Running backs coach and ace recruiter Shane Beamer
National signing day (NSD) is just 30 days away, and most teams have a put a bow on the 2013 season. All teams, however, are focused on securing the signatures of mercurial and impressionable 17-year-old high school kids from across the nation as NSD rapidly approaches.
The heavy lifting was completed months ago, as coaches traveled across their assigned geographic footprint and sold these kids on why their school was the place to be.
The Virginia Tech Hokies currently have 27 verbal commitments. The key, though, is getting each of those commitments to sign an official letter of intent and still be able to add another player or two to what is shaping up to be one of Tech's biggest and most talented recruiting classes ever.
Can the Hokies close with a couple of big-time recruits left on their list? Or will another team swoop in late and create more recruiting heartbreak in Blacksburg?
Derrick Nnadi: defensive tackle, 6'1", 305; Ocean Lakes High School, Virginia Beach, Va.
Nnadi, a 4-star recruit, is currently the Hokies' top remaining uncommitted target. With All-American Derrick Hopkins set to graduate and junior Luther Maddy currently testing his NFL draft stock, Nnadi's chances of playing next year are good. Backup Kris Harley was also granted a release and will transfer.
Defensive coordinator Bud Foster values athletic tackles. Nnadi is an excellent interior pass-rusher and also stout versus the run. The Hokies are currently in competition with Florida State for Nnadi's services.
Isaiah Ford: wide receiver, 6'2", 170; Trinity Christian Academy, Jacksonville, Fla.
Most recruiting analysts felt the talented Ford would commit to Virginia Tech last spring before he decided to give a verbal to Louisville. Now, with Charlie Strong leaving the Cardinals for Texas, Ford has decommitted, and the Hokies stand a good chance of having Ford choose them the second time around.
An outstanding basketball player, too, Ford wants to play both in college. South Carolina will be the Hokies' primary competition for Ford over the next month.
A dynamic athlete, Ford could play early at receiver for the Hokies.
Javon Harrison: wide receiver/cornerback, 6'1", 187; Kathleen High School, Lakeland, Fla.
Harrison committed to the Hokies before his junior season and has reaffirmed his pledge several times. However, in recent weeks, in-state schools such as Florida and Florida State have made a major push to get Harrison to change his commitment.
An exceptional athlete, Harrison is expected to play receiver in college. He could play defensive back, too. His star has risen since he originally pledged to Virginia Tech. Harrison took an official visit to Florida last month.
Expect Torrian Gray to be checking in on Harrison as much as possible over the next month. The Hokies need Harrison's versatility in this class. Harrison's official visit to Blacksburg is Jan. 24. Unfortunately for the Hokies, his last visit will be to Tallahassee a week later and less than a week from signing day.
Can Gray and the Hokies seal the deal with Harrison?
Raymon Minor: linebacker/athlete, 6'3", 210; Benedictine College Preparatory, Richmond, Va.
As important as the other three players are, Minor may be the most important. The Hokies are losing two of their three starting linebackers next year and do not have a lot of experienced depth currently in the program.
If Minor signs with the Hokies, he could find himself in the rotation next year.
For a player so young, Minor has excellent instincts on the defensive side of the ball. In the video above, Minor diagnoses plays quickly and adapts accordingly.
The Hokies are in good shape with Minor, but keep an eye on Nebraska.