Hokies Show Off Recruiting 'Momentum' to Slew of Visitors at Annual Summer Cookout

Virginia Tech had a hot June on the trail, and a sense of optimism seems to be palpable.

2020 4-star safety Cameron Roseman-Sinclair was one of many prospects to visit Blacksburg two weekends back. [Instagram \ Cameron Roseman-Sinclair]

The Hokies have cooled off a bit on the recruiting trail after an especially hot June, but that doesn't mean that their recent momentum has gone unnoticed.

Virginia Tech hosted a hefty gathering of recruits and commits of all ages from July 28-29 for a big cookout, a summer tradition in Blacksburg, giving the coaches the perfect chance to take the temperature of the younger generation after they made waves with a half dozen commitments in just one month.

The program's since slipped in the rankings a bit, and took a big hit in losing prized 2019er Cam'Ron Kelly, but that's done little to change the energy recruits noticed on campus.

"A lot of guys are jumping on board and getting to believe in what Coach Fuente and the staff is doing at Virginia Tech and starting to realize that we're coming," 2019 OT commit Bryan Hudson, out of Georgetown, Ky.'s Scott County HS, told The Key Play. "It's starting to be a pretty special thing, not that it ever wasn't, they're just jumping on board now and we're looking pretty good."

2021 RB Evan Pryor of Cornelius, N.C.'s Hough HS says he got much the "same sense" as Hudson when he returned to Blacksburg: "They're getting a lot of momentum," he said.

And Justin Fuente seems plenty keen on keeping that momentum going.

"He's pushing the commits and people who want to come there, to come there," said 2020 S Cameron Roseman-Sinclair of Charlotte's Myers Park HS. "Because he's building a lot right now and trying to change, to go get a national championship there sooner, real soon."

By all accounts, Fuente feels pretty confident about how Tech's future roster is filling out, one position excluded.

"He said they need a running back, they have every other position right now," said 2020 RB Blake Corum of Laurel, Md.'s St. Frances Academy. "But they need a running back."

But that's not to say the coaches were all business over the course of the weekend. Without the pressures of the season to worry about, the summer cookout has long provided the staff a chance to show off their personalities a bit more and spend one-on-one time with recruits, and this late July weekend was no exception.

Roseman-Sinclair says TEs coach James Shibest even joined some of the high schoolers in attendance for some pickup hoops β€” with some mixed results.

"He's got a couple moves, without hurting himself," Roseman-Sinclair said with a laugh.

Roseman-Sinclair, who's rated a 4-star prospect by the 247Sports Composite ranking, also got to spend some quality time with new safeties coach Tyrone Nix, who only joined the program in mid-June.

"He told me I'm a really versatile guy, who can play nickel, strong and free, that I'm a dude that can come in and impact the game at any moment," Roseman-Sinclair said. "I like him a lot, he's a great guy. Ever since I've met him, he's been straight up with me. He's kept it real from the jump with me. He shows that he cares more beyond where I commit, just for me as a person."

Pryor got the same sense from talking with RBs coach Zohn Burden, noting "he makes it about more than football." But when it comes to the on field stuff, Burden was similarly excited about Pryor's potential, even though he's still so young.

"They've really been looking for a back that can win one-on-one matchups and is versatile, and they think I can bring all that to the table," Pryor said.

Hudson says the coaches put on the full court press for players like Pryor who have yet to commit to Tech, but that was hardly a bad thing. He says the cookout was a perfect chance for the 2019 commits on hand to "start to get chemistry a little bit."

"This was the first time that we'd gotten together all in person," Hudson said. "I knew a few of them before like (offensive linemen) Jesse (Hanson) and William Pritchard, but other than that, we've gotten to talk to each other a little bit through text message and Twitter, but this was pretty much the first time that we've gotten together. I feel like we're getting to have that bond pretty quick...I know it's a year away, but it's starting to feel just right around the corner."

It seems the weekend was impressive enough to get some of the other uncommitted prospects on campus thinking about potential futures in Blacksburg as well.

"I love Virginia Tech," said Corum, a Warrenton native who's rated a 4-star prospect by the 247Sports Composite. "It's home for me. I have a lot of family members, friends that love Virginia Tech, go to every game. I like Virginia Tech a lot...it's a great campus. I'd love to play for my home state."

Corum says he wants to visit Southern California and Wisconsin at some point soon, to compare to previous trips to schools like Nebraska, Michigan, Clemson, and South Carolina, but he hopes to commit before his senior year arrives.

"I'll take a few more visits, then sit down and see," Corum said. "I've been to quite a few schools, but Virginia Tech is definitely up there on my list."

After highlighting Tech's need at the position, Fuente could plainly find himself with more running backs than he knows what do with.

"It's very traditional, somewhere I'd love to play, where you have the whole city and community around you, very supporting," Pryor said. "It's just a good vibe and a lot of nice people around."

Roseman-Sinclair even named the Hokies as his leader immediately after his trip to Tech, largely on the strength of his comfort with the coaching staff (which, he notes, includes "one of the best defensive coordinators").

