Rhodes Eyeing Early Playing Time at Tech

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Virginia Tech assistant coaches stopped by Varina High School (VA) yesterday for the first time since gaining a verbal commitment from Blue Devils senior defensive tackle DeAntre Rhodes. Head coach Stu Brown told TechSideline.com that the Tech coaches came away very impressed by what they saw out of their future defensive tackle.

“One major thing DeAntre has made here is a strong commitment to losing weight,” Brown said. “The Virginia Tech staff saw him and marveled at how good he looked. DeAntre is 280 pounds with no waist. There is no fat on him. He lost about 15 pounds and is putting on the right weight the right way.”

A 4-year starter on the high school level, Rhodes turned in an excellent senior season in helping the Blue Devils to a 12-1 record and a Division 6, Central Region championship. According to Brown, Rhodes, whose nickname is “Twenty,” finished the season with about 60 tackles including 18 tackles-for-loss and about 10 sacks.

“To have that many tackles is most impressive in our defense. My defense doesn’t allow the defensive linemen to penetrate until they read pass,” Brown said. “Fifty percent of his tackles were for loss or sacks. He dominated. I’m biased, but for me he was the best defensive linemen I saw and we faced Division 1 caliber players. Twenty is just on another level.”

According to Brown, Rhodes has had to accept a lot of responsibility growing up, something that could help the talented prospect adjust to life at Virginia Tech more easily.

“He has had so much responsibility on him from a young age,” Brown said. “He is the man in his household. He grew up quickly and was a strong support system for his family. He is a listener. He is very articulate in his decision making. He had to be growing up. He had to deal with things the normal teenager doesn’t have to deal with.”

Rhodes committed to Virginia Tech the day after Varina was defeated by Osbourn in the Group AAA, Division 6 state semifinals. He had originally wanted to make official visits before committing, but Virginia Tech offered too great an opportunity.

Rhodes did make unofficial visits to Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and Virginia Tech. He had offers from four of those five programs (UGA didn’t offer) as well as Boston College, Clemson, East Carolina, Maryland,