Virginia Tech has pursued their fair share of talented South Carolina wide receives in recent years with 2021 four-star WR Joshua Burrell being the latest top priority for the Hokies.
Unsurprisingly, the Hokies were among the schools to reach out to Burrell on September 1st; the first day schools are allowed to initiate contact with 2021 recruits, along with Clemson, Notre Dame, Nebraska, Tennessee, Louisville, West Virginia, Michigan State, Syracuse, Duke, Wake Forest, and others.
At this point, Burrell doesn't have a leader in his recruitment, but the Hokies are "definitely on the higher end" of his recruitment for multiple reasons as he told us.
"VT is definitely on the higher end. For one, they’ve been recruiting us (Joshua and his brother Jordan) longer than any other school. Two, we’ve been on campus a few times and it always felt like home and a place I could see myself at. Lastly, knowing that they offered Jordan (Burrell) and I and that they aren’t afraid to play freshmen who will help win games," Burrell said.
That is one of the unique factors as Joshua has a talented twin brother in Jordan Burrell who has also received several offers including one from the Hokies. Joshua Burrell added that being able to play with his brother is a "big factor" in his recruitment.
"It’s a big factor, we want to be able to play at the same school and have an opportunity to earn playing time," Burrell said.
One of the other things that Burrell told us is that while it would be great to receive playing time early, what's more important is coming in and having an equitable chance to earn playing time rather than be made any promises or be set back because of bias towards older players.
"Getting a fair opportunity to earn a spot and playing time is a huge factor to me. I don’t want a school that says “you’ll start if you come here.” I want a school that will give me the chance to earn a spot if I’m better than the guy ahead of me," Burrell said.
Virginia Tech has also done that giving young players opportunities to earn playing time like Tre Turner and Tayvion Robinson with that fact not being lost on Joshua Burrell.
"It means a lot, shows that they play the guys that’ll help them win whether it’s a senior or true freshman," Burrell said.
Given that the Hokies have recruited him as long as any Power 5 program, Burrell has been able to build strong relationships with the Hokies' coaches especially with TEs coach/area recruiter James Shibest. As Burrell told us, he's built a good relationship with Shibest with any conversation being a "good time" with Shibest always having some kind of joke that keeps Burrell laughing.
Looking ahead in his recruitment, Burrell told us that he is focusing on taking visits to places he hasn't been previously including Georgia, Louisville, and Tennessee. While that may worry some, there is no indication of that being an indictment on Virginia Tech whatsoever with a VT visit this fall being "possible" and Burrell having been on campus a lot, including for games, previously.
Overall, Virginia Tech is in very good shape at this point in their pursuit of Joshua Burrell while also looking to continue their brother tradition in landing him and his brother, 2021 three-star DB Jordan Burrell.
Joshua Burrell in the Recruiting Rankings
Nationally, Burrell is ranked as the 246th best recruit by ESPN, 258th best by 247 Sports, and 290th best by the 247 Sports Composite. Among 2021 wide receivers, Burrell is ranked 39th best by 247 Sports, 51st best by the 247 Sports Composite, 59th best by Rivals, and 61st best by ESPN. In South Carolina, Burrell is ranked as the best 2021 recruit by 247 Sports, ESPN, and the 247 Sports Composite; and third best by Rivals.
Joshua Burrell's Offer List (According to 247 Sports)
- ACC: Virginia Tech, Louisville, Syracuse, Wake Forest
- Big 10: Nebraska, Penn State, Rutgers
- Big 12: West Virginia
- SEC: South Carolina, Tennessee
- AAC: East Carolina
- Sun Belt: Appalachian State