Defensive end may be the top need in Virginia Tech’s class of 2015, but there is no question that fans are anxious about the offensive line as well. The Hokies scored their first offensive line recruit in the class this weekend, when Winter Haven (FL) senior offensive tackle Mike Arnold made his pledge while on an official visit to Tech.
Arnold, a 6’5″, 290-pound senior, took to Twitter to express his excitement.
Hokieeee! Nation… JUST A SQUAD THING!!!!
— _dope'since90's (@mikeselfmade26) September 21, 2014
Describing Arnold’s talents in this article on TheLedger.com last month, Winter Haven head coach Charlie Tate said: “The two things he has, and you either have it or you don’t, is great length and great speed. He can really get on you in pass protection from a long way away, and he get can get on you on a drive block quicker than you would anticipate a guy that big to get on you.
“He’s loose in the hips, and he really can run. He just looks like a different position kid running. Watching all my other linemen run this summer, they run like linemen. But he runs like he could play a lot of positions.”
247Sports.com, Rivals.com and Scout.com have Arnold as a 3-star recruit. 247Sports (no. 105) and Scout.com (no. 104) rank the Winter Haven product among the top 105 offensive tackles in the nation in the class of 2015. Central Florida, Duke, Miami, Nebraska, Notre Dame and South Florida are among the many other reported offers Arnold considered, but Virginia Tech has been at the top of his list for months. Arnold, whose friend and former Winter Haven teammate, Kendrick Holland, is a freshman wide receiver at Virginia Tech, tweeted the following on July 29 this year…
VT I will say is at top spot at this moment! No decision yet though , will make one though!!! AUG pic.twitter.com/NTtW5Eiygs
— _dope'since90's (@mikeselfmade26) July 29, 2014
Prior to his commitment, Arnold was scheduled to take an official visit to Nebraska the weekend of October 24-26. Whether or not he makes the trip now is unclear.
Virginia Tech now boasts commitments from 13 high school seniors. Tight end Xavier Burke (Fork Union) and offensive lineman Tyrell Smith (Cushing Academy) signed with Tech in last year’s class but are currently enrolled in postgraduate programs. They are expected to make it to Tech, ideally in January of 2015 but at least by next summer. Another prospect, linebacker/running back Tabyus Taylor, also signed with Tech in the class of 2014. The former Hopewell (VA) star is attending Atlanta Sports Academy (Atlanta, GA) in hopes of making it to Blacksburg by next summer, but at this point he is considered a longshot to make it.
Arnold’s Spring 2014 Football Highlights are embedded for you below. Stay tuned to TSL for much more on his commitment.