Note: This article contains a copy of Virginia Tech’s Signing Day press release, plus our notes on Signing Day developments at the bottom.
— Virginia Tech Press Release —
BLACKSBURG – Virginia Tech head football coach Justin Fuente announced the members of the 2016 recruiting class on Wednesday, his first class since taking over as the Hokies’ head coach.
Twenty-one prospects comprise the class, including nine who enrolled for the spring semester.
“I’m awfully excited about this class,” Fuente said. “We’ve built upon the work of Coach Beamer and his staff. We divided it up into two separate classes. When we got here, it didn’t take me long to figure out that we had some immediate needs in terms of mid-term kids, kids graduated from high school a semester early and we needed to reach out to them early. We addressed those needs, and then over the Christmas break, we took a little stock in the kids we were going to sign today. We did a great job of holding on to the kids who were committed and adding a few other pieces of the puzzle.”
Of the nine who enrolled for the spring semester, two were quarterbacks: Jérod Evans, a 6-foot-4, 230-pounder from Dallas; and Joshua Jackson, a 6-1, 205-pounder from Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Evans threw for more than 3,000 yards, with 38 touchdowns and three interceptions in eight games this past season for Trinity Valley Community College in Athens, Texas. Jackson threw for 1,778 yards and 21 touchdowns his senior season at Saline High in Saline, Michigan, and he also rushed for 460 yards and eight scores.
The two of them are among the 12 prospects in this class slated to play on offense.
“We added some depth and competition at some key spots, which I’m excited about,” Tech offensive coordinator Brad Cornelsen said. “I’m excited about most of those guys being here this spring and it should be a competitive and interesting spring.
“Spring will be really important. We’ll evaluate what we already have and what we have coming in. Our philosophy is simply to get the best guys on our team on the field and find the best ways to allow them to make plays.”
The class included nine prospects from the state of Virginia, including Zachariah Hoyt, an offensive lineman from Salem, Virginia who signed with the Hokies last year and delayed enrollment until this semester. The staff also signed three prospects from Georgia, two each from Florida and North Carolina and one each from Michigan, Texas, Ohio, New Jersey and South Carolina.
The staff brought in six prospects slated to play on the offensive line and four each to play in the defensive backfield and as receivers. The class also includes three prospects as linebackers.
“We had a little transition between Coach [Frank] Beamer and Coach Fuente, which can be interesting, but I really like this class,” Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster said. “I feel like we hit our needs. I’m excited about the young men who are coming to join the Hokie family.
“On defense, we got a lot of guys we targeted. We redshirted three defensive ends, so we weren’t going to go out and get a bunch of defensive ends. We had a need at linebacker and all three are outstanding – very versatile and very athletic. And then we hit our needs in the back end. I thought we hit all areas – our front, our second level and our back end. I thought we did a nice job.”
For complete bios on every member of the 2016 recruiting class, please click here.
The Hokies open the 2016 season on Sept. 3 against Liberty. The renewal process for season tickets begins tomorrow, with 2015 season ticket holders and current Hokie Club members as of Dec. 31, 2015 eligible. Individuals who renew early during an exclusive two-week window from Feb.4-Feb. 18 will receive a $25 per ticket loyalty rebate on their $350 season ticket purchase. This rebate will be issued at the conclusion of the two-week window. Beginning Feb. 19, all 2015 season ticket holders and Hokie Club members have until March 14 to renew their tickets at the $350 price.
— End Virginia Tech Press Release —
1.) Virginia Tech includes Zachariah Hoyt as a 2016 signee; we have him as a 2015 signee, so only 20 signees are included in our list.
2.) DT Clay Dean, who verbaled to the Hokies as part of the class, did not submit an LOI and was not announced as a signee. There has been no official comment from Virginia Tech on Dean’s status.
3.) The Hokies got Signing Day commitments from LB Eron Carter and DB Tyree Rodgers, but were unable to get commitments from WR/ATH Tyrrell Pigrome (Maryland signee) and DE JaQuan Bailey (Iowa State).
4.) The Hokies were in the mix for the following recruits who had verbaled to other schools, but all stuck with their original commitments: DE Tomon Fox (UNC), WR Rick Wells (Florida), LB Chase Pine (Pitt), DB Coney Durr (Minnesota), and LB Dominique Ross (UNC).
Here is a list of today’s signees, in the order in which their LOIs came into the Virginia Tech Football office.
SIGNED PLAYERS (LOI RECEIVED BY VT) - SHOWN IN THE ORDER RECEIVED
Note: hokiesports.com lists Zachariah Hoyt as a 2016 signee; we have him as a 2015 signee
|QB||Jerod Evans||Signed (Jan enrollee)|
|QB||Joshua Jackson||Signed (Jan enrollee)|
|OL||Demetri Moore||Signed (Jan enrollee)|
|WR||Sam Denmark||Signed (Jan enrollee)|
|WR||Divine Deablo||Signed (Jan enrollee)|
|WR||Eric Kumah||Signed (Jan enrollee)|
|CB||Khalil Ladler||Signed (Jan enrollee)|
|DE||Jimmie Taylor IV||Signed (Jan enrollee)|
|OL||Thomas Jarrett Hopple||VT Signee|
|OL||Patrick Kearns||VT Signee|
|QB, ATH||JoVonn Quillen, Jr.||VT Signee|
|ATH||Phillip Patterson||VT Signee|
|ATH||Reggie Floyd||VT Signee|
|LB||Tavante Beckett||VT Signee|
|DT||Silas Dzansi||VT Signee|
|LB||Emmanuel Belmar||VT Signee|
|DB||Tyree Rodgers||VT Signee|
|DT||Jarrod Hewitt||VT Signee|
|OL||T. J. Jackson||VT Signee|
|LB||Eron Carter||VT Signee|