The Virginia Tech Hokies have gotten off to a very strong start on the recruiting trail for the Class of 2016 with nine commits headlined by 4-star athlete Reggie Floyd. However, the Hokies entered today without an offensive line commit, but Stacy Searels has been working hard on the recruiting trail.
Searels's hard work has paid off and the Hokies have gotten their first offensive line commit from the Class of 2016.
Thomas Jarrett Hopple, a three-star offensive tackle from Nansemond River High School in Suffolk, Virginia, became the first offensive line and tenth overall commit for the Hokies' recruiting class. Hopple had multiple othee offers from major programs including West Virginia, Virginia, Pittsburgh, and Wake Forest.
Hopple is a fairly highly-rated offensive tackle that is ranked as the 63rd best offensive tackle by the 247 Sports Composite. The 247 Sports Composite has Hopple ranked as Virginia's 25th best junior, while Rivals has him as the 34th best junior in Virginia.
Hopple has a lot of upside due to the fact that he has a big frame for an offensive tackle at 6'6'' and 270 pounds. Hopple is fairly athletic for an offensive tackle, and also has the ability to add on another 20 to 30 pounds without losing the athleticism that he brings to the table.
On tape, Thomas Jarrett Hopple can be an overwhelming force on players that are just way too small while he is rock solid in keeping players with collegiate level size from pressure on the quarterback. Hopple has very good footwork and knows how to get leverage on an opposing defensive end or linebacker which is very important for an offensive tackle.
Hopple is not an elite, under-the-radar prospect, but he is a solid offensive tackle addition that has the potential to start for a couple of seasons for the Hokies. However, Hopple does have a huge ceiling and could be a guy that proves that he was worthy of a much higher rating than he currently has.
Bryan Stinespring was the primary recruiter for Hopple and did a great job in getting the 757 offensive tackle to commit. Searels also had a role in the recruitment of Hopple, and has definitely helped the Hokies in their recruitment of offensive line since his arrival last offseason. Searels seems ready to build a solid group of offensive line commits with Hopple being the foundation of that group.
Thomas Jarrett Hopple is a very solid pickup for a Virginia Tech recruiting class that is already looking a lot stronger right now than last year's class was at this point.