Big-Time DL Picks Hokies

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DeAntre Rhodes has been one of the most productive players in the state of Virginia each of the past two seasons, earning second-team all-state honors on offense and defense as a junior and turning in an even more impressive senior season according to Varina (VA) coaches. The 6-3, 280-pound senior, a projected defensive lineman on the college level, has decided to take his talents to Virginia Tech next season.

Rhodes chose Tech over offers from Clemson, Maryland, Michigan, Tennessee and Virginia, among others.

“He has committed [to Virginia Tech],” Varina defensive line coach Kevin Lewis said. “I haven’t talked to him directly about why he did it, but I think he is just a kid who wanted to cut the process short. He had an idea of where he wanted to go and he went ahead and committed.”

Lewis knows full well what the Virginia Tech experience is like. He and his younger brother, Jonathan, were stalwarts on the Hokies defensive line earlier this decade. The former Hokie critiqued Rhodes’ game, which he has been able to coach up this season.

“As far as me and my brother are concerned, DeAntre actually has more of the intangibles,” Lewis said. “He has great size coming out of high school. He is 6-3, over 270 pounds. He runs around real well. He gets off the line quickly and he uses his hands real well. As the defensive line coach, I’ve tried to instill some of the things that coach Wiles instilled in me and my brother.”

Rhodes helped the Blue Devils to a 12-1 season in 2008, including an undefeated regular season, a district title and a Division 6, Central Region championship. He primarily played defensive tackle for head coach Stu Brown, but he was a full-time two-way performer towards the end of the season.

“He has improved a lot,” Lewis said. “He has put on weight and still has been able to run around real well. He has been an important factor for us, especially as far as being a two-way player. It was critical having him this year. He has been a big factor in helping us have a big year.”

Coach Lewis feels as though Rhodes could contribute inside or outside of the defensive line for Virginia Tech. The expectation is defensive tackle, though.

“That’s up to coach Wiles, but he could be a player on the inside or outside,” Lewis said. “I think it all depends on how he does there and how much weight they can put on him.”

Rhodes is the 17th high school senior to commit to Virginia Tech’s