Virginia Tech recruiting has been heating up both in football and men's basketball with the Hokies pursuing plenty of potential flips in football and hosting elite talent in men's basketball. There's also a pair of major announcements coming up with four-star SF Henry Coleman III tomorrow and four-star WR KeAndre Lambert next week.
With that said, here are three thoughts on Virginia Tech recruiting both in football and men's basketball.
Henry Coleman III Could Go Either Way Between Virginia Tech & Duke
The biggest recruiting story surrounds four-star SF Henry Coleman III who visited Virginia Tech just a couple weeks ago along with four-star big man Xavier Foster. Those two, along with four-star big man PJ Hall, have emerged as the top 3 forwards/bigs on the board for the Hokies with Coleman poised to be the first to make his announcement tomorrow.
First, most have safely assumed that Coleman will choose Virginia Tech or Duke and unsurprisingly, that is accurate per our sourcing. Obviously, crazier things have happened in recruiting but there are no signs that suggest there's any chance of Coleman picking a school other the Hokies or Blue Devils.
If I had to weight the percentages, I would likely lean 60-40 in the favor of Duke going into tomorrow's decision. There's been plenty of national talk about Duke being the pick but most of that talk also seems to be quantified by there also being plenty of unknown.
Even though I see Duke as the favorites, the Hokies do believe that they absolutely have a realistic chance at landing the Richmond small forward. Things can change quickly in recruiting especially since Coleman may have a decision made and rumors may spread quickly once those close to him are informed.
The Hokies do benefit from having the family connection via his father being a former Virginia Tech linebacker while the in-state connection can only help. Plus, the Hokies have a record of developing quality four-star recruits and not recruiting over them. However, the appeal of Duke is undeniable and all signs are that the Blue Devils have plenty of room for Coleman.
Right now, Duke may be the slight favorite but the emphasis should be on slight in this battle between the Hokies and Duke.
KeAndre Lambert & LaMareon James
There's been plenty of talk surrounding KeAndre Lambert and LaMareon James since Lambert set a commitment date for next week and James decommitted from North Carolina. That has sparked plenty of rumors including the possibility that Lambert and James could "commit together" as Recruit757 recently said.
Obviously, there's a lot here surrounding both players so we'll unpack what we're hearing a little.
First, any speculation that KeAndre Lambert has made a decision is not accurate whatsoever. What we have heard from a source is that Lambert is down to Virginia Tech and Penn State, a significant change after Lambert took an official visit to North Carolina this summer.
Lambert also had a visitor at his game last Friday in Virginia Tech head coach Justin Fuente who saw Lambert and his teammate/VT commit CJ Beasley.
Virginia Tech head coach Justin Fuente on the recruiting trail, taking in Maury's game against Churchland. CJ Beasley has committed to Tech and has a 81-yard TD, while Keandre Lambert, who is uncommitted, with a 51-yard TD. Maury leads 35-0. @WAVY_News @FriNightFlights #WAVYFNF pic.twitter.com/D1EKLLiZ4v— Brian Parsons (@bpar73) September 21, 2019
In addition to the Hokies' relentless pursuit, the Hokies also still have the benefit of him being a relative of Kam Chancellor and having Beasley committed already.
The other question that has been raised surrounds whether Lambert and James could be a package deal as Recruit757 suggested. What I have heard suggests that it is possible though it would be surprising to me at this point if James commits at the same time as Lambert. If anything, I'd expect James to maybe wait a little bit after Lambert before making a decision. However, whoever lands Lambert should be the frontrunner to get James though Penn State isn't involved with James at the moment.
Virginia Tech Will Look to Flip Some Recruits
If there's been one common theme among recent 2020 offers, it's that the overwhelming majority have gone to players committed elsewhere or recent decommitted. Among those players are three-star DE Myles Jackson (recent UCLA decommit), three-star CB Lovie Jenkins (Louisville commit), and three-star DL Timothy Brown (Pittsburgh commit).
Now this has followed the pattern that we saw established with their evaluation and pursuit of Tyree Saunders before flipping him over the summer. Expect much of the same pattern with the Hokies knowing that a strong season will make them quite appealing especially with a class that isn't highly-regarded and may be seen as a great opportunity for more talented recruits.
While this may happen in some ways this fall, it may kick into high gear in December especially when the Hokies put a Bud Foster replacement in place. Combine that with the realistic possibility that a couple defensive assistants are retained and the Hokies should get an advanced start with some of their defensive recruiting and pushes for flips on that side of the ball.