Virginia Tech In Danger of Having 30-Year 757 Recruiting Streak Snapped

Virginia Tech In Danger of Having 30-Year 757 Recruiting Streak Snapped
Photo Credit: Harley Taylor
Tim Thomas

Tim Thomas | @TimThomasTLP

TLP: Editor
Aug 24, 2022

December's Early Signing Day and February's final Signing Day may still be a ways off, but recruiting has accelerated in recent years to the point where most recruiting classes are full months before. Of course, there are plenty of flips and decommitments that have and will happen across the country but for most Power 5 programs including Virginia Tech, an overwhelming majority of the class is set in place.

One thing that has been accomplished already this cycle is that the Hokies have 9 in-state commitments, making this the first time that Tech is on track for 9+ in-state signees in back-to-back classes since the Frank Beamer era. That's been built largely on success in the Richmond area this cycle with Tech having its largest group of recruits out of that area in a long time plus solid additions from Northern to Southwest Virginia.

However, there's one notable area in Virginia where Tech has been shut out on the recruiting trail so far, the 757.

Surprisingly, Virginia Tech doesn't have a commit from the talented 757 region with three-star WR Paul Billups recently choosing UNC over Tech and Michigan State though signs were pointing towards the Tar Heels for a while.

This leaves three-star ATH Jordan Bass out of Hampton's Phoebus HS as the only 757 recruit who has a Tech offer who is currently uncommitted per 247 Sports' records. Bass is scheduled to make his commit next week with the Hokies and Pittsburgh being the top contenders and Bass planning to release a multi-part commitment video over multiple days to reveal it.

If Tech misses out on Bass, the Hokies would then be in greater danger of missing out on signing an on-scholarship recruit directly out of high school from the 757 for the first time since 1993 (shoutout to Tech Sideline for their insightful recruiting class records).

I've talked to a couple coaches in the 757 and all signs from those conversations plus public tweets from influential coaches in the 757 are that Brent Pry and his staff have had loads of success improving relations that had deteriorated under Justin Fuente.

So why is Tech still without a commit from the 757 this late into the cycle? Well there are lots of reasons that probably are a little at fault for it at this point.

You have the damaged relationships from the Fuente era that will take time to repair regardless of who the head coach is. Tech has just lost a few recruiting battles in the 757 with a couple just being situations where Tech was playing catch and maybe 1 or 2 that are simply disappointing recruiting losses.

The 757 is also having a down cycle in terms of talent compared to other parts of the state in terms of the rankings especially at the top. For reference, the 2023 757 class currently does not have a 247 Sports Composite four or five-star recruit for the first time in the history of the 247 Sports Composite rankings which starts with the Class of 2000.

The 757 is also more heavily recruited up and down the charts than ever before and Blacksburg is well over 4+ hours from the start of the region which may open some doors for their opposition in some recruiting battles especially for schools in the Triangle like UNC and Duke who hired known 757 recruiter Zohn Burden this offseason.

The randomness of recruiting may be the best reason here given some of these unique factors and how Virginia Tech still has 9 in-state commits so it's not like some of the Fuente classes that seemed to abandon the Commonwealth especially the 2020 class which only signed 1 in-state recruit, Lakeem Rudolph from the 757.

Of course, Tech could still land Bass and even if they don't, that doesn't mean that Tech's hopes of signing a scholarship 757 recruit are gone this cycle.

It's easy to envision Tech considering a push to flip a commit elsewhere like three-star Duke RB commit Peyton Jones given their lack of true RB commits, or West Virginia WR commit Tory Johnson Jr who doesn't have an offer currently, but has received interest from Tech and could be an interesting hybrid TE play. In either of those cases or other flip targets, it's easier said than done to pull that off.

Tech certainly is monitoring other guys who they haven't offered yet but have shown plenty of promise like Johnson or Virginia Beach's CJ Fraser who have shown plenty of potential and could be a strong senior season away from a Tech offer.

2024 also looks very promising with a 757 talent pool that has 3 of the current top 8 in VA per the 247 Sports Composite rankings. Tech has also made plenty of strong impressions early with many 2024 757 recruits and seems in a much better early position for some of those guys than a fresh staff could have possibly been for many of the 2023 757 guys this cycle.

While this may concern some Tech fans, all indications point to this potentially being a random aberration if they can't land Bass or sign anyone from the 757 this cycle rather than a sign of things to come. Additionally, Tech's relationship rebuild has shown fruitful signs among the one group of people that are a constant in recruiting, high school coaches.

Of course, this whole post could be irrelevant by the end of next week if Tech beats out Pittsburgh and others for Phoebus standout Jordan Bass.