Following a sub-par 2012 season, the Hokies are looking to return to the upper-echelon of the collegiate football ranks in the upcoming years.
If the program is to get back on track in the seasons to come, a large reason for that will be Virginia Tech’s best recruiting class in recent years.
When the 20 commits sign their national letters of intent on Feb. 6 and make their decisions official, it will mark the first time since 2010 a Tech class was made up entirely of three, four and five-star recruits.
Furthermore, Tech boasts three recruits ranked within Rivals.com overall top-100 national players; Kendall Fuller, Wyatt Teller and Holland Fisher rank No. 9, No. 59, and No. 83 respectively.
That’s right, another Fuller. Kendall is the younger brother of former Tech and Tennessee Titan safety Vincent, and current Hokies Kyle and Corey.
The youngest Fuller is revered nationally, and is one of the top cornerbacks in the country. While Kendall does not have the speed and hip-fluidity of top-rated cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III, he has intangibles that separate him from the rest.
With the news of Hokies’ standout cornerback Antone Exum tearing his ACL just days old, Kendall Fuller may be looked at right away to lend aid to the Tech secondary.
Fuller is the second-highest ranked player, according to Rivals.com, to ever commit to Virginia Tech. Marcus Vick was the No. 8 overall recruit in 2002.
The Hokies hope that in just a few years, while Kendall Fuller is tormenting wide receivers, Wyatt Teller will be blowing up plays in the backfield. In his senior year at Liberty High School in Bealeton, Virginia, he racked up 11 sacks, 15 tackles-for-loss, and four forced fumbles.
As a defensive end, his unique combination of size, strength and speed will make him a force in the future — however, no matter his attributes, he will have to wait his turn. He is joining a Hokies’ defense that returns a large majority of first and second-string players on the defensive line.
After receiving scholarship offers from 16 schools including Oregon, Notre Dame, South Carolina, Michigan and eight ACC schools, Teller gave Virginia Tech a solid verbal commitment on August 17, 2012.
When Teller and Fuller step foot on campus in Blacksburg, they will already be familiar with one another. Both competed in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, and while neither had great impact in the game itself, both turned heads throughout a successful week of practice.
The final Hokies’ recruit listed in the top-100 is Holland Fisher, of Midlothian, Virginia. Fisher, like Teller, has great size and speed for his position.
At Manchester High School he used his skill set to play a hybrid safety-linebacker position, and he forced offenses to know his whereabouts at all times. It is projected that he will be used primarily as a safety at Tech, and he will certainly be an intimidating sight, standing at 6-foot-2 and 203 pounds.
Fisher could be considered the best commit of the bunch, due to the fact that the Crimson Tide of Alabama were also ferociously recruiting him. However, two weeks after an official visit to Tuscaloosca, he visited Blacksburg and told the world, via Twitter, that he was going to stay true to his commitment to the Hokies.
Unfortunately, due to trouble with grades, Fisher may be academically ineligible to compete in the fall. While his grades have vastly improved his senior year, low marks as an underclassman may hold him back. If this is the case, Fisher will most likely enroll at a college preparatory school for a semester or two until he becomes eligible.
Although Tech is coming off its worst season in 20 years, the future is bright. The Bud Foster defense that has been intimidating opposing offenses for over a decade is only getting stronger, and the offense is bringing in quality offensive linemen, running backs, and quarterbacks to compliment what they already have in place.