Defensive End, Class of 2023
Freeman High School, Richmond, Va.
During his three years of middle school, Douglas Freeman’s (VA) Jason Abbey didn’t play football. His primary sport was swimming, where he swam the 100 freestyle and breaststroke, including at the state and national meet.
But just before his freshman year of high school, Abbey made the decision to switch sports, to football. That choice appears to have already paid dividends. On April 22, Abbey announced his commitment to Virginia Tech, on the football side. He chose the Hokies out of eight total scholarship offers, which included Vanderbilt, James Madison and East Carolina. Now, Abbey is set to continue his football ascension.
“I just liked the familyhood of football,” he said. “It became more fun in football.”
Abbey said he saw that sense of family with Virginia Tech. And it wasn’t just the athletic side that helped aid that decision.
“One reason was, looking at colleges, besides football, I wanted to go to Virginia Tech,” Abbey said. “That’s where I wanted to go. Going for visits made me want to go even more. Even the spring game, when the players came out, people were going crazy. I was like, this is where I want to be. Gameday will be even more crazy. I love the coaches. Coach (Brent) Pry is a great dude. Coach (JC) Price, Coach (Fontel) Mines, I’m talking to them a lot.”
Abbey said he hasn’t yet decided on a major but is considering engineering and sports management. But he still believes the Hokies offer the best all-around package.
“It’s close to home,” Abbey said. “My friend’s dad used to talk about it. He played there, Coach (Loren) Johnson. I just liked it since day one. Then, my friends always talk about it. My parents like it because it’s close to home. They also have a good engineering program. If I do that, this is where I want to go.”
This spring, Abbey made a pair of visits to Virginia Tech. He visited in March for a spring practice and returned April 16 for the Spring Game. Abbey said those trips gave him more opportunities to talk to his primary recruiter, assistant coach Fontel Mines.
“It’s been a good relationship,” Abbey said. “He was calling me, hitting me up, talking on the phone. He came to my school in February and talked to me. It’s just been good, building the relationship, talking on the phone like once a week. He played a part in my decision. He kept in touch with me, made sure I was doing good.”
Abbey said the trips, along with the many conversations he had with the rest of the coaching staff, gave him an idea of how the Hokies project him on defense.
“They see me rushing the quarterback, pretty much at defensive end,” he said. “All I know is I’ll be playing my position, D-end, but maybe some stand up, outside linebacker. They run a 4-3, so I’ll just be rushing, rushing, rushing.”
Abbey said he plans to graduate in June of 2023 and will arrive in Blacksburg shortly after to enroll in summer sessions. While he still has moments...
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