Every time Virginia Tech gets low on defensive linemen, the same question is asked on the message boards: are we going to go after some JUCO linemen to bridge the gap? The answer was almost always no with Frank Beamer, but that’s not the case this year with Justin Fuente. The Hokies are busy evaluating JUCO defensive linemen right now. They want to fix their DL depth problem as quickly as possible.
Be wary of JUCOs, though. Virginia Tech used to only JUCO players who qualified out of high school, which narrowed the pool quite a bit. We’re told that these days, Tech is willing to take JUCOs who didn’t qualify out of high school, but it’s more difficult (and risky) to get them in school.
It gets narrowed down even more when you throw out the players who aren’t fits for the system. When you consider that, it’s easy to understand that the pool of JUCO defensive linemen available to the Hokies is small. That’s one of the reasons the Hokies have ignored JUCO recruiting through the years…it just wasn’t worth the time or the investment, because most of the time they weren’t going to find anybody that they liked.
Justin Fuente has shown the willingness to recruit JUCOs. When he needed a quarterback, he went out and got Jerod Evans. When he needed a cornerback, he went out and got Jeremy Webb (whose loss due to injury has been critical). Now he knows he needs some defensive linemen, and he’s trying to find some at the JUCO level.
But don’t expect...
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