Virginia Tech football recruiting: Hokies bring large class into Signing Day

Kevin C. Cox

The Hokies could still add a few marquee names this week.

Virginia Tech wrapped up most of its recruiting well in advance of Signing Day. With a few days left before Signing Day, the Hokies already have 26 verbal commitments in the fold, including four consensus four-star prospects and eight more who have received four stars from at least one scouting service. Much of coach Frank Beamer's attention has been dedicated to the skill positions: Virginia Tech is set to sign three quarterbacks, three running backs, three wide receivers, and a quartet of athletes that could contribute on either side of the ball.

Update, Feb. 5: The Hokies missed on their two early Signing Day targets, four-star defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi (Florida State) and receiver Isaiah McKenzie (Georgia), but landed four-star linebacker Raymon Minor over Marshall.

Four Hokies are already on campus. Shai McKenzie, a four-star running back recruit out of Washington (Pa.) High School, chose the Hokies over Georgia Tech, Pittsburgh and others. He should provide immediate help in the backfield. McKenzie was rated as the No. 13 running back and the 243rd player nationally.

McKenzie will be joined in the backfield in Blacksburg by Marshawn Williams. Williams is an impressive running back recruit out of Phoebus High School (VA). Williams carries a composite three-star rating (though 247 Sports has given him a fourth star), and is ranked as the No. 30 running back recruit nationally. Williams committed early in the process, giving his pledge to the Hokies in June 2012.

Three new quarterbacks will join the Hokies for 2014. Three-star pro-style quarterback Andrew Ford comes to Blacksburg from Cedar Cliff High in Camp Hill, Pa. Ford was the consensus No. 36 quarterback prospect in the country, and chose the Hokies over UMass and Temple. He is already on campus, which could give him a slight edge over the more highly-rated Travon McMillian and Chris Durkin. McMillian, a 6'1, 203-lb. dual threat out of Woodbridge, Va., earned a four-star grade and was the No. 10 player in the state. He held offers from 13 programs, including Auburn, Tennessee, Cal, Boston College, and Virginia. Durkin played high school football at Ursuline High in Youngstown, Ohio. The 6'4, 216-lb. signalcaller chose Tech over Michigan State, Cal, Illinois, Indiana, and a number of MAC programs.

The Hokies are anxiously awaiting the arrival of the nation's top prep school player, safety Holland Fisher. The 6'1, 200-lb. Fisher is originally out of Manchester High in Midlothian, Va., and had signed a letter of intent with Virigina Tech last year as the nation's No. 7 high school safety recruit. When he failed to qualify, Fisher went to Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy, but Virginia Tech stuck with him. Fisher's commitment to the Hokies apparently held, despite interest from the likes of Alabama and Ohio State.

Tech's final consensus four-star recruit, defensive back/wide receiver Javon Harrison, has been committed to the Hokies since July 2012. That hasn't stopped the Lakeland, Fla. product from looking around, though: Harrison took an official visit to Florida State in January, and has been a potential flip to the Seminoles ever since. Harrison has also shown interest in Florida, and held offers from Kentucky and Louisville, among others. If he does change his mind, it would be the second late flip by a Tech recruit: Offensive lineman Brady Taylor decommitted in late January, opting to go to Ohio State.

A number of other Virginia Tech recruits have received four-star ratings from 247 Sports, though their composite rating from all scouting services leaves them at a three-star level. Those include defensive end Vincent Mihota, the nation's No. 30 strongside end, who is already on campus. Defensive tackle Ricky Walker, running back D.J. Reid, wide receiver Cameron Phillips, and safety C.J. Reavis also earned four-star ratings from 247.

The Hokies are still in the running for a number of high-valued targets. Four-star local defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi is set to choose between Tech, Ohio State, Florida State and Virginia, four-star athlete Raymon Minor is between Tech, Marshall and Nebraska and three-star wide receiver Isaiah Ford will choose between the Hokies and Louisville.

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