Braxton Clark made his move quickly.
The day after a Memorial Day weekend unofficial visit to Virginia Tech, the Dr. Phillips (Orlando, FL) cornerback phoned assistant head coach, safeties coach, and Orlando native Galen Scott to verbally commit to the Hokies over Power Five offers from Boston College and Rutgers.
"He was happy," Clark laughed. "He was like, 'I'm real turnt man, excited about it,' He was just real excited. All the coaches were. They were just as excited as I was. It felt good."
Tech had just offered Clark on May 29 during the aforementioned trip to Blacksburg. Both the Hokies and Clark must have approved of what they saw in person.
"Talking to my coaches, and my family, and then the coaches there, it felt like a good fit," said Clark. "I fit the scheme really well. They like corners like me, that are long and rangy. They really know how to develop players. I feel like it was the right move."
Clark fits the mold of a lockdown corner that can match the size and speed of the receivers opposite him.
"He just covers," as Dr. Phillips head coach Rodney Wells put it. "He's long at 6-3, can't get the ball around him. Has really good speed, he's probably a 4.5, 40 kid. He's just what everybody's looking for.
"Everybody we play, even at the high school level, they have all these receivers, 4.4 receivers, some 6-2, 6-3, got these big guys catching the ball. A lot of people want big guys covering, and that's what Braxton specializes in."
Wells — a one-time Tech commit himself who ultimately signed with Syracuse (1997-2001) and kept in touch with Bud Foster — tasks Clark each game to utilize his expertise and trail the best receiver on the field.
"I like the feeling of shutting down a team's top receiver," Clark said. "I like shutting the big plays down. I feel like on defense, the big plays, they mean more. I like defense. I like cornerback. I like locking up the receivers, that's just something I've always liked doing."
Tech will gladly add the 247Sports Composite ranked 3-star's skillset to its 2018 class. Replenishing depth at corner is a priority for the Hokies this cycle. Starters Greg Stroman and Brandon Facyson exhaust their eligibility after the 2017 season. Junior Adonis Alexander — another long-frame CB — has been mentioned in the early rounds of various 2018 NFL mock drafts. Redshirt freshman Tyree Rodgers, '17 signee Bryce Watts, and early enrollee Caleb Farley round out the notable reserves. Although, Farley is poised to breakout at wideout in Justin Fuente's offense.
Even with the opportunity for early playing time, Clark acknowledges room for improvement.
"I think I need to improve on a lot," Clark said. "Everything I can improve on. My man coverage, press, and then playing more instinctive. Just reading and reacting, not thinking as much; run support, coming up, just knocking people out."
Yet, as more repetitions come and Clark increases his knowledge of the game, Wells knows what his pupil's ceiling is at Virginia Tech.
"I told coach Foster, he's going to be one of the top guys in college football in two to three years," Wells said. "And he is."