Virginia Tech football’s “Beamer Barbecue” recruiting event has produced at least one from verbal commitment.
Patrick Kearns, a class of 2016 offensive lineman out of Darlington (Rome, GA), announced via Twitter this afternoon that he will attend Virginia Tech. The 6’5″, 270-pound prospect chose the Hokies over Georgia Tech, Kentucky and NC State. The GACA Class AA all-North Region selection had scholarship offers from all four finalists as well as California and Florida, among others.
“First of all I would like to thank God, my parents, my high school coaches, my trainer, and my friends for helping me throughout this process. Without them, none of this would be possible. Secondly, I would like to thank all the coaches who recruited me. It has been a pleasure to talk and meet with every one of you. However, in the end I must choose a school and I am proud and very excited to say I am officially committing to Virginia Tech,” Kearns wrote in a tweet, which you can see by clicking here.
Kearns played on both sides of the line last season for Darlington, but he made his biggest mark as a starting offensive tackle. Darlington head coach Tommy Atha reflected on the standout prospect’s development over the past few seasons.
“The biggest thing is his work ethic. He is a tremendously hard worker,” Atha said of Kearns. “He really grew fast and then worked really hard to refine his skills. He had a good year as a sophomore, but then as a junior really stepped up his game and became a big impact player. Not just a good player… he was really dominant, especially on the offensive line. Once the season was over, he played in the Rising Seniors All-Star game against some of the best defensive line talent in the state. He did a good job in the game.”
Kearns measured in at around 6’3″, 225 pounds his sophomore season. He now is 6’5″, 270 pounds, and his coach feels more growth could be in store.
“Patrick’s a young kid. Technically, he could have another year,” Atha said. “He’s going to be a young senior. I think he could grow another inch or two.”
Virginia Tech offensive line coach Stacy Searels is a native of Georgia. His connections certainly did not hurt the Hokies here.
“Coach Searels is from Northwest Georgia. I’ve known him for a long time,” Atha said. “He is not only a great coach but a fine man. He has always stayed familiar with this area. He came in and evaluated Patrick and felt he was a good fit.”
Kearns becomes the second offensive line commitment in Virginia Tech’s class of 2016, joining state of Virginia standout Thomas Jarrett Hopple. Check out highlights of Tech’s newest commit below.