Photo Credit: Jake Roth
Here are the latest Virginia Tech football recruiting notes on a pair of Texas offers plus one of the Hokies' top overall 2022 targets.
3* DE Jayden Gray
Three-star DE Jayden Gray released his top four this week with Virginia Tech making the cut along with Iowa State, Northwestern, and North Texas.
Gray is definitely a more under-the-radar defensive end for Virginia Tech, but he doesn't appear to be a top tier target at DE for VT, landing below guys like Kelvin Gilliam, Robert Jackson, Cole Nelson, and Deonte Anderson. Tech likely will look to take 2 more defensive ends at least this cycle with Mattheus Carroll already on board.
Iowa State does look like the favorite on paper as the Cyclones have done well spot recruiting all over the country under Matt Campbell with the Big 12 connection also being a plus. North Texas could be a sleeper depending on how much room the three Power 5 programs that made the cut have.
Gray is definitely a name to keep an eye on, but it remains to be seen if Tech makes any sort of hard push for the three-star DE from Texas.
3* RB Tavierre Dunlap
Gray wasn't the only Texas recruit that the Hokies made the cut for with Tech making the top 8 for three-star RB Tavierre Dunlap.
All glory to god🙏🏿 pic.twitter.com/MOlP9QhtTZ— Tavierre Dunlap (@TavierreD) July 9, 2020
Dunlap doesn't seem too close to a decision at the moment with the Hokies appearing to have Dunlap as one of their top running back targets alongside guys like Audric Estime, Kenji Christian, and Malachi Thomas.
Nearby Oklahoma State seems like a top contender while Arizona State has been a dangerous team all over the country on the recruiting trail this cycle and would look like a top contender on paper given that they are also one of the closer teams on this list. However, Dunlap hasn't really said much about his recruitment publicly and it feels like his recruitment is fairly wide open among these eight schools.
Landing Dunlap would be another major boost and a great example of how the #TX2VT movement shattered the taboo of going out of high school from Texas to Virginia Tech, opening the door for spot recruiting in the state every cycle.
2022 4* OL Gunner Givens
2022 elite offensive tackle Gunner Givens is a top overall priority for the Hokies in the next class with Tech among three schools recruiting him the hardest along with Clemson and Penn State. The fact that those three are pushing the hardest currently is a clear reminder of how this recruitment will prominently feature the biggest programs on the East Coast.
Offensive line coach Vance Vice is leading the charge for Virginia Tech with Givens telling us that he has built a "very close" relationship that "most the time" goes beyond talking about football.
That relationship combined with his "love" for the "atmosphere and coaching staff" and Tech being "close to home" has Givens knowing that the Hokies will be a school "included in my decision" when that time comes.
Givens feels like a must get recruit as Southwest Virginia, while producing plenty of Power 5 talent in recent years like James Mitchell, hasn't had a high school recruit on the magnitude of Givens in a long time. Keeping a guy like Givens home would be a big win for this staff, a strong foundational piece for the 2022 class, and the rare example of an offensive lineman who could play early similar to what we saw with Christian Darrisaw.
Tech is in it early on for Gunner Givens, but there is still a long way to go for the Hokies to land the Lord Botetourt HS star with lots of tough competition from Clemson, Penn State, and many others.