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The 2024 Hokie Haven Sweet 16: New Year's 2023 edition

Welcome to the Hokie Haven Sweet 16! The top 16 uncommitted players on the board, by a combination of need, timeline, talent, and attainability.

There's an inherent subjectivity to that process, but keep in mind that this is a wishlist of realistic prospects (based on that combination of factors), not necessarily the top of the coaches' board or a prediction of who ends up in the class.

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1. Safety Zahir Rainer

Last time: N/A

Why he's ranked here: Rainer nails the sweet spot of talent and attainability. The son of former NFL linebacker Wali Rainer, he has the structures in place to help him reach his ceiling - and it's an impressive one. Thanks to connections through 2023 signee Cameren Fleming and the elder Rainer's relationship with wide receivers coach Fontel Mines (the recruiting coordinator at Trinity Episcopal School), the Hokies should be in it until the end.

Other contenders: Arkansas, Colorado, Duke, Florida A&M, Maryland, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Virginia, and Wake Forest (top 10 with Virginia Tech)

The scoop: Thanks to the relationships the Hokies have ini place - and a foot-dragging offer from dad's alma mater, UVA, that didn't come until November - Virginia Tech has established itself as the favorite here. There's a long way to go, but every reason to believe the Hokies understand the importance of closing when it comes to asserting themselves in the 804.


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