Virginia Tech Signs 14 Players To Letters of Intent

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Robert Wooten
Robert Wooten is one of two Texas recruits to sign with Virginia Tech.

Virginia Tech has announced the signing of 14 new football players to National Letters of Intent.  They also announced the signing of Kansas graduate transfer running back Khalil Herbert, though he is not included in the recruiting numbers.

2020 Virginia Tech Football Signees

PosNameStarsHtWtTown, State
DEAlec Bryant6-3240Pearland, TX
DERobert Wooten6-3230Stafford, TX
DEJustin Beadles6-5232Tyrone, GA
DLDerrell Bailey, Jr.6-5255Greenback, TN
CBDorian Strong6-0160Upper Marlboro, MD
SLakeem Rudolph6-4202VA Beach, VA
SKeonta Jenkins6-3180Jacksonville, FL
OLParker Clements6-7270Elgin, SC
OLKaden Moore6-3305Bethlehem, PA
RBMarco Lee5-11225Coffeyville, KS
RBJalen Hampton5-9195Rockville, MD
RBJordan Brunson5-11210Alpharetta, GA
TEWilfried Pene6-3235Oakdale, CT
WRTyree Saunders6-0174Jacksonville, FL

Tech’s top signing is 4-star defensive end Alec Bryant (6-3, 240), a former LSU commit from Pearland, TX just outside of Houston.  He joins fellow Texan Robert Wooten (6-3, 230) and Georgian Justin Beadle (6-5, 235) to make up a strong 3-man defensive end class.  Derrell Bailey Jr., at 6-5, 255, could also play defensive end, though if he grows as much as projected then a position change could be in order.  Like Alec Bryant, Wooten and Beadle were once committed to other schools.  Wooten was a Missouri pledge, while Beadle was committed to Arizona State.

Justin Fuente told the media on Wednesday that the plan was to get more length on the defensive line.

“I do think relative speed and relative length are important,” Fuente said. “We have made a concerted effort to get longer.  We have really historically been long in the defensive secondary, but maybe not as long up front.  So we made a concerted effort to get a little bit longer up front going forward.

“That doesn’t mean that if you’re just tall that you can play, obviously.  But trying to take up some more space on the field…they’re all developmental players.  They’re all players that will have to get into the system and lift…but I think you can restrict some space, and long-term lead to the opportunity for some more productive play.”

The class also features three new running backs, including JUCO prospect Marco Lee (5-11, 225),  Jordan Brunson (5-11, 210) and Jalen Hampton (5-9, 195).  That doesn’t include Herbert, the graduate transfer from Kansas who will be eligible right away.

Fuente noted that Tech wanted immediate help at running back in this class, while also adding size to the position.

“I feel like Khalil [Herbert] is going to fit right in.  He’s got some experience, he’s got some games under his belt, he’s a great worker, just a highly intelligent young man from a great family who I think is going to blend right in with our crew seamlessly.”

One of the most noticeable things about this recruiting class is the fact that Virginia Tech signed just one in-state player, safety prospect Lakeem Rudolph of Green Run High School in Virginia Beach.  Fuente addressed that.

“Quite honestly, there’s some that we didn’t get, and there’s some that we didn’t like,” Fuente said of the in-state 2020 class. “That’s the truth.  And I was pretty slow with some things, because of the small numbers.  I was pretty hyper-sensitive to trying to make sure we did things the right way with our numbers situation.  I’d say it was all those factors.  I don’t think it’s going to be anything indicative of the years to come.”

Virginia Tech could potentially sign more players in February, but with what Fuente said above about managing the numbers situation in the right way, they could elect to stand pat with a 14-man class.  If so, that would be Tech’s smallest recruiting class since 1988, when they also signed just 14 players.  However, the program was on probation at the time and had limited scholarships to offer.  The Hokies have just five seniors on their 2019 roster, and one of those – offensive lineman Tyrell Smith – currently plans to return for his sixth year of eligibility.

Fuente knows there will be attrition, and he responded to a question about whether there would be attrition at the running back position with a laugh.

“Would you anticipate some attrition if you were a head coach in Division I football these days?  We’ll see how it goes.  We’ll put the ball down and compete.  But in this day and age, there’s no telling.”

