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Justin Fuente and the Hokies aren't done yet on the trail with the Class of 2017. [Credit: Harley Taylor][/caption]The Virginia Tech Hokies are building a strong Class of 2017 in what is Justin Fuente's first full recruiting cycle with the Hokies as Virginia Tech has had an especially strong January as they got two of their top targets to publicly commit this month, Devon Hunter and Nathan Proctor who are also the Hokies' two-highest rated recruits.
With those two high-profile commitments in, the Hokies still have their fair share of high priority targets remaining on the board so let's countdown the top 3 remaining targets for Justin Fuente and his staff in the Class of 2017.
This list is being actively updated and the top 3 changed after Tyjuan Garbutt committed to Virginia Tech on January 27th.
Just Missed The Cut: Dazz Newsome, Zion DeBose, Keontae Jones
Virginia Tech is in pursuit of all three with the Hokies looking strong in their pursuit of Zion DeBose while Keontae Jones is more of a mystery and UNC is looking strong with Dazz Newsome.
3. 4* OT Mekhi Becton
Mekhi Becton's recruitment has been interesting but the Hokies have emerged as the favorite after having a great official visit on the weekend of January 20th. Becton had plenty of in-home visitors this past week including ones from Michigan and Virginia, but Virginia Tech continues to maintain its spot as the leader while also paying the four-star OT from Highland Springs a visit this week.
Virginia Tech currently has three offensive linemen committed including Silas Dzansi, who prepped at Fork Union last season, plus TE Lecitus Smith who would be best off at guard but Becton would undoubtedly be the headline name among the offensive line commits if he committed to Virginia Tech. Meanwhile, Becton is the only four-star in-state recruit that Virginia has been able to get any momentum with, but the Cavaliers seem to be fading a lot now.
Michigan and Louisville both present interesting challenges as two other high-profile programs in hot pursuit of Becton with Jim Harbaugh being the one to fly to Richmond to visit Becton this past week. Becton's tremendous size and frame has made this a high-intensity recruitment but Justin Fuente and Virginia Tech have done what they needed to propel themselves into the frontrunner position.
At this point, Becton seems likely to be a Hokie; but Michigan, Louisville, and even Virginia can't be ruled out just yet with less than a week till National Signing Day.
2. 3* CB Ameer Speed
Ameer Speed has become Virginia Tech's number 1 target at cornerback and a guy that they have made a high priority now for a couple of months even as Speed's recruitment was rather quiet. Now, the Hokies enter the closing weeks in a strong position thanks to a great official visit in December, but also having the challenge of getting Speed out of Florida over a couple other more regional powers.
Speed is visiting Georgia this weekend, and the Bulldogs are undoubtedly the other top contender besides Virginia Tech in his recruitment. Speed's decision likely will come on National Signing Day given his official to Georgia this weekend and official to Oregon next weekend days before National Signing Day.
Virginia Tech has surged to a lead here, but the Hokies also have the challenge of having to hold on given how Speed has a big official to Georgia this weekend. Oregon doesn't seem like a big threat at this point and while North Carolina and Michigan State have both received officials already, this seems like a VT vs. Georgia battle.
Speed is undoubtedly the Hokies' top cornerback target in a class that currently has one cornerback commit, making Speed a top priority as National Signing Day approaches.
1. 4* DE Brad Johnson
For a while, it seemed like Brad Johnson would stay in-state and play for the South Carolina Gamecocks, but the Hokies kept working and now, Virginia Tech is in a neck-and-neck battle coming into the closing days before National Signing Day. Johnson has become another top defensive end target for VT in what could be one of the best defensive end classes in the country when all is set and done.
Right now, this is setting up to be a Virginia Tech vs. South Carolina battle with those two having received officials from Johnson along with Tennessee who seems like a long shot especially after gaining a commitment from three-star DE Ryan Thaxton. Johnson took his official to Blacksburg in December and visited South Carolina on the second weekend of January with Johnson now working towards a decision.
Johnson is seen as a guy who could play as a backup DE as a true freshman for the Hokies while South Carolina seems ready to give him a chance to play either defensive end or linebacker. South Carolina will be looking to protect their in-state turf to keep Johnson while the Hokies have been quiet in the Palmetto State this cycle with no commits from South Carolina currently.
This one is looking like a tight battle between the Hokies and the Gamecocks with Virginia Tech still seeming to have a slight edge at this point, but both teams having a good shot as National Signing Day approaches.
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