Justin Fuente Off And Running On The Recruiting Front

At Monday’s press conference introducing Justin Fuente as Virginia Tech’s new head football coach, Athletic Director Whit Babcock relayed Fuente’s first order of business once the media session was complete.

“He will immediately go into recruiting and meeting with our recruiting folks, getting summaries on all of our players,” Babcock said.

Fuente has been in this position before. When he was named Memphis head coach in December of 2011, he hit the ground running recruiting-wise. Less than two months remained until National Signing Day and, per Rivals, the Tigers had only four verbal commitments in the class. Twenty-five recruits – nine junior college prospects and 16 high school players, including current Tigers star quarterback Paxton Lynch, who committed to Fuente the weekend before National Signing Day — would enroll at Memphis by the time the 2012 season rolled around. Five enrolled in January of 2012, while the others arrived later that summer.

Following Monday’s press conference, Fuente and his Virginia Tech staff have taken to the phones. Kyle Mayberry, who hails from Fuente’s hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma, announced Monday night that he now has a scholarship offer from Virginia Tech. The 5’11”, 170-pound senior cornerback is currently committed to Kansas and also boasts offers from Houston, Kansas State and Washington State, among others.

(Of note, Mayberry has pinned his Virginia Tech offer tweet to his Twitter page. I’d say that’s a sign of some level of interest in the Hokies.)

A second Tulsa native has since claimed an offer from Virginia Tech as well. Lon’Trelle Miller, a 6’1”, 205-pound senior linebacker out of Edison High School, revealed his news via Twitter.

Also, JUCO football scouting service JUCO Football Forer tweeted that Virginia Tech has offered 6’6”, 305-pound offensive tackle Demetri Moore, a sophomore out of Mississippi Delta Community College. Coach Fuente recruited the junior college ranks early and often while at Memphis, signing 27 junior college prospects in four classes.

– Class of 2012 – 9 JUCO prospects
– Class of 2013 – 6 JUCO prospects
– Class of 2014 – 5 JUCO prospects
– Class of 2015 – 7 JUCO prospects

Memphis had commitments from two JUCO prospects before Fuente left for Blacksburg (info per Rivals). Junior College recruiting will be interesting to watch. Given his history at Memphis and the reported offer to Moore, it’s reasonable to expect Fuente to continue to scour the JUCO circuit as Tech’s head coach.

In addition to extending some new offers, we know Fuente and his staff are calling previous top targets such as 4-star offensive tackle Landon Dickerson. Retaining the current commits is a priority, too, and it appears Mount Tabor (Winston-Salem, N.C.) senior wide receiver Divine Deablo is back in the fold.

Deablo made official visits to UNC and NC State in the wake of Frank Beamer’s retirement news; however, according to 247Sports, he is now solid (click here for the 247Sports report, which is a pay link). Initial attempts to reach Deablo have been unsuccessful, but we hope to get confirmation as soon as possible. If this holds true, the 6’3″, 200-pound Deablo is a big-time get and possible contributor as a true freshman. He plans on enrolling at Tech next month.

Tech did suffer some bad news on Sunday, when cornerback Myles Wolfolk flipped his commitment to UNC. The Deablo news is very much a positive, and look for Fuente and his staff to continue to work hard on the recruiting trail in the weeks and months ahead to close this class out strong.

RECRUITING TOPICS FROM MONDAY’S PC

In case you missed it, Coach Fuente addressed several recruiting-related topics on Monday. Recruiting the state of Virginia was one of them.

“We’ve got to bring good young people to this community and that all starts in the state of Virginia. We have to do a great job in this state in order to continue this program along, and we will,” said Fuente, who tweeted the following today…

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