Jalyn Holmes’ decision to make an oral commitment to Ohio State and its timing came as a disappointment to Virginia Tech, which had worked diligently to put itself in a good position with one of the state’s top football prospects.
Holmes, a 6-foot-5, 235-pound defensive end from Lake Taylor High School in Norfolk, is rated the No. 5 prospect in Virginia by rivals.com among rising seniors.
Holmes, credited with 40 tackles as a loss as a junior, had a who’s who offer list that included Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Penn State and Southern Cal. Tech and UVa were among eight current ACC schools that had offered him.
Holmes’ decision came within 10 days of an announcement by the state’s No. 1-ranked rising senior, Woodbridge defensive lineman Da’Shawn Hand, that he had eliminated the Hokies before coming up with a final three of Florida, Michigan and Alabama
Another of the state’s top five prospects, defensive tackle Andrew Brown from Oscar Smith in Chesapeake, continues to list the Hokies in his final five but it seems to be a foregone conclusion that Brown will select Virginia at an already scheduled June 29 ceremony.
Tech’s best chance at a top-five prospect in the state is another defensive lineman from Tidewater, 6-1, 299-pound Derek Nnadi from Ocean Lakes in Virginia Beach. Nnadi, whose father is a Tech alumnus, was once viewed as a potential Tech-UVa struggle.
“With Virginia, I don’t even know what to say, but I’m not as interested as I used to be,” Nnadi told Jason Stamm of hokiehaven.com, the rivals.com site for Tech info.
I’VE BEEN HEARING that the football staffs Wake Forest, North Carolina State and Duke have made an increased commitment to recruiting the state of Virginia and apparently they aren’t alone.
Boston College already has taken a commitment from a rising Virginia senior, “athlete” Kam Moore from Bishop O’Connell in Arlington, when ACC newcomer Pittsburgh took a commitment Thursday from Mike Herndon, a 6-foot-4, 323-pound offensive lineman from Riverheads High School south of Staunton.
Rivals.com shows Virginia Tech as having made an offer to Herndon, but I’ve been told that wasn’t the case. I do know that Tech was aware of him, that he had visited the Hokies unofficially on more than one occasion and that they had not crossed him off their list.
Rivals.com said Herndon had offers from Pitt, Tech, UConn, Western Michigan, Old Dominion and James Madison. Herndon, reportedly viewed as a defensive lineman by the Panthers’ staff after playing linebacker at Riverheads, is the 23rd Virginia to commit to a Football Bowl Subdivision program for 2014.
More remarkable than that number is that the 23 commitments are spread among 13 FBS programs – seven to Tech, three apiece to UVa and North Carolina – and one to each of 10 other programs.
Coincidentally, neither N.C. State nor Duke has a commitment from a Virginia prospect, although the Wolfpack has made offers to 16 of them, according to the rivals.com database, and the Blue Devils have offered six.
WAKE FOREST is listed as having made 10 offers to Virginia kids, including Trace McSorley, a 6-foot, 182-pound quarterback from Briar Woods High School, which last year defeated Heritage of Lynchburg 52-0 to win its third straight Group AA Division 4 state championship.
McSorley completed nine of 12 passes for 86 yards in that game, including a 27-yard touchdown passes to tight end Cam Serigne, who had five receptions for 52 yards in that game and later signed with Wake Forest.
McSorley passed for 2,548 yards and 33 touchdowns last year, and he finished with more than 3,000 yards in total offense (709 rushing). Because of his relatively small stature, although I’ve seen him listed at 6-1, 175, some schools are recruiting him as an “athlete.”
McSorley is listed as having received offers from Wake, Virginia Tech, N.C. State, North Carolina, Boston College and Vanderbilt, among others.
North Carolina appeared to the frontrunner for McSorley at the start of the month. Wake’s “hook” might be the number of players it has recruited from Loudoun County, including defensive starters Mike Olson and Zach Thompson, both from Stone Bridge.
2014 DIVISION I-A FOOTBALL COMMITMENTS FROM VIRGINIA (23)
VIRGINIA TECH (7) – Jaylen Bradshaw, Xavier Burke, Terrell Edmunds, Travon McMillian, Vincent Mihota, C.J. Reavis, Marshawn Williams
NORTH CAROLINA (3) – Jeremiah Clarke, Caleb Henderson, Tyler Powell
VIRGINIA (3) – Quin Blanding, J.J. Jackson, Steven Moss
BOSTON COLLEGE (1) – Kam Moore
BOWLING GREEN (1) – Brian Coker
FLORIDA STATE (1) – Alec Eberle
NOTRE DAME (1) – Greer Martini
OHIO STATE (1) – Jalyn Holmes
OLD DOMINION (1) – Ryan Londree
PENN STATE (1) – Nick Scott
PITTSBURGH (1) – Mike Herndon
TENNESSEE (1) – Coleman Thomas
WAKE FOREST (1) – Daiquan Lawrence