DJ Harvey Gave Hokies' 2021 Class a Much Needed Adrenaline Shot

Virginia Tech got their man from SoCal. He kicked off a July recruiting resurgence for the Hokies, and laid the groundwork for future ventures out west.

With hindsight, Virginia Tech's 2021 recruiting class received the jolt it needed when cornerback DJ Harvey committed to the Hokies on Independence Day. Since then Tech has landed five additional members of their class, but none more highly touted than Harvey.

The Los Angeles native held offers from around the country, including Southern California, Oregon, and Texas. He is Tech's highest rated commit โ€” 3-star (0.8869) โ€” per the 247Sports Composite. 247Sports' in-house rankings have him significantly higher, a 90 overall 4-star and the 18th ranked cornerback in the nation.

"They got everything I'm looking for," said Harvey who previously mentioned the unique opportunity and environment Virginia Tech had to offer.

"You have to go to Virginia Tech. People can't really describe it. But when you actually get there and you go it's a whole different feeling to that place. It's a whole different spiel to it. So, I've been telling people, when you have the opportunity to go you need to go."

According to Sierra Canyon head coach Jon Ellinghouse, Tech landed a master of preparation.

"It's his mindset," said Ellinghouse. "He's just got determination. He's a gamer. The one thing about him [that makes him stand out] is the way he approaches the game and the way he competes during the game. We have a Hudl program where we can track what they watch, and he's always up there at the top. He really works hard to prepare himself."

Harvey's approach to the game is nothing short of professional, and it shows up on film.

"I think it's a combination of obviously being prepared and working hard in the film room but also having played the sport for a long time and just kind of having that secondary reaction," said Ellinghouse.

Harvey does an excellent job of positioning his body so that he can attack the ball at its high point.

"He's got great ball skills because he's our best receiver, too," said Ellinghouse. "He'll take those skills with him to the [defensive] side of the ball and be phenomenal."

It's no wonder why the Hokie staff branched out to California to court him. But it's not just Harvey that's on the Hokies' radar. Two of his teammates have received offers from Tech as well: Kamari Jones (class of '22) and Jonah Lewis (class of '23). Both are defensive backs.

"They're definitely trying to make a push out here," said Ellinghouse. "And there's a ton of great talent and a lot of it can get overlooked because there's just so many guys."

The California expedition began with what the recruiting staff called "Midnight Madness", a late night recruiting visit that hosted multiple players from around the country, most notably California. The event, put on by recruiting staffer Beau Davidson, appears to have been a wild success and a unique twist on the normal recruiting visit.

The event allowed the Tech staff to get something that has since eluded many programs during the 2021 recruiting cycle: face-to-face interaction. Due to the pandemic and associated dead period, staffs have not been able to visit recruits or vice versa.

"I know I've talked tirelessly on the phone with them and they've done a lot of really good research and that sort of stuff, but obviously this was a different kind of year," said Ellinghosue. "They did a good job with DJ and got him to feel really excited about the place and he's all in. Could always kind of feel it that he had a special kind of relationship with them."

With COVID-19 seemingly ending any sort of visits for recruits in the near future, Harvey and his fellow commits have an enhanced role as recruiters.

"I've talked to all the other commits and they welcome me with open arms," said Harvey. "We're ready to get out and recruit some of these other guys because we know how important that is."

Harvey said he hopes that his commitment can show other star high school players from around the country that Virginia Tech is a school worth traveling cross-country for.

"Me being the only guy from California is huge," said Harvey.

"I get to have some new experiences," he added. "I think that excites a lot of guys."

Comments

Great work Sam! I agree this specific commitment was the course correction and the return of our momentum on the trail.

Hopefully the Harvey momentum continues to carry us to where Nelson/Poole/Tyleik momentum joins the wave.

Great read, thanks.

3-star (0.8869)

Random question - where is the 'cutoff' for a 4-star player vs a 3-star (and for that matter, a 5-star vs. a 4-star)? Is it at .900? Is it top X players, regardless of rating are a 4-star?

Twitter me

0.8901 and higher is a 4-star on the Composite Index

90 and higher is a 4-star on the 247 in-house ratings

247 5* are the top 32 players in the class usually scored >. 98

4* is usually .89-.98

3* can be somewhere around .82-.88

I dont see the downside to looking into the west coast for some talent with the way the Pac-12 is down and the cali schools all in the dumps right now this is a decent idea. Love getting a true athlete at corners and the more dialed into a position the better, bud was really really good at finding and developing athletes but to get someone with good experience at the position from the start is always a bonus and can make him more of a contributer from the get go.

