February 1, 2012, marked the end of a long recruiting process for Centreville (Clifton, VA) defensive end Ken Ekanem . That day, which of course was Signing Day for the 2012 class, the 6’3″, 245-pound senior held a 9 a.m. press conference to announce that he had accepted a scholarship to Virginia Tech. The 4-star standout subsequently signed a letter of intent, officially becoming part of the Hokies 2012 class.
A two-time Washington Post all-metro selection at defensive end, Ekanem earned double-digit scholarship offers before narrowing the field to five last October. North Carolina, Notre Dame, Oregon, Pittsburgh and Virginia Tech made the cut, and the Wildcats star planned on taking all five allotted official visits once his senior season was over. His plans, however, did not come to fruition, and ultimately he would make only one official visit – to Blacksburg the weekend of January 20.
The summer before his junior year, Ekanem attended five college camps, including one at Virginia Tech. The Hokies came through with an offer in February of 2011, and the Centreville standout returned the interest by attending Tech’s February 26 junior day.
“It was a great experience to be there, to learn more about the school, about the tutoring system and how they are always there to help,” Ekanem said in an interview with TSL shortly after the visit. “It’s a big family there. The fans know all about the program. They know the coaches. That’s a good thing, and I’m considering Virginia Tech highly.
“[Coach Bud Foster] thinks I could be a dynamic defensive end. There are different packages, but he primarily wants me to play with my hand on the ground. He wants to let me loose to make plays, but he said I could also drop back in the flat in some packages.”
Tech made the 2011 Virginia Preps AAA Defensive Player of the Year a priority in this class, and that is one of the reasons why he ultimately ended up signing with the Hokies. Atmosphere and coaching staff, two aspects Ekanem learned more about on the junior day visit, were big factors as well.
Ekanem’s stellar career — he had 35 sacks over the course of the past two seasons — came to a disappointing end when he suffered a torn ACL and meniscus in the AAA Division 6 state...
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