The Virginia Tech Hokies haven't gained an offensive line commit yet but it is definitely a priority in this recruiting cycle with the Hokies looking to add around 5 to 6 offensive linemen from both the high school and JUCO ranks. One of their top targets is three-star Aidan Rafferty who the Hokies have been heavily pursuing for most of 2017.
The good news is that the Hokies have lots of interest from the Washington D.C. offensive tackle as well.
Aidan Rafferty told us recently that Virginia Tech and Virginia are the two schools standing out in his recruitment among his 18 offers with VT and UVA also being the two schools that are recruiting him the hardest. Rafferty also told us that he plans to start cutting down his list over the summer with it being unknown about a possible decision date.
Rafferty will be a solid offensive line pickup wherever he goes as he has great size at 6'6'', 280 pounds while also being fairly talented as shown by the rankings. Rivals has Rafferty as the 30th best OT nationally while ESPN has him 52nd and the 247 Sports Composite has him 46th among OTs. Rafferty is also currently ranked as one of the top 5 recruits in Washington D.C. by Rivals and the 247 Sports Composite while ESPN has him second among the 3 D.C. recruits that they have rated.
On why VT and UVA are standing out for him, Rafferty told us that it's because of "my relationship with the coaches at both schools, and I enjoyed visiting and learning about both programs." Rafferty also specifically said that VT was standing out because "I love the atmosphere of the students and campus, the coaches, and the program."
Rafferty told us that UVA's OL coach Garett Tujague is "in contact with me the most" among those recruiting him but also told us that he has a "good relationship" with VT OL coach Vance Vice.
Rafferty said that he really likes Justin Fuente's "coaching style and him as a person" while liking how Bronco Mendenhall runs the UVA football program. However, Rafferty told us that Justin Fuente is "probably a bigger factor" in his recruitment than Bronco Mendenhall.
At this point, VT continues to be the favorite in this recruiting battle with UVA being the top challenger for now, a recruiting battle that likely favors VT given the Hokies' greater amount of success along with Rafferty's praise of Justin Fuente and how he sees Fuente being a bigger factor in his recruitment.
The 6'6'' offensive lineman would be a great get for the Hokies that could help VT in their pursuit of other linemen from the D.C. area including Rasheed Walker, and JUCO linemen/Northern Virginia natives Chase Brown and TJ Bradley if the Hokies can get Rafferty soon.
While Rafferty isn't a guy that should be expected to play a significant role as a true freshman, Rafferty has the size and frame you want for an offensive tackle while having some solid fundamentals with his footwork and technique that can definitely be developed well and shows that he has a bright future. While Rafferty won't be an immediate starter, he could definitely break into the two-deep within a couple seasons and be a quality starting OT after a few years with Vance Vice.
The Hokies are continuing to look like the favorites for three-star OT Aidan Rafferty with it being rival UVA providing the biggest challenge for the Hokies at this point.
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