Nansemond River (Suffolk, VA) offensive tackle and Virginia Tech commitment Thomas Jarrett Hopple was in Blacksburg this past Saturday to watch the Hokies’ preseason scrimmage. The rising senior standout was pleased to be back at his future school.
“It was cool,” Hopple said. “I’m excited to get up there.”
Hopple, who verbally committed to the Hokies in late March of this year, and Georgia native Patrick Kearns are Virginia Tech’s two offensive line recruits in the class of 2016. This past Saturday, the Tech coaches made sure Hopple knows he is an important get in the class.
“They keep stressing how they pretty much need me on the offensive line there and how much they really want me there,” said Hopple, who chose Tech over offers from Pittsburgh, Virginia, Wake Forest and West Virginia, among others. “I’m still strong in my commitment.”
Nansemond River’s standout left tackle has hit the weight room often this offseason, which he says has been a good one. After measuring in at 6’6”, 270 pounds at the end of last season, Hopple now weighs 285 pounds.
“I think I have gotten better at most everything,” he said. “I won’t know how much I’ve improved until the season starts. I’ve been working on getting my feet right.”
Nansemond River went 5-6 last season, losing to Phoebus in the first round of the 4A South Region playoffs by only one point. Hopple is optimistic the Warriors will be able to build on last year’s success.
“We have 18 starters coming back,” said Hopple, who plays part-time defensive tackle in addition to full-time offensive tackle. “I think we’re going to do well.”
Nansemond River takes on Menchville in its regular season opener on August 28. The Warriors have had one preseason scrimmage already and will have another on August 20, when the team meets a Bayside squad that features another Tech-bound prospect in wide receiver/defensive back Phillip Patterson.
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