Oct 4, 2014; Chapel Hill, NC, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Marquise Williams (12) is pulled back by Virginia Tech Hokies defensive tackle Corey Marshall (96) after a quarterback sneak during the first half at Kenan Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports
The Virginia Tech Hokies have had an up and down month on the recruiting trail as they were able to flip the commitment of 4-star offensive tackle Austin Clark from South Carolina to Virginia Tech but were beat out by North Carolina for 4-star defensive end Jalen Dalton.
One recruiting battle that is really starting to heat up for the Hokies is their pursuit of four-star defensive tackle Tim Settle.
The Hokies did not seem like a serious contender for Settle a few months ago but are now one of the top contenders to get the defensive tackle from Manassas, Virginia. Settle might not be as important of a recruit to keep in-state as Josh Sweat but Settle is another important player that the Hokies need to try to keep in-state.
Settle is ranked as a five-star and the 17th best recruit in the nation by ESPN while the 247 Sports Composite has him as the 76th best recruit and Rivals has him as the 160th best. Within the state of Virginia, ESPN ranks him as the 2nd best recruit, Rivals has him as the 9th best, and the 247 Sports Composite has him as the 3rd best.
Virginia Tech has made a big surge and is one of the top 4 for Settle along with Tennessee, Penn State, and Clemson. Settle seems to be comfortable enough with those three that he will not be taking an official visit to them but instead using them on some longshots including Washington State and USC. The Hokies already received an official visit that helped give them a lot of momentum while Oklahoma State also received an official visit.
Penn State is in an odd position as they seem to have room at defensive tackle after the surprising decommitment of Adam McLean but Tim Settle seems to also surprised by the decision. James Franklin will probably be making sure Settle isn’t unsettled by this but you have to wonder how much recruiting momentum Penn State has lost with the Nittany Lions tied for fifth behind the mess at Michigan in the Big 10 East.
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Butch Jones and Tennessee have done a great job of recruiting and seem to be close to turning the corner and making a big surge in the SEC East next season. Tennessee might also be able to give Settle early playing time while the chance to play in the SEC is big. However, the Volunteers already have one big time defensive tackle commit in five-star Shy Tuttle which can be a positive or negative depending on the view of Settle.
Clemson has seen their defense transformed over the last few seasons led by Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables and with defensive tackle Grady Jarrett about to graduate, playing time at defensive tackle will likely be available in some capacity.
Venables has also been the primary recruiter for Settle and that probably makes a big impression on Tim Settle. Clemson has also had a lot of success on the recruiting trail in the state of Virginia this season with commitment from 4-star defensive end Clelin Ferrell and 4-star linebacker Chad Smith.
The Hokies have made a big surge and have the proximity to home advantage which seems to be a somewhat important factor for Settle. Torrian Gray is the primary recruiter but DL ccoach Charley Wiles is playing a big role in the pursuit of Settle. Settle wouldn’t have the chance to start immediately but might be able to be high enough on the depth chart to get some playing time as a freshman.
Virginia Tech has missed out on a few big in-state recruits in the past which makes the Hokies’ pursuit of Settle even more important. The Hokies have turned this race for Settle into one that they need to win but we’ll see what happens over the next few weeks.
This recruiting battle seems like a three-horse between Tennessee, Clemson, and Virginia Tech. The Hokies are making a big surge for Tim Settle but Clemson still seems like the slight favorites for now.