Oct 4, 2014; Chapel Hill, NC, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Marquise Williams (12) is sacked by Virginia Tech Hokies defensive end Ken Ekanem (4) during the second half at Kenan Memorial Stadium. The Virginia Tech Hokies won 34-17. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports
The Virginia Tech Hokies are building a very strong recruiting class and seem to have some momentum in recruiting after the Hokies flipped the commitment of four-star OT Austin Clark from South Carolina to Virginia Tech with OL D’Andre Plantin also committing to the Hokies.
This week, the Hokies are hoping to gain a big commit who would immediately become the Hokies’ top committed playes.
4-Star defensive end Jalen Dalton of West Forsyth High School in Clemmons, North Carolina will announce his decision from his high school on Thursday. A few months ago, it seemed that the North Carolina Tar Heels were almost certain to get Dalton but things have changed a lot and the Hokies have a great chance to get him.
However, North Carolina is definitely a threat as the home turf advantage is a boost while Dalton will likely get the chance to earn a starting job as a true freshman if he goes to North Carolina. The ACC Coastal has also been a fairly wide open division in the last few years and that could give Dalton belief that he can help lead UNC to the ACC Championship though the Tar Heels’ future does not look very bright right now.
The recent academic scandel is likely hurting the Tar Heels while the fact that Dalton visited when the Hokies beat the Tar Heels doesn’t help North Carolina out right now. North Carolina has a good chance of getting Dalton but I would put there chances at 45% and not as the favorite anymore.
The Hokies have a few advantages here with the past success and win over Ohio State showing how Virginia Tech can returning to being nationally relevant. Virginia Tech’s fans also have had a big impact with Lane Stadium being one of the toughest places to play in college football still. Dalton might not be able to start but he should be in a good position to gain some early playing time as a third or fourth defensive end.
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The Hokies also should be really good next season but they do have the disadvantage of not being the home state of Dalton. The Hokies also will not have Dalton be a starter immediately which could be a big factor in his consideration of school choice. The Hokies have made a big surge and have become the slight favorites. I would put the Hokies’ chances at 55%.
This will be a big pickup for one of these two teams but we will have to wait and see if Jalen Dalton commits to Virginia Tech or North Carolina?