April 2021 Football Recruiting Thread

Discuss and share any recruiting topics for April 2021 that don't warrant their own threads. Commits and Decommits warrant their own threads.

This recruiting thread is used to share information regarding VT-specific targets, PWO offers, scholarship offers, visits, camps, and general news, in addition to larger trends. In the interests of limiting load times, check the thread to see if a tweet was already embedded prior to adding it yourself.

[0]. Please do some digging to share original content (e.g. embed the original tweet, not a link to another post/website with said tweet), add context / relevant information and respect the Community Guidelines.
[1] New commitments, decommitments, portal entries, etc... deserve their own thread. Please read the brief best-practice tips at the top of the recruiting forum.

DISCLAIMER: Forum topics may not have been written or edited by The Key Play staff.


Remember folks, we're steering clear of 247 embeds, but a link is very useful (you can just copy/paste the link into the body of the comment and it will work).

we are still encouraging tweet embeds as it is the easiest way to communicate that info

Sorry for not TKP'ing hard enough, and I don't want to reopen a can of worms if that was the case, but whats the reason for no embeds?

"Go Hokies!" - Thomas Jefferson

They are cumbersome for load times and were being reused multiple times within a thread. Probably wouldn't be as bad now compared to the time around Early Signing Day/Signing Day when there's a ton of movement - but I get the decision.

The 247 embed was loading with a notice to viewers that needed to be clicked, and it was interfering with certain site functions.

i love the embeds but aint nobody want a bork tkp, so if joe says no, then it's no.

Edit: Joe's comment from the Feb 21 Crootin' Thread

Meta: I pushed a TKP update today that filters and removed embeds from 247Sports. Two reasons:

I found that URLs that resulted in a 404 (seemingly because of a database change on 247Sports' end), automatically redirected from TKP to 247Sports. Yikes.
The embed code was breaking the keyboard shortcuts in Chrome on pageload. (It would take a mouse click somewhere on the page for them to work, which was annoying).
I know the embeds were useful, but moving forward, simply link to the profile and provide a summary of what's relevant to the post.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

I'm just happy they're gone because of load times. These threads were the worst with them included.

Love to see a commit on the first day of April.......................'s new recruiting thread.

We taking him as an athlete or a QB?

70% sure he gonna be an athlete

We were born for one thing
Tame the greatest fear of all
We were born for one thing
Born to face the greatest fear of all

Unless he drastically improves his passing

We were born for one thing
Tame the greatest fear of all
We were born for one thing
Born to face the greatest fear of all

Man this been a whirlwind the last 36ish hours😂

We were born for one thing
Tame the greatest fear of all
We were born for one thing
Born to face the greatest fear of all

good way or bad way?

Danny is always open

I'm going to assume good since we signed Orji, who AP strongly implied would sign last night. Why a whirlwind? Because it seemed like even though it might seem obvious now, this guy had a lot of other strong offers from other P5 schools (Baylor, Michigan, Oklahoma) but also Vandy, where two of his brothers play. So we beat out both the traditional football schools and the academic family option.

Also as a side note, primary recruiter: Brad Cornelsen. Nice to see Corny pull in a real one. I'm pumped. Between this and the recent Givens updates, June could be like an actual turning point for the Hokies if we keep the momentum going.

Depending how those summer visits go we could potentially have multiple commits for the LOS on both sides.

I'm interested to see if this cycle has a lot of "visit commits," with many of these kids getting to take real visits for the first time this summer in over a year, first ever visits for many, OR a lot of kids slow playing this cycle and making sure they take as many visits as possible after a year without any. I would guess it will be both, but I think the general trend will go one way or the other.

247 just updated their rankings and with it VT's two QB commits got bumps. Orji is just outside 4* territory at .8847 and Farrell is up in the .86 range. Orji is in the top 500 nationally and both are listed as top 15 Dual Threat QBs.

I'm scared if he has a good senior year😂

We were born for one thing
Tame the greatest fear of all
We were born for one thing
Born to face the greatest fear of all

I feel like we'll have a WR in the boat in a couple weeks

We were born for one thing
Tame the greatest fear of all
We were born for one thing
Born to face the greatest fear of all

Kinda off topic but didn't want to resurrect a months dead thread but... former Michigan QB Joe Milton is also transferring to Tennessee. I know there was already going to be a battle for QB1 between Hooker and a recruit, I guess we can add another P5 QB to the list too?

