For months now, Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer has extolled the virtues of his staff’s recruiting abilities, calling it the best group of recruiters he’s ever had. Wednesday, the Hokies will get an idea of how much work that group has done on the recruiting trail.
Virginia Tech will finalize its 2014 recruiting class on National Signing Day, expected to wrap up one of its largest signing classes in years. With four ‘14 recruits already enrolled, the Hokies expect to sign 22 additional players, with hopes that a few more who will make their announcement Wednesday will follow suit.
It’s the culmination of years of work, including the last 12-plus months by some of the offensive coaches hired in January of 2012.
Beamer has said that offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler, former offensive line coach Jeff Grimes and receivers coach Aaron Moorehead brought a jolt to the recruiting efforts, even though Grimes left for LSU in January.
“I think it’s the best recruiting total staff that we’ve ever had,” Beamer said prior to the Sun Bowl. “And that’s the key to it, because if you’ve got good players, you know, I think all of us can coach good players. But trying to coach guys that aren’t quite up to par, that’s when you get a challenge.”
Tech can use an influx of impact offensive players. The Hokies haven’t signed an offensive recruit who has earned All-ACC status since 2009.
They hope that trend will change. Tech has already enrolled three potentially high-impact offensive recruits, with quarterback Andrew Ford and running backs Shai McKenzie and Marshawn Williams starting classes in January.
Wednesday, they plan on adding quarterback Chris Durkin, receivers Javon Harrison, Cameron Phillips and Jaylen Bradshaw and athlete Travon McMillian among others, in addition to four offensive linemen who originally committed to Grimes but have reaffirmed their commitment.
Harrison, a four-star prospect out of Lakeland, Fla., is one of several names to watch Wednesday, however. He was one of Tech’s earliest commitments in the 2014 class, doing so at a summer camp in July of 2012. But Florida State has shown interest of late. He took an official visit to Tallahassee, Fla., on Jan. 17, following up with one to Blacksburg the next week.
He’s one of several recruits who will make an official announcement today, the biggest being Ocean Lakes High defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi of Virginia Beach.
The four-star recruit is the highest-ranked remaining target the Hokies have, the No. 80 player nationally by 247 Sports and No. 81 by Rivals. Both outlets rank him as the No. 5 player in Virginia, which would by far be Tech’s highest-ranked in-state recruit this year.
Nnadi is also considering Florida State, with Ohio State, Virginia and Penn State still possibilities. He’ll announce his decision at 8 a.m.
Virginia Tech is also in the running for several other recruits, including:
* Athlete Anthony Scott of Green Run High in Virginia Beach is expected to choose East Carolina, Old Dominion or Virginia Tech at 7:30 a.m.
* Linebacker Raymon Minor of Benedictine High in Richmond will choose between Virginia Tech and Marshall at 11 a.m. He’s a four-star prospect.
* Receiver Isaiah Ford of Trinity Christian Academy in Jacksonville, Fla., will announce at 2 p.m. He is a former Louisville commit who opened up his recruitment following Charlie Strong’s departure for Texas. Florida, Louisville, Miami and South Florida are contenders as well.
* Receiver Isaiah McKenzie of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., will make his decision known at 8:30 a.m. He entered the picture with the Hokies late but is still considering Georgia, Ole Miss and Florida.