Virginia Tech Football Recruiting: 5 Commits and Targets to Watch at the Opening
Summer prospect camps are always good places to get an early glimpse at top recruits, and the 2015 Virginia Tech football recruiting class will have its fair share of both commits and targets at The Opening in early July.
The camp, which will be held at Nike’s headquarters in Oregon, features 162 prospects from across the country, and a few could very well end up in Hokie uniforms in just a year’s time.
Tech is still in the early stages of assembling its 2015 class, so the event will be an excellent chance for the coaching staff to get a glimpse at several of its targets all in the same place.
Read on to find out more about the commits and targets the Hokies will have their eye on at The Opening.
Mook Reynolds, a 4-star cornerback from Greensboro, North Carolina, is Tech’s lone verbal commit who will be attending The Opening, but he’ll certainly be in a position to make some noise there.
Reynolds committed to the Hokies back in February after attending one of Tech’s junior days and has quickly seen his stock rise since his decision.
While teams like Georgia and North Carolina were initially interested in him, Reynolds has continued to draw in prominent offers. Tennessee made him an offer back in April, Notre Dame gave him one in May,1 and Michigan did the same in June.
All this is proof that Reynolds is a rising star. He’s the 25th-ranked cornerback in the state, and his quickness in space should make him a solid addition to Tech’s defensive backfield.
He’s got a chance to put a on a big show at The Opening, and Tech’s coaches will have to be wary that he’ll be exposed on an even larger stage to such a wide audience.
The Hokies are still trying to build their offensive line for the future, and 4-star tackle Matthew Burrell would be a prime way to help them do so.
Burrell is the seventh-ranked tackle in the nation and third in the state of Virginia, so there’s no question he’s a prospect the Hokies have their eye on.
However, while Burrell did attend Tech’s junior day with Reynolds, the Hokies do seem to be lagging behind in the race to woo him.
Nevertheless, the Hokies’ staff has a history of recruiting from his high school, C.D. Hylton in Woodbridge, Virginia, that could help them gain ground.
They just signed athlete Travon McMillian from the school in their 2014 class, so it’s clear they have some presence in the area.
But it’s clear the Hokies have work to do with Burrell, and they will have to carefully watch how he performs at this camp.
Tech rarely gets involved in the pursuit of 5-star players outside of the state of Virginia any more, but the Hokies do seem to be interested in athlete Torrance Gibson of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
The Hokies have already offered Gibson and recently cracked his top 15 list, coming in ahead of Alabama.
Now, given the bevy of offers Gibson is fielding, it’s hardly safe to say Tech has a big shot at signing the highly touted recruit.
But Gibson’s status as the 14th -anked player in the country, and top athlete overall, have clearly convinced the staff that he’s worth trying to sway.
He doesn’t seem to be leaning one way or the other quite yet—Tennessee topped his personal top-15 list, and he just took an unofficial visit there, while the Crystal Ball gives roughly equal odds to the Volunteers, Auburn and Ohio State, but there’s not exactly a consensus.
Tech certainly has a history with athletic quarterbacks, and with no clear solution under center for the Hokies as of yet, the program should still be at least keeping tabs on this star.
The state of Virginia continues to churn out quality defensive line prospects, and 5-star DT Tim Settle is among the best players at the position this year.
He’s rated the second-best player in the state and fifth-best at defensive tackle, and his roots in the Northern Virginia suburb of Manassas have made him an immediate target for Tech.
However, the Hokies haven’t made a ton of progress with Settle just yet.
Tech came in at seventh on his top-15 list—behind the rival Virginia Cavaliers and powerhouses like Alabama and Florida State—and the Crystal Ball is currently giving the Crimson Tide a slight edge for his services.
The Hokies will have to hope that new recruit and former Stonewall Jackson High School teammate Greg Stroman can help sway Settle in Tech’s direction.
It would seem that 5-star defensive end Josh Sweat is the absolute cream of the crop in the 2015 class, and the Hokies will pour all of their extensive resources into signing him.
He’s made major leaps up recruiting rankings recently, coming in as 247Sports’ second-ranked prospect in the nation and the best player in Virginia by a mile.
Luckily, it would seem Tech has made some fast progress with Sweat.
The Crystal Ball is giving the Hokies a narrow 45 percent edge to sign Sweat over Florida State at 40 percent, and currently, Tech is the one school he’s slated to grace with an official visit.
There’s no doubt he’s got prominent suitors—he already has 63 offers with schools like Ohio State, Alabama and Oregon already making their presence felt—but the Hokies are holding their own.
He comes from Chesapeake, Virginia's Oscar Smith High School, where the Hokies were just able to sign receiver Jaylen Bradshaw last cycle.
Tech has long had strong ties to the Virginia Beach area, even if those ties have waned recently, and the Hokies will be running the full-court press to persuade Sweat to come to Blacksburg.
Sweat will almost certainly make a strong impression at The Opening, and the Hokies will be among the teams most interested in his performance.