It does not seem that much of Spring has been public yet, but all the chatter I see on their boards seems to be revolving around their qb from last year and the rookie. Haven't seen much at all about HH.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

HH is #1 on their depth chart coming out of spring

TN:QB room::VT:RB room?

I feel bad for HH - He signed with Tennessee, then Pruitt gets fired. New coach probably wants to bring in his guys (although I imagine HH would work well in Josh Heupel's system)

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Honestly, I don't really and that isn't a knock as I really like him - smart, good athlete etc. He didn't have to leave and leaving is taking a risk. Risks have obvious consequences good and bad and the transfer culture has to acknowledge both. It's a good lesson for anyone - no different than leaving a good job you know for one you think is better (maybe it is and maybe it isn't).

He didn't have to leave

We don't know this... He very possibly could've been 'pushed' out or 'recommended to leave'

Twitter me

Could be, but I doubt that.

QP had already entered the portal and pushing HH out would put us in the situation we now find ourselves, with only one tested QB on the roster and one injury away from possible (probable?) disaster.

And that's just how Fuente seems to like it! /s

Recovering scientist working in business consulting

I mean...it does give him a convenient excuse...

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

No it doesn't. And since when do coaches make the excuses.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

I can't tell whether you're being sarcastic or not....I'm going to assume that you're serious

No it doesn't.

I didn't say it was a good excuse. But if BB gets hurt and VT finishes the season with 6 wins (or fewer) Fuente will be able to point to the fact that his QB room was unexpectedly emptied by a slew of transfers. His coaches are doing all they can with what they have to work with.

And since when do coaches make the excuses

LOL, really? Fuente has made soo many excuses over the last 5 years. I'm not going to go hunt down direct quotes but he has essentially blamed losses on "execution" and injuries and COVID. He's already making excuses for 2021 by saying the second team isn't where it needs to be to be "successful". He almost looked gleeful when some reporter in the "infamous golf" press conference suggested that COVID challenges from last spring were impacting progress this spring. Dude makes excuses all the time.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

lol...can I be Jerry?

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

My comment kind of goes two ways.

First, I think the staff is beyond the point where they can get a pass for poor roster management that is a result of their own making. So, it is a piss poor excuse.

Second, anything the losing coaches say is labeled an excuse. Sometimes there are reasons. We want transparency but when a coach speaks about what went wrong, they are not necessarily making an excuse as if it isn't their fault. The coaches are ultimately responsible for the product on the field. If they said covid had no impact on play, it would be a lie. If they said the depth looks great this spring, that would be a lie.

So in summary, I am not defending anything about the performance of this staff. But, if I want true transparency, that is also going to come with some explanations that will be interpreted as an excuse. Truth is, there really are no excuses at some point. Yeah if a first year coach ends up with a depleted quarterback room due to injury or whatever, that could be viewed as a reason to be patient before forming an opinion. If Fuente runs out of quarterbacks this year, it may be an absolutely valid reason for a shitty record, but he is gonna be fired anyway.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

And if Fuente runs out of QBs this year, it'll be a valid reason for bad record, but it will also be on him for allowing the QB room to be so depleted, so the firing will be justified, IMO

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

Anything "unexpected" on the roster is an excuse and direct accountability to the head coach. Period. Short of a natural disaster god forbid. Anything beyond that is not "unexpected" at this level of football. If every QB on the roster left, Fuente is a fool if he is surprised by that, and he has no pulse on his team. That's probably why he is a .500 coach against P5 teams- he has something "unexpected" happen with this roster every year. That's on him. 100%

In 2021, entry into the portal by a QB with 2 or more years in a program who isn't expected to be QB1 on the spring depth chart is more the norm than "unexpected". For pretty much any program.

The transfer portal is going to require a new tool set for college coaches - and I see a lot of old school coaches being unable or unwilling to adapt and leaving the game.

And I see some younger old school college coaches saying "F it...I'd rather coach NFL prima donnas than worry about keeping 19-20 yr olds with egos much larger than their talent or brains happy. And I don't have to spend long hours covering every inch of a 500 mile radius and telling mommas how much I love their crappy cooking".

I think Fuente possesses some of the new skill set, but I'm not sure he can fully adapt.

The Hookies got a new o-lineman from TX. #TX2VT back?

Another white bronco? The first one didn't go too far.

I'm guessing we shouldn't tell him how close Blacksburg is to the 757?

Either way, LET'S GO!

He's originally from the 757. Someone put #VA2TX2VT on Twitter.

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009


Never Forget #1 Overall Seed UVA 54, #64 UMBC 74

Another commit to the "Hookies"! Is that a good team?

