Breaking down what defensive lineman Robert Porcher IV means to the Hokies

We break down what Porcher's commitment means for Virginia Tech, with analysis by Scout's Corey Bender.

There was one more official visit set. But after this past weekend, Dr. Phillips (Fla.) three-star defensive lineman Robert Porcher IV decided he didn't need any more. Before leaving Virginia Tech on his official visit Sunday, Porcher gave his commitment.

What does his decision mean for the the Hokies? We break down Porcher's pledge and how he got to this point. 

The Decision

There was always at least some familiarity with Virginia Tech. It came from family friend and former Hokies linebacker Victor Jones, who played with Porcher's father, Robert Porcher III, for three seasons with the Detroit Lions. The families have remained close since.

But it wasn't until long ago that Virginia Tech actually became a possibility for the younger Porcher. The Hokies, with assistant coach Galen Scott, expressed interest early last year, shortly after the staff arrived in Blacksburg.

Porcher looked at Maryland, Auburn, Georgia Tech and even Michigan State. Soon, USC, Michigan and Nebraska came with offers as well.

The Corn Huskers, especially appealed. In June, he committed and appeared solid in that choice. By September, he'd set his first official visit for Lincoln. 

But soon, Porcher rethought that decision and cited distance from home as a big factor. In October, he officially visited Michigan. Oklahoma and Miami even came into the picture. Virginia Tech, meanwhile, stayed in steady contact and visited his school, saw him play last fall.

In early December, Porcher set three official visits: Jan. 13 at Michigan State, Jan. 20 with the Hokies and Jan. 27 at Georgia Tech. The Spartans seemed to impress him. Porcher talked about feeling comfortable. But Virginia Tech went even further.

Before he left Blacksburg on his official visit, his first time there, Porcher gave the Hokies his commitment. He cited the coaching, the bond he'd made with players, the potential to compete early and the proximity to his home in Florida. Porcher made his decision public the following day and cancelled his remaining official visit, to Georgia Tech.

http://www.scout.com/player/203781-robert-porcher-iv?s=191

What it means for the class

Virginia Tech has certainly loaded up with reinforcements on the defensive line. The Hokies have a relatively clear first couple of players on the depth chart for this coming season, but there's not a lot of depth. 

That said, the Hokies needed to reload and Porcher plays a big role in that. Physically, he's one of the guys closer to seeing the field in the incoming class. 

At Dr. Phillips, a state and arguably national power that's produced a boatload of talent, Porcher is already in the record books. He had 17 sacks last season, along with 104 tackles and has the career record as well.

And Virginia Tech still likely isn't done on the defensive line. Scout300 defensive end Tyjuan Garbutt and three-stars Zion DeBose and Victor Dimukeje are still on the board, with the Hokies likely taking two of them.

But even adding in two of those three mentioned, Porcher is still arguably the closest to seeing time, even if he does redshirt.

Expert Analysis

"The biggest thing with Porcher is his IQ. he's a kid, his production speaks for itself. He played at Dr. Phillips, one of the most talent-loaded high schools in Florida and broke their career record for sacks and this year, he had 17. Right off the bat, he's a guy who can get after the passer. He plays disciplined, too. When he's not putting up those sack numbers, he does a good job of setting the edge and playing with discipline and not really overplaying the ball.

He plays with suddeness, his backside pursuit is pretty good and shows a good motor from the backside and tracking the ball down. The one thing is he has to get his upper body stronger. I'm not saying he's bottom-heavy, but he definitely has a stronger lower-body. Once he matches that in his upper-body, his game should really take another step. He does a really good job disengaging and he has a quick first step that helps him get in that backfield. But overall, he'll have to find some go-to moves. He's kinda raw as far as technique and moves, but his dad played at the highest level and he's been working with him. His game can only go up."

-- Corey Bender, Scout.com Florida analyst

What it means for Virginia Tech as a program

As mentioned, Porcher has great bloodlines. He's been around his dad, even if he was too young to remember his dad being in the NFL. But his dad has also passed on quite a bit of good knowledge.

Off the field, Porcher is also the type of player you want. He's a smart kid and one who has had zero discipline issues. Of course, his dad has played a big part in that and will continue to do so.

Porcher likely won't play right away, at least as it stands now. But once he gets into the Hokies' weight program, he should really look the part of a big-time college lineman.

He'll gain plenty from those in front of him, but how he does in the weight room and how much weight he adds will dictate either which end position he plays (strongside or weakside) or whether he moves inside. That is also a possibility.


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