Today, five-star high school prospect Josh Sweat verbally committed to play college football at Florida State. The Tidewater native listed Virginia Tech as a finalist, and some regarded the Hokies as a favorite for the defensive lineman, whose athleticism has been compared to that of Jadeveon Clowney.
The recruiting loss is the Hokies’ second in two years to the Noles, who last year signed Virginia Beach defensive stud Derrick Nnadi.
Sweat’s commitment to Florida State is not surprising, they are the reigning National Champions and are headed to the College Football Playoff. The aspect that disturbs most Hokie fans is Frank Beamer‘s inability to land these highly-regarded in-state prospects. Virginia Tech has been on a steady decline the past few years, and Sweat’s verbal would have been a significant morale booster for the beleaguered program.
The tough part about losing Tidewater prospects is the lack of competition at home, where the state of Virginia has always been a Hokies stronghold. Beamer was able to build a program in large part because of the ‘757’ area code. Tyrod Taylor, Michael Vick, Jimmy Williams and DeAngelo Hall were all from the eastern part of the state and played integral roles in the building of a solid program.
The Hokies staff went all-in on the recruitment of Sweat, which makes the loss even more painful. Times have clearly changed for recruiting, and for whatever reason, Virginia Tech has not adapted. Foster is the best in the business at molding middle-tier recruits, but has carried this team on his back for far too long. The question is not necessarily, “How long will Beamer stay?”, rather, “How much rebuilding can the aging Foster tolerate before he decides to leave the state?”