Oh wait, I see, the o just moved from too :-)

Recovering scientist working in business consulting

Lets go! Doing work at key positions of need in this class

This is a great get. Position of need, borderline 4 star, great offer list. I'll take it all day long and hope he sticks.


For those of us who NEED that 247 info
6'3" 280lb class of '22 OG graded at .88 and rated as the #13 OG in his class per 247 in house and #15 on composite

Looks to be a big time pickup of a big man

Good offer list too. Looks to be a good get.

I know it's way too early for recruiting rankings to matter, but given the recent flurry of commitments, I thought I'd give the 247 rankings a look. A quick scroll, and I see we're at 29th. Maybe not where we wanna end up, but a decent start, right? So then I decide to check and see where we are in the ACC recruiting rankings. 5th place. We're behind the usual suspects, ya know, #4 UNC, #3 Clemson, #2 Florida State and .... #1 Boston College? It's just because they have 11 commits right now, but it caught me off guard.

We should never finish a season lower than 5th in the ACC in recruiting, and that's only if the four in front of us are Clemson, UNC, Miami, and Florida State. I think that is a very reasonable stance all things considered.

I think for VT to really get back in contention for the ACC and seize control of the Coastal again, we have to overtake UNC in recruiting. We can't let them consistently outrecruit us, especially since we are usually after most of the same targets. UNC is honestly our biggest competition in the division. Miami will always be tough, but UNC is the bigger barrier to overcome for many reasons.

I agree we have to re-shift the balance away from UNC towards us. I was just saying 5th should be the absolute minimum, and ONLY if it's those 4 teams above us. I included UNC because their last two classes were 13th (2nd in ACC) and 14th (3rd in ACC). There is proof of concept at the moment that they are substantially better at recruiting than us right now and are trending that way again for 2022.

Agreed. UNC is a massive threat to VT. Miami is far away and in their own hotbed. UNC is in our backyard...in the same recruiting region. VT badly needs to win recruiting battles with UNC more often. VT also needs to win on the gridiron. The first game of the season in 2021 is going to be critically important. If VT can win that game it will be a huge step in the right direction. Winning that game will give these coaches some ammo to try getting back into the drivers seat in terms of recruiting. Losing that game, however, could be disastrous for VT. We're already losing recruiting battles-losing the games too will be absolutely deflating.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

Mack Brown vs. Justin Fuente in recruiting is like Pitt's OL vs. our DL on the field every year... mis match - big time.

agreed. And I suspect that is also true in coaching. I don't have very high hopes that VT will beat UNC. My only hope is that it doesn't get really ugly but that wouldn't surprise me either. A 45-20 UNC win would not surprise me nearly as much as a 45-38 VT win would.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

Eat Shit Pitt

Fuck Pat Narduzzi

"Give me a fu¢king beer", Anonymous Genius

But but but... UNC... football... record v. VT... something something not worried... something something that's why they play the game... something something... Mack Brown is old.

Mack Brown IS old and he can't even pronounce half the players names, but he knows how to close. Plus he hired a bunch of good young recruiters onto his staff. It pains me to say this but it should be obvious he knows what he's doing-a national championship gets you instant credibility.

7 wins in 2019 - South Carolina, Miami, GT, Duke, Mercer, NC State, Temple
8 wins in 2020 - Syracuse, BC, VT, NC State, Duke, Wake, western Carolina, Miami

Mack managed 8 wins with Howell and those offensive weapons, and beat absolutely nobody except maybe Miami in the last two years. Everyone on board that hype train!

Right, and in 2 years when we play them we will have the 75th ranked class playing his 8th ranked class as juniors. I'm sure we will out scheme him.

You're right, we're doomed! They're turning into 1990s Florida State. Bet in two years Mack still ain't got to 10 wins nor a trip to Charlotte. Backing into an Orange Bowl last year will be his greatest achievement outside of overrated recruiting classes.

I bet in two years if Mack has gotten 10 wins and trip to Charlotte you will change the success criteria to something else.

Nope, that's the minimum Mack needs to hit to change my mind

Biggest thing to look at right now is average rank. Last year we had an average of 85.02 compared to 86.23 so far for 2022. We need to stay where we are at average wise or increase it if we want a chance to stay inside the top 30-35 ranking. Also landing a couple of the higher 4 stars will help tremendously as they carry more weight in the overall ranking.

