The silence has been lifted. On Saturday, Bishop Sulivan (Va.) four-star wide receiver Tahj Capehart announced via 94.1 ESPN Radio in Virginia Beach that he'd made a decision.
Capehart announced for Virginia Tech, but he'd already been on board. He made a silent commitment on July 23, during the Blacksburg Bash.
What does his decision mean for the Hokies? We break down Capehart's commitment and how he got to this point.
It's no secret that the 757 has been a huge point of emphasis for Virginia Tech. And Capehart has certainly been included in the Hokies' target list for the area.
Assistant coach Zohn Burden has recruited Capehart for a few years now. Their relationship dates back to Capehart's freshman year of high school at Ocean Lakes (Va.), when Burden was still at Old Dominion. And that bond has grown ever since.
Capehart has visited Virginia Tech plenty of times. Earlier this year, he was at the Hokies' spring game as well. And each time, they seemed to grow on Capehart a bit more.
Other schools were certainly in play. For a time this spring, Alabama made a strong push. Capehart visited the Tide, something that doesn't happen unless there's mutual interest, but at this point, that offer isn't technically there.
Maryland and Tennessee were also under strong consideration and Capehart visited both. For the past few months, the Terps have been arguably the biggest contender. But gradually, Capehart and his parents have warmed up more and more to Virginia Tech. And by the time of the Blacksburg Bash, all of them were on board.
What it means for the class
The Hokies now have four wide receivers of similar stature. Capehart, along with three-stars Kalil Pimpleton, Sean Savoy and Hezekiah Grimsley are all under 6'0" and 175 pounds.
All four possess lightning speed, around a 4.5-second 40-yard dash or faster. But Capehart might be the most dynamic, all-around player of the group.
Capehart had a big 2015 season as a junior, with 606 yards and six touchdowns on 25 catches. But he was also used as a runner, with another nine carries for 164 yards and two more touchdowns.
At Virginia Tech, Capehart has an excellent shot to be a No. 1 receiver. You'd like for him to be a little taller, but he'll be aided by the spread offense. His ability to run precise, crisp routes, great hands and top-end speed make him a perfect fit and a guy who could put up big numbers.
The Hokies would be fine with their current crop of receivers. Three-star Caleb Farley also looks like he'll play the position, not quarterback, where he's listed. But if there's any room, Virginia Tech will likely continue its pursuit of a bigger, taller receiver. Guys in the mix for that spot are four-star Jeremiah Holloman, three-star Kenny Robinson and Noah Igbinoghene.
"Obviously, Virginia Tech has struggled to land top in-state talent in the recruiting cycles. But Tahj is one of those guys. He's a huge pickup for a number of reasons. First and foremost, he's one of the top playmakers in the entire country. He's explosive, has good good speed, good quickness, can make people miss. He just does a lot of things well and gives you a lot of options. He's comfortable lining up pretty much all over the field. He can line up out wide, you can put him in the slot, he can run reverses. He can also help you on special teams as a return guy.
Tahj is just the type of playmaker Virginia Tech needs to have. You can never have enough guys like that. You're probably gonna lose a guy or two to the NFL Draft after this season and Tahj is a guy that can come in, physically ready to play right now and I think he's gonna make a huge impact as a true freshman. I think this gives Virginia Tech a lot of momentum heading into the season."
-- Michael Clark, Scout.com mid-Atlantic recruiting analyst
What it means for Virginia Tech as a program
Another huge recruiting win for the Hokies in the 757, an area detrimental to their success. A type of impact player like Capehart might not entirely signify that Virginia Tech is back to what the dominant force in Tidewater that it used to be, but after years of struggling in the area, the Hokies are headed back in that direction.
Now, the sights are set on five-star safety Devon Hunter. If Virginia Tech can pull that win off, then the argument can be made that the Hokies are back.
Bishop Sullivan is now one of the top programs not only in the 757, but in the country, after a number of transfers with the addition of coach Chris Scott from Ocean Lakes. Getting in good in a program like that could really set Virginia Tech up for huge payoffs down the road.
But with Capehart specifically, the Hokies have remedied what was a huge deficiency at wide receiver. He's certainly someone who could play immediately and down the line, develop into a top receiver.