The past few weeks have seen Virginia Tech adds lots of offensive skill position talent including WRs Tray Curry and Da’Wain Lofton, and RB Malachi Thomas over the past couple weeks.
With that, the Hokies seem pretty set currently at offensive skill positions like QB, RB, and WR, but still have some work to do at tight end.
Currently, it’s hard to imagine the Hokies taking more tight ends with only taking one being a possibility if they land only one of their main three targets. However, if Tech were to miss out on all three of their main targets, something that seems unlikely at this point, Tech still could use a tight end in this class with a couple potential late offers.
With that said, here’s a look at some of the tight ends to watch for Virginia Tech.
4* TE Jordan Dingle
Since Virginia Tech offered Jordan Dingle at one of their satellite camps last summer, Dingle has been one of VT’s priority tight end targets with the Bowling Green, KY native visiting Virginia Tech multiple times including as recently as this past winter.
Tech came out of that visit being “high” on the list for Dingle with the Hokies continuing to be among those standing out as of late March.
Over the past few months, Dingle has been fairly quiet with no clear frontrunner emerging to date in his recruitment.
However, the Hokies do appear to be a top contender for his commitment while in-state Kentucky also looks like a serious contender given the proximity advantage and their lack of a tight end currently according to 247 Sports. Ohio State could also be a sleeper depending on how involved they are in their recruitment while other regional Big 10 schools like Northwestern and Purdue are also schools that Dingle has shown lots of interest in.
Tech is definitely a top contender for Dingle, but they are definitely in a tight battle along with Kentucky, Ohio State, Northwestern, Purdue, and possibly some others in what is still a fairly wide open recruitment.
3* TE Jack Hollifield
The Hokies are hoping that Jalen Stroman isn’t the only younger brother of a current or former player that Tech lands in the 2021 class with VT also heavily pursuing Jack Hollifield, brother of linebacker Dax Hollifield.
The Hokies are considered the heavy frontrunners for Jack Hollifield currently in large part due to the close Hollifield ties to Virginia Tech via Dax. Those ties have provided otpimism that the Hokies can get the job done and land another Hollifield.
Now one theme you will see on our tight end board is the fact that most of VT’s top tight end targets have been fairly quiet about their recruitments with Dingle being the most public among the three. Hollifield has also been quiet, but the heavy Tech ties and past visits are reasons to believe that Tech is the frontrunner.
There is the possibility that if things don’t work out for Jack Hollifield at tight end, that he could shift to linebacker or defensive end depending on how he grows into his frame, but tight end appears to be the best fit for his starting position should he choose Virginia Tech.
The Stromans may not be the only new family to have multiple players represent Hokies by the time we reach Signing Day for the 2021 class.
3* TE Robbie Ouzts
It’s not often that you see Virginia Tech and Alabama in direct battle for a recruit, but that appears to be the situation that is brewing here with the Hokies and Crimson Tide battling for the South Carolinian. 247 Sports also appears to back that up with those two schools being listed as “warm” at this point.
Going against Alabama is always a challenge when it’s a recruit that they want with it seeming at this point that the Crimson Tide are also prioritizing Ouzts at the tight end position. His 247 Sports also seems to show that he has taken a personal visit to Tuscaloosa earlier this summer, another sign that the Tide have lots of traction here given the nature of visits during the COVID-19 dead period.
Now the Hokies have had their fair share of success in the past recruiting in the state of South Carolina with Tech already having one Palmetto State commitment from three-star CB Nykelius Johnson this cycle. Additionally, the Hokies made the top 6 for four-star DT Tyrion Ingram-Dawkins with that type of momentum in a state having the potential to sometimes make a difference.
The other good thing for the Hokies may be the fact that Ouzts’ recruitment has been extremely quiet with talk surrounding Alabama and VT being the little info we’ve heard speculated about. There’s a chance that there could be other teams involved like in-state South Carolina though Ouzts has kept things so private especially relative to the recruiting world we live in today.
Keep an eye on Ouzts as the Hokies appear to be in the hunt of what has been a very, very quiet recruitment.
There are a couple unoffered tight ends who could receive Tech offers if the Hokies miss out on 2 or 3 of the guys listed above.
Three-star Nebraskan tight end and Miami (OH) commit James Carnie has received some interest from the Hokies and appears to be right below the big 3 on Tech’s tight end board. Carnie previously told us about Tech’s interest in him along with the interest of multiple other Power 5 schools closer to home.
Michigan State TE commit Jake Renda also told us that he was receiving some interest from Virginia Tech prior to his commitment to the Spartans. It’s unclear if the Hokies are continuing to show interest in Renda though trying to flip him would likely be a much greater challenge than flipping Carnie.
One other interesting factor that could affect Tech’s tight end approach is the fact that 2020 signee Wilfried Pene has still not arrived in Blacksburg from France yet due to international travel restrictions because of COVID-19. A timeline for his arrival in the U.S. in unclear at this point, and could create what would be similar to a grayshirt situation that we used to see in college football, possibly allowing Pene to wait to start his “five years to play four” clock.