You're also splitting hairs a little bit once you get out of say the top 15. If you look at the 2021 team rankings pretty much every team between 15 and 60 has an average rating between 84 and 89 on 247. Obviously to it's easier to win with more talent, and bigger spreads are more important, but being upset about the average rating being at 85 vs 87, or what have you, might be overthinking it. It's more about what you do with that talent, and how you develop it, which is a different conversation we've been having.

I have to disagree. There is a noticeable difference between a guy rated 84 and 89 and I'm sure much higher hit rate on the 89.

If I look at teams from the 2021 rankings I would definitely want to be in the 87 overall group vs 85 overall. 87 overall includes the likes of Ole Miss, Maryland, Nebraska, Iowa, Arkansas, etc. These are teams that I would expect us to be competing with and we should match up with talent wise. Looking at 85 overall teams it includes Boston College, Louisville, Rutgers, Cincinatti, etc. These are teams that Virginia Tech should be striving to beat year in and year out and completely out match them talent wise.

I may be splitting hairs and rankings are never 100% accurate but look at the top teams in the sport and the top teams in the recruiting rankings, it's not a coincidence.

I agree that there is a correlation in recruiting rankings and winning, and I probably went too far in the 15 vs 60, but if you're at say 25 vs 35. That difference is not huge. And have Ole Miss, Maryland, Nebraska, Iowa, and Arkansas been that much better than those other teams? Recruiting has definitely been a problem, but it's just not as cut and dry as being ranked 25 vs 20.

these debates just confuse me. If recruiting makes all the difference but then the difference between the 15th and 50th classes are almost negligible then it comes down to coaching?

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

Probably. Development, in-game coaching, and identifying talent that fits your system/doing a better job evaluating talent than recruiting services.

If recruiting makes all the difference but then the difference between the 15th and 50th classes are almost negligible then it comes down to coaching?

There's two things to consider:

  1. The difference in ranking does become negligible. In 2021:
    • The difference in average player rating between 1 and 3 was .0098.
    • The difference in average player rating between 3 and 10 was .0314
    • The difference in average player rating between 10 and 25 was .0323
    • The difference in average player rating between 25 and 60 is .0338
  2. The ceiling matters more than floor. I'd rather have one 5-star, two 4-stars, ten medium-low 3-stars, and 5 PWOs then 18 high 3-stars. I've talked about this a few times on TKP over the years - see here and here.

To Point #1 - I think a good coach can make up for a 0.03XX difference in average player quality (eg; a top 60 recruiting class could finish top 25, a top 25 class could finish top 10, a top 10 class can finish top 3, etc). I don't think a top 60 class can finish top 10.

To Point #2 - You need some game breakers on your roster, preferably at important positions (eg QB), if you're going to out play your ranking. Honestly, I think we should probably be looking at our upper quartile more than our average recruit.

To Joey25's point - Being 20 vs 25 doesn't matter. What matters is that (1) we are pushing top 40, not top 25, and (2) We'll have a small handful of players (less than 5) who are >0.90 ranking this year. From 2005-2013, we were bringing in two 0.90+ players per year (and most of them were staying 3+ years).

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The difference between #20 and #50-ish is fairly inconsequential. It becomes more about positional needs, system fit, etc at that point.

People waste way too much time worrying about where in the 2nd tier of recruiting you finish based on a ranking system with a large deviation in terms of predictive power between relatively close scores.

Not as much as time wasted on, say, where said school resides in said rankings many months before the signing deadline - particularly in the portal era. But still a large waste of time nonethless.

This is what I was trying to say, but you did a much better job.

I've always agreed, but there doesn't seem to be a way to sort recruiting rankings by average recruit?

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Sure there is (or at least there was the last time I checked)

So you go to this page, and I see that the second column from the right is average recruit ranking, but how can I sort the list by that column?

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I would hope we go after him hard. I know we have bodies at DT. We need this kind of body in that group though.

Hokie Love!

I would hope we would inquire. He sounds like a good fit for what we are trying to do. Of course, Clemson and Alabama both like having large DTs as well....

I hate rude behavior in a man. Won't tolerate it.

Really just hoping being from the 757 makes a difference. Seems to have been a pull for Johnny Dickson.

Interesting note on a story that popped up yesterday.

Chris Kuzemka, the 2021 Virginia Class 6 Player of the Year, has signed a National Letter of Intent and will join the Loyola Maryland men's basketball program for the 2021-2022 season.
An accomplished football player at Centreville, Kuzemka originally intended to accept a preferred walk-on spot as a wide receiver at Virginia Tech before his standout senior season on the hardwood redirected him back to his "first love."