Credit to 247 Sports for the featured image and all of the information in this article.
With the last signing day for High School recruits to sign their letter of intents coming up in February things could go greatly for Virginia Tech or just stay the same. The Hokies will hope for three players to sign with the University of Virginia Tech. Those three prospects are four-star inside linebacker, Dax Hollifield, four-star defensive end/outside linebacker, Javontae Jean-Babtise, and three-star running back, Anthony Grant. I’ll go into detail about all three, but if Tech were to end up only getting one, which one would be the best to have?
Dax Hollifield, Shelby, North Carolina: Dax is a great prospect, standing at 6’2″, 236 with 24 Power Five offers you would think he’s one of the best inside linebackers in the country. Well you’re right, he’s rated as seventh best ILB and the seventh best player in North Carolina both by 247 Sports. Adding to that, he was the Shrine Bowl MVP and an US Army All American. The two teams that have been strong in his recruitment are Virginia Tech and Stanford. In relative location the schools are 2,280 miles apart. Since he’s from North Carolina I feel good about Tech just because it’s a LOT closer to his home. Also, he hasn’t visited any school more than Virginia Tech, but he will visit Stanford on January 12th which concerns some people. If he does end up signing with Stanford and taking his talents across the country it wouldn’t be awful for the Hokies. He would be playing mike linebacker for Bud Foster and Foster already has a mike signed in this years class in Oscar Smith High School’s star player, Keshon Artis.
Javontae Jean-Baptise, Bergen Catholic, New York: Babtise is a very underrated recruit. His 6’5″, 215 stature will make him a very versatile player. He was a bit of a late bloomer so his offer list isn’t as pretty as other four-stars. He currently holds 9 Power Five offers and with a year in a college weight room he could be regarded as one of the better players in his class. The Hokies might have one big school competing with them and that program has yet to offer. That is Florida State, who only have seven players with a signed letter of intent so far. We shouldn’t be surprised if FSU offers him soon. This would be a huge get for us because we currently have one defensive end signed. I can’t wait to see what kind of player he develops into, leaving me to have high expectation for him.
Anthony Grant, Buford, Georgia: Grant is a Tennessee commit but with the mess of that program most experts are saying he’ll end up signing with someone different. He is a high rated three-star by 247 Sports and has been offered by 20 Power Five schools. With two running backs already in the class how much would he help? Well, he would be the highest rated back out of the others and probably the most talented. Tech isn’t necessarily in need at the position and may have already found their feature back in redshirt sophomore, Deshawn McClease. He would also be behind senior, Steven Peoples and freshman, Jalen Holtson. I’m not saying if he flips his commitment to the Hokies he wouldn’t be able to contribute early, it’s just that they don’t need him. I’m sure they’d still be glad to have him.
So, back to the question of which player would be the best for Virginia Tech. My answer would have to be Javontae Jean-Babtise. With little depth at defensive end, he’d be huge. They’ll still probably redshirt him his freshman year to get his weight up and that’s smart. He should be a terrorizing player off the edge for the his likely short college career. This is all best case scenario but I truly believe he’s Tremaine Edmunds as a defensive end.