Hokies gain commitment from Tyree Saunders

On Saturday, the Hokies gained a commitment from c/o 2020 WR/ATH from Jacksonville, Tyree Saunders.

I detailed Saunders recruitment and playing style in an article this summer. https://www.thekeyplay.com/virginia-tech-football/2019/08/18361/hokies-h...

I talked to Tyree about his commitment last night.

"Great education and play in a great conference. Opportunity to compete with the best teams on college's biggest stage."

"Looking forward to going against the best and showing I'm a top player as well."

An exciting player, for sure. Also a good pickup to help facilitate the North Florida pipeline that has started up in the past few years!

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Comments

North East Florida. Don't lump us with Pensacola
Tallahassee
Ocala
Gainesville
Fort Walton Beach
Panama City

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

Good point. Jacksonville certainly doesn't compare to the Panhandle beaches.

Yes the beaches are great the backwoods folks in those parts not so much.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

There are fine people everywhere.

Even Jacksonville.

But the beaches in the Panhandle are awesome.

+1 for the Emerald Coast!

Nothing against the JAX beaches because I love them too.

Let's Go

HOKIES

Lived in PCB a few years back. Not too many beaches better than what's off 30A.

Agreed. We've been going there for years and while it sucks how bad traffic has gotten down there (thanks Travel Channel), they're the prettiest beaches in the US in my opinion. My only nitpick is that they're not all easily walkable near the surf in how they drop off (Destin) and they're not very wide.

"What kind of person would throw away a perfectly good dog?"

If we're including Atlantic/Neptune/St. Aug beaches as Jax beaches, I agree.

If not...ehhhhhh

Click here to destroy wall.

Yes the beaches are great the backwoods folks in those parts not so much.

My 2019 Season Challenge: only comment with Star Wars memes.

I mean - Jacksonville!

backwoods folks in those parts not so much

It's a cultural learning experience.

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FAM!!!

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)..

Good news is the best kind of news FAM

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Awesome, Tyree! Welcome to the squad!

"How you doin', Randy?"

Touchdown Tyree has a nice ring to it.

and maybe more on the way

twitter @smithey_daniel
head scout BSP scouting specializing in north florida/ southern GA highschool football scouting

You coy bastard, what do you have up your sleeve? You might be a better recruiter than some of the guys on staff (/s?)

were tops on another jacksonville kids board right now. I don't like to comment to much on it obviously a lot of these kids are telling me what's going on out of trust that its between us. but some good things happening and I'm extremely blessed to be a part of some of it and see it up close. I don't want to take any of the kids shine, they get really excited for the breaking stories, twitter edits and commitment posts and all that jazz and I would never want to take any of that spot light away from them. but man does it feel good to see these kids love their visits at VT and things to fall into place.

twitter @smithey_daniel
head scout BSP scouting specializing in north florida/ southern GA highschool football scouting

Legs all day long on this.

My comment was more half tongue in cheek. I would never ask for you to spoil the kid's moments for them (and if they flip it could be wrongfully turned against you). Glad that you're spreading the word of Hokie Nation down in Florida.

oh yeah I didn't take that way at all. its hard for me not to share because I'm so excited for the kids and for us. lol

twitter @smithey_daniel
head scout BSP scouting specializing in north florida/ southern GA highschool football scouting

You're slowly joining the ranks of my favorite people from Jacksonville area.

It's mostly just you and JJ Grey. But that's still a list, right?

Thanks for all the updates and the inside look at things.

Isiah Ford, Kyle Chung, daveinop, Hokie fireman

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

Ernest Wilford.

Jamon Gordon, Nathaniel Williams (late 1990's)

My favorite part about this post might be the excitement you mention around the program after their visits. It makes me really happy to read that given the overall mood on TKP lately around recruiting and the future of the program in general. I'm looking forward to the future and it's exciting to hear you share the same feeling.

Personally, I don't know how anyone visits VT and not love their visit.

I miss Sharkey's $1 happy hours...

