2022 National Signing Day Recap for Virginia Tech Football
National Signing Day is always a huge deal in the world of college football. For the Hokies, it meant securing big-time commitments for the 2022 recruiting class. Coach Pry and his staff hit the trail hard when they first took over in Blacksburg. The team traveled far and wide to keep commitments and to make new ones towards the end of the 2022 recruiting cycle. Let's take a look at some of the players who officially became new Hokies today.
TE Daequan Wright - Perry High School (Perry, GA)
Tight ends group just got stronger 💪 pic.twitter.com/pVoq2MyuJ8— Virginia Tech Football (@HokiesFB) February 2, 2022
The Virginia Tech Football staff did everything in their power to keep the commitment of Daequan Wright out of Perry, Georgia. There was some speculation that the Georgia native might look elsewhere for his college career. However, fortunately for Tight Ends Coach Tyler Bowen, the effort made was enough to finalize the original commitment made by Wright.
Wright, a recent recipient of a 4-Star rating on 247 Sports, is currently ranked as the 31st best player out of the state of Georiga and the 18th ranked tight end of the 2022 recruiting cycle. On the field, Wright is a menace to opposing defenses. He utilizes his large frame (6'4, 230 pounds) and quick acceleration to beat out defensive backs who decide to take him on in coverage. Wright is used a lot at the wideout spot in one-on-one coverage or zone coverage where he can catch fades or lobs thrown to him. Another area he shows his talent is in the middle field, but his after-catch ability to speed down the field is what makes his use there dangerous.
Tyler Bowen should be more than excited to get a weapon like Daequan Wright on the offense. And depending on his progression, we could see him in the next couple of seasons catching and blocking for the Virginia Tech offense.
OL Xavier Chaplin - Whale Branch High School (Seabrook, SC)
Got another big fellah up front ✊ pic.twitter.com/jOl1YU1KfT— Virginia Tech Football (@HokiesFB) February 2, 2022
Xavier Chaplin was a recruit that wasn't very well-known when he committed to the Hokies. But once Hokie fans viewed his film, it was very clear as to why he was brought onto the 2022 recruiting class. Much like Daequan Wright, Chaplin wanted to explore his options after the departure of former head coach Justin Fuente. The new staff made it a priority to bring him to Blacksburg for a visit to see if he'd be a good fit with them.
Chaplin, a current 3-Star, is ranked as the 13th best player out of South Carolina and the 93rd best offensive tackle in the 2022 recruiting cycle. When he's playing, Chaplin makes opposing linemen look like mere children. His size alone, 6'6 for height and 355 pounds for weight, make him almost guaranteed to move anybody placed in front of him. And what he lacks in technical abilities, he makes up for in strength and aggressiveness. Chaplin is also known to get some snaps at the defensive tackle spot, which could be a possible move for him once he gets onto campus.
I'm sure Offensive Line Coach Joe Rudolph is excited to get the development portion of Chaplin's college career started as soon as possible. Once he is developed into a well-rounded starter for the offense, there is little to none that should be able to evade him.
ATH Devin Alves - Melbourne Senior High School (Melbourne, FL)
Got a playmaker comin' to Blacksburg 👊 pic.twitter.com/0ZBd5PLiB1— Virginia Tech Football (@HokiesFB) February 2, 2022
Devin Alves was a very late addition to the 2022 recruiting class but may end up being one of the best in time. One to take credit here would be newly hired Special Teams Coach Stu Holt who extended a visit offer to Alves over the winter. Low-and-behold, Alves did enough on his visit to impress Head Coach Brent Pry into extending him an offer.
Alves, a newly rated 3-Star, is ranked as the 118th best player out of the state of Florida and is also ranked as the 62nd best ATH in his class. He made quite a name for himself this season where he played both ways quite impressively. In fact, Alves showcases perhaps some of the best speed and agility out of the 2022 recruiting class for Virginia Tech. He outran a great deal of the cornerbacks he faced this past season on the outside for large gains. And his agility allows him to stop on the go and to redirect his routes quickly. As for the defensive side of things, Alves is a great coverage player and a hard-hitter. He can play the flats very well, due to his speed, which makes him someone who could possibly run the NICKEL spot as Chamarri Conner did.
Whether Alves will play offense or defense primarily is up in the air. However, we know that this football team got a really versatile player that could be used either way.