Now that Virginia Tech has finished up their Class of 2017, the Hokies can now turn their focus on next year’s targets. Over the next month or so, we’ll take a look at some of the Hokies’ biggest targets for the Class of 2018. On Monday, we profiled 5-star defensive end KJ Henry. Today, we’ll take a look at running back Jaelen Gill.
Gill is a high-end 4-star prospect from Westerville, OH. The 6-foot-1, 182-pound recruit is rated as the second-best player in the state of Ohio and is ranked No. 31 nationally, based off of the 247Sports Composite. Gill already has 26 reported scholarship offers, 25 of which are from Power 5 programs.
Gill’s senior season will be important for teams to get an idea of where his development is. Gill suffered an unspecified lower leg injury just two games into his junior season, causing a major setback in his development.
Of course, Gill is being pursued by several powerhouse programs and will not be an easy get for Virginia Tech. Michigan, Notre Dame and Ohio State have a leg up on many schools, due to their location and proximity to home. However, Gill has visited Virginia Tech on multiple occasions and even attended a camp in Blacksburg over the summer that I attended.
An issue Virginia Tech will have to move past with Gill, along with other targets, is how running backs are used in Virginia Tech’s system. Travon McMillian, who rushed for 1,043 yards in his freshman season, posted significantly lower numbers under Fuente and the new staff. McMillian carried the ball 55 fewer times in 2016 and ran for 372 fewer yards. McMillian did post slightly better receiving numbers, but the Hokies often used a committee of backs throughout the season.
Despite that, Gill seems to be a perfect fit for Fuente’s system. He has experience running out of the gun and catching out of the backfield. If Virginia Tech can steal Gill from the Midwest powers that be, it’ll be a big haul and instantly add depth to a thin position for the Hokies.