If everything goes as expected on Signing Day, Virginia Tech football will have one of its best recruiting classes ever.
The Hokies class of 2013 will include one five-star recruit and six four stars according to 247Sports. While other recruiting services aren’t quite as generous, the returns are still excellent, and the Hokies upward trend in recruiting will continue.
Tech football has been known for the past decade as a program that doesn’t rely on star recruits; instead it took less heralded players and built them into NFL caliber athletes, winning tons of games along the way.
However in 2011, after a loss in the Orange Bowl to Stanford, head coach Frank Beamer made his first move that began to shift that dynamic, bringing in his son, and ace recruiter, Shane Beamer. This trend will continue beyond 2013 with new offensive coaches Scot Loeffler, Jeff Grimes and Aaron Moorehead.
This season, the Hokies do not have a single recruit of their 20-man class rated below three stars by 247Sports. They also have three members of the Rivals 100 for only the second time in school history, the first coming in 2001 when they signed Kevin Jones, Fred Lee and Bryan Randall. That number is also equal to the number they had over the past four years combined.
Those three Rivals top 100 members are all on the defensive side of the ball: defensive back Kendall Fuller, safety/linebacker Holland Fisher and defensive lineman Wyatt Teller. The last time the Hokies had a Rivals 100 member from the defensive side of the ball was 2005, and now they have three.
The Hokies are also strengthening their ties in Virginia, bringing in nine of the commonwealth’s top 25 recruits, more than any other team. With the level of talent in Virginia, being able to hold onto more in-state players will be crucial for future success.
Overall, depending on the rankings system, Virginia Tech is hovering right around the 13-16 area it usually holds in a preseason poll. In the ACC, the Hokies are in the top three along with Florida State and Clemson, beating out the likes of Miami and North Carolina, who have had stronger classes historically.
While recruiting ranks aren’t always a direct correlation with success, the great teams have had fantastic recruiting classes. And for Tech to be rising up those rankings is huge for a program reeling off their worst season in 20 years.
Another concern is the ability to keep this class together on Signing Day. There have long been rumors of Alabama attempting to poach Holland Fisher, and with Nick Saban involved, that’s never a good thing to hear. Additionally, prep school commit Drew Harris had paperwork issues attempting to enroll in January, opening him up to sign elsewhere.
However Tech has had solid commitments from the class for a long time, and the likelihood of Signing Day drama is low. In the chaos that is college football recruiting, the Hokies have the closest thing to a lock.
If the Hokies can combine their ability to coach players to playing above their talent level and their newfound levels of talent in recruiting, they could find themselves reaching heights they haven’t seen in over a decade.