Oct 16, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers quarterback Chad Voytik (16) rushes the ball as Virginia Tech Hokies safety Detrick Bonner (8) and linebacker Chase Williams (36) defend during the first quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
The Virginia Tech Hokies have had an up and down season on the field but have had a lot more success on the recruiting trail so far. The Hokies have built a strong base and are starting to build some big time star power at the top of their class led by 4-star offensive tackle Austin Clark. Virginia Tech is in the hunt for a lot of big names including Josh Sweat, Jalen Dalton, and Tim Settle.
Now, the Hokies are in contention for another four-star recruit.
The Hokies are one of the top six for four-star inside linebacker Darrin Kirkland Jr. of Lawrence Central High School in Indianapolis, Indiana. Kirkland was previously committed to Michigan which has a recruiting class that has almost completely fallen apart. Kirkland is ranked as the fourth best ILB by the 247 Sports Composite while both ESPN and Rivals have him as the 7th best ILB.
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Kirkland is ranked as the 270th best player by ESPN, 174th best by the 247 Sports Composite, and 167th best by Rivals. Kirkland is also the top recruit in the state of Indiana by ESPN and Rivals while the 247 Sports Composite has him as the second-best prospect in Indiana.
One thing that could help the Hokies is the fact that Virginia Tech commit Eric Whitehead who could be valuable as an extra, nearby recruiter for Kirkland. However, Whitehead isn’t completely a sure thing right now so he might not end up helping the Hokies too much in pursuit of Kirkland.
Ole Miss received an official visit last week and Oklahoma is receiving an official visit from Kirkland this weekend. The Rebels and Sooners seem to be the two frontrunners for Kirkland with Kentucky being the local team that has a good chance.
Virginia Tech will be battling to get an official visit and the fact that Josh Sweat will be taking his official visit for the Virginia game could help get Kirkland in on a game weekend. The Hokies have a lot of work to do if they are going to get Darrin Kirkland but the Hokies can’t be completely ruled out just yet.