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

There are schools out there with the luxury of having kids focus on specific positions, or stay on one side of the ball. Even the big public schools put kids on both sides if it means maximizing talent.

Counterpoint: Kam playing different positions in HS helped him become a star at VT and the NFL.

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

Seems like a nice get but him being our highest and only a 3* is very oofworthy

I can imagine no more rewarding a career. And any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction:
โ€œI served in the United States Navy"

KCCO

Of course you had to go there๐Ÿ˜’

I've got this feeling
The tide is turning now baby
Funny feeling everything's gonna be alright now

Par for the course.

Echoing KingJames's comment below, but the rankings are wonky this year because so many kids haven't been scouting. It's possible that this kid should be a 4-star, and you could make a similar argument for the RB out of GA that we just snagged. This could be the first time in 10-15 years that you can find multiple diamonds in the rough.

Twitter me

All due respect... that unrated RB is not going to get bumped to a 4 star.

A .88 is really close to a 4 star

I've got this feeling
The tide is turning now baby
Funny feeling everything's gonna be alright now

He's not an .88, so your point? He is unrated by 247.

You know 247 update these ranking at the beginning of each month right? Wait until August and he'll be ranked. A .88 grade ๐Ÿ˜Ž

I've got this feeling
The tide is turning now baby
Funny feeling everything's gonna be alright now

LMAO. Now we are stating future possible rankings as fact. LOL please.

All due respect I am not going to care what his rating is when he wins the Heisman!!!!

/s a hokie RB isnt getting the carries to win the Heisman.

Have we had a Cali guy since Kevin McAdam in 02?

Couple of brothers that were on the team that played OL recently. I don't think they ever played though. Really nice kids that lost both parents in the span of a few years. One right before college and one during college.

Article by Norm Wood

Braxton Burmeister is from Cali.

I completely forgot he was on our roster

James Griffin came from a JUCO in Cali I believe.

Marshall University graduate.
Virginia Tech fanatic.
Formerly known as JWillHokieAlum.

This is going to be a very odd year for ratings, he is supposedly only a 3* but has offers from Oregon, LSU, Auburn, Texas, and ND. His tape doesn't look like a 3* and 247 doesnt agree either. It's weird seeing so many big name schools recruit so many 3* players right now.

I am looking forward to watching DJ haunted QBs in their dreams (nightmares).

Not trying to be negative, just offering a possible explanation:

Could be an effect of the Transfer Portal. Only so many 5* and 4* kids and schools always need to stock talent in case someone on two-deep decides to look elsewhere. Just a thought.

Go Hokies!

Didn't take it as negative. And it would be interesting to find out from those schools to confirm why this is happening. (Also concrete data to back up what I am saying would be good as this is just what I feel is happening).

However, places like Bama and Auburn don't really worry about transferring as much as going to the draft early, so they've dealt with players leaving early a lot more than most. They keep recruiting 4 and 5* because they can get their pick for the most part.

We'll take DJ with that star rating.

Caleb Farley turned out well for us:

#DBU

Let's Go

HOKIES

I love the DJ Harvey get, but he isn't the athlete Caleb Farley is.

Is coronavirus over yet?

Since
1) Frenchwasp needs things to do during the Covid quiet period and
2) we're all dying for any Hokie football info and
3)the coaching staff has been doing a great job going after "diamonds in the rough"
methinks French should do a ranking of all the incoming recruits called the "Diamond in the Rough" ranking based on his assessment of which ones will have the most impact during their Hokie playing days with the assessment to back up said rankings.

The LewDew, Professional Golf Bum

Or if French doesn't wanna do it all by himself get a couple people to help out๐Ÿ˜ƒ

I've got this feeling
The tide is turning now baby
Funny feeling everything's gonna be alright now

Any chance any of the other two TX decommits wants to reconsider?

No

I've got this feeling
The tide is turning now baby
Funny feeling everything's gonna be alright now

Not unless our academics get better. *ducks*

Marshall University graduate.
Virginia Tech fanatic.
Formerly known as JWillHokieAlum.

Harvey's announcement definitely kicked off a good month.

Is there any indication that his verbal influenced any of the ones who came after? Did any of them follow his lead, or did they just happen to be soon after on the calendar?

His father might be my favorite Hokie dad of all time...that dude is so pro-VT it's incredible. He's obviously very involved in his sons life but not in the same type of way as a Lavar Ball