"It's a defensive school, and more, it's a DB school," Roseman-Sinclair said. "With a guy like Coach Nix as my safeties coach, it'll bring a lot for me, knowing that he's a guy that's put multiple guys into the league and can bring me to that next level...It factors in a lot, knowing it's really a DB school that puts a lot of products in every year."

It helps, too, that he has his teammate, 2019 WR commit Elijah Bowick, in his ear to sing the Hokies' praises.

"I talk to him every single day," Roseman-Sinclair said. "It helps a lot, especially because he can tell me more how he vibes with them, what he feels about the program as he comes in and how they treat him."

Like Pryor, Roseman-Sinclair hopes to return to Blacksburg for the Notre Dame game, which is shaping up to be a huge recruiting weekend for the Hokies.

Hudson has that game on his calendar too, though he's hoping to "get to as many as I can." He's already eyeing the home opener against William and Mary, the Miami game and even the Thursday night matchup against Georgia Tech, as it falls on his high school's bye week.

The 4-star prospect has continued to pick up interest since committing to Tech this April, but he says he's planning such a robust slate of Blacksburg visits because he still has no interest seeing anywhere else.

"As long as everything goes good and there's nothing drastic going on in Blacksburg, that'll be the only place I'll be visiting," Hudson said. "Since I've already given my word to them, I don't think it'd be right to go to other places, so that'll be the only place I'll be going."

Comments

Those are some big boy OL commits standing next to Vice

Just what we need! Ooooooh, I look forward to having them on the field. A QB and RB's dream!

Great insight - thanks Alex!

Always love seeing the phrase "feels like home" from recruits - goes without saying, but there is no place like Blacksburg.

As long as everything goes good and there's nothing drastic going on in Blacksburg, that'll be the only place I'll be visiting," Hudson said. "Since I've already given my word to them, I don't think it'd be right to go to other places, so that'll be the only place I'll be going."

What a statement to endear yourself to fans.

Yep. Love that.

Great article, it's exciting to hear about recruits enjoying their experience in Blacksburg.

When it comes to running back recruiting, I think the staff is really trying to walk a fine line between being aggressive and confident vs desperate. Like pursuing a woman, I worry that the moment they sense desperation, they may start to lose interest. I hope the message is coming across that we're highly interested without being the creepy guy texting them a hundred times a day.

If we don't pull in Corum after he said all that then I don't know what to say....I guess just 17-18 yr old kids. But seems solid and looks like he can be a beast.

If you don't want to recruit clowns, don't run a clown show.

"I want to punch people from UVA right in the neck." - Colin Cowherd

So now we're recruiting 2 kids from the high school that my wife's middle school feeds into. A kicker and an RB. Looks like I have to go to some Hough HS football this fall.

2021 RB Evan Pryor

These recruits weren't born the last time we lost to UVA.

But they were alive, in high school even, when #1 seed Virginia lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to #16 seed UMBC, the first time in history that a #16 seed had beaten a #1 seed in the Tournament.

The Poster Formerly Known As The Spirit Of Bernard Basham

Moreover, not only was Virginia assigned a #1 seed, they were assigned the overall #1 seed; this indicates that, in the tournament selection committee's evaluation, UVA was given the most desirable path to the National Championship Game, and certainly given the easiest of the teams seeded #16.

Chem PhD '16

So what you're saying is, the only way that it could be worse in the future is if they expand the tournament? Man, I'd hate to be a UVA BBall fan

Go Retrievers!

Evan Pryor may or may not have a dip can in his right pocket in that picture haha

Kids not even old enough to buy chew.

showing my age... how old do you have to be?

My excuse: I grew up in Kansas.

.

.

#extendbronco

18 just like all other tobacco products.

maybe he's just happy to see you

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

Definitely ice breakers

I appreciate all the support, and I appreciate all the hate I am getting. I will continue to work as hard as I can to be the best I can be and bring this team a championship. Go Hokies πŸ” - Josh Jackson

I typed out this long response and our office internet crashed so I will post the condensed version now.

Thanks for the hard work Alex! I love these recruiting interview pieces, another great perk of TKP.

I also like the Tyrone Nix hire. He's not the flashy up and comer super recruiter hire, but he has been Co-DC and a position coach at all defensive levels for some P5 teams that are serious about football. He's got serious experience (something we've griped about with some hires) and he's been at some schools that know how to recruit defensive talent.

Initial returns on Nix (at least from a recruiting standpoint) have been very positive.

So there are 2 blue chip RB's in he state of VA in the 2020 class. They can't both go to PSU can they?

Sometimes I like to leave off the /s just to mess with people.

One to PSU, one to FSU

3 kids in the top 70 from St. Johns College in DC.....

Pour some Beer on it

Side note - how is St. John's College a high school. This is dumb.

Twitter me

Benedictine in Richmond was called Benedictine College for a long time.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

They're currently called Benedictine College Prep (BCP).
It was Benedictine High School when I was there.

What year? (02) here.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

Idk if this fits, but this is what I immediately thought about when I saw this after that one kid told us on Twitter we couldn't set foot on campus lol

Fugazy

God damn I feel old, I'll be 30 when these kids possibly suit up for us.

Waah, waah.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

So, who did we get?

edit: here it is

Now finish up them taters; I'm gonna go fondle my sweaters.