Offensive Line, Class of 2022
Lord Botetourt High School, Daleville, VA
This week was a big one in the recruitment of 2022 Lord Botetourt (Va.) offensive lineman Gunner Givens. It’s ended with his first four offers, all from the FBS level.
First Appalachian State offered Givens a scholarship on Saturday. Louisville and Virginia Tech followed suit Monday, while Virginia joined the group on Wednesday. It’s been a lot to take in, but Givens already had some familiarity with one of those groups, even if it’s still just a kick start of what will likely be a much longer recruitment.
“It doesn’t really change my mindset, I’m just going to continue what I do, grinding every day and be the best I can be,” Givens said. “Towards recruiting, I’m thankful the coaches offered me. It showed they think I can play at a college level. So, I’m thankful and humble for them.”
This season marks Givens’ first at Lord Botetourt after he transferred from Covington (Va.). Last month, he said many college coaches had told him they wanted to wait to see how he transitioned to a higher level of high school football.
“I mean, the way I’ve approached football is that I’ve come in with the attitude that I can beat whoever is in front of me every time,” he said. “I’m trying to kill everybody in front of me. It’s been a huge adjustment. At Covington, we had like 400 students. Here, it’s 1,200. In football, the first day of practice, we had Colston (Powers) and Gage (Bassham) and we did one-on-ones. I knew they were tough and good, but I went against them and I’m like, ‘They’re the real deal.’ They’ve helped me get better.”
That wait and see approach was also taken by assistant coach Vance Vice and the Hokies, but throughout the process, Givens said he’s developed a good relationship.
“I like his attitude towards football,” Givens said. “It’s just smash mouth, get your guy and drive him. That’s how I like to play, too. It’s just been a good fit so far.”
Givens was on hand Sept. 7 for Virginia Tech’s 31-17 win over Old Dominion. The trip gave him a chance to reconnect further with Vice, as well as see the team he grew up watching snag its first win of the season.
“I just really like the staff,” Givens said. “Coach Vice is my guy. I just like his attitude towards everything....
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