Last week continued a huge run of success for Virginia Tech. After getting a handful of commitments July 23 at their barbecue, the Hokies added one who still has three high school seasons to play.
Last Wednesday, Bishop Sullivan (Va.) 2019 cornerback Tayvion Land gave his pledge. He becomes one of the earliest known commitments Virginia Tech has ever received..
What does his decision mean for the Hokies? We break down Land’s commitment and how he got to this point.
Talk about getting in early. Assistant coach Zohn Burden has to be given all the credit in landing what will likely be one of the top ranked prospects for 2019 when those rankings are released by Scout.com.
Burden, who primarily recruits the 757 for Virginia Tech, offered Land when he was in eighth grade. And Land validated that offer, with a big freshman season in 2015 at Ocean Lakes (Va.). Land, also nicknamed 'Tank,' finished with 42 tackles, four interceptions, one sack and one forced fumble while playing in all 13 games.
In many ways, Land's recruitment was just starting to pick up. In May, he added offers from Maryland and NC State. Clemson and Florida had also expressed interest.
But Burden was persistent. He was on hand for the Hokies' spring game in April and back at Virginia Tech July 23 for the Blacksburg Bash.
After a few days to think over his visit, Land was on board. He announced his commitment via Twitter. And while it's still incredibly early here, Land says he is solid, but don't be surprised for him to take visits elsewhere at some point.
What it means for the class
It appears 'DBU' is alive and well. Virginia Tech has long made a habit of identifying top defensive backs early on and getting them on board. And Land is certainly in line with that.
Land has the moves, the speed and the hands needed to be an elite cornerback. And he'll likely grow a bit more. That said, by the time he's ready to get into a college weight program, like Virginia Tech, he'll really be physically imposing.
Land played at Ocean Lakes (Va.) last season, but followed his coach to Bishop Sullivan. His new school has the makings of a powerhouse, including a game against IMG Academy (Fla.), a national power.
This is obviously just the first addition for the 2019 class. But not only is it a splash, it's a cannonball for the Hokies. Land is a big cornerstone not only for the secondary, but also the defense overall in the class.
“He's got a chance to be a really, really good player down the road and he's obviously a huge pickup for Virginia Tech. What he can do for them, he's got a chance to be the next in a long line of great defensive backs.
He's just a natural defensive back. He's smooth on the football field and very instinctive. He anticipates well, great footwork. He's very advanced when it comes to his technique. Tayvion is fundamentally sound and does all the things you need to do as a defensive back. That's very impressive at a young age. He's athletic, physical, extremely competitive, plays with a swagger, which is very important when you're out there on an island. He's a winner and expects to win every time out. Those are the type of kids Virginia Tech needs to continue to bring into the program. He's nowhere near a finished product, but he's already a great player and can develop into a special player when he gets to Blacksburg."
-- Michael Clark, Scout.com mid-Atlantic recruiting analyst
What it means for Virginia Tech as a program
If there's one school in the 757 Virginia Tech needs to especially hit hard, it's Bishop Sullivan. There are a number of other big-time programs, including Oscar Smith, Indian River and Ocean Lakes, but many of the top players in the area have moved to Bishop Sullivan with Chris Scott now the coach there.
Getting Land at this point sends a message that the Hokies are back in the Tidewater area. It shows that they're trying to get ahead of the game and not wait around before coming hard at guys like Land.
As a player, as mentioned, Land has the makings of a top-tier recruit and one who can keep 'DBU' nationally elevated.
Land will certainly grow and evolve in the three seasons of high school football he has remaining. But with his skill level right now, he's already on pace to be a stud in a Virginia Tech uniform.