans to take officials to Penn State, Oklahoma, and South Carolina for sure with VT likely among those under consideration for the other 2 spots. This shouldn't be seen as the end of the world if Gilliam chooses not to take an official to VT as the Hokies could more than capably host him on an unofficial thanks to the proximity advantage they have, but it's critical to get him on campus in general.
Virginia Tech is clearly in the hunt for Kelvin Gilliam, but getting him back on campus is an absolute must for whenever visits are allowed again.
3* QB Lucas Coley
It hasn't taken long for Virginia Tech to add new names to their quarterback board after the decommitment of Dematrius Davis with VT offering Christian Charles earlier this week and Lucas Coley shortly after Davis's decision.
Coley's recruitment has taken off as he had received four Power 5 offers from VT, Arkansas, Vanderbilt, and Washington State since mid-April. Additionally, Clemson has also been showing lots of interest in Coley recently though it remains to be seen if the Tigers actually offer him.
There are a pair of 247 Sports' Crystal Ball predictions in favor of Arkansas currently, but the Razorbacks already have 1 quarterback in their class while VT seems very likely to only take 1 QB this cycle. The Razorbacks do also have a proximity advantage relative to his other Power 5 offers, but an in-state school like Houston could also be a threat as well.
Coley's recruitment still seems to be taking off with the Hokies getting in fairly early as they look to find a QB for their 2021 class.
4* DE Naquan Brown
Naquan Brown has been a top Virginia Tech target in the 2021 class for more than a year now with tons of schools all over the country in pursuit of him. Recently, Brown has sent out a lot of pro-VT tweets that have definitely peaked the interest of Hokie fans, but we haven't heard anything recently to suggest that he may be close to making a commitment to VT or elsewhere.
However, all signs do point towards the Hokies being the current favorites for Brown from what we've been hearing around the 757. LSU has been thrown around with Brown as well and there's no doubt that they are a team to watch, but it's unclear how much they are really involved.
If anything, the biggest challenger to Virginia Tech currently may be Pittsburgh. The Panthers have lots of momentum in the 757 thanks largely to assistant Chris Beatty who's reputation of recruiting success in the 757 has been paying off. Pitt already has commitments from 3 2021 757 recruits: 3* ATH Rodney Hammond, 3* ATH Myles Alston, and 3* DE Trevion Stevenson.
Virginia Tech has plenty of things going from them beyond the potential opportunity at defensive end, but also given how they were the first offer for Brown over a year ago, and the fact that VT has hosted Brown earlier this spring. That means Brown has had face-to-face interaction with Bill Teerlinck and Darryl Tapp not only from in-school visits but also in Blacksburg which could prove valuable in the unique 2021 recruiting landscape.
Tech is in a good spot for Naquan Brown at the moment, but the Hokies still have work to do to fend off competition from Pittsburgh, LSU, and others to land one of the 757's 2021 stars.