He still hasn't visited Virginia Tech. But late Friday night, Jefferson (Fla.) three-star defensive lineman J'Bril Glaze gave the Hokies his commitment and in the process helped fill a big need.
What does his decision mean for the Virginia Tech? We break down Glaze's commitment and how he got to this point.
Glaze came into the picture more and more during the fall. But by that point, he was committed to South Florida.
That decision changed a bit when coach Willie Taggart left the Bulls to become head coach at Oregon. But assistant coach Charley Wiles had already established a good relationship by then. He saw Glaze play, then later made an in-home visit last month.
It was also last month when Glaze scheduled an in-home visit with Virginia Tech for Jan. 20. So it looked as if no decision would take place until then.
At this point, Glaze still has never visited Blacksburg. He’s still set with his official visit, but last night, he decided he didn’t need to wait to decide. After he called and talked with Wiles and defensive coordinator Bud Foster, Glaze felt like he had a good role with the Hokies.
What it means for the class
Virginia Tech has had its eye on a defensive tackle in the 2017 class for a while. For the longest time, three-star Xach Gill was the top target.
Gill had the Hokies in his final two and officially visited last month. But before Christmas, he gave his commitment to nearby North Carolina.
After Gill went off the board, it looked like all the efforts at defensive tackle would be put into three-star Victor Dimukeje. He also officially visited Dec. 9 and then put Virginia Tech in his top four.
Glaze has been squarely in the mix, but Dimukeje looked like the bigger target for some time. The Hokies would have taken either. But it appears that recently, they’ve decided they like the upside of Glaze more.
Dimukeje arguably is the strongest of the two. But he’s gotten by on the high school level more with a bull rush. Glaze has played predominantly at end, but he projects much better inside, as he doesn’t quite have the edge quickness for the next level. Still, having played end, Glaze is a bit more developed skill-wise, though he’ll need to add more weight and muscle.
It remains to be seen if Virginia Tech will maintain its pursuit of Dimukeje. It likely won’t happen, though, because of numbers, now that Glaze is on board.
“Good pursuit and motor. He’s been a kid I’ve been close to for a while, so I’m happy for him. He only lives about 15 minutes away from me. I don’t think he has a high ceiling at defensive end, but inside is a different story. He’s definitely gotten a much stronger and more chiseled frame over the past year. He’s definitely a high-character kid and one you want in your program.”
-- Corey Bender, Scout.com state of Florida recruiting analyst
What it means for Virginia Tech as a program
The Hokies lost a pair of big tackles on the line due to graduation. Woody Baron will especially be tough to replace, but Nigel Williams will as well.
Tim Settle and Ricky Walker are pegged in as Virginia Tech’s two starters, for now, inside next fall. Steve Sobczak and redshirt freshman Jarrod Hewitt also should slide in behind them.
Ideally, Glaze would redshirt next season. He could use the time to get his body in the shape that it needs to be and better learn the move inside. But if an emergency called for it, he could be called on.
Glaze is the type of player you look for: plenty of upside and moldable. If he comes along how the Hokies envision, he could be in line for a big career starting in a year or so.