Oct 5, 2013; Blacksburg, VA, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies wide receiver D.J. Coles (18) celebrates with wide receivers Joshua Stanford (5) and Demitri Knowles (80) after scoring a touchdown in the second quarter at Lane Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
The Hokies have struggled in recruiting offensive players for the Class of 2015 with running back Deshawn McClease being the only offensive commit currently for the Hokies. Virginia Tech had a lot of success last year recruiting wide receivers and tight ends while also having a wide receiver committed from the Class of 2016 yet the Hokies don’t have a commit from a pass catcher right now.
The Hokies have a few targets though and there is one player that the Hokies are gaining momentum for.
Tavin Richardson is a three-star pass catcher from Byrnes High School in Duncan, South Carolina that 247 Sports and ESPN list as a wide receiver and Rivals lists as a tight end. Richardson is rated as the 102nd best wide receiver by the 247 Sports Composite, 66th best WR by ESPN, and the 15th best tight end by Rivals. Richardson is rated as South Carolina’s 12th best recruit by ESPN, 18th best by the 247 Sports Composite, and 10th best by Rivals.
On tape, Richardson plays up to his 6-3 200 pound frame as Richardson is a physical receiver that can go over the middle and get the football in front of defenders. Richardson does not have very good speed for a wide receiver but he is a solid athlete that also can go up and get the ball. Richardson is still a fairly raw talent that relies on his size and athleticism but could be a very good wide receiver in the long run.
Recently, Tavin Richardson cut his list of schools down to five: Kentucky, Louisville, Nebraska, UCF, and Virginia Tech. 247 Sports also had a little insight on the Richardson pursuit.
"Richardson says all five teams on his list are ‘even’ heading into his visits."
Richardson also said that he plans on making official visits to all five of those schools and Nebraska is the only school that Richardson has not taken an unofficial visit to. The Cornhuskers know that Richardson’s official visit will be his only impression of Lincoln directly and that is going to be tough for the Cornhuskers to move to the top.
UCF has the disadvantage of being stuck in the American Athletic Conference and that makes their battle an uphill one. However, UCF’s 2014 Fiesta Bowl victory definitely is a boost to the reputation of the program while Blake Bortles going in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft doesn’t hurt either. Overall though, UCF is definitely an underdog just like Nebraska.
Oct 5, 2013; Blacksburg, VA, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies head coach Frank Beamer reacts in the second quarter at Lane Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
The Louisville Cardinals might be the dark horse in all of this as Bobby Petrino has been known for big passing games and Richardson will be intrigued. Also, the Cardinals are now in the ACC and have the largest athletic budget in the ACC which has to make an impression. The Cardinals have some very good facilities and are one of the top contenders for Richardson.
Kentucky is probably the favorite as the interest of playing in the SEC has to be something that could be a factor. Kentucky is the only school in Richardson’s top 5 that also has a prediction in their favor on his 247 Sports’ Crystal Ball which is a good sign for the Wildcats. Richardson also might be able to get early playing time in Lexington though that probably is far from certain.
Virginia Tech will get the first official visit for Richardson, one week before Nebraska, and that will be the Hokies’ chance to make a big statement in their pursuit of him. On top of that, the Hokies getting the first visit could be a sign that they aren’t the true favorite but are one of the top contenders. The Hokies have a lot of talent at wide receiver so early playing time is probably not one of the Hokies’ pitches.
The Hokies do have a small reputation of developing bigger wide receivers that don’t have great speed as Jarrett Boykin is the best wide receiver in Virginia Tech history and has had success in the NFL with the Green Bay Packers. The Hokies are not favorites for Tavin Richardson but they are definitely contenders.