At this point, it's well documented the Hokies earned Cam'Ron Kelly's commitment despite an absence from the 757 blue-chip's top 8. Consensus among recruitniks was Kelly's verbal would ultimately be decided by a three-way battle among Penn State, Clemson, and Virginia. For every bit of the kick to the Hokie stones Devyn Ford's commitment to Penn State was, Kelly's shocker was a reciprocal amount of
Sub Station II, turkey legs, RAILS for the soul.
So why — Why did Kelly stun everyone and pick Tech?
When it was all said and done, he wanted to play cornerback in college. That was important.
"When it came down to Clemson and Penn State, Penn State was a great school, Clemson was a great school," said Kelly. "They wanted me to play safety, my heart is at corner, so I wanted to go to Virginia Tech and stay home. It's a home environment for me, I know a lot of people there, and plus I get to play the position I love, which is corner."
That was a common thread amongst various interviews Kelly gave after his announcement.
"I made this decision based off myself, and where I would thrive at as a corner."
And so on.
"As a corner, I'm going to D-Block."
Moreover, Tech's coaches did not write his recruitment off, even when Kelly made official visits elsewhere and Tech was seemingly out of the running. A low-touch approach helped immensely.
"Every school sells you this, sells you that, but you got to look at the real, and who's not," said Kelly. "Because everybody's trying to show that perfect pitch. Honestly, Tech let me do my own thing, and then I always had a relationship with them. Everybody else was too busy selling their dreams. Selling this, selling that, selling that. I knew from personal experience with my relationship with the coaches at Tech, that this was real.
"There's no sale, no nothing. Come in and work, and do what you got to do, and put on for the state."
Friends in the Hokies' corner — Keshon Artis and Devon Hunter especially — helped put Tech over the top too.
The epilogue of a unanimous 4-star recruit choosing the Hokies: talk of pipelines, recruiting other top targets, and championships. All that good stuff. Watch the interviews below. Take it all in. Then exhale slowly.
On a macro level, just like Ford's verbal to Penn State wasn't an indictment of Tech's total-output on the trail, this isn't a cure-all. But it's a hell of a coup for the Hokies and a leap in the right direction.
Point blank, the Hokies had the right message, delivered it impeccably, and it resonated.
"I'm firm with it," Kelly said of his commitment. "Virginia Tech is home."