The first national letter of intent that rolled the fax machine at Virginia Tech through wasn't that of a four or five-star recruit. It didn't belong to one of the top players in Virginia either.
Instead, the first letter of intent to be received by the Hokies, at 7:13 am today, was that of one of their newest commitments and perhaps their most important. Sure, three-star defensive lineman Kevin Bronson wasn't that high on rankings charts or on the top of Virginia Tech fans' wish lists. But he represents what the 28 members of the 2014 class are about for the Hokies: filling needs with the most talented players available, no matter where they're from.
But make no mistake, players like Bronson are plenty talented and should go a long way in helping bring Virginia Tech back to ACC and national prominence.
"It's the versatility, but when you watch the film, I think the thing that impressed us all is when you look at the way our defense plays and some of the key elements within our defense is the ability to move, it's quickness and attacking at the line of scrimmage," recruiting coordinator Bryan Stinespring said. "You're talking about a guy that had 29 tackles for loss. He's winning at the line of scrimmage. He's making plays now. He's got a quick step, he makes great penetration, he's able to play on the other side of the line of scrimmage."
National signing day had mixed results for the Hokies. Sure, there were the additions of four-star linebacker Raymon Minor and three-star wide receiver Isaiah Ford, but there were losses of Rivals100 defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi and previous commitment Javon Harrison to Florida State, as well as four-star wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie to Georgia.
Receiver though, is seen among the wins by Virginia Tech, among other areas. Virginia Tech also took four-star Cameron Phillips and three-stars Kendrick Holland and Jaylen Bradshaw.
"With receivers, we felt like as a group, we needed to upgrade there," coach Frank Beamer said. "I feel good now, that we've got some that's got some experience. There's four guys that played a lot there last year, a couple more that's gonna be coming out in the spring that we redshirted, then the guys we signed. Out of that group, I think we've really helped ourselves with guys that can catch it and do something with it after they catch it."
Overall, the Hokies are ranked as the No. 25 class nationally, but the class includes just two of the top 10 recruits in Virginia. Minor is No. 10, while four-star Ricky Walker is No. 9.
But there's no breaks for Virginia Tech. Saturday marks the Hokies' earliest and first junior day of the year. It will include a few hundred recruits for future classes. There will be highly-rated recruits and like Bronson, there will be those who were overlooked.
"One of the biggest things we've done is sped up, in terms of looking forward down the road," Stinespring said. "We're already so far along in our 2015 recruiting board. We actually have a 2016 recruiting board, which Coach Beamer was kina surprised we're putting together a 2017. That's part of it, but I like what we do recruiting-wise, building relationships, doing well in this state. The way we've done that over the course of years has been very beneficial and we'll continue to build those relationships."
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