Virginia Tech’s Pursuit of 2016 4-Star DT Ellison Jordan


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

After getting Tim Settle and Dwayne Lawson, the Virginia Tech Hokies are focusing only on a few remaining recruiting targets while also trying to keep their current Class of 2015 commits together. However, the Virginia Tech coaches are also starting to increase their focus on recruiting the Class of 2016.

One of the top targets already for the Hokies is Ellison Jordan.

Jordan is a four-star defensive tackle from Gilman School in Baltimore, Maryland who is a part of a very deep pool of recruits from the state of Maryland. The Hokies already have one commit from the state of Maryland in three-star cornerback Myles Wolfolk. Jordan also already has 14 scholarship offers which is certain to increase.

Jordan is ranked as the 15th best defensive tackle by the 247 Sports Composite, 12th best by ESPN, and 20th best by Rivals. ESPN has Jordan as Maryland’s seventh best junior while Rivals has him ranked twelfth and the 247 Sports Composite has him ranked sixth in the state of Maryland.

Ellison Jordan is definitely a highly rated defensive tackle prospect that many programs are intrigued by but a few programs are already starting to stand out in the pursuit of Jordan.

Dec 27, 2014; Shreveport, LA, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks head coach Steve Spurrier during the second quarter against the Miami Hurricanes in the 2014 Independence Bowl at Independence Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

One team that seems to be a top contender is the South Carolina Gamecocks. The Gamecocks have had some very good defensive lines and Steve Spurrier has plenty of prestige to help on the recruiting trail.

However, South Carolina has not offered Jordan a scholarship, and Spurrier has even said that he will retire in the next two or three years. Spurrier did retract that statement, but that will be used against him on the recruiting trail.

Penn State has done a very good job of recruiting prospects in the Mid-Atlantic though the loss of Adam McLean was a sign that James Franklin will be in for a fight. One benefit is that the Big 10 is looking a lot stronger with the play of Ohio State, Michigan State, and Wisconsin in this bowl season.

The stock of Penn State defensive coordinator Bob Shoop also seems to be rising with LSU reportedly looking to interview him. If Shoop stays, it will help in recruiting, but losing Shoop will definitely bring some instability to the defensive coaching staff in Happy Valley, and would likely hurt their pursuit of Ellison Jordan.

The environment at Penn State is quite good, and is definitely something that can be used against a team like Maryland, but not so much against Virginia Tech. Penn State also has a lot of prestige still with the success of Joe Paterno only being somewhat vacated in the stats, but not in the minds of fans.

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Maryland seems to be the early favorite for Jordan with the home turf being a big reason for this. Jordan has made multiple visits to College Park and seems to have a fairly high comfort level with the Terrapins program.

Maryland also has a fair amount of loyalty built up with Jordan as one of the first to offer him though their offer came one day after an offer from Virginia Tech. Maryland also can give Jordan the chance at a lot of early playing time which is always a boost in recruiting a young player.

Virginia Tech is probably the second choice favorite behind Maryland, and Jordan has made some visits to Blacksburg which he enjoyed. Jordan seems to really be impressed by the environment at Lane Stadium which is always a boost when that is a factor.

The Hokies also have one of the best defensive line coaches in the country in Charley Wiles who has produced plenty of NFL defensive linemen. Early playing time could be an issue for the Hokies with Nigel Williams, Tim Settle, Ricky Walker, Woody Baron, and Vincent Mihota all having eligibility beyond 2015.

The one connection that could possibly be valuable for the Hokies is the fact that they have one former Gilman School player on the roster in Melvin Keihn. It is unsure how strong the connection between Keihn and Jordan is, but any type of connection like that could have some value in recruiting.

This will be an interesting process, but Maryland seems to be the favorite with Virginia Tech and Penn State as the top pursuers.

Next: VT is in the top 2 for a 2016 WR

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