Staff focusing on wide receivers

Virginia Tech is making a big push for wide receivers in the 2016 class.  Samuel Denmark committed over the weekend, and if I were a betting man I would lay money on the Hokies adding at least two more receivers to this class.

[Note: Though Conner O’Donnell committed to VT and is listed as such, I hear through the grapevine that there’s a very good chance that won’t hold up through Signing Day.  For now, we will continue to list him as a VT commit, though for purposes of this article I’m not going to include him in the analysis.  O’Donnell committed to Mississippi State back in 2012 after his freshman season in high school, but that didn’t hold up, and I’m guessing it’s because he didn’t hold a real offer from the Bulldogs at that time. does NOT list him as a VT commit.]

Tech took four receivers as part of the 2014 class, and two of them played prominent roles on the field as true freshmen this past season.  The Hokies couldn’t land a bigger receiver for the 2015 class, but did take slot prospect Coleman Fox.

When you look at the players eligible to be on the roster in 2016, it makes sense to add multiple wide receivers to this class.

Charley Meyer (r-Sr.): One career reception
Carlis Parker (Sr.): No career receptions
David Prince (r-Jr.): Never dressed for a game in 2014 despite depth issues at WR.
Deon Newsome (r-Jr.): HS QB who is still learning the WR position.
Isaiah Ford (Jr.): Full-time starter
Cam Phillips (Jr.): Full-time starter
Jaylen Bradshaw (r-So.): Redshirted in 2014
Kendrick Holland (r-So.): Redshirting in 2014
Coleman Fox (r-Fr.): Projected to redshirt in 2015.

Besides Ford and Phillips, there are no sure things in that group.  And even if there were, considering Ford and Phillips will be juniors in 2016, the Tech staff is already trying to fill the pipeline for the post-Ford/Phillips era (though fortunately that’s a ways off).

Tech already has offers out to around 20 wide receiver prospects.  However, today we’ll focus on Samuel Denmark, as well as a handful of other guys who I believe the Hokies have a legit chance to land.

Samuel Denmark
Samuel Denmark

Sam Denmark (6-0, 175, Charleston, SC)

Denmark’s early offer list (VT and Wake Forest) doesn’t stand out.  However, his high school film most certainly does!

Let me point on a few things about Denmark…

1) He goes up and gets the football and catches it with his hands.
2) He shows a willingness to get physical in the running game.
3) He plays in an offense that likes to throw the ball around a lot.

I think Denmark is a big pickup whose offer list will grow over the summer.  He obviously likes Tech enough to commit, but I would probably be concerned if South Carolina or Clemson gave him an offer.

Tino Ellis (6-1, 185, DeMatha, MD)

Ellis has scholarship offers from Tech, Maryland, Rutgers, WVU, Kentucky, and a few others.  I expect he’ll add more offers over the summer.  He is a very well put together kid for his age (or any age, for that matter), and Virginia Tech and Maryland are in his top two.

Ellis is similar to his former DeMatha teammate Cam Phillips.  He doesn’t have great speed for the college level, but he’s got good strength and a lot of natural football ability.  He’s also very well-coached at DeMatha, and he is used to playing against very good competition in his conference.

If Ellis ends up at Tech, I believe he would have a chance to contribute early, especially if he makes the kind of jump that Cam Phillips made between his junior and senior seasons in high school.