Meet Virginia Tech’s New Mikes, Part 2: Keshon Artis

Keshon Artis was a 4-star prospect, but he’s still overlooked by Tech fans. (Photo by Ivan Morozov)

Before we get to talking about Keshon Artis and his skills, watch the first two minutes of this:

It’s the post-game presser for the Virginia D6 AAA state championship. Artis and his Oscar Smith Tigers teammates have lost to Westfield. It’s the third straight year Oscar Smith has reached the title game, and the third straight year they lost to Westfield. Artis is sitting to the immediate left of head coach Scott Johnson, and the linebacker is visibly crushed. You can tell how much he cares, and that he’s dying on the inside. Then a reporter calls on him, and Artis gives a blow-by-blow of how he came free on a punt block.

It’s been a close-but-not-quite year for Artis in a lot of ways. Any other year, a Chesapeake-bred TSL four-star middle linebacker with his build and nose for the ball would have fans gushing (fairly or unfairly) about the second coming of Vince Hall. But he signed with Tech the same year that Dax Hollifield’s recruitment went down to the wire, and in the eyes of many fans he was a back-up plan (and maybe most useful to the Hokies as a recruiter for Oscar Smith teammate Cam’Ron Kelly.)

And that’s not even the worst snub he’s endured. NC State cancelled his campus visit when Payton Wilson, a more-touted linebacker, decommitted from UNC and scheduled an official visit to the Pack on the same weekend as Artis.