Oct 29, 2014; Charlotte, NC, USA; Virginia Tech head coach Buzz Williams during ACC basketball media day at The Westin. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
Last Thursday, Buzz Williams and the Virginia Tech Hokies were hoping to receive good news in the form of a commitment from 4-star wing Chris Clarke from Cape Henry Collegiate School in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The Hokies were disappointed to hear that Clarke had made the decision to commit to Tennessee but that did not mean that they were done trying to get him.
One week later, the Hokies have gotten the player they wanted.
Clarke is a massive pickup for the Hokies as Buzz Williams has found a way to keep the number 1 rated recruit in Virginia by ESPN and 247 Sports in the state of Virginia after he committed to Tennessee one week ago. Clarke becomes the third commit for Virginia Tech joining 4-star PF Kerry Blackshear and 3-star PG Justin Robinson.
Clarke is also one of the top wing players in the country that seems to have the skill set to play at either shooting guard or small forward for Virginia Tech. The ESPN 100 has him as the 63rd best basketball prospect in the country while the 247 Sports Composite has him ranked 60th with 247 Sports’ traditional rankings having him 41st.
This is a very impressive job by Buzz Williams to gain the commitment of Clarke after comitting to Tennessee last Thursday. The Volunteers were somewhat of a surprise last week in getting him but it is even a bigger surprise that he has now flipped to the Hokies, the team that was originally seen as the favorite for him last week.
However, one of the biggest reasons may be about the NCAA investigation into Tennessee head coach Donnie Tyndall from his time at Southern Miss.
Reports suggest that Clarke’s decision to flip his commitment has been building over the last few days but the news of the NCAA’s investigation of Tyndall may have been the final factor that led him to this decision.
The main factor in this decision seems to be his family’s preference towards Virginia Tech which has clearly had a huge impact on him though the Tyndall investigation along with the reputation of Buzz Williams. Also, Williams is known for doing a great job building a strong family atmosphere and that is likely the main reason why Clarke and his family came to this decision.
Next season, the Hokies will once again be loaded with wing players with Clarke being the addition that will replace the graduation of Will Johnston. The competition will be very intense between Clarke, Justin Bibbs, Ahmed Hill, Jalen Hudson, and Adam Smith. The Hokies are building one of the deepest backcourts in the ACC and possibly the country which is a quite impressive job done by Buzz Williams in the short time he has been in Blacksburg.
Chris Clarke is now the headline name of a very strong recruiting class for the Hokies. The rebuilding job by Buzz Williams seems to be ahead of schedule compared to what Hokie Nation would have expected originally.