Gilman’s Keihn Chooses Hokies

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Virginia Tech’s impressive recruiting run continued today, when Gilman (Baltimore, MD) senior linebacker Melvin Keihn (pronounced Kine) verbally committed to the Hokies. Keihn is the third prospect to commit to Virginia Tech in the past few weeks, joining Pennsylvania running back Shai McKenzie and Ohio quarterback Chris Durkin. All three players are rated a 4-star by at least one of the four national recruiting outlets (Rivals, Scout, 247Sports, ESPN).

Keihn chose Tech over Maryland and Virginia, and he also considered offers from Miami and Penn State, among others. He is the 25th high school senior to commit to the Hokies.

An avid user of Twitter, Keihn used the popular social media site as the forum for his announcement.

“Officially committed to Virginia Tech for football! #hokienation” – Keihn wrote.

Back in the summer, it appeared the Gilman star may go in a different direction. He expressed interest in committing before the start of his senior season, and in the early summer months Maryland and Virginia appeared to be in strong position. Not 100-percent sold on any school, though, he decided to wait. An unofficial visit to Virginia Tech for the UNC game on October 5 impressed the 6’2”, 220-pound prospect, who named Tech as his favorite shortly after that trip. He would go on to take official visits to UVa, Maryland, Virginia Tech and Penn State before committing.

Keihn visited Tech three times in total. The first experience came the weekend of April 19-21, which was the weekend of Tech’s Spring Game.

“I was asked to rate the Virginia Tech visit from 1-10 and I think I rated it an 8.5 or a 9 or something. I rated them really, really high,” Keihn said in an interview with TechSideline. “That trip was the only one where I actually stayed a few nights and got a chance to watch and learn and a chance to walk around the entire campus. Donovan Riley , who went to Poly (Baltimore, MD), I had a chance to walk around with him on Friday. We hung out and he showed me the whole campus. The next day there was a get-together with all the other kids. I watched film, and then I went to the Spring Game. [Riley] took me around town again afterward. It was just a good experience. He showed me everything. Then we played some video games and then I went back to the hotel with my brother. It was good. I saw a lot.”

Keihn, an Under Armour All-American and 4-star prospect, racked up 85 tackles including 16 tackles for loss and nine sacks his senior season. He forced two fumbles on a Greyhounds defense that surrendered less than 10 points in four of the 10 games this season. Gilman went 7-3 on the year.

Keihn is Virginia Tech’s first sure-fire linebacker recruit in this class. He will start out playing the Backer position (Keihn’s junior season highlights are below). Academically, Keihn is eyeing a major in Engineering.

TSL’s Take

Having seen Keihn in person and watched film, his closing speed is what stands out to me most about his game. He closes on the ball very quickly. He has a good physical frame and can run. You can also do different things with him, such as putting his hand on the ground and rushing him off the edge, something he did a good amount at Gilman. Since he did play a good amount with a hand on the ground at Gilman, he may need some time adjusting to primarily playing in space. He has the speed to do it, though.

As mentioned, Keihn is Tech’s first sure-fire linebacker in this class. Tabyus Taylor could well end up there as well, though he may need time at prep school before arriving at Tech. Counting only Keihn, Tech’s 2014 season scholarship projection at linebacker is as follows:

Seniors – Derek DiNardo, Chase Williams
Juniors – Deon Clarke, Joshua Trimble, Ronny Vandyke (possible SO if gets medical hardship)
Sophomores – Dahman McKinnon, Devin Vandyke (possible RFR if gets medical hardship)
Red-shirt Freshmen – Andrew Motuapuaka, Jamieon Moss
2014 Class – Keihn

Certainly, linebacker still appears to be an area of need for Tech in class of 2014 recruiting. Keihn’s commitment was huge but the Hokies could use at least one more linebacker in this class. Tech remains in great shape with Benedictine (Richmond, VA) product Raymon Minor.

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10 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. Don’t get me wrong, I love & feel extraordinarily pleased with all the recent big-time pickups & newsmakers like: M. Keihn, C.Durkin, S. McKenzie, T. Taylor, M Williams, M. Barnett and even the S. Sobczak switch from JMU but I am curious why there has been really no mention of trying to recruit 6-7 310lb Uncommitted 5***** Offensive Lineman Damian Prince from Bishop McNamara in Forestville, Maryland? I know we have our Fab-5 group but with all our exhausting Offensive line issues these last 4years, one would think Tech and CSL would be all over this talented big man….or at least there would be whispers about his possibilities at Tech. Seems like he’s going to become another Christian Hackenberg 5*****recruit from the DMV area that Tech incomprehensibly never even offered a scholarship to but he’s less than 5hrs up the road and ends up being a college terror and makes Tech look real foolish. Now C. Hackenberg is 2013 Big-Ten Freshmen of the year, tearing up the QBpassing/QBrushing records at PennState, and is considered by many in the Nittany Nation to be PennState’s “Death-Penalty Savior”. This Damien Prince recruit could be the next Michael Oher story. Will or Chris Horne, or Chris Coleman can anyone comment what’s the deal with this recruit or VT’s relationship status with this player?

    1. Sorry, I guess we have offered Prince but it feels like our recruiting focus & energy on him has been lukewarm at best.

    2. Let me start by saying I have zero inside knowledge on Prince or any other recruit out there, ever. Sometimes recruits just don’t aren’t interested in VT. I know, incomprehensible! The coaches, I’m sure, took a long look at Prince and made overtures and started the recruiting process but if there’s no return of the affection or attention then why continue?

      The coaches talked to Hackenburg or his coach at some point, found out his level of interest in VT. Depending on his level of interest, pitch the kid or move on. Hackenburg had eyes elsewhere from the start as did a few other highly rated kids from last year. Again, incomprehensible! So the coaches focused on other kids who wanted to be here, Hodges and Parker. The Jennings kid at LSU was also a target but probably about 3rd or 4th on the VT board after those two. When Hodges and Parker committed, pretty much the same day, Jennings looked elsewhere.

  2. Great to have you as part of the HOKIE FAMILY !
    Thanks and welcome, we love our DEfense, Coach Foster and his awesome staff !

    Go Hokies!

  3. in addition to his speed and patience letting plays develop and flow to him, he’s also really impressive after the play. no showboating. Score a defensive TD, hand the ball to the ref. Big sack, jump up and run back to the huddle. This guy appears to have his head on right and that makes him an even bigger asset. Welcome aboard!

  4. Looks to me like he could excel at either DE or LB. And I suspect he could make good engineer someday, after the NFL!

  5. Not sure why he is labeled as a sure-fire LB recruit. The highlites looked like those of a DE recruit. I don’t recall a single hi-lite that didn’t show him playing on the Dline…
    Happy to have him but the DE skill set is a long way from what a LB’s got to be able to do.

  6. I love the ability he shows on the film. Did not see any clips of him in what I would call a LB position covering TE’s or in space so it’s hard to really read what his skill set will translate to at VT. Welcome aboard Melvin!!

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