As National Signing Day inches closer, Virginia Tech is hoping to solidify their Class of 2017 with some late additions. One of those late additions could be defensive end Zion DeBose.
DeBose is a 6-foot-2, 226-pound recruit out of Spencer, NC. DeBose was offered by the Hokies on Dec. 23 and is now one of Virginia Tech’s top targets at defensive end.
“I was pretty excited about it,” DeBose said of Virginia Tech’s offer. “They had been recruiting me since my junior year. I went to a camp and hadn’t really heard from them until maybe a month ago. That’s when I got back in touch with them. It’s pretty exciting.”
Special Teams Coordinator and Tight Ends Coach James Shibest has been DeBose’s primary recruiter.
“He’s a pretty cool dude,” DeBose said. “He’s always hitting me up, asking how things are going. He’s always informing me of stuff that’s been going on at Virginia Tech, academic-wise and also football.”
DeBose feels that his play style and work ethic would allow him to fit seamlessly into Bud Foster’s defense.
“Their defense, they play fast and they play smart,” DeBose said. “I feel like that’s the type of player I am. I don’t go out there and just play the game, there’s more to it than just playing the game. You got to study your opponent, you got to recognize an offensive lineman’s stance or when they’re pulling and what way they’re coming from. That’s what I see in Virginia Tech. They use a lot of strategy in their defense and once they’ve got their strategy, they go out there and play fast. It’s just straight consistency with Virginia Tech.”
DeBose was originally an Appalachian State commit, but reopened his recruitment on Oct. 16. Since then, several schools have ramped up their efforts to land him. He said that some schools are close to offering him a scholarship, but Illinois, Pittsburgh, Missouri and Virginia Tech are among the schools he’s still considering at the moment. He has three official visits scheduled: Illinois on Jan. 13, Pittsburgh on Jan. 20 and Virginia Tech on Jan. 27.
DeBose says he hopes to get a better feel of everyday life as a football player on his official visits.
“I want to be able to spend a lot of time with the coaching staff, getting to know the coaches better, just stuff of that nature,” DeBose said. “I want to see more of their academic side, their architecture program, civil engineering program. Then I want to sit and have time with the players, just to get an honest feel of how it is outside of this official visit. Official visits, they glamour everything up and make everything look real nice, but in the reality of it, it doesn’t look like that every day for a football player, that’s not the average life that they live every day. I just want to talk to some of the players and just get a feel of how it really is at Virginia Tech for a football player on a daily basis.”
Like most recruits, DeBose is looking for a ‘second home’ feel. He’s looking for a coaching staff that’s honest and that will support him throughout his career.
“I don’t want to go nowhere where it’s strictly football,” DeBose said. “I need to know that I can go to these coaches in a time of need. If I got to call them and I can’t really talk to nobody else. I want to go somewhere if need be I can pull a coach aside and say, ‘Coach, this is what I’m going through,’ and he can give me an honest answer back. Something like a father away from home. I’m just trying to find a place with that home feeling.”
Virginia Tech is recruiting several defensive ends as the Class of 2017 comes to a close. Tyjuan Garbutt is still the top target there, but the Hokies recently offered both DeBose and Koby Cumberlander. Tech is also recruiting Robert Porcher IV, who opened his recruitment back up on Dec. 12. Brad Johnson and Bobby Roundtree are also options at defensive end. Nathan Proctor committed to the Hokies over the weekend.
Here’s DeBose’s most recent highlight film from his senior season at North Rowan High School.