Sep 13, 2014; Blacksburg, VA, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies defensive end Dadi Nicolas (90) rushes the passer during the third quarter against the East Carolina Pirates at Lane Stadium. East Carolina defeated Virginia Tech 28-21. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
The Virginia Tech Hokies have been building a strong recruiting class that has tons of depth but the Hokies still do not have much star power outside of four-star cornerback Mook Reynolds and defensive end Trevon Hill who is a three-star by some and a four-star by others. The Hokies have multiple big name targets and could end up with one of the best recruiting classes they’ve had in recent memory.
One of those top targets is four-star defensive end Jalen Dalton of West Forsyth High School in Clemmons, North Carolina. Throughout most of his recruiting process, the North Carolina Tar Heels have seemed like the clear favorites to get Dalton with Virginia Tech leading the list of second choice teams that had a small choice.
However, the Hokies have made big gains over the last month and you have to wonder if the Hokies might even be the favorites for Dalton.
The momentum swing started for the Hokies after the win over Ohio State with Dalton taking an unofficial visit at North Carolina. After that game on Twitter, Dalton tweeted that he wished he was in Blacksburg after seeing the crazy celebrations at Virginia Tech.
The two losses the Hokies suffered the following two weeks didn’t seem to make a big impact while he took an unofficial visit on the same weekend that had tons of big time official visits including one from five-star LSU commit Kevin Toliver.
Last week, the momentum swing became more obvious with the Hokies getting some predictions in their favor in Dalton’s favor in the 247 Sports Crystal Ball including national recruiting analysts Barton Simmons, J.C. Shurburtt, and Ryan Bartow from 247 Sports along with FanSided’s Patrick Schmidt.
Dalton cut his list down to the Hokies and Tar Heels with his first official visit coming in Chapel Hill last week. Dalton got to see the Hokies take down North Carolina in front of a crowd that had a lot of Virginia Tech fans.
The Hokies have gained a lot of momentum in pursuit of Jalen Dalton and the Hokies have eliminated the gap between the Tar Heels and themselves. Virginia Tech also still has an official visit coming soon from Dalton which can be a big opportunity to make a final push for Dalton.
One thing that really might be interesting Dalton is the fact that Dadi Nicolas and Ken Ekanem have become big time playmakers. Also, the Hokies need depth at defensive end and there is definitely potential for Dalton to get the third defensive end spot over Seth Dooley though at worst, Dalton could be the fourth defensive end and beat out Dewayne Alford who could be used in a more versatile role to provide plenty of depth at defensive end and defensive tackle.
Virginia Tech has a great chance to get Jalen Dalton and it looks like the Hokies might just be the favorites after being longshots only a couple of months ago.