The Hokies might be used to the prospect of facing off against Alabama and Ohio State on the football field, but they're also taking on those major programs on the recruiting trail.
Although the Crimson Tide and the Buckeyes got the better of Tech in last year's cycle — they signed prized prospects DaShawn Hand and Brady Taylor respectively after the Hokies pursued both of them vigorously — Tech is hoping to win out over them for the services of 2015 wide receiver Lawrence Cager.
The staff certainly has their work cut out for them. Cager is a highly coveted 3-star prospect according to the 247Sports Composite, with 21 total offers, but the Hokies have been pushing hard to get in the mix for the rising senior.
"I've been talking to (wide receivers coach Aaron) Moorehead since my freshman year. We just talk about life, we have a great relationship," Cager said.
However, the Hokies only offered Cager after he attended Tech's prospect camp in Blacksburg on July 14.
Nevertheless, he's familiar with the school.
"I visited sophomore year and camped there, so I'd been before," he said. "I like the program, I like Coach Beamer, he's the winningest coach in college football, and they have great facilities."
But while the Hokies may have made an early impression, there's no doubt that the big programs are on his mind as well.
"I'm definitely considering Alabama, Ohio State," he said. "Coach Meyer had me up there for their Friday Night Lights camp (on July 25) and it was great to meet with all those coaches."
Yet, for all of the good experiences at Tech and OSU, all this attention for Cager can be chaotic at times. Donald Davis, his head coach at Towson, Md.'s Calvert Hall College, has seen firsthand what this huge increase in interest has brought these last few months.
"It's been explosive, just a whirlwind summer," Davis said.
Davis notes that the hectic process has at least gotten Cager to meet plenty of people around the country.
"That's the thing about the recruiting process, it got him to meet good people everywhere," Davis said. "It exposes you to good people and he's met several. Now he just needs to decompress a little."
Davis feels Cager's superb size and skill is what got the Hokies and so many others interested.
"He's just so rangy and long," Davis said. "You just don't see guys at 6'4" and 205 pounds in high school very often."
However, he's still looking for a few things from Cager in his final year of school.
"You really want to see a continued maturation of his game," Davis said. "He can jump out of the gym, sure, but you want to see him make big catches in big circumstances."
After sharing the stage with some more experienced veterans the last few years, Davis is also looking for Cager to step up his production.
"He's going from a complementary player, to a focal point, and you want to see that development," Davis said.
Yet, even as Davis pushes Cager to take on a bigger role in the offense, he doesn't doubt that the receiver will take it all in stride.
"He's just fun and loose," Davis said. "He enjoys being a kid."
Despite his carefree nature, he'll still be taking his remaining months of the recruiting process seriously.
"I'm just looking for a winning program and good academics," Cager said. "I want to add to a football team, hopefully make it to the NFL someday and get a good education."
While he weighs all those factors, and listens to the numerous overtures from his plethora of suitors, he's still trying to take things nice and slow.
"I'm just going to keep entertaining offers," Cager said. "I haven't set a date to announce yet, and I probably won't commit anytime soon."