Offensive line is one of the position groups that Virginia Tech is still trying to fill for the Class of 2018. The Hokies’ coaching staff has offered dozens of linemen, but has only secured one commitment so far. However, the Hokies are in good position with a couple of offensive linemen, including Jordan McFadden.
McFadden is a 6-foot-4, 280-pound offensive lineman from Dorman High School in Roebuck, S.C. He’s rated as a 3-star recruit by Rivals and has an impressive offer list, with nearly a dozen Power 5 offers. North Carolina, Michigan State, and Louisville are the most notable.
Dorman uses McFadden in a variety of ways on the offensive line, but he lines up primarily at left tackle, which tells me he’s their best blocker. His film also shows me that he’s got great upside.
McFadden’s ability to block multiple defenders out of a play is what stands out the most. Linemen often engage a defender and then drive him to the ground, thus taking both the defender and themselves out of the play. McFadden, however, can engage one defender, block him out of the play, and then move to another defender to block him. He shows great balance after finishing blocks and moves well for his size.
McFadden also shows good technique, although his hands can get outside the pads sometimes. He needs to be a bit quicker with his feet, but he should be able to hold his own in pass protection. McFadden is agile enough to pull around and clear lanes for running backs and also get outside to block for screens. McFadden’s superior run blocking and ability to slow the pass rush should make him an ideal tackle on the left or right side.
Virginia Tech first offered McFadden in November 2016, and has been a major player in his recruitment ever since. McFadden dropped a top-12 on March 25, but it seems like Virginia Tech and Duke have separated themselves since then. He took unofficial visits to both schools on June 10 and 11, and those two programs have likely secured their spots in McFadden’s top group. It is unclear when McFadden plans to make a decision, but the Hokies should be in the thick of things for the remainder of his recruitment.
Earning a commitment from McFadden would go a long way in putting together a decent group of offensive linemen for the Class of 2018. With John Harris already committed, the Hokies need to bring another three or four offensive linemen into fold. Rasheed Walker is the Hokies’ best bet in securing a commitment from a consensus 4-star lineman, but their chances have diminished significantly. Gabe Gonzalez is the lineman the Hokies sit the best with, while there is still work to be done with Jovaughn Gwyn and TJ Bradley. Virginia Tech was very high on Aidan Rafferty this spring, but have since cooled on him as a recruit.