Recruiting New Jersey

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The Hokies picked up their second northeastern offensive lineman of the 2014 class when Tyrell Smith chose the Hokies on Wednesday.  He continued the trend of heading north to recruit offensive linemen, and that trend will continue to grow as Tech adds more offensive linemen to this class.

Smith is an undersized player (6-3, 256), but he did a very good job at Tech’s camp in June.  He played very well against 2015 defensive tackle Shy Tuttle and 2015 defensive end Josh Sweat.  Those two players will be upper-level 4-star recruits in 2015, and possible top 100 prospects on the national level.

To be completely honest, his film does not stand out to me.  It’s solid, but I don’t think it’s special.  However, he does show the ability to move laterally, which is what Jeff Grimes is looking for.  If he did well in camp against two top prospects who already have big offer lists, that’s good enough for me.  With his height, he’ll likely play offensive guard for the Hokies.

Smith is from Don Bosco Prep in New Jersey, one of the top high school programs in the country.  Their coach is former Virginia Tech fullback Greg Toal, whose son Brian was a former starting linebacker at Boston College.  I think it’s great to see the Hokies making some inroads into New Jersey.  They basically dropped out of that state when Kevin Rogers left the staff following the 2005 season.  As I’ve said before, establishing a pipeline in that state against Rutgers is easier than establishing one in South Carolina against the Gamecocks and Clemson.

Almost all of the rest of Tech’s main offensive line targets are from the north as well.

OT Brady Taylor : Columbus, Ohio
OG Colt Pettit : Deshler, Ohio
OG Billy Ray Mitchell : Paramus, New Jersey
OT Lukayus McNeil: Indianapolis, Indiana
OT Brendan Brosnan : Park Ridge, Illinois

I like all of those players, and they all have offers from other BCS conference programs.  It’s ok to go after guys from the south, such as Noland Kelleher.  However, don’t make the mistake of not going after guys from the north that you like in the hopes that you might land Kelleher over South Carolina, FSU, Clemson, etc.  That’s a mistake that’s burned the Hokies in the past.  It’s nice to see that Jeff Grimes

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