Dalton Keene did not waste any time committing to Virginia Tech. The 6-5, 223 pound Chatfield HS (Littleton, CO) product gave his verbal to the Hokies on April 17, a day after mulling over a visit to Nebraska for its spring game.
"It's a huge weight off my chest, just getting it over with," Keene told The Key Play. "I can set my goals towards wherever I'm going. Also, I didn't want to keep the coaches waiting around forever, let them know where I stand."
Between now and next summer when Keene will report to Tech, the 247Sports Composite rated 3-star prospect (4-star 247Sports) is focussed on getting bigger, faster and stronger.
"I just need to keep getting after it in the weight room and putting on some weight," Keene said.
Longstanding family friendships pushed the Hokies ahead of the Cornhuskers and Colorado State.
"I've known two of the coaches, Charlie Wiles and Bud Foster, since I was a baby," Keene said. "They're kind of like family to me. They make Blacksburg feel like home, and I've always grown up liking Virginia Tech, so that was a big part of it. They want me as an H-Back, so I really like that versatility that brings to me."
Dalton's father Wes has Murray State ties to Foster, Wiles and Frank Beamer.
"My dad was roommates with Coach Wiles in college at Murray State," Keene said. "He played under Beamer when Beamer was at Murray State, then Beamer moved to Virginia Tech. So he kind of had the same coaching staff with Foster and everything."
Even though Keene has only visited Blacksburg twice, he favors the city's "big, small town" vibe. He camped at Virginia Tech last June, and that's when Wiles and Foster began recruiting him in earnest. The Hokies offered him following an unofficial visit on February 15 when he had an opportunity to meet another former Racer, Justin Fuente.
"I really like (Fuente)," Keene said. "I think he brings a whole new gear to everyone in that program."
The two had a chance to discuss Fuente's up-tempo offense and how Keene's role as an H-Back fits in the system.
"I love it," Keene said. "It's really similar to the offense we're running right now, so I think I'll fit right in."
"He can bring us in tight and we can be a blocking back, or spread out and be a receiver," Keene added. "Put us in the backfield and hand us the ball."
Keene's versatile skillset fits the requirements of the position well.