Despite some struggles on the field in 2012, Virginia Tech pulled together a solid recruiting class that ranks among the best in the ACC. Virginia Tech also made some recent staff changes, including the addition of a new offensive coordinator, which will have implications on how these new players are utilized in the seasons to come.
Those changes were spurred by an unusually average season that saw the Hokies struggle simply to become bowl eligible. They missed out on the ACC title game, and were never much of a factor in the conference championship race, which is definitely not something that Frank Beamer and company are used to.
But their 2013 class could end up the foundation for more ACC contenders -- according to Rivals, it's the 22nd-best class in the nation, and the third-best class signed by an ACC school. While it may not quite be on par with the classes pulled in by Florida State and Clemson, it is the best class signed by any Coastal Division school, and that's the sort of success the Hokies need in order to get themselves back into the ACC championship game.
Bud Elliott’s grade
B+. Virginia Tech secured its best class in quite some time despite having a terrible season. Kendall Fuller is a very good player, as is Holland Fisher, and Wyatt Teller should be a terror for the Hokies. However, Virginia Tech signed just three of the top-15 players in the state, which just is not A material.
Top three players
Kendall Fuller -- Fuller, a defensive back from Maryland, is the headliner in Virginia Tech's class, and he could have an impact for the Hokies as a true freshman, especially considering the fact that Antone Exum tore an ACL this offseason. Fuller is considered the No. 2 player at his position and No. 9 overall prospect in the class of 2013 by Rivals.
Holland Fisher -- The safety prospect from Manchester High School (VA) is considered one of the best overall players in Virginia, and the Hokies were able to land him despite offers from Alabama and Ohio State, as well as in-state rival UVA. Rivals considers Fisher the No. 10 safety and No. 83 overall prospect in the class of 2013.
Wyatt Teller -- Virginia Tech built its class around in-state players, and Teller is another of those. The defensive end from Liberty Highschool in Bealeton had offers from programs throughout the country, and Rivals ranks him the sixth-best player at his position.
Top three rival classes
Florida State -- The Seminoles and Jimbo Fisher built on an ACC championship season with another strong recruiting class, and it's one that ranks among the nation's top 10. FSU grabbed linebacker Matthew Thomas out of Miami's back yard and signed defensive back Jalen Ramsey, and both of those players are rated among the country's top 15 overall prospects by Rivals.
Clemson -- Head coach Dabo Swinney has helped to develop the Tigers into annual division title contenders, and the program's success on the recruiting trail has plenty to do with that. This time around, the Tigers landed a top-15 class, which ranks behind only FSU in the ACC. They signed 10 four-star players, including defensive back Mackensie Andrews, who could see the field this fall.
Virginia -- The Cavaliers struggled on the field in 2012, finishing just 4-8, but Mike London has made the program a player on the recruiting trail, and UVA is doing a better job of competing with the Hokies for the top players in the state. The headliner for the Cavs is running back Taquan Mizzell, who might be the best player at his position in the class of 2013.
Biggest National Signing Day drama
There wasn't much to speak of for Virginia Tech, which had its class pretty much wrapped up prior to Wednesday.
Notes from SB Nation blogs
Even if Florida State jumped out in front of the Hokies yesterday, and Clemson held on to a narrow lead or even jumped the Hokies in some rankings, it is still one of the most solid classes in Virginia Tech history, if not THE best (and that's the second year in a row I'm getting to say that!). The 2013 class may actually suffer in ranking because of numbers, as they only took between 19-22 players (depending on which recruiting site you ask), including several holdovers from previous classes. Not all of those players signed National Letters of Intent today, as some were already on campus as January enrollees, and one has yet to be cleared academically, and will not be signing today.
Signees listed in the order in which their LOI were received.
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