Virginia Tech Among Those In Final Pursuit Of Jean-Baptiste

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There’s no set list of favorites, or any finalists, for Bergen Catholic (NJ) three-star linebacker Javontae Jean-Baptiste (6-5, 215). But there are two official visits down, one coming, and possibly more.

As far as any final decision, however, Jean-Baptiste is unsure. It could come Feb. 7, on National Signing Day, or in the next couple of weeks, if his desired criteria are met.

“I’ve got a couple of schools I’m taking a close eye to,” Jean-Baptiste said. “I just have to feel comfortable. Wherever I go, I just have to feel like I’m at home.”

The last official visit for Jean-Baptiste,’s No. 50 outside linebacker and the No. 18 player in New Jersey, was Dec. 15 at Virginia Tech. The trip marked his first time in Blacksburg, and in many ways, came as a surprise.

“It wasn’t as bad as people said it would be,” Jean-Baptiste said. “People said, ‘It’s in the mountains, in the middle of nowhere.’ It’s a real, college town. The campus is good. Watching them practice, they’re physical and competitive and I like that. That’s a good sign.”

Assistant coach Brian Mitchell was a big reason for that pleasant surprise. Jean-Baptiste said they’ve long had a tight relationship.

“Coach Mitchell is a great person,” Jean-Baptiste said. “He’s a great figure to have in your life. He’s like family and we talk almost every day. We’ve built a great relationship through the process. We covered a lot of room. There are too many points for me to narrow it down.”

Overall, Jean-Baptiste said the Hokies are a strong contender. Part of that stems from a prior meeting. Though Jean-Baptiste’s official visit was his first time in Blacksburg, last spring he took part in one of Virginia Tech’s satellite