Early in the 2021 recruiting cycle, the Virginia Tech football staff pushed the #TX2VT movement on social media, meant to create buzz around getting Texas prospects to commit to Virginia Tech.
The early returns in the 2021 cycle were strong, as the Hokies landed 4-star quarterback Dematrius Davis and 4-star wide receiver Latrell Neville right out of the gate.
However, once early momentum stalled with other recruits that the coaching staff were targeting in Texas, both Davis and Neville decommitted, rendering the #TX2VT movement all but dead.
Until it wasn’t.
Virginia Tech landed speedy 3-star slot wide receiver Da’Wain Lofton in July to restart recruiting momentum for the Hokies in Texas. Lofton’s commitment came as a bit of a surprise to most fans, as news had been quiet on the Lofton front since the decommitments of Davis and Neville.
Virginia Tech’s staff never quit on the state of Texas – even when most fans did. The Hokies have remained in contact with high-end 3-star defensive end Landyn Watson, and have recently made a strong push for 3-star offensive lineman Canon Boone and 3-star running back Alton McCaskill as well.
Watson was a popular name early in the cycle, and was once seen by the fan base as one of Tech’s top targets in Texas after Davis. Tech’s staff, especially defensive line coach Darryl Tapp and head coach Justin Fuente, has continued pushing for Watson – as seen by the official scholarship offer that was sent his way this weekend.
Watson will be playing linebacker this fall for Hutto High School, but Virginia Tech likely views him as a defensive end in the future. Regardless, it doesn’t look like it has deterred the coaching staff from recruiting him to date.
Watson does not have an immediate timetable for his collegiate decision.
While the pursuit of Watson is still in progress, the Hokies have also developed a strong relationship with 3-star running back Alton McCaskill. McCaskill, who is another high-end 3-star prospect, has established quite the offer list which includes Alabama, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma State, and others.
The Hokies, led by Beau Davidson and others, have been in close contact with McCaskill as well, building a strong relationship with him despite being grouped with several elite schools in his recruitment. The Hokies extended their official offer to McCaskill on Saturday as well, which he shared on social media.
There is no timetable for McCaskill’s decision, but it doesn’t appear that Tech’s coaching staff will be letting up any time soon.
Finally, Virginia Tech has been gaining strong momentum with 3-star offensive lineman Canon Boone, who holds Virginia Tech in high regard along with Colorado, Mississippi State, and the Naval Academy. Mississippi State and Tech have been the two schools in closest contact with Boone recently.
Virginia Tech has been a thorn in the side of Mike Leach and the Bulldogs over the last few weeks. Ironically, Da’Wain Lofton’s recruitment was down between Tech and Mississippi State, with the Bulldogs seen as the favorite for quite a while. The Hokies were able to steal Lofton away from State toward the end of his recruitment, and hope to win another battle against the Bulldogs in the recruitment of Boone.
Unlike the Lofton recruitment, Virginia Tech’s pursuit of Boone is seen through a different lens. While some believed initially that Boone could end up in Starkville, the thought has not been as widely-held with him as it was Lofton. Lofton was seen as a near shoe-in at Mississippi State, while it is not as close to a sure thing with Boone.
Tech and Mississippi State have separated themselves, but can the Hokies close again?
Boone is hoping to make a decision in the near future, and Virginia Tech appears to be in good position once more.