stevetheking asked a good question on the message boards on Thursday: where would VT’s top out-of-state recruits rank among the Virginia top-10/top-30?
I answered him in the thread, but rather than doing a full-fledged Q&A today, I thought I would make that question into an article. Where would I rank Virginia Tech’s top out-of-state recruits if they were in the state of Virginia?
First of all, let’s get this out of the way. I really don’t like ranking players across different positions. How do I know whether Da’Shawn Hand or Quin Blanding should be ranked higher? They are both 5-star recruits and they have the same offer lists. Same for Andrew Brown, technically, though I don’t view him in quite the same light as Hand or Blanding.
Also, when I rank players, I can’t help but rank them based on how I believe they would fit in the Virginia Tech system. I don’t know that Derrick Nnadi will make a better pro or has as high a ceiling as Andrew Brown, but I do think he’s a better fit for the defensive tackle position at Virginia Tech. Since it’s important that the Hokies recruit guys who are the best fit for their system, should I rank Nnadi higher than Brown? I don’t know. It’s tough.
All that being said, I certainly don’t have a problem making up a list. To protect myself from being biased, I’m not going to do pure rankings…I’m going to rank them based on how I believe they would fit at Virginia Tech. It doesn’t mean that I think Derrick Nnadi is going to have a better career than Andrew Brown…I just think he’s a better fit for Virginia Tech. Thus, he’ll be higher in my rankings, since I’m looking at it from the perspective of someone who follows Tech recruiting as closely as anyone, and who has seen the kind of players who come into this program and have success (and who don’t have success!).
Also, just for fun, I’ll do my own star rankings that include half-stars (example: 5 stars, 4.5 stars, 4-stars, 3.5 stars, etc.). Too many people like to mix in 4-star recruits with 5-star recruits, when in reality most 4-star guys are closer to 3-star status in terms of talent and scholarship offers. I think a half-star system would make things a bit better.
1) S Quin Blanding, UVA, VA, 5 stars. I think Blanding will be a very good college player, and then he’ll go on to the NFL. I think he’d be better off under Torrian Gray and Bud Foster, or Florida State, or any number of schools. But, that’s his decision. He would be a great fit at free safety for Tech.
2) DE Da’Shawn Hand, Alabama, VA, 5 stars. It really stinks to lose Da’Shawn Hand. The Hokies need defensive ends badly next season. Hand would have a chance to start for the Hokies, or at least get a lot of reps.
3) DT Derrick Nnadi, Undecided, VA, 4.5 stars. Nnadi is at terrific fit at defensive tackle for Virginia Tech. If he signs with the Hokies, he will be a heavy contributor from day one, likely as the #3 defensive tackle next season.
4) DE Jalyn Holmes, Ohio State, VA, 4.5 stars. I wanted Holmes badly as a tight end, but he would have been a great fit at defensive end as well, in my opinion. He’s a city guy, and the more he visited Blacksburg, the further Tech dropped down his list, sadly.
5) DT Andrew Brown, UVA, VA, 4.5 stars. At 6-4, Brown is a little bit taller than the defensive tackles who usually excel at Virginia Tech. Also, everybody I’ve talked to who has seen him play says he has a major tendency to take plays off. That said, he is very physically gifted, so I can’t keep him out of my top five. Tech recruited him hard, and for good reason.
6) WR Javon Harrison, VT, FL, 4.5 stars. I really, really like Javon Harrison. He has an excellent combination of size...
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