Hokie nation eager to hear where prospect Devon Hunter goes; tonight’s the night – Virginian-Pilot (blog)

I’ve only been covering Virginia Tech for one full season and already know the importance of this day.

Hokies fans have adapted roles as part-time recruiters and tonight, highly touted four-star prospect and Indian River High standout Devon Hunter will make his college choice at halftime of his school’s boys’ basketball game.

Hunter has firm offers from Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida and North Carolina among other big-name FBS schools. But Hunter has provided plenty of clues he may well remain in-state and take his talents to Blacksburg. That includes this tweet he sent out from the recent Army All-American game.

Certainly intriguing, huh? But nothing is set in stone until he makes the announcement tonight.

I polled my Twitter followers to see the last time a potential Tech recruit gained this kind of hype and excitement. Here were some responses:

There was a clear consensus. Josh Sweat and DeShawn Hand had the same kind of buzz and excitement when it seemed the Virginia natives would remain in-state and possibly play in Blacksburg.

Sweat was a five-star defensive end coming out of Oscar Smith in Chesapeake. At 6-foot-5, 237 pounds, scouts and coaches were enamored with his physical gifts. These kind of talents almost always pan out in the transition to college, and Sweat has delivered for the Seminoles, even though he arrived as a freshman still rehabbing a badly injured knee. This past fall, the 757 star recorded seven sacks.

Hand was another product of Virginia, hailing from Woodbridge High in Northern Virginia. Again, there was a strong connection between Hand and the Hokies, but he opted to join Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide. Hand hasn’t been a standout amongst the stars of the Alabama defense, but certainly productive in his young career.

Before those, names like Tyrod Taylor and Kendall Fuller were highly touted, but both gave early verbal commitments to play in Blacksburg.

The infatuation with Hunter is certainly warranted. He’s an obviously talented kid playing one of the game’s most-coveted positions. At 6-foot-1, he has great length and size to thrive as a defensive back.

“Consider how big this commitment is for Fuente and the Hokies: Landing Hunter would make it the first time since 2007 that the program has signed the No. 1 overall player in the State of Virginia,” Robert Judin of Campus Insiders said. “That guy they got almost 10 years ago? Tyrod Taylor?”

Judin makes a heck of a point. Let’s be honest for a moment. We all love Frank Beamer, but he was losing the knack for connecting with top potential recruits. Fuente has proven almost immediately he can hold his own on the recruiting trail, and a trip to the ACC title game in his first campaign doesn’t hurt his pitch.

It’ll be fun to see how tonight plays out. At this point, I’d be shocked if Hunter didn’t commit to VT, but he’s done a great job of keeping it hush hush.

If you haven’t see this kid play (I’m sure you have), check out his highlight tape. He’s good enough to see the field right away.


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