Virginia Tech Football: Analyzing Three-Star Tackle Xavier Chaplin

CHAPEL HILL, NORTH CAROLINA – OCTOBER 10: The Virginia Tech Hokies offensive line waits to go back into the game against the North Carolina Tar Heels at Kenan Stadium on October 10, 2020 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. North Carolina won 56-45. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

This 2022 Recruiting Class is getting much bigger, physically and metaphorically. On Monday, July 5th, the Virginia Tech Hokies football team got a commitment from a mountain of a player in three-star offensive tackle Xavier Chaplin from Seabrook, South Carolina.

In his junior high school highlights, Chaplin measures in at 6-6, 315 pounds, making him the biggest recruit for the Hokies in several years. Chaplin is the 17th prospect and the third offensive tackle from the 2022 Recruiting Class to commit to the Hokies. According to 247Sports, Chaplin ranks as the 98th offensive tackle and 16th ranked prospect from South Carolina.

On film, Chaplin dominates in the trenches against bull-rushing defensive linemen. After the first initial contact, Chaplin can readjust his feet to where he can drive the defender far away from the ball carrier. He can turn the shoulders of the defensive linemen with ease to drive them away from the play and open a path for the ball carrier to run through. Chaplin is quick with feet and steady in his movement despite having to lean in lower than most tackles to get to their defensive linemen. Once he gets his footing and locks his defender down at their chest, Chaplin is nearly impossible to stop.

Like other current recruits for the Hokies in the 2022 Recruiting Class, Chaplin plays with versatility and he is a dynamic athlete. Chaplin has also played guard and defensive tackle for the Whale Branch High School Warriors. He is a solid pulling guard and tackle, which compliments his steady and efficient movement. Chaplin is a reliable, huge blocker with running plays between the tackles and outside the offensive tackles.

As a defensive tackle, he can contain the double team as long as he isn’t too high for the linemen to push him away from the ball carrier. He is patient to let the plays develop as he can carefully read the ball carrier’s direction. Chaplin doesn’t often miss a tackle in the open field, which might encourage the Hokies to have him play on both sides of the ball.

Chaplin currently has two offers from the Hokies and the Georgia State Panthers. Coastal Carolina and Florida State are teams looking at Chaplin but haven’t given him an offer yet. Teams are high on size but are cautious with the reliability and athleticism in the pass protection. Chaplin has raw high-potential where he doesn’t look to win with just his size, but he still has plenty to offer for the Hokies, should he stick to his commitment.

The Hokies are climbing the ranks in the 2022 Recruiting Class. They are currently ranked 19th in the nation and third in the ACC. The program is awaiting the decisions of some high-caliber prospects that can contribute significantly to the Hokies program.