On Wednesday afternoon, Virginia Tech received their 16th verbal commitment for 2014 in wide receiver Cameron Phillips from DeMatha High School in Hyattsville, Maryland. Phillips is the second wide receiver in the 2014 class to commit to the Hokies, and until yesterday was thought to be a heavy lean towards UVA. He is considered a 3-star prospect by rivals.com and a 4-star by 247sports.com.
The commitment comes as great news for Virginia Tech, who needs to have a strong offensive recruiting class this time around. In 2013 the Hokies loaded up on the defensive side of the ball, but only signed six offensive players, none listed as receivers or tight ends. The class of 2014 will be a different story. They already have nine commitments on offense, including a full class of linemen, a tight end, and with the addition of Phillips, two wide receivers- and they aren’t done yet.
The Hokies are locked in a few recruiting battles over a handful of 4-star offensive prospects. Ryan Izzo is a tight end from Sparta, New Jersey, and has Virginia Tech listed in his top six. His teammate Noah Brown is an all-around athlete who could play as either a running back or as a receiver. Depending on their relationship with one another, a commitment from one could help reel in the other. Shai McKenzie is a top running back from Washington, Pennsylvania. He seems to be leaning towards either Florida State or Pittsburgh, but had great things to say about Virginia Tech after attending camp in Blacksburg. It would be a long shot to get commitments from all three, but any one of them would be huge for Virginia Tech, and with a lack of depth at those positions, they would probably have an immediate impact on the team.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Hokies already have two 4-star commitments and are in a good position to snag two more. Defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi named Virginia Tech and Florida State his top two after he attended camp in Blacksburg. Since then, Florida State has gotten commitments from three other defensive tackles which could push Nnadi towards Virginia Tech. Another defensive tackle Ricky Walker has the Hokies in his top five. Virginia Tech has not yet received commitments from any defensive tackles, but if these two pick the Hokies they could be a dangerous pair on the defensive line.
Despite missing out on elite in-state prospects like Da’Shawn Hand and Andrew Brown, the Hokies appear to putting together a solid recruiting class. A few more commitments could move Virginia Tech into the top ten for the 2014 cycle.