Photo Credit: Harley Taylor
The #TX2VT movement has received more attention from Virginia Tech fans than any other social media recruiting phenomenom in this era of college football. Yes, that includes the #NC2VT movement from a few years ago.
Over the past several weeks, the Hokies have seen decommitments from their two previously committed 2021 Texas recruits: four-star QB Dematrius Davis and four-star WR Latrell Neville. Those decommitments have led to a pronouncement that the #TX2VT movement is dead and that #TX2VT was a mistake and failure for Virginia Tech on the recruiting trail.
Yes, the #TX2VT movement dream is dead but the odds of Virginia Tech signing 4 or more four-star recruits from Texas as some fans fantaciszed was never realistic anyway.
However, the #TX2VT movement has been a success for Virginia Tech.
Now before you think I'm crazy for saying this, let's look at the well-known facts that Texas is arguably the most loaded state for college football recruits alongside the state of Florida.
Additionally, you have a coaching staff with lots of connections in the state of Texas including Justin Fuente along with the fact that Fuente and those that came with him from Memphis routinely recruited in the state of Texas. Any head coach would be smart to use their long-standing connections and their staff's connections (like with Beau Davidson) to go after players in those places given the trust those high school coaches likely have in said coaches which will rub off on the recruit.
Now back to the state of Texas. As mentioned above, it's pretty well-known that Texas and Florida are the top two college football states for recruiting in terms of volume of Power 5 level talent. For years, Virginia Tech has tried to land 3-4 guys out of the state of Florida given the fact that there is loads of talent there, some of which gets overlooked.
Of course, Texas isn't as close to Blacksburg as Florida is though at a certain point, a few hours difference between Miami and Blacksburg, and Houston or Dallas and Blacksburg isn't too notable. You're still trying to recruit guys who are 10+ hours away and we've seen Virginia Tech show they can do that regularly in Florida with higher end talent and we saw it in Texas last cycle.
However, the difference was before this past fall, there is no history of Virginia Tech actually signing a recruit out of high school from the state of Texas let alone even landing a commitment. Before Fuente, Tech barely even looked at the state of Texas, something that seems understandable in some ways but also not at all in other ways given the depth of talent in the Lone Star State.
Combine that with the fact that most programs recruit and land talented Texas recruits as the data shows.
19 different programs (including Virginia Tech) signed at least one of the 54 four-star recruits in the 2020 class in the state of Texas according to the 247 Sports Composite rankings. In total, 41 programs, including farther away programs like Michigan State, Purdue, and Oregon State, signed at least 1 of the top 100 recruits in the state of Texas. The 100th best recruit in Texas would have ranked 21st in Virginia last cycle.
Beyond the top 100, fellow ACC programs like Miami and Duke signed at least 1 Texas recruit who fell outside the top 100 (including 2 for Duke) along with other far away Power 5 programs like Minnesota and California.
This cycle is another example of the far reach of schools recruiting in Texas with four-star recruits committed to far away places like Miami, Notre Dame, and USC. Also, UVA and Minnesota are among those with at least 1 top 100 commit in the 2021 Texas class.
Most Power 5 programs know that spot recruiting in the state of Texas is a smart thing to do. Even if it's only 1 or 2 recruits a cycle, teams know that the Lone Star State has much more depth than most teams have within their home states by a lot.
However, to really be able to break into Texas, the Hokies needed to land someone to break the taboo of a high school recruit from the state of Texas signing with Virginia Tech. That taboo began to disappear when the Hokies landed a commitment from 2021 four-star QB Dematrius Davis last fall, launching the #TX2VT movement that took on a life of its own unlike anything I've seen among Hokie fans in regards to recruiting in covering Virginia Tech during the social media age.
Then, the taboo of signing Texas recruits was destroyed when Tech signed talented defensive ends Alec Bryant and Robert Wooten days after they committed to the Hokies. That was the proof of concept that Virginia Tech needed to show that Texas players could come to Blacksburg to play college football.
Since then, Tech has seen the #TX2VT movement come to an end as a movement and yes, maybe there were some dreams inside the Merryman Center about landing four of five high level recruits out of Texas or more. But while many fans were focused on Texas, Virginia Tech's staff kept focus on recruiting talent from wherever they could, but still with a focus both in-state and traditional regions where the Hokies have had success including the Carolinas, Georgia, Florida, and New Jersey.
If somehow the Tech staff was solely focused on Texas (or almost solely as some fans seem to think), I'm pretty sure you wouldn't have seen five commitments in the past few weeks of top targets including 2 from Virginia, 1 from Maryland, and 1 from South Carolina.
Also, to think that a Power 5 college football program on the East Coast would put all their eggs in the Texas basket is completely illogical. Rather, the #TX2VT movement served its purpose to destroy the taboo and open the doors for Virginia Tech to recruit in arguably the deepest state for college football recruiting in America.
Looking ahead, it wouldn't be surprising to see the Hokies sign at least one recruit from Texas this cycle with the Hokies right in the hunt for three-star WR Da'Wain Lofton and three-star OL Canon Boone while also still pursuing players like RBs Tavierre Dunlap and Alton McCaskill plus DE Landyn Watson and DT Albert Regis. If I was a betting man, I would likely bet on the Hokies signing at least 1-2 recruits from the state of Texas this cycle.
Yes, the #TX2VT movement is dead in its fan fantasy form, but the Texas taboo is gone and because of it, Virginia Tech will be able to spot recruit Texas as many Power 5 programs have already been doing for years with no taboo to overcome any longer.
That, is mission accomplished for #TX2VT.