The Hokies didn't exactly have perfect timing when they decided to offer 2018 DT Cam Goode of St. John's College HS in Washington D.C.
Not only was Goode on an unofficial visit to Wake Forest when Justin Fuente tried to get in touch with him on Feb. 18, but he was actually meeting with head coach Dave Clawson himself when he felt his phone buzzing.
"I was like, 'It's probably just one of my friends,'" Goode told The Key Play. "But I opened my phone when I got out of the coach's office, and I saw it was the Virginia Tech coach. So I called him back, and he was like 'Cam, we have a surprise for you.'"
Goode was a bit puzzled, because Fuente kept talking about how he was looking forward to seeing the rising senior later that day and giving him some good news. Of course, he was still in Winston-Salem, so he couldn't quite figure out what Fuente was talking about.
"I thought he had the wrong person," Goode said. "And I was like, 'Coach, I think you're mixing me up with somebody else, unless I told you I was coming to a junior day soon or something,' and he was like, 'Yeah, you told me you were coming to one of our junior days, but I thought it was today.'"
Thoroughly confused now, Goode called DL coach Charley Wiles instead. When the pair connected, Wiles finally shed a little light on why the Hokies decided to interrupt his visit.
"He told me 'Cam, we're gonna offer you a full scholarship, we've been watching you since your sophomore year and now we want to make it final and offer you a scholarship to Virginia Tech,'" Goode said. "And I didn't really want to show it, because I was at Wake Forest, and I was thinking, 'Oh my gosh, I just got an offer from Virginia Tech.' But I was with the Wake Forest coaches, and that doesn't click well, those are ACC rivals."
So Goode waited until he could get back in the car with his parents. At first, he says they didn't even believe him — only after he showed them the texts and calls with Tech's coaches did they accept it.
But Goode understands their skepticism, since he could scarcely believe the news himself.
"I was shocked because Virginia Tech is a powerhouse football team and they're known for their defense," Goode said. "One of the best defenses in America just offered me a scholarship on the phone, personally, and I was like, this is a just dream come true. Every offer I get is shocking, but that was really shocking."
Clearly, the Hokies earned Goode's attention, even though they didn't quite stick the landing when it came time to offer him. Now, they've successfully convinced him to take his first visit to Blacksburg this weekend, and he'll be stopping by on April 1 to take in a spring practice.
But Goode says the visit won't be his first time meeting some of the staff — he participated in a Tech satellite camp in Alexandria last year — and he's already built a relationship with Fuente, Wiles, Bud Foster and even WRs coach Holmon Wiggins.
In fact, he says Wiles and Foster have already started throwing around one of their favorite terms to describe a DT when they chat: twitchy.
"They just see me as a defensive specimen," Goode said. "I'm 322 (pounds), and somebody that can move sideline-to-sideline. And they just keep calling me twitchy in texts, and I'm, like, oh man, if they're calling me twitchy, that means I can move fast and I feel like I can most definitely be a dynamic player for their team and their type of defense and they always bring that up to me."
Though Goode is currently unranked by the 247Sports Composite rating, it would seem that coaches around the country are developing the same sort of opinion of the DT. He started out earning offers from smaller programs like Robert Morris and Toledo, but in the last few months he's added ones from Michigan State, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Rutgers and Boston College.
But Goode seems especially enamored with the Hokies, who may very well be his biggest offer to date.
"I feel like they're most definitely a top-25 football team and soon to be even better than that," Goode said. "They just had a new staff come in, so everybody's got to get acclimated to the system. And I know, in the next couple years, they're going to be something special, for a fact. The ACC needs to wake up, because Virginia Tech is going to be a powerhouse coming up soon."
Beyond what he's seen of Tech's direction under Fuente, Goode is also enthusiastic about the pitch he's hearing from the Hokies. Instead of simply selling him on how he might fill a need for the program — though Tech could certainly stand to add some depth at defensive tackle — Goode says the Hokies are stressing how much they value his talents in particular.
"They told me that it's a want, 'I want you to come,' not 'I'm begging you,' just 'I want you to come because you're something special,'" Goode said. "That's something that I like to hear. Because when I go and think about a college, I want to go to a school that I want to go to. If they need me and want me, then that's something special for me, and I'll look at a college more."
He'll get his chance to evaluate that pitch in person on Saturday, immediately before he embarks on a lengthy round of visits over spring break to include trips to Michigan State, Boston College, UNC, South Carolina, Wake Forest and Georgia.
And when he makes it to Blacksburg, the Hokies will surely be hoping that Clawson doesn't return the favor and give Goode a call just as he sees campus for the first time.
"I just want to see how the student life is and the environment for the athletes," Goode said. "I also want to see how the coaches coach, because I don't want to just go to a school because it's a name. I want to make sure I'm making the right decision because of the people, the coaches, the environment I want to be in."