2019 Recruiting Update: Hokies Looking to Close at Defensive Tackle

The Hokies are working hard recruiting JUCO defensive tackles like DaShawn Crawford. (Photo via @underated54 on Twitter)

I think most of us would agree that defensive tackle recruiting is critical right now for the program. The coaches agree, and they are pushing to add a couple of JUCO defensive tackles to the 2019 recruiting class. This article will focus on the players remaining on Tech’s recruiting board at defensive tackle, and what the position could look like next season.

As always, ignore the offer lists of junior college players. JUCO recruiting is different, because of qualification issues, team needs, etc. When Jerod Evans signed with the Hokies, he was the top dual threat JUCO quarterback in the country. His only other offers were Missouri and Cal, and he didn’t pick up those offers until the month of December. JUCO recruiting is a totally different scene.

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Here are the four returning defensive tackles who could be on next year’s team…

Xavier Burke, r-Sr.
Jarrod Hewitt, r-Jr.
Jimmie Taylor, r-Jr.
Robert Porcher IV, r-So.

The Drive for 25Of those four players, Burke has spent most of his career hurt, and he’s a converted tight end. It’s probably not a good idea to count on him playing many effective snaps. Jimmie Taylor doesn’t appear to be an ACC caliber lineman, unless something really strange happens in the offseason. That leaves the Hokies with returning players Jarrod Hewitt and Robert Porcher IV, who combined for 2.5 tackles for loss this season.

Clearly that isn’t an ideal situation. Virginia Tech will sign Florida defensive tackles Mario Kendricks and Norell Pollard next week, but they’ll only be true freshmen in 2019. Pollard needs a couple of years to bulk up before he’s ready, and I don’t know about you guys, but I’m tired of playing young guys anyway. Kendricks could very well end up on the field next season, but I don’t want to have to play more than one true freshman defensive