2019 RB Jordan Houston suspected he might earn an offer from the Hokies by the time he wrapped up his first camp in Blacksburg a few weeks back — but he wouldn't even need to wait until the camp ended to come away with a Virginia Tech scholarship on the table.
The rising junior out of Oakton's Flint Hill School was waiting in line to take another rep during the seven-on-seven portion of the July 23 camp when Justin Fuente pulled him aside, and told him he'd seen enough that he didn't need to wait any longer.
"I kinda knew they were interested in me, I just knew I had to work hard and perform well during camp," Houston told The Key Play. "And then (Fuente) told me, 'Come here,' as I was in line waiting for my rep, and he offered me. I just smiled and shook his hand and said, 'Thank you,' because I like V-Tech."
Indeed, Houston says he's long had his eye on the Hokies, even as other big programs have gotten involved in his recruitment. Though he's currently not rated by the 247Sports Composite ranking, the 5'10", 170-pound prospect already boasted offers from Penn State and Tennessee by the time the Hokies stepped up and did the same.
Houston says he got his first taste of campus on a visit with his mom for a spring practice this year, then he swung by briefly earlier this summer on a bus tour with other prospects.
But last month's camp, held the day after the staff's annual "Blacksburg Bash" event, gave him his first real chance to interact with the coaches in any sort of depth, and he says the whole visit proved to be a "great time."
Houston was particularly glad to chat more with Fuente once the camp wrapped up. He joined his mom up in the head Hokie's office so he could get the full details on his offer and hear the sales pitch.
"He just told me and my mom that they're offering me and Virginia Tech is a great place to be and about the great people here, and the great school spirit and everything," Houston said.
Houston says Fuente and the rest of the offensive coaching staff also talked X's and O's a bit, pitching him as a great fit in Tech's scheme "because I can play running back and slot."
The RB notes that he already gets the chance to play in the slot on occasion at Flint Hill, as his coaches run a scheme that's similar to the Hokies, and he doesn't lack for speed — he's regularly posted 40-yard-dash times hovering around 4.4 seconds.
Fuente wasn't shy about using his running backs in the passing game in his first season at Tech, or even incorporating speedier wide receivers into the running game with an array of jet sweeps, and Houston is itching for the chance to get in on the action.
"Their running backs go out and play," Houston said. "They get moved to the slot a lot, and if I were to go there, I'd be playing running back and slot, and I like that. Because I like to catch the ball too."
But the Hokies will still have plenty of competition for Houston's services, particularly from the Nittany Lions — Houston has several Penn State alums in his family, and even visited Happy Valley immediately before making the trip down to Blacksburg.
Yet he's still planning on visiting Tech to take in a game in Lane Stadium sometime this season, if for no other reason than to get more face time with Fuente.
"I know he's a great coach, but he seemed like a great person outside of coaching too, like he cares about Virginia Tech a lot and his players," Houston said.