Virginia Tech Backer Recruiting: Hokies Targeting More Hybrid Players

Virginia Tech
Bud Foster seems to be targeting more “hybrids” at backer in recent years, including Alan Tisdale (34). (Ivan Morozov)

As I mentioned earlier this week in my defensive target board article, I wanted to take a closer look at Virginia Tech’s backer recruiting in recent years and see if it has changed in comparison to earlier recruiting classes.  My early takeaway from doing the research is yes, it certainly has changed, though the more I thought about it, I think it’s more to due with the fact that football players are being used in different ways at the high school level these days. 

Football has not only changed at the pro and college levels, but at the high school levels as well.  Teams are putting more wide receivers on the field, and linebackers have to be better in coverage than they used to be.  Isolating a running back on a backer in the passing game on the short side of the field has also hurt the Hokies a bit recently, most notably in the Military Bowl against Cincinnati, but even Clemson’s Tavien Feaster vs. Tremaine Edmunds back in 2017. 

This won’t be a particularly long article, as there isn’t too much to break down, but I’ll give you the basic facts in table format. 

The column on the left indicates the year in which the player signed, while the column on the right is the primary position of the player in high school.  I tried to include all guys the Hokies have recruited to play backer, or who ended up playing backer once they enrolled.  As sources, I used old TSL Pass articles, the recruiting database, high school stats, and my memory.  Once again, I apologize if I accidentally left anyone out.  After about 20 years of following Virginia Tech recruiting closely, sometimes I feel like there’s too much information in my brain to possibly remember everybody.