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Football Recruiting Update: 4/30/21

By Evan Norris | April 30
New team
The 2021 NFL Draft in Cleveland, Ohio

It has been a busy week for Hokie nation, with the NFL Draft going on and recruiting soon to hit its cycle height. We are now going to dissect some of the events over the past week and talk about their importance. Lets get into what has been happening:

Back To Back - The 2021 NFL Draft occurred on Thursday night, where we saw two Virginia Tech Hokies taken in the first round. First off, Virginia Tech CB Caleb Farley was taken at the 22nd spot by the Tennessee Titans. This was an expected destination for Farley, who's draft stock fell a small bit when worries raised about his health. However, the Titan's organization saw past that and drafted an excellent defensive back who has unmatched physical gifts paired with a great IQ of the game.

And with the very next pick, the Minnesota Vikings drafted Virginia Tech OT Christian Darrisaw at the 23rd spot. The whole world knew that Darrisaw would be sitting inside the first round on draft night, given that he was the 2nd highest rated offensive linemen last year, according to PFF. This leads many to believe that Darrisaw can be the next great franchise offensive tackle for the Vikings. It will be exciting to see how our Hokies do in the NFL and what Hokies we will see in the future in next year's draft.

Hokies make DT's Top 10 - Yes, Top 10, I am aware of how large of a group that is. However, I would rather be on the inside of this 2022 defensive tackle's top school list than on the outside of it. Trevon McAlpine is a 6-3 tall and 280 pound defensive tackle reigning out of Saraland, Alabama.

McAlpine is currently rated at a .8516 by 247 Sports and is ranked 844th nationally for the 2022 recruiting class. Other schools currently in his Top 10 are Nebraska, Indiana, Liberty, and Memphis. This could be a sneaky grab for the Hokies in this class to fill up a position we have historically not done a great job at recruiting.

Battle for Gaines - With Virginia Tech having already two quarterback commits and a tight end, they look to add more to that offensive system. This is where we shift our focus onto the recruitment of 4-Star WR Greg Gaines out of Tampa, Florida. And it is seeming like his final decision will come down to Virginia Tech and Iowa State.

The big question is, "Why Iowa State?". And the reason we are seeing such a bond between Iowa State and Gaines would be the school's relationship with mutual recruits. A group of players out of Tampa have also been receiving a lot of love from Iowa State. This type of shared bond between a group of recruits and a certain school can be dangerous if it becomes serious enough.

Fortunately for the Hokies, I feel that the already impressive commitments of both Alex Orji and Devin Farrell at the QB spot should attract Gaines. Also, with talks of some potential commits rolling in for this next month, it may be no surprise to see the Hokies close on this one.

Greg Gaines is currently stands at 6-2 and weighs in at 185 pounds. He is also rated as a .8935 (4-Star) on 247 Sports and ranks 339th nationally on the same site. Gaines holds offers from other schools like Georgia, Penn State, and Auburn.

Hokies in Running for LB - Virginia Tech is no stranger to attracting North Carolina Linebackers with Dax Hollifield and Alan Tisdale. However, this time the Hokies are looking to bring in 2022 LB Xavier Simmons out of Greensboro, North Carolina. And so far, it is seeming like his commitment will come down to the Hokies, North Carolina, and North Carolina State.

Simmons currently rated as a .8891 (4-Star) and is ranked 372nd nationally, according to 247 Sports. And his current measurements sit around 6-3 for height and 225 pounds for weight. This would be a great addition to the Virginia Tech defense and could help build recruiting back up in a state seemingly ran by North Carolina.