How did the Underclassmen Recruits fair against Boston College?
In a game that seemed to be a scrapping of the barrel, the younger athletes on this Virginia Tech team have impressed again. Lots of young talent found themselves contributing this past weekend against Boston College. Some of them continue on a path and some new names that we haven't heard from in a while. We will go over some of the 2020 and 2021 recruits that helped the Hokies out against the Eagles.
Class of 2020:
OL Kaden Moore: To say that Kaden had a monstrous week at the guard spot would be doing his performance no justice. The young offensive lineman showed that his placement as a starter for this offense will be a guarantee for years to come. And with an aggressive edge back on his side, this would be one of Kaden's more impressive showings.
First off, Kaden ranked at the height of both his pass block and run block, ranking in the top two for both. PFF awarded him a rating of 83.4 for his pass blocking and 79.3 for his run blocking. Also, the freshman offensive linemen allowed no pressure whatsoever on his quarterback. All of that, combined with getting some of the most consistent reps he has gotten all season, marked Kaden at his best PFF performance all year.
CB Dorian Strong: With another season's best performance, Dorian Strong makes the list this week. Strong was seeming a bit off for the mid-season portion this year. However, with a strong showing in both tackling and in coverage, he is looking to be back in his normal groove.
The young cornerback highlighted an interception against the Boston College Eagle this past Friday. He also didn't let up any receptions to wide receivers against him. This led Dorian to gain a PFF coverage rating of 75.7. And in terms of tackling and run defense, the corner recorded ratings of 77.0 and 69.2. This placed Dorain at the top performance defensively and marks his best game this season.
Possible New Names: As far as the 2020 recruits go, we have seen a steady group of them getting time. And out of those who are getting time, I think we can still see a lot of contribution from S Keonta Jenkins, P Peter Moore, and OL Parker Clements. I think that all three of these players have and will give great performances, but finding their exact niche in the lineup will be where these players finally take a step up. Some of which, Peter Moore is starting to get used to as the starting punter.
Class of 2021:
RB Malachi Thomas: Another game we see the true freshman grace the field for the Hokies. And even though this wasn't as great as a game statistically as Malachi has had normally, it shows that he can give consistent runs when handed the ball.
On his 18 carries at the running back spot, Malachi managed to run for 70 yards. This led Malachi to average 54 yards per carry against the Boston College defense. Also, we saw him break away for 3 rushes that went for 10 yards or more. All of this helped Malachi land a PFF rushing grade of 67.9. It will be no surprise to see him get a majority of the snaps at running back going forward.
S Jalen Stroman: If there is one name that we see continuously performing well on special teams, it has to be Jalen Stroman. He has been a tooth and nail away from blocking a handful of punts this season. It is nearly a matter of time until the younger brother of Greg Stroman hits the highlight reel with a big play.
This is the second week in a row that Stroman has recorded an important tackle on the special team's side of the ball. His performance on that side of the ball landed him a PFF special teams rating of 74.7. This turned out to be Stroman's highest special teams rating of the year. I think fans are waiting to see how the staff manages to use Stroman's abilities on the defensive side of the ball either this year or next.
Possible New Names: The 2021 recruiting class was a large one. There are names that we have seen this year like WR Da'Wain Lofton, DL Cole Nelson, and RB Chance Black that all have done great things. Only now to see how often those performances come and if they correlate to a huge showing along their college tenure here is the question.