Four-star point guard and consensus top-100 recruit Jalen Cone has committed to Virginia Tech and head coach Mike Young. Cone made his announcement this afternoon at his high school, Walkertown High School in Kernersville, NC, just outside of Winston-Salem, NC.
Here’s the video of his commitment, from WXII 12 News on Facebook. Fast-forward to approximately the 16:40 mark for the start of the actual commitment.
Cone is listed anywhere from 5-9 (Rivals and ESPN) to 5-11 (247Sports) and weighs about 175 pounds. He recently reclassified from the 2020 class to 2019 and will be eligible to play next season for the Hokies, provided he finishes his high school graduation requirements this coming summer. He will bring the following rankings with him to Blacksburg:
- Rivals.com: No. 77
- 247Sports.com Composite: No. 100
- ESPN.com: No 53 (for 2020; not yet ranked in 2019 by ESPN)
Jalen Cone, who has been recruited by Virginia Tech assistant Christian Webster, is an important coup for Mike Young on the recruiting trail. Webster, who formerly worked at Virginia Tech under Buzz Williams and was retained by Young, has been recruiting Cone since Cone’s freshman year in high school. Virginia Tech was the first major program to offer Cone, and despite the coaching change, Cone stuck with the Hokies throughout the process, thanks primarily to Webster.
“I love Coach Webbie, probably more than any other coach, and we probably have the best relationship,” Cone told Jason Stamm in an April 24 TechSideline.com interview. “He’s been recruiting me since my freshman year. That was the first high-major to offer me, before even any of the mid-majors. Coach Webster having that confidence in me means a lot. Virginia Tech is like home.”
As a junior this past season, Cone averaged 25.7 ppg and 6.6 assists per game, per MaxPreps, including this game in which he scored 49 points in the CrownTown Classic in December 2018:
As a sophomore, Cone averaged 34 points per game, per MaxPreps.
Cone’s commitment gives Young two freshmen who were 4-star players and top-100 recruits coming out of high school. The other is Landers Nolley, a 2018 recruit who will be a redshirt freshman in 2019-20. Nolley, who was ranked No. 67 in the Class of 2018 by the 247Sports Composite rankings, was signed by Buzz Williams and sat out the 2018-19 season for an undisclosed academic issue. Rising Junior Wabissa Bede was also a 4-star top-100 player in the class of 2017.
With Cone in the fold, the Hokies’ 2019-2020 roster now looks like:
- SR: Kerry Blackshear (currently in transfer portal)
- JR: Wabissa Bede (transfer portal), PJ Horne
- SO: Isaiah Wilkins, Jonathan Kabongo, Keve Aluma (redshirting in 2019-20)
- FR: Landers Nolley (rFr), Hunter Cattoor, Jalen Cone
That’s nine scholarship players. With an NCAA scholarship limit of 13, Mike Young and the Hokies can add up to four more players for next season, and if Blackshear and/or Bede do not return, possibly more. The 2019 spring signing period runs through May 15, but players can sign or make decisions at any time.
Cone and Cattoor are currently the only two players in Virginia Tech’s 2019 recruiting class. The four players that Buzz Williams had previously signed to Virginia Tech — Emanuel Miller, Andre Gordon, Yavuz Gultekin, and Anthony Harris — all decommitted and went elsewhere. Miller, Gordon, and Gultekin will follow Buzz Williams to Texas A&M, while Harris signed with North Carolina.