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Analysts say this year’s class will be second in the ACC and in the top 20 nationally.
The (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot | File
Salem-Virginia Beach quarterback, Bucky Hodges committed to Virginia Tech in April 2012.
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
BLACKSBURG — Highly publicized National Signing Day announcements have become increasingly popular in recent years, with many ballyhooed recruits holding off until the last second to make a decision.
It usually leads to some nervous hours for college coaches.
Virginia Tech’s coaches don’t figure to be among those this year. The staff is preparing for what it thinks will be a mostly drama-free signing day today, when 2013 recruits can sign a letter of intent and officially pledge themselves to a school.
Last year, the Hokies waited for signing day announcements from defensive end Ken Ekanem, receivers Joel Caleb and Joshua Stanford and defensive tackle Korren Kirven. They got three of the four, only missing out on Kirven, who opted to go to defending national champion Alabama.
This year, barring an unforeseen circumstance, Virginia Tech doesn’t expect any surprises. The Hokies have 20 commitments in their 2013 class. Eighteen of those players have been in the fold since before last season.
If everyone follows through and comes to Virginia Tech, it has the potential to be one of the Hokies’ highest-ranked classes since the proliferation of recruiting websites in the past decade.
Rivals currently ranks the Hokies’ class 19th nationally and second in the ACC to Florida State. Since 2002, as far back as Rivals’ historical database goes, Virginia Tech has ranked higher nationally only twice — 14th in 2005 and 18th in 2008.
Similarly, 247Sports has Virginia Tech’s class ranked 17th nationally and second among ACC teams behind Florida State.
“I think that overall, considering it was the worst Virginia Tech team recordwise in 20 years, they’re going to get probably the best-ranked recruiting class they’ve gotten in some time,” 247Sports national recruiting analyst J.C. Shurburtt said. “So that’s one of those positive things that the Hokies fans can look forward to is the influx of talent.”
The Hokies’ class has some big hitters. Cornerback Kendall Fuller from Olney, Md., is the first five-star recruit Virginia Tech is poised to land since Tyrod Taylor in 2007.
He’ll be the fourth five-star recruit to sign with the Hokies since Rivals began its star rankings in 2002, joining Taylor, cornerback Victor “Macho” Harris (2005) and quarterback Marcus Vick (2002).
Fuller is the youngest brother of his family who will play for the Hokies. The oldest, Vincent, was a safety from 2001-04. Corey, a receiver, just finished up his senior season. Kyle, a fellow cornerback, will be a senior next year.
Tech’s class also includes four four-star recruits, per Rivals — Midlothian safety Holland Fisher, Virginia Beach quarterback Bucky Hodges, Bealeton defensive end Wyatt Teller and a holdover from the 2012 class, Fork Union running back Drew Harris, who failed to qualify last year and is expected to re-sign with the Hokies.
Shurburtt thinks Fisher, who was one of the first players to commit to the Hokies last February, could be an immediate impact player.
“[He’s] a big, versatile safety prospect, the type of player that fits into Virginia Tech’s defensive scheme perfectly,” Shurburtt said. “Every time I saw him this spring and summer at camps, combines, what have you, he went out and competed. He competes on the football field. He’s an all-around good football player and he plays the game every snap like it needs to be played.”
Five members of the class are already enrolled in school: cornerback Brandon Facyson, quarterback Carlis Parker, offensive tackle Parker Osterloh and two players who prepped at Fork Union, running back Jerome Wright and offensive tackle Jonathan McLaughlin.
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