The Texas recruiting movement disappointed, but freshman receiver Da'Wain Lofton aims to be the exception
When Virginia Tech concluded its 2021 recruiting cycle, many criticized the coaching staff for putting a priority on the pursuit of prospects from Texas over the security of commitments in and around the state of Virginia.
The criticism was fair, as the Hokies failed to secure some of the top prospects on their recruiting board from the state of Virginia while focusing a good deal of attention on the #TX2VT movement.
While the "Texas to Virginia Tech" recruiting movement largely fell flat, the Hokies were able to land a talented three-star wide receiver in Fort Worth, Texas native Da'Wain Lofton. Lofton committed to Tech over TCU, Colorado, Mississippi State, and others and chose to enroll early with the Hokies this past spring.
That move is paying dividends now as the program heads into fall camp.
Virginia Tech head coach Justin Fuente was a recent guest on The Tech Sideline Podcast and described Lofton and fellow true freshman receiver Jaylen Jones as "studs" commending their work ethic and maturity in the process.
The praise continued on Wednesday, as offensive coordinator Brad Cornelsen couldn't help but bring up Lofton's name when discussing newcomers who could make an immediate impact.
"I think Da'Wain Lofton is a young kid, early graduate, went through spring ball and really impressed the team and the coaches with where he was at maturity-level wise. He's a guy who has not taken a snap in the stadium yet, but he will have a chance to show up as a true freshman," Cornelsen said.
The praise didn't stop with the coaches, as Lofton's attitude and work ethic caught veteran players by surprise as well.
"[Lofton's] definitely going to contribute...he came in during the spring and learned the entire offense in just a few weeks. Anytime you do that as a freshman, you're going to put yourself in good position," starting quarterback Braxton Burmeister said on Wednesday.
Lofton's work in the spring didn't go unnoticed by veteran receiver Tre Turner either.
"He's been working really hard to the point where I have the same expectations for him as a freshman as I do with a young receiver like Tayvion [Robinson]."
The Hokies return a veteran group of pass catchers, highlighted by Turner, All-ACC tight end James Mitchell, Kaleb Smith, and Tayvion Robinson. The Hokies are also looking to add redshirt-freshman Jaden Payoute to the mix after missing all of 2020 due to surgery on his foot.
However, Da'Wain Lofton will have his say too, as he looks to breakout onto the scene early in his career and make good on what's left of the Texas to VT recruiting movement.