An offer was already on the table. But McDonough (Md.) 2018 four-star quarterback DeJuan Ellis participated in Virginia Tech's final recruiting camp of the summer.
Ellis had spoken plenty with offensive coordinator Brad Cornelsen prior to that point. But this was the first time he'd worked extensively with Cornelsen. That experience, as well as the experiences he'd had in his five visits to Blacksburg put the Hokies over the top. On Wednesday afternoon, Ellis made his commitment.
Ellis gives Virginia Tech a big-time centerpiece for the 2018 class on offense. A recent transfer from Bishop O'Connell (Va.), he's ranked No. 218 in the Scout300.
"When I was up there, it felt like family," Ellis said. "It was just the vibe with the players. They related really well with me."
Ellis visited Maryland last weekend, but otherwise said he's had the Hokies on his mind for some time. Ellis said he's considered making a decision since he camped at Virginia Tech.
"It was the coaches, really and the atmosphere up there is great," Ellis said. "The coaches all showed a lot of love. Coach Cornelsen, all the coaches they just told me, kept it 100 with me, told me what I could do, how I could do it, what they wanted to see. I just liked what I heard, liked what I saw up there."
The Hokies offered Ellis in March. Others entered the picture, but he liked the similarities of their offense to what he's already been a part of. Ellis said he got an even better understanding working with Cornelsen.
"It was great going to camp," Ellis said. "Coach Cornelsen is a great quarterbacks coach and a great guy. He tried to put me in a game situation, one-on-one, just to see where my mind was. I think I impressed him a little bit with that. Working with him is great."
Ellis also met with coach Justin Fuente during his visit. The two of them went over how Fuente's offenses at Memphis worked and how Ellis could be the right fit.
"They already knew I was fast and had an arm from my film," Ellis said. "Coach Fuente showed me his tape from Memphis and it looks like what I did at Episcopal, my old school. He said, ‘You already know what you’re doing in the spread and you’re already comfortable with the spread. When you come here, it’s a better chance you know what you’re doing, more than anyone else.’ He always told me I could come and compete for a spot, it would be open when I’m there and that’s what I plan on doing."
Also present at Virginia Tech's July 24 camp was the Hokies' 2017 quarterback commitment, Hendon Hooker. Ellis said he knows they'll soon be competing in a couple of seasons.
"Me and him introduced ourselves, but we didn’t really talk a lot, like conversation," he said. "It'll be a good competition."
For now, Ellis said he has no other visits planned. "I don’t plan on going anywhere else," he said.
And in the meantime, Ellis said he has some work to do to get himself ready for the ACC. Mechanically, he might be sound, but there are plenty of other nuances to prepare for.
"I think I have to keep understanding defenses, get the ball out as fast as possible," Ellis said. "Those are the main things. Coach Cornelsen said I get the ball out fast, I have a quick release. He said I have a nice, high, release with my arm. He had nothing bad to say."