Jason Stamm/TheVTZone.com

Top-ranked 2018 South ILB Dax Hollifield visited Penn State and Virginia Tech last week

Due to a bye week, 2018 four-star inside linebacker Dax Hollifield was able to visit Penn State and Virginia Tech in a span of three days last week.

Shelby (N.C.) junior linebacker Dax Hollifield used his bye week to see two big-time programs.

Hollifield, who is the top-ranked 2018 inside linebacker in the South, was at Penn State on Saturday for their game against Ohio State.

"It was great -- the atmosphere was awesome," said the 6-foot-1, 220-pound Hollifield. "I got to walk out of the tunnel and the student section was right there, which was insane.

"Before the game, I walked through downtown and was able to see campus. The campus was great and I loved it.  I'm glad I visited."

What did he enjoy most?

"My favorite part was definitely the game," he said. "When you walk out of the tunnel, it takes your breath away. The stadium is so big and it's crazy to think you could be playing in front of that many people every week.

"I thought they played awesome against Ohio State. The defense was great and they really kept them in check. I spent a lot of time watching the linebackers. They're very physical and not afraid to hit you and really like that about them."

While on campus, he spent the most time with one specific coach.

"I talked with (defensive coordinator) coach (Brent) Pry a lot," Hollifield said. "He's a great guy and I know he's a great coach. He actually used to coach in North Carolina at Western Carolina.

"He told me that they work hard every day and that they want to be great. They seem pretty interested in me."

Hollifield is hoping the Nittany Lions pull the trigger in the near future.

 "If they were to offer, it'd be awesome," he said. "That's the kind of football I like to play. I'd like to get back there at some point."


Just days earlier, he was in Blacksburg for Virginia Tech's Thursday night game against Miami.

"It was also great trip," Hollifield said. "I think it was my eighth or ninth time visiting. There weren't that many recruits there, so I was able to talk to all the coaches. They showed me a lot of attention and that was great.

"I walked around campus and it's beautiful up there. And the game was loud -- I've never been anywhere that loud. I also enjoyed watching them get the win."

The nation's second-ranked junior inside linebacker was impressed with the Hokies' defense.

"They played great," Hollifield said. "Miami has some great players, but they really shut them down. I think they had eight sacks. They were just bringing it."

He was able to have a lengthy conversation with head coach Justin Fuente.

"We sat down and talked for a while," Hollifield said. "He told me I'm one of their top recruits and that meant a lot to me. He's awesome and I really like talking to him. He's just a really nice guy and you can talk to him about anything.

"He said they're going to get back to where they were and I believe him because he's a great coach. He's getting good players and I believe he is going to do special things. I'm going to try to go back for one of their next home games."

According to Hollifield, his top three schools remain the same -- in no order -- North CarolinaSouth Carolina and Virginia Tech.

He plans to officially narrow his list of schools in the spring and then make his decision sometime during his senior season.

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