football Edit

Three-Point Stance: Va Tech, Anoma, underrated recruits

Rivals national recruiting analyst Adam Friedman has thoughts on Virginia Tech's larger issues, potential underrated recruits and a look back at five-star and new Michigan Wolverines standout Eyabi Anoma.

*****

CLASS OF 2023 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Team | Position | State

CLASS OF 2024 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Team | Position | State

TRANSFER PORTAL: Stories/coverage | Message board

*****

1. Virginia Tech's larger problem

Old Dominion running back Blake Watson (2) scores a go-ahead TD against Virginia Tech.
Old Dominion running back Blake Watson (2) scores a go-ahead TD against Virginia Tech. (AP Images)

There are five FBS football programs in the state of Virginia. All but one of them (Virginia Tech) won this weekend. This isn't a Virginia Tech hit piece but this entire situation speaks to a larger problem within the state of Virginia.

Instead of the two major programs in the state (Virginia Tech and Virginia) leaning on the deep pool of in-state talent to compete with the best football programs in the nation, elite teams use the state of Virginia purely as a recruiting territory, taking the best players at will.

Virginia Tech's loss to Old Dominion is a by-product of the poor job the previous regime did on the recruiting trail. Each year going back to the 2015 class, Virginia Tech has signed no more than three of the state's top 10 players. In three of those years, they didn't sign a single top 10 player. Those numbers look even worse for the Virginia Cavaliers.

To say the cupboard is bare for Virginia Tech is an understatement. The Hokies under Justin Fuente signed just two four-star prospects in the last three recruiting classes. Brent Pry at Virginia Tech and Tony Elliott at Virginia are bright coaches with a lot of potential but each of them needs to have more success recruiting in-state talent than their predecessors before they can consistently win.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH VIRGINIA FANS AT CAVSCORNER.COM

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH VIRGINIA TECH FANS AT HOKIEHAVEN.COM

*****

2. Are they underrated?

Zion Fowler
Zion Fowler (Matt Hawley)

It’s still early in the season but a few recruits are off to very good starts in their senior campaign. Here are five names that could prove to be underrated if they remain consistent throughout the rest of the season.

Nasir Addison: The Kentucky commit is a threat on offense or defense. He is a very strong receiver with whom defensive backs know is a tough matchup. Addison shined on defense this past weekend as well, using his physicality to disrupt the timing of his receiver.

Zion Fowler: Fowler’s team got blown out this past weekend but his skill set is still pretty impressive. The Pittsburgh commit is strong and explosive with good hands and consistently provides an easy target for his quarterback.

Kaleb Spencer: As a converted safety, we knew Spencer was pretty fast but it looks like he’s stepped up his game for his senior year. The Oklahoma commit looks a lot more explosive on film this year and he’s playing stronger. Spencer has also proven to be a big hitter as well.

Nathan Leacock: Through three games of his senior year, Leacock is the fourth-leading receiver in the entire state of North Carolina. The 6-foot-4 receiver is right around 200 pounds and posted a sub-11-second 100-meter time earlier this year. Those impressive measurables are clearly translating to the field and that could mean a rise in the rankings if he keeps up these types of performances.

Evan Link: We’ve been watching Link for a couple years now and he took a big leap forward this offseason. The Michigan commit is really solid from a technical perspective and he’s gotten much stronger so he’s a lot more effective in a variety of areas. With room to still fill out his frame, Link has a chance to get a lot better as he physically matures.

*****

3. Former five-star back on the big stage

Eyabi Anoma
Eyabi Anoma (AP Images)

It was an awesome opening weekend of college football but I wanted to give a special shoutout to former five-star Eyabi Anoma. It was pretty cool to see him return to the field this past weekend. Anoma's college career certainly hasn't gone as well as everyone had hoped yet. After signing with Alabama in the 2018 class, Anoma transferred to Houston in 2019 and was forced to sit out a year because of the transfer rules. He then transferred to UT-Martin and had a standout season leading the conference in sacks.

Now Anoma has another chance to shine on one of the biggest stages in college football. He's off to a great start after recording a sack in Michigan's game against Colorado State this past weekend.

Anoma has always had the raw talent and relentless motor to be a top flight player. I remember seeing him for the first time at the beginning of his junior season before he had any offers and being blown away by his abilities. Anoma dominated the competition that night and he did so for the rest of his high school career.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH MICHIGAN FANS AT MAIZEANDBLUEREVIEW.COM