The Hokies’ Recruiting Rush: Different, or the Same?
The Hokies have had a busy July in recruiting, racking up seven commitments,
and the month isn’t even half over. The Hokies have 20 commitments now. A flood
of commitments like that generates a lot of buzz, but underneath the buzz, some
Hokie fans are asking questions about whether the numbers are really more
significant than in recent years, and more important, if the recruits that are
committing are more highly rated than past classes. Other than being strung
close together, which generates a lot of buzz, is anything different about this
year’s commitments? We did some research to find the answers.
We’re going to answer two main questions: (1) how does the number of
commitments, particularly in the month of July, compare to recent years? And (2)
are these verbals rated any higher than players VT has gotten in the past?
Using the Rivals.com database, we crunched data on how many players
committed, when they committed, and how highly rated they were.
The July Phenomenon
I’ve written articles before about the major shifts in the timing of verbal
commitments. Two major shifts have occurred in recruiting in the last 15 years
or so: (1) from December-January verbals to in-season verbals; and (2) from
in-season verbals to summer verbals.
Recruiting used to be a postseason activity centered on official visits in
December and January — especially January. In the 1990s, recruiting shifted
earlier, and more in-season visits and verbals started happening. There were
still a lot of December-January verbals, but more players started giving their
verbal commitments in September-November, as well.
A little more than five years ago, another shift occurred, with more and more
players giving their verbal commitments in the summer, prior to the start of
their senior year.
“Summer” includes June-August, but in my mind, July has always been
the big month. This is for two reasons: (1) the Hokie coaching staff revamped
their football camp focus and methods, with an early July camp being the big one
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