Virginia Tech National Signing Day 2017 Preview

By: Tim Thomas | @TimThomasTLP | Feb 01, 2017
[caption id="attachment_4861" align="aligncenter" width="700"] Are you ready for National Signing Day 2017? [Credit: Harley Taylor][/caption]National Signing Day 2017 is here as teams all across America look to close the deal on their 2017 classes with a few last minute additions while keeping all of their current commits on board. Many teams already have a few players on campus as early enrollees with the Virginia Tech Hokies already having 10 guys from their Class of 2017 on campus. Today, the Hokies will look to finish off one of their best recruiting classes in history. With that said, here is our preview of the recruits to watch tomorrow.

4* DE Brad Johnson

Brad Johnson has been one of the Hokies' top targets now with Virginia Tech and South Carolina being engaged in an intense recruiting battle that has been quite close throughout. However, what we're hearing is that while it does seem quite close, South Carolina seems more likely to gain his commitment and is where we're leaning over the Hokies. Virginia Tech has done a great job giving South Carolina a serious challenge here to keeping the Palmetto State recruit in-state with James Shibest and Charley Wiles leading the charge along with Justin Fuente making a strong push here. However, the Gamecocks had a big advantage with having the later official visit that really has helped USC here. It is definitely possible still that Johnson ends up at Virginia Tech, but South Carolina has taken advantage of the fact that Johnson has visited Columbia way more and their in-state advantage to beat out the Hokies despite their hard charge for him. Update: Brad Johnson commits to South Carolina over Virginia Tech.

4* OT Mekhi Becton

Virginia Tech has had to do a lot of work to get in the position they are in now, but the Hokies enter National Signing Day as the favorite for Mekhi Becton with us having a lot of confidence that Becton will commit to the Hokies today. Becton took an official visit to Blacksburg on January 20th that went about as well as anyone could have imagined and helped the Hokies jump into a lead that they haven't relinquished with Oregon not being much of a threat despite receiving his final official visit this past weekend. The two biggest threats are Michigan and Louisville with the Cardinals having received an official visit earlier this month and Jim Harbaugh making an in-home visit with Becton last week along with Virginia Tech and Virginia both visiting Becton in Richmond last week. The Wolverines and Cardinals both have a chance with Louisville looming as the biggest threat as another school that has had him for an official visit in January. At this point, Becton seems likely to be headed for Blacksburg though both Louisville and Michigan can't be ruled out until he makes his final decision. Update: Mekhi Becton committed to Louisville over Virginia Tech.

3* CB Ameer Speed

Virginia Tech took a lead for Ameer Speed after he made his official visit in December and it became a two-team battle not too long after that between the Hokies and Georgia. Now, Georgia enters today as the favorite after hosting him on an official visit on the third weekend of January that from all indications went quite well. Georgia has the advantage of being a close SEC school along with having one of America's top recruiting classes with the Bulldogs making Speed a priority at cornerback along with having a strong visit. Charley Wiles and Brian Mitchell have led the charge for the Hokies and have made a strong push, but the Bulldogs took advantage of having the later official to take a lead. At this point, Speed seems like Georgia's to lose, but the Hokies aren't completely done here and with only 1 true CB commit currently, VT definitely can't be ruled out just yet. Update: Ameer Speed committed to Georgia this morning.

3* ATH Dazz Newsome

When Dazz Newsome first decommitted from Maryland, he seemed very likely to be headed for Virginia Tech to join his brother Deon Newsome in Blacksburg, but North Carolina offered not long after, made a strong push, and enters today as the heavy favorite to gain his signature over Virginia Tech and Maryland. This recruitment has definitely been surprising given Newsome's familiarity with Blacksburg and you have to wonder if the Hokies would have offered sooner if this would be the same issue but for some reason, the Hokies have seen UNC pass by them even though the Tar Heels offered after the Hokies. At this point, we aren't hearing much on the Hokies getting Dazz Newsome but there definitely could be a surprise given his deep family connections to Virginia Tech. North Carolina enters National Signing Day as the favorite with our prediction being in the Tar Heels' favor but if he doesn't end up in Chapel Hill, he'll most likely be headed for Blacksburg. Update: Dazz Newsome commits to UNC over Virginia Tech and Maryland.

2* WR Blake Proehl (ECU commit)

Virginia Tech offered two-star WR and ECU commit Blake Proehl this past weekend, giving the North Carolina WR something to think about going into National Signing Day. However, the big question that remains at this point is whether the Hokies have offered too late or whether there offer has come at just the right time to get a late flip. Proehl hasn't been able to take an official visit to Blacksburg which undoubtedly hurts the Hokies' chances but the good news is that he has visited Virginia Tech previously for a camp. Virginia Tech also has the benefit of being the first and only power 5 school to have offered Proehl with this potentially being a big enough offer to pull Proehl away. Proehl is a big unknown entering National Signing Day given the uniqueness of this situation but it does seem more likely that he sticks with ECU. Update: Blake Proehl has stuck with his commitment to ECU.

4* WR Tahj Capehart (VT commit)

Tahj Capehart is likely a surprise to many on this list, but Capehart took an official visit to Maryland last week and his signature tomorrow is far from guaranteed for the Hokies. Right now, we are hearing this is a toss-up heading towards National Signing Day and while many seem to see it as likely he flips to Maryland, what we've heard suggests that it's about 50-50 here on Capehart with VT maybe being slightly more likely to keep him. Last week, Capehart seemed to be a lock to sign with Virginia Tech after being the first big Virginia commitment for the Hokies after Tyjuan Garbutt decommitted over the summer. However, things have changed as Maryland assistant Chris Beatty has clearly made a big late push to have the Terps all of a sudden on the doorstep of pulling of a big surprise and coup for the Terps. While many believe that Capehart will flip, I have confidence in what I am hearing that it is 50-50 and I lean slightly towards the Hokies keeping him though this one definitely has the potential to go either way. If Maryland does pull this off, it will be a tremendous recruiting job by Chris Beatty going into the 757 and pulling Capehart away from Virginia Tech in a year where Justin Fuente and his staff prioritized protecting Virginia and had their best season since 2011. Update: Tahj Capehart has flipped from Virginia Tech to Maryland.

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