Maybe we see the sky falling and some of these recruits see opportunity. Opportunity to play early, contribute to a somewhat storied program's rise, and more.

It may be best to put this in its own thread, but I'm really curious to hear (in general) how your players think about VT and the staff compared to other schools:

  • Do players have the same concern about the program that the fans do?
  • Are players concerned about the defense post-Foster? And how is Fuente & Co selling the defensive recruits given the imminent change?
  • Do recruits think about VT as being better better/worse than UNC, UMD, Miami, SCar, and other programs that are/have recently competed for a division title, or are all the programs kind of considered the same, with the key differentiator being personal preference? Does it vary greatly year-to-year, or not really?

Thanks for all your recruiting insight over the past few months!

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•Do players have the same concern about the program that the fans do?

to put it simply. no. they don't. because while we look at VT through a microscope most programs except some very elite level programs are all dealing with the same kind of issues. the brand carries more weight than the on field product at the time but the on field product is what makes the brand recognizable. most players concerns are.... playing time, relationship with staff, opportunity to get to the next level, opportunity to compete at a high level for good exposure, school/ academics, relationship with players, does this feel like a place I could spend the next 4 years of my life. (do I want to get away from home, be close to home, be somewhere similar to home, or somewhere different from home)..... of course at the end of the day winning helps all these things except location but enough winnig can over come that too, so the things we as fans look deeply into are the difference between winning and losing.

•Are players concerned about the defense post-Foster? And how is Fuente & Co selling the defensive recruits given the imminent change?

yes they are concerned. the day that bud announced his retirement Justin Hamilton reached out to me about keonta (who had not yet committed at the time but is now) and asked me if keonta heard and what he thought. I hadn't talked to keonta yet that day but jham said he would have Fuente call him and talk to him about the future plans at DC (obviously not a name or anything) and Hamilton said and I quote "we don't have a guy in mind yet but I'm sure we will get a high character great guy to be in that spot. I don't know what the conversation was between keonta and Fuente and I didn't ask. (I try really hard to respect these kids and temper my fandom when dealing with them while my inner child is about to explode orange and maroon guts everywhere because I want to know EVERY single thing they talk about as a fan lol)

•Do recruits think about VT as being better better/worse than UNC, UMD, Miami, SCar, and other programs that are/have recently competed for a division title, or are all the programs kind of considered the same, with the key differentiator being personal preference?

they are all kind of the same. those rings and trophies are nice to see when you walk in. but the kids honestly don't know the difference between our 99 big east championship ring/ trophy and the 2007 acc championship trophy unless you tell them. one HUGE thing is the culture. and if you want to blame something (other than Fuente) on the bad recruiting class of 2020 you can look directly at the sideline last season and the players no longer here. bad culture stands out to recruits like a sore thumb especially ones that don't have a dog in the fight so to speak when looking at VT. take for instance FSU right now, I know a kid 4 star that has been committed to FSU for almost a year now. hes a QB. they've signed 2 QBs since higher rated than him and also brought in a transfer that is going compete for PT. this kid aint leaving FSU no matter what. hes going to FSU. then I have another kid. went to FSU last weekend. before the FSU game was even over was texting me saying he wish hed had gone to tech with me. Said that "FSU so saddddd and got way to much drama going on for me" now obviously this is just kid speech but kids aint trying to go into a drama filled situation. this kinda goes back to your first question. as fans we think there is all this drama with Fuente because he benched king, hasn't given HH or QP any PT, Hazelton hasn't been on the field in 2 games etc, but you ask VT players directly right now or you watch these guys during the game and they are a close unit again unlike last year. there is NO drama. now did king pout a little when he didn't go back in? sure. hes a 17/18 year old kid whos used to being "king" but his teammates picked him up and when mcclease fumbled he was clearly upset with himself on the sideline and you know who the first 2 people were to come console him? ryan willis and Keshawn king. I know I kinda got a little of subject but to answer your question I think at the end of the day what separates us from UNC, GT, UM, FSU, etc. is little things each of those schools all have their thing.... UNC= swag because of Jordan, GT= ATL and the energetic head coach and how he is more relatable than fu to recruits right now , UM= UM and that whack ass chain, so at the end of the day its about the relationships and the kids preference and each kid is different. I had a kid up at VT and while he had a great time he said there was nothing to do here he also had GT offer and couldn't stop talking about ATL. what can you do to combat that? not much.

