Virginia Tech is continuing to evaluate potential defensive tackle recruits with one player that they are continuing to evaluate being Zachary Dantzlerward out of Loudon Valley HS.
Now Dantzlerward profiles as a potential breakout player especially this fall given that he's already on the radar of many Power 5 programs including Virginia Tech after only one year of playing football and also has prototypical size at 6'4'' and 295 pounds.
That's led to plenty of interest from numerous programs including the Hokies as mentioned above and as Dantzlerward shared with us.
"A ton, I have not yet been offered but I am hoping after the end of camp month. Coach (Shawn) Quinn and Coach (J.C.) Price stay in contact with me," Dantzlerward said.
Dantzlerward has built up a solid offer list so far that also includes Navy, Air Force, Army, Old Dominion, Kent State, Harvard, Penn, Brown, Dartmouth, and more. Additionally, Dantzlerward isn't just receiving interest from the Hokies with Miami, Penn State, South Carolina, Wake Forest, Duke, UVA, and JMU also interested.
Even with all of that interest, Dantzlerward is still doing what he can both to take as many opportunities to get in front of coaches and camp along with learn and develop his game. This includes taking a recent visit to Blacksburg for a VT camp with Dantzlerward having to say about how it went.
"Great, since leaving basketball behind for football I’ve put on about 70lbs which I am still learning to feel comfortable with. I definitely felt that in my drills especially my broad and 5-10-5," Dantzlerward said. "As far as the competition period, I got better with each rep. Current Hokies took their time to teach me moves to defeat my opponent and it started working consistently toward the end of the camp. Wilfred Pene was the most notable player that taught me the most."
So what were the biggest things that Dantzlerward learned during his time at this VT camp.
"The value of speed. I’ve spent so much time and effort getting bigger/stronger I lost my basketball speed. Which was Coach Price's main problem with my current physique," Dantzlerward said. "I also learned how to “string” pass rush moves together as well as know when to mix up my moves so I can use the offensive lineman’s prediction of my moves to my advantage."
The honesty of J.C. Price in helping Dantzlerward develop even without being a VT player and even having a VT offer seems to also be helping the two build a strong relationship as Dantzlerward shared with us when asked about his relationship with Price.
"It's great. Due to my time spent learning the sport of football, he spends most of our time together teaching me how their defense works as well as what I need to work on to fit their defense the best," Dantzlerward said.
Regardless, it's clear that Dantzlerward has lots of potential after having a strong first football season in a talented area with lots of competition as he had 41 tackles including 10 for loss. His potential is evident with Tech also seeing it as well and definitely trying to help him develop.
Looking ahead, Dantzlerward told us that he is looking to make a "most likely within the next two months." So how close does he feel Virginia Tech is to offering him?
"Very close, they just need to see my speed increase slightly," Dantzlerward said.
Dantzlerward also said that Virginia Tech is a "dream school" for him so if the Hokies offer, they'll definitely have a good chance not only due to that but also the relationships they've built with him so far.
After only one year of football, Zachary Dantzlerward has shown loads of potential along with the work ethic to develop into a high-end defensive tackle with the Hokies taking notice and showing lots of interest in him.