The future of the Virginia Tech linebacker corps looks bright, especially with the emergence of underclassmen Dax Hollifield and Rayshard Ashby. But it looks even brighter after the Hokies landed a linebacker from the JUCO ranks on Monday.
Butler Community College linebacker Amare Barno announced on Twitter that he would commit to Virginia Tech.
This was a pleasant surprise for the Hokies, considering that Barno visited Virginia Tech just last weekend. Virginia Tech was the second Power Five team to look at him, with Nebraska being the first. Barno also had offers from Florida Atlantic, Marshall and Tennessee-Chattanooga.
There is a lot to like about Barno, but what stands out is his 6-6 frame. With his commitment, he will be the tallest linebacker on Virginia Tech's roster. A sizable linebacker is a plus in an era where tight ends are often nightmare match-ups for defenses.
Barno is very good at tackling in open space. He finished last season with 66 tackles and 4.5 sacks in just seven games. His highlight reel shows him fighting off wide receiver screens, crushing opposing quarterbacks and bringing down running backs in one-on-one situations. Oftentimes, Barno looks like the fastest player on the field.
With this added depth at the linebacker position, Bud Foster has a lot to work with going into the 2019 season.