Virginia Tech’s Pursuit of 3-Star DE Houshun Gaines


Oct 5, 2013; Blacksburg, VA, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies defensive line coach Charley Wiles talks to players during a timeout in the fourth quarter. The Hokies defeated the Tar Heels 27-17 at Lane Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Virginia Tech Hokies have not gotten off to the fastest start in terms of the quantity of players that are committed but the quality has not been too bad. The Hokies are hoping to get a defensive end committed soon with all the defensive end prospects they have targeted. Plus, 3-star defensive line commit Harry Lewis seems more likely to end up at defensive tackle than defensive end though that could change.

One of those defensive end targets is Houshun Gaines, a 3-star defensive end from Nash Central High School in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. Gaines is ranked as the 15th best strong side defensive end by 247 Sports while being ranked as the 21st best weak sid defensive end by Rivals so Gaines definitely has the versatility to play at either defensive end spot in college. However, 247 Sports and Rivals agree that Gaines is the 17th best player in North Carolina for the Class of 2015.

Based on his high school statistics from last season as reported by 247 Sports, Houshun Gaines might just be one of the most underrated recruits in the Class of 2015. Gaines had 85 tackles, 21 tackles for loss, and 11.5 sacks which are extremely good stats at any level. Meanwhile, Gaines also has great size at 6-4 and 220 pounds while 247 Sports lists him as having ran a 4.70 40 yard dash which just makes it even more confusing why Gaines is rated as a three-star based on the stats.

Even the tape of Houshun Gaines makes me wonder how Gaines is not a four-star recruit as the one thing the tape shows is a very athletic, hard working player which are two key attributes to having success. Gaines is very explosive off the line of scrimmage and the time he has spent at tight end has helped become a faster athlete. The one thing that might be keeping Gaines from being a four-star recruit is his strength but he seems like someone that can be a big time player once he gets a little stronger.

Right now, the Virginia Tech Hokies are the clear frontrunners in the race for Houshun Gaines with Virginia Tech being said to have warmer interest by 247 Sports from Gaines. DL Coach Charley Wiles has been the primary recruiter and Wiles is definitely someone that can get the job done to get the defensive linemen he wants to get. The Hokies were also the first to offer Gaines a scholarship and that has really helped boost the Hokies to a big lead in the race to get his commitment.

It seems pretty close to certain that Gaines will be a Hokie but if there is one other team that could beat the Hokies in getting Gaines, it’s the North Carolina Tar Heels.

The Tar Heels haven’t offered Houshon Gaines a scholarship just yet but Gaines is definitely interested in North Carolina. The Tar Heels have had Gaines for a camp and an unofficial visit in 2013 before having him return to Chapel Hill on June 12th for his second unofficial visit. North Carolina will likely offer Gaines a scholarship soon and that will make this a lot more interesting as the Tar Heels would then become a serious threat. However, the Hokies are definitely the frontrunners right now.