Q&A with JC Shurburtt

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JC Shurburtt is the National Recruiting Director for 247Sports.com.  He was kind enough to join us for a quick interview this week.

1: Why does VT have trouble recruiting 5-star players from the state of Virginia?

I think things like this are cyclical, especially with regards to the state of Virginia. There are times when the elite, five-star types stay in-state and go to Tech – and as is the case this cycle, some are staying home and going to Virginia. There are also times when the three-star prospect that stays in-state with the Hokies ends up being better than the five-star that leaves the state.  Devin Vandyke, for example, is probably going to do more on the field this season than Curtis Grant at Ohio State.

That’s not a given, or a shot at Grant or the Buckeyes, it just seems to work out that way with regards to prospects from the Commonwealth. That’s not to say that at Virginia Tech, they don’t recognize that they would do wonders for their roster if they landed Da’Shawn Hand or Jonathan Allen or Andrew Brown. In fact, I know it’s something that has been discussed there, but many times it’s not so much that there’s one overriding issue other than in every cycle, kids make different decisions for different reasons and there is a ton of foot traffic in the state of Virginia from college coaches – more than there used to be.

2: Where do the Hokies stand with in-state tackles Derrick Nnadi and Ricky Walker ?

Right now, I think Virginia Tech lands both. Nnadi has gone back-and-forth between the Hokies and Virginia, but recently has mentioned Florida State as his No. 2, so you have to feel pretty good about Virginia Tech’s position (most would be shocked if he left the state in the end). Walker has a lot of attention, but Virginia Tech has recruited him the hardest by a mile and that’s going to pay off for the Hokies when all is said and done. Should it play out as expected, there aren’t going to be many programs in the country with as fine of a pair of defensive tackle prospects as the Hokies will have.

3: Explain how 247Sports ranks players.  What’s the process, and who has input?

At 247Sports, we have two sets of rankings. The first are our own player evaluations (247Sports rankings). Those are done by the most experienced group of recruiting analysts in the industry, which include myself, Barton Simmons, Kipp Adams and Ryan