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.
SOUTH CAROLINA COMMITS
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.