Even with coaching turnover, remaining solid in the verbal commitment he gave to Virginia Tech last summer has never really been an issue for Darlington (Rome, GA) offensive lineman Patrick Kearns. Any lingering doubt there may have been has seemingly been put to rest when the 6’5”, 270-pound senior spoke with new Virginia Tech football head coach Justin Fuente and new Virginia Tech offensive line coach Vance Vice.
“I’m 100-percent committed,” Kearns said.
“Number one, I love the school. It’s a perfect fit, campus-wise. Everything is a perfect fit for me there. When I met Coach Vice, I liked him. I felt like he would be a good guy to play for. He’s a really nice guy. He’s nice, but he’s straight with you. He didn’t beat around the bush. He said, ‘We really like you. We hope your foot is doing well.’ He told me what the expectations coming in would be. If I work hard, everything will come from there.”
Of Fuente, Kearns said: “I really liked him. His record at Memphis speaks for itself. He took over a team that was nothing and made it into a Top 25 team. That was great. I had the chance to talk to him over the phone. He’s a nice guy. Everything’s good.”
What were the initial messages Fuente and Vice had for the Peach State product?
“When I first spoke with Coach Fuente, he said, ‘I’m the new coach. We’re going to do big things here. I hope you stay on, because if you work hard you could be a part of it.’ He’s confident they are going to go out there and continue to win bowl games,” Kearns said.
“Coach Vice said, ‘I like you a lot. I like your game. Personality-wise, you are a fit. I hope you stay with us. Either you’ll stay and help us win or you’ll go to another school and watch us win.’”
Kearns, whose excellent junior season helped put him on the major FBS radar, played offensive tackle at Darlington but has the athleticism and versatility to play on the interior. He’ll get to pick where he starts out playing at Virginia Tech; however, he is open to playing anywhere on the line.
“Position-wise, [Fuente and Vice] said I could come in and start at whatever position I want. Hopefully I could stay at tackle, but if I need to move inside, I will,” Kearns said. “We’ll just see. I mean, it doesn’t...
Subscribe to read full story
Tired of low effort articles and clickbait? So are we. Subscribe to read great articles written by a full-time staff with decades of experience.
Already a subscriber? Login Here