The Fisher Law Firm Friday Q&A: The Extra Bye Week, Remaining 2019 Targets, and More

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1) Conventional wisdom says UNC’S Butch Davis years hurt VT recruiting. Given VT’s recent recruiting success, esp. in NC, how much can VT take credit for UNC football’s current malaise? – 244oshag

Chris Coleman: Virginia Tech generally goes head-to-head with UNC for North Carolina recruits. Here are the current North Carolinians on Tech’s roster…

FS Divine Deablo: r-So.
TE Drake DeIuliis: r-Fr.
QB Hendon Hooker: r-Fr.
WR Tre Turner: Fr.
DB DJ Crossen: Fr.
LB Alan Tisdale: Fr.
CB Caleb Farley: r-Fr.
DT Jimmie Taylor: r-So.
DE Houshun Gaines: r-Jr.
CB Nadir Thompson: Fr.
DE Zion DeBose: r-Fr.
LB Dax Hollifield: Fr.
OL Joe Kane: Fr.

That’s 13 scholarship players from the state of North Carolina, most of which had UNC offers. So yes, Tech has certainly hurt the Tar Heels.

The vast majority of Tech’s North Carolinians are redshirt freshmen or true freshmen. The six true freshmen would have had no impact on UNC’s 3-9 season last year, and would have little impact on the Tar Heels’ terrible start this year. Dax Hollfield would probably be starting at linebacker, and Tre Turner would be in their rotation at receiver, but I don’t know that that would have been enough to overcome their 0-2 start.

Among the redshirt freshmen, guys like Caleb Farley and Zion DeBose could certainly be helping the Tar Heels, but herein lies the problem. UNC didn’t recruit either one of those guys particularly hard. DeBose is listed with a UNC offer, but I don’t recall the Heels recruiting him particularly hard. The Hokies beat out South Carolina and Wake Forest for Farley. UNC did not offer.

As far as Divine Deablo goes, I don’t know that he would have ended up as a success at UNC. Would they have moved him to safety as Tech did, or would he have wasted his career as a highly-touted wide receiver bust? Even if they had moved him to safety, would the UNC coaching staff have been able to develop him at that position?

I think most of UNC’s problems revolve around evaluation and player development, not players they have lost to Virginia Tech. I think their head-to-head recruiting losses to the Hokies will bite them for the next 2-3 years, but I don’t think it’s having a huge effect yet.

2) Two games into the season, how would you change our recruiting focus for the 2019 class? – San Diego Bub’s

CC: Tech is in awesome shape with 2019 recruiting. I don’t think there needs to be a focus change over the final few months of the recruiting process.

The staff wants to take another running back, and Tahj Gary is the top target there. I believe the Hokies are in excellent shape, as long as schools like Georgia and Auburn don’t offer him. I think Tech views another running back as a need in this class. However, they have the luxury of being very picky at all the other positions.

There is no need for another wide receiver. There is no need for another tight end. Tech doesn’t need a linebacker in this class. Etc. However, there are some very good players left on the board whom the Hokies would take regardless of their position, simply because of their talent level.

OL Doug Nester: From Huntington, WV, Nester is an Ohio State commit. However, the coaching situation at that school has him thinking a bit. He visited Tech for the William & Mary game. If he doesn’t land in Columbus, I think there’s a good chance that Virginia Tech would be his choice. He is a 4-star recruit and a top 100 player.

DE Kuony Deng: Deng is a JUCO who plays for Independence Community College in Kansas. Originally from Aldie in northern Virginia, he went to VMI out of high school where he played football and