Could VT Benefit From Maryland, South Carolina Coach Departures?

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Maryland fired head coach Randy Edsall and Steve Spurrier has retired from South Carolina. Could Virginia Tech benefit from these coaching changes with some class of 2016 recruits? Time will tell, but below is a list of prospects Virginia Tech could possibly gain traction with if they decide to look elsewhere.


– As I mentioned yesterday in my write-up on Virginia Tech’s impressive class of wide receivers, DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, MD) star senior Tino Ellis could be one to watch in light of Maryland’s coaching change. The Terrapins and the Hokies were the finalists for Ellis at the time he committed. Should he decide to open up his recruitment, one would think Tech would be a top consideration once again.

Of note is that, before Maryland officially fired its coach, Ellis stated that he was firm in his college decision regardless of Edsall’s status.

– Virginia Tech has its class of 2016 quarterback commitment in Saline (MI) signal caller Joshua Jackson; however, if the right player wanted to come aboard, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Hokies take another. Maryland native Dwayne Haskins would qualify. At this point, though, the Flint Hill senior appears very firm in his commitment to the Terrapins.


Virginia Tech was in the final two along with South Carolina for Asheville (N.C.) senior offensive lineman Pete Leota. Leota cast his lot with the Gamecocks. He spoke with Andrew Pearson of the Asheville Citizen-Times (click here for the full article) since the Spurrier retirement news hit, saying “I didn’t expect this, but I’m still 100 percent committed.”

In addition to Leota, Virginia Tech was very much in the mix for South Carolina class of 2016 commits Brandon McIlwain (QB, Council Rock North in Pennsylvania), CJ Freeman (RB, Northern Guilford in North Carolina), Marlon Character (DB, Grady High School in Georgia) and JJ Givens (DB, Atlee High School in Virginia).

Virginia Tech made McIlwain’s top six in August of 2014; however, when it came time to make a decision last December, the top football and baseball prospect had a final four of Auburn, California, Penn State and South Carolina.

Freeman, a former teammate of current Hokies true freshman defensive back Mook Reynolds, has visited Blacksburg several times before. He seemed high on Virginia Tech but committed to South Carolina on March 28 this year. Running back is not a real need for Tech in this class, but if Freeman reopens his recruitment and Tech is interested, things could get interesting.

In other news regarding Freeman, ACC-rival Louisville offered a scholarship to the speedy tailback this past weekend.

Atlanta native Marlon Character had Virginia Tech in his final five at the time of his commitment to South Carolina this summer. Following his pledge, Character told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in this article he would continue to listen to other college coaches. He also said he had developed a close relationship with Tech defensive backs coach Torrian Gray, which certainly is a plus if Character de-commits.

Character did respond to the Spurrier news via Twitter, stating: “No comment…”

Virginia Tech was the first major FBS offer Atlee (Mechanicsville, VA) senior defensive back/wide receiver JJ Givens received. He ultimately went on to commit to South Carolina. Givens seemed as though he was looking to leave the state from the start, but if he reconsiders perhaps Tech can make a run.

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10 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. It was interesting in Spurrier’s statement he said he was resigning not retiring. Shane made the same point on Greg Burton’s sports show on 950 AM in Richmond yesterday.

  2. Quick question, from what I remember SC’s class is ranked 45 and ours is about the same. Why would we want their recruits? Are the ones listed here higher stars than what we have as commits?

  3. For whatever reason, I think Gray was a little shaky on Givens….maybe felt he needed to see a bit more, but he committed and did not wait around. Can’t blame him. He is having an excellent senior year and will be a very good D-1 player.

  4. With the uncertainty of Frank’s tenure I doubt we will benefit. Both schools will certainly name the new coach and staff well before signing day.

    1. You never know but you make a good point. Change your commitment from a school where the HC retired or was fired to a HC who is about to retire?

      1. Correct. Certainly some schools will certainly benefit from these departures, but it’s hard to see VT being one of them…

    2. I agree. South Carolina should be able to make a fairly big name hire who will keep the recruiting class intact. Maryland could certainly lose some commits but I’m not sold that VT would benefit.

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