Virginia Tech’s 2021 Recruiting Class: The Defense

Jalen Hoyle, Virginia Tech
Jalen Hoyle was Virginia Tech’s first commitment of the 2021 class. (@JALEN5_DBU)

The focus of today’s article on the 2021 Virginia Tech recruiting class will be on the defensive side of the ball.  The Hokies signed a big class on both sides of the ball, and they oversigned at linebacker and in the secondary because they lack quality depth at those positions. 

Size At Defensive End

What I like about this class, and what I like about the hiring of Darryl Tapp and Bill Teerlinck, is Virginia Tech’s focus on getting longer and lengthier at defensive end.  You saw how effective Justus Reed (6-3, 255) could be when healthy, and you also got a peek at the long-term potential of Amare Barno (6-6, 235), and I think that’s what ideal defensive ends at Virginia Tech will look like in the future.

College football is a lot different than it used to be.  Quarterbacks aren’t taking seven-step drops from under center anymore.  They are in shotgun, there are more quick passes, more adaptive pass blocking schemes, and in general it’s just harder to sack the quarterback as an undersized defensive end these days.  Not to mention that offensive linemen are bigger than they used to be.  Corey Moore was a freak at 5-11, 218, but he was also going up against some tackles who were just 280ish.  These days, those tackles are generally 310+.  The game has changed.

I’m a big fan of Mattheus Carroll (6-5, 220).  He shows some natural football instincts on the field, and he’s got great length.  His dad is 6-9, so it’s possible that Carroll hasn’t finished growing.  He’s also a wrestler at the high school level, so he’s got an understanding of toughness and leverage.  I’ve paid attention to a lot of his interviews as well, and I think he’s a smart, perceptive guy for his age.  All the ingredients seem to be there.  Here he is next to his dad.