Virginia Tech got a 2014 commitment Monday night from Chris Durkin, a 6-foot-4, 220-pound quarterback from Youngstown, Ohio, who was previously committed to Michigan State.
What made him change his mind?
“A chance to play early,” Durkin said by phone Monday night. “At the other place I was looking at a two- to three-year wait before I really got a shot. And coach [Scot] Loeffler said he wants me to play early.”
Durkin, who originally committed to the Spartans back in March, said he started talking with the Hokies about two weeks ago after Loeffler stumbled across his film. There was a connection. Durkin’s cousin is D.J. Durkin, Florida’s defensive coordinator who coached with Loeffler while with the Gators.
“When we talked, we just clicked,” Durkin said. “He’s my type of guy. High-energy, very competitive. I see myself in him. And the same way he approaches the game is the same way I approach the game. He wants to win. He wants to compete. He wants to battle. He wants to push and I’m willing to do everything it takes. …
“He coached [Tom] Brady, [Tim] Tebow and most importantly to me, Chad Henne. … I’m confident that coach Loeffler knows how to prepare young talent for the next level. He’s proven he can do it and now I need to do the exact same.”
Durkin is a four-star prospect by 247 Sports and a three-star by Rivals. They rank him as the No. 19 and 15 pro-style quarterback nationally, respectively.
Durkin joins Andrew Ford, a pro-style quarterback from Camp Hill, Pa., who was an Elite 11 finalist, in the Hokies’ 2014 class. Tech figures to have Mark Leal, Brenden Motley and, provided he stays at quarterback, Bucky Hodges in the mix to replace Logan Thomas as well.
Durkin doesn’t sound fazed by competition down the road.
“The opportunity to play early struck my attention,” he said. “I just went after it.”
Durkin, whose Ursuline High team lost in the first round of the playoffs, said he has a linebacker build, describing himself as a “pro-style quarterback that can run a lot better than a lot of pro-style quarterbacks.”
“I’m a bruiser,” he added.
Asked what his stats are, Durkin said he didn’t know.
“Not a clue,” he said. “It really doesn’t matter to me. Wins and losses.”
Durkin said it’s still to be determined whether he enrolls early or next summer. He’s the 25th commitment for the Hokies in 2014, although three are from Fork Union Military Academy.
Here is an updated commitment list for ’14:
- WR Jaylen Bradshaw, 6-0, 175, Chesapeake (Oscar Smith)
- TE Xavier Burke, 6-3, 247, Lawrenceville (Brunswick)
- QB Chris Durkin, 6-4, 220, Youngstown, Ohio (Uruline)
- DB Terrell Edmunds, 6-1, 180, Danville (Dan River)
- DB Holland Fisher, 6-1, 190, Midlothian (Fork Union)
- QB Andrew Ford, 6-3, 180, Camp Hill, Pa. (Cedar Cliff)
- OL Eric Gallo, 6-2, 275, Holland, Pa. (Council Rock South)
- DB Javon Harrison, 6-2, 190, Lakeland, Fla. (Kathleen)
- WR Kendrick Holland, 6-4, 193, Winter Haven, Fla. (Winter Haven)
- DB Cequan Jefferson, 5-11, 175, Richmond (Fork Union)
- ATH Travon McMillian, 6-0, 196, Woodbridge (C.D. Hylton)
- DE Vincent Mihota, 6-4, 240, Fredericksburg (Massaponax)
- OL Billy Ray Mitchell, 6-3, 288, Paramus, N.J. (Paramus Catholic)
- DB Shawn Payne, 6-2, 180, Chesterfield (L.C. Bird)
- OL Colt Pettit, 6-4, 260, Deshler, Ohio (Patrick Henry)
- WR Cameron Phillips, 6-0, 178, Hyattsville, Md. (DeMatha Catholic)
- DB C.J. Reavis, 6-0, 199, Chester (Thomas Dale)
- RB D.J. Reid, 6-1, 215, Chester (Fork Union)
- OL Tyrell Smith, 6-5, 250, Ramsey, N.J. (Don Bosco Prep)
- DT Steve Sobczak, 6-1, 285, Fredericksburg (Massaponax)
- CB Greg Stroman, 5-11, 160, Manassas (Stonewall Jackson)
- OT Brady Taylor, 6-5, 275, Columbus, Ohio (Bishop Ready)
- RB Tabyus Taylor, 6-1, 215, Hopewell (Hopewell)
- DT Ricky Walker, 6-2, 275, Hampton (Bethel)
- RB Marshawn Williams, 5-11, 200, Hampton (Hampton)
Here are Durkin’s junior year highlights (the only ones I could find on YouTube):