With the 2017 football season wrapping up last week, Virginia Tech's focus has shifted onto the recruiting trail as they look to finish off their 2018 class well and lay the groundwork for a strong 2019 class. The dead period is nearing its conclusion as the Hokies prepare for their first Junior Day of 2018 on the weekend of January 13th.
With that said, here are some recruiting notes as 2018 recruiting wraps up and 2019 recruiting gets going.
Four-Star OT Darnell Wright Update
Four-star OT Darnell Wright is one of the best offensive linemen in the 2019 class, and the Hokies have made a strong impression on him. Wright told us that Vance Vice is among the coaches whom he has the best relationship with. Wright described Vice as being "a straight forward coach who wants me at VT."
Darnell Wright doesn't have a leader in his recruitment at this point. That shouldn't come as a surprise given how programs like Virginia Tech, Alabama, Ohio State, USC, and Tennessee are all pursuing him heavily. Wright does hope to visit Virginia Tech sometime during the spring, but has no visits scheduled anywhere due to his unknown high school basketball schedule.
Wright told us that he plans to begin to start narrowing down his list over the next several months, but doesn't appear close to a decision at this point. When we asked Wright about what will be the most important factors, he told us that he is "looking for a program that is gonna help me become a great player and an OL coach that has a great track record. I also want to win championships."
Wright may not be close to making a decision but for now, Virginia Tech is a serious contender for one of the best offensive tackles in the nation.
Virginia Tech Pushing Hard For 2019 Three-Star LB Dean Ferguson
Dean Ferguson is one of VT's top linebacker targets in the 2019 class, and the Hokies are making that clear to him.
Ferguson told us that Virginia Tech is recruiting him the hardest at the moment. While Ferguson doesn't have a leader in his recruitment, the Hokies do appear to be the frontrunners at this point. One reason for this is the fact that Ferguson says VT assistant Brian Mitchell is the coach whom he has the best relationship with.
Ferguson told us that he is hoping to visit Penn State and West Virginia soon with the Mountaineers possibly being a sleeper to watch in his recruitment. While Ferguson may not be visiting Virginia Tech in the immediate future, it wouldn't be surprising to see Ferguson make at least one trip to Blacksburg this spring especially given his solid relationship with Brian Mitchell.
The Hokies are pursuing Ferguson as an outside linebacker even as some consider using him as a safety. Ferguson is similar in some ways to VT signee Alan Tisdale who was also viewed by some as a safety early on in his recruitment, but ended up being viewed as a linebacker who had above-average coverage skills by most.
Looking ahead, Ferguson doesn't have a timetable for making a decision. However, VT has positioned themselves well early on and if they can get him on campus soon, they should be able to make a big impact on his recruitment. In the meantime, VT plans to keep on making it clear to Dean Ferguson that he is a top 2019 target.
2019 Four-Star RB Derrian Brown Taking His Time
Buford High School is loaded with talented running backs headlined by 2018 RB and Tennessee commit Anthony Grant, a top VT target. Grant isn't the only talented back receiving national attention as four-star 2019 Derrian Brown has an impressive offer list loaded with power 5 schools.
While Grant is wrapping up his recruitment, Brown is slowing things down and taking his time. Brown told us that he's been told by those around him to "enjoy" the process for the time being. The Hokies are among the schools who have stayed in contact with him, but it appears that no school is emerging as a strong contender or frontrunner for him at this point.
Brown did say that he is happy with all his offers and plans to take a lot of visits this spring. Given the number of players Virginia Tech is interested from Buford beyond Brown, it wouldn't be surprising if the Hokies get a visit from him.
We asked Brown if he had a prediction for Anthony Grant, who he says is an "older brother" to him. Brown didn't have a prediction but did say that he feels Grant will "choose the best school for him."
Dylan Thevanayagam Commits to Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech recently gained a preferred walk-on commitment from Fork Union LB Dylan Thevanayagam. Dylan has good size for the linebacker at 6'3'' and 218 pounds, and should benefit from arriving a semester later and still having four years of eligibility. He was teammates this past season with VT signee Christian Darrisaw who will be arriving this spring after signing last spring and last month after spending a semester at Fork Union.
The Fork Union to Virginia Tech pipeline continues to be fruitful both with guys on scholarship and preferred walk-ons like Steven Peoples, Terius Wheatley, Austin Cannon, and Jack Click. Fork Union has also been a great development spot for some VT players after signing and before arriving in Blacksburg like Yosuah Nijman, Xavier Burke, Silas Dzansi, and Christian Darrisaw most recently.
Congrats to Dylan on his commitment to Virginia Tech.
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