Virginia Tech football has seen multiple scholarships open up recently and while a few may enlarger the 2020 and 2021 recruiting classes, Justin Fuente also decided to reward a trio of hard-working, now former walk-ons.
Offensive guard Austin Cannon, wide receiver Kaleb Smith, and defensive back Ishmiel Seisay all received scholarships yesterday according to information on Twitter. The trio are the latest to follow the Virginia Tech legacy of walk-ons earning scholarships whether it's just after a year on campus like Smith or a player in his final year like Seisay.
All three of these players are more than worthy of being on-scholarship for the Hokies.
Cannon has overcome a lot during his time in Blacksburg and emerged last season in the two-deep on the offensive line playing in 12 games. At minimum, Cannon seems poised to maintain a backup role providing quality offensive line depth on the interior.
Seisay has slowly but steadily gained more opportunities having played in four games last season including having 2 tackles against Georgia Tech last season. Seisay brings some versatility at defensive back but profiles best as a whip linebacker/nickelback.
Smith redshirted last season after making the surprise decision to choose a preferred walk-on opportunity at Virginia Tech over scholarship opportunities at Wake Forest, Virginia, and others. The addition of Smith on scholarship seemed likely if he developed as Virginia Tech hoped when Smith decided to take a PWO opportunity at VT with this step being a clear indication of his development towards being a productive wide receiver.
While walk-ons never get as much hype, a good program is able to build depth through a good walk-on program that is able to spot talent and give opportunities for those players to earn a scholarship. Virginia Tech has had plenty of examples of walk-ons becoming great contributors including Sam Rogers and Jack Tyler while even a place like Alabama has seen a walk-on become a star in Levi Wallace who went from walk-on to starting cornerback as a senior in Tuscaloosa.
Of course, some may wonder about what the recruiting implications are. However, this move should have only a minor impact on recruiting especially in a class that may not even reach 15 this year. Meanwhile, the Hokies still have plenty of room for a large class in 2021 as most are expecting for the Virginia Tech football program.
Photo Credit: Harley Taylor
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