Does it vary greatly year-to-year, or not really?

I think it can. all by culture. see last comment. your culture "shouldn't" change from year to year that much. I'm hoping that our flux is over. but that is yet to be seen.

tried to answer the best I could. recruiting is different for every kid. Ive met a lot of coaches at other schools too over the summer and I know we love to think our staff is unique and special and one of a kind. there are a lot of great coaches out there, that a great men, relatable to these kids and care about these kids just as much as ours do. its a really tough decision for a kid to commit to a school. building a relationship with the kids really matters. that's why the 116 letters from penn st, the 10 texts a day from 10 different coaches and all that jive. the main thing I think is the kids can tell when the relationship is forced and when its natural. you cant fake the funk. some can. better than others. I don't think the importance of atmosphere can be understated when it comes to recruiting.

twitter @smithey_daniel
head scout BSP scouting specializing in north florida/ southern GA highschool football scouting

What an amazing, insightful response. Thank you so much!

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Great insight and perspective. Thank you!!

I couldn't agree with you more on the culture and the drama of last year and the importance of eliminating that (I think we have) - to your point see FSU this year. I'm hopeful for the team improving over time and success with the larger more important 2021 class.

Great stuff man, this is really awesome to hear given the current "feel" of the program right now. I think you hit the nail on the head in that we are so close to the program everything is like viewing it under the microscope and just seems so magnified. Great to hear that the Florida kids love VT, if the 757 aint working then why not Jacksonville?

I just want to bump this so it stays on tracker. Everybody should read this.

The concern of things staying the same is only exceeded by the fear of change

Tyree is now our 2nd highest rated recruit in this class! Welcome Tyree

Oof. Well, not to the him coming here part, that part's cool.

I'm sure if he or his family/friends see this comment they'll really feel the love.

Joffrey, Cersei, Ilyn Payne, the Hound, Jeff Jagodzinski, Paul Johnson, Pat Narduzzi.

I don't really care about that lol. Hardly think my opinions will ever sway those kinds of decisions.

Also, I said it was cool he was coming to VT. The oof was that he is our second highest recruit. That's not really a good sign.

I understand what you're saying but you seem to be missing that this thread was created to celebrate a commitment. It has the kid's name in the title so it will come up with a basic search.

If you don't think everyone on TKP is aware of the recruiting class at this point (but trust me, we are) and want to complain about it, there are other threads for that.

Joffrey, Cersei, Ilyn Payne, the Hound, Jeff Jagodzinski, Paul Johnson, Pat Narduzzi.

This was me learning just how dire it was. I never really follow recruiting. So no, i dont assuke everyone is caught up.

The downvotes here are extremely unwarranted. I hate being the guy getting up in arms about downvotes and community guidelines, but Koastal Kings did nothing wrong and had a comment that was at -10. He reacted to a prior comment with an opinion that many of us share without insulting other community members or Tyree Saunders, and then clarified his comment to make sure it was understood that it was not directed at Tyree (which I understood from the first comment). /rant

Outside it's night time, but inside it's LeDay

Eh, I don't care. I think people just didn't understand my first comment. I'm still shocked that he is our second highest recruit though. Like, I had no idea it was that dire this year.

Sorry but I still maintain it was in poor taste. How would you interpret it if you started a new job and were being introduced to your coworkers and one of them said, "hey, welcome aboard," then turned to the boss right in front of you and said, "oof. this was the best we could do?"

Joffrey, Cersei, Ilyn Payne, the Hound, Jeff Jagodzinski, Paul Johnson, Pat Narduzzi.