Of course, the elephant in the room is Virginia Tech’s recruiting ranking.  The 2020 class currently ranks No. 59 in the country according to the 247Sports composite rankings, and No. 57 nationally by the 247Sports proprietary rankings.  That ranks No. 13 in the ACC in the composite rankings and No. 12 in the 247 rankings.  Reasons for that low ranking include things that were out of Virginia Tech’s control, such as the small size of the class and Bud Foster’s retirement affecting recruiting on the defensive side of the ball.  However, there were also other issues, including issues that Justin Fuente is attempting to fix with this offseason’s staff overhaul.  We’ll get into those details and talk about this class as a whole in upcoming TSL Pass articles.

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32 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. Should listen to Coach Fuente’s entire interview on HokieSports. He does a nice job explaining the class and some of the signees. Emphasizes the importance of camps to his recruiting strategy and specifically speaks a lot about Dorian Strong and a little on Saunders and others. After listening it gave me a better perspective on this class and the justification for who we took as well as why we may have lost some we wanted. IMHO one of his most candid and passionate interviews

  2. I know attrition will happen but I am concerned we will have 14 (or 15?) scholarship running backs in the spring. Ten RBs is too many and I’m not trying to start negative comments on the quality of the RBs in currently program. This is indicative of poor roster management and misses on recruiting evaluations.

    Wouldn’t 5 to 9 more scholarships for Coach Ham on defense be wonderful?

    1. good point. there are just too many RBs on the roster now. beck, holston, wheatley, stewart, gary, king, mcclease are already on campus. then there is the transfer dude from kansas. then we just signed three more high school and junior college dudes today. that’s 11 assuming i didn’t miss anyone. that’s a stable all right, but unfortunately there aren’t many thoroughbred among them, if any.

      1. I count 4 or 5 of the guys already in the program that won’t be here next year (imo). As far as thoroughbreds, the graduate transfer from Kansas is a stud and Marco Lee is the #1 juco rb in the country per ESPN. Added some size too so we’ll see. But we’re not going to have 14 or 15 rbs on the roster next year. Half of that…

          1. 8.9 per carry translates anywhere you go in D1 college football. Especially when you have Kansas players upfront blocking. Small sample size from last season, but great in that small sample size

    2. You must simply write, then copy your comments to each thing to which you subscribe. This exact same comment is on the Athletic

  3. I’m getting tired of *recruiting rankings* when we all know it’s weighted, in part, by numbers- which we don’t have.

    That won’t mean **** when we line up next year. It’s a write-off. Get over it already. Who really cares?


    1. You can look at the average rating per player to remove the numbers effect. Ours is right at 3 which may be higher than 59th but still not very strong. One 4-star in a class is not very exciting.

        1. I agree that there are some 3 star players that turn out really well. And the star rating is not always reliable. But, in general, teams that are better year in and year out get more 4 and 5 star recruits. Also, competition for 4 And 5 star recruits is stronger and it means we aren’t winning those. I think the norm in our good years was to have several 4 star recruits each year and an occasional 5 star.

  4. THIS IS FUN !
    One Virginia Recruit
    Two Texas Recruits
    Two 2 Stars
    One 4 Star
    PER 247 Top 20
    VT = 0 Commits
    TCU = 2 Commits
    PSU = 4 Commits

    Too painful for me to continue !
    I QUIT ! GO SEC = LSU !!!

    1. You are Hokiebait!
      Most fun is the decommit from LSU ‘unoriginal mascot names’ coming to the Hokies!
      Ha Ha you troll. I still recall thumping Louis E Anna in Lane!
      Merry Gumbo!

    2. Here’s what is cute to me: we got guys that were previously committed to LSU, Mixzou and Arizona State as well as a grad transfer rb who had a healthy ypc at his previous school

    3. Are you actually PAYING for the privilege of spewing that garbage? I’d pay extra to be able to block it.

      If you are that down on VT football, surely you could find something ELSE to do with your time (and ours)

  5. Turned out to be a pretty good class, considering need, numbers. and all the changes going down. Well done CJF and staff! Welcome new Hokie warriors!

    1. This has been happening all day…

      Keontae Jenkins signed with TCU
      Keonta Jenkins is joining the good guys once he finds a fax machine.

        1. I heard that he committed to Albatross State University, so he could play with his brother Leroy Jenkins.

  6. Not sure what state they come from, as other schools dont. If they want be Hokies they are fine by me

    1. Like I said, if Powell’s head can be turned by a helicopter, then screw him. Rut(s)gers is still and will forever be Rut(s)gers. The people up there do not give a fig for college ball. They aren’t in the Big East version 1 or Version 2 anymore.

      1. Powell staying in NJ, as well as Jarrett flipping from LSU to Maryland (that would be the dumpster fire that is Maryland,) tells me these guys got scared to leave home. There is no other explanation.

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