Virginia Tech announces 2017 football recruiting class

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BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ7) The Virginia Tech football announced its 2017 recruiting class.

The class includes 26 players, seven of whom are from Virginia.

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Here is the class:

Rayshard Ashby
Linebacker, 5-11, 230
Chesterfield, Virginia/L.C. Bird

Ashby was named a 2016 Group 5A first-team player at linebacker and the Group 5A defensive player of the year after his senior season when he recorded 117 solo tackles, with 49 assists, and 31 tackles for loss. He also had 25 sacks, three interceptions, five blocked kicks, three defensive touchdowns, five forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries. He finished his junior year with 141 total tackles (93 solo), with 19 tackles for a loss and 14.5 sacks, earning defensive player of the year honors in Region 5A South. A four-year starter for Coach David Bedwell, Ashby had 100-plus tackles in all four seasons of high school and was a two-time All-Metro pick who was also The Times-Dispatch defensive player of the year last season.

Aiden Brown
Offensive Line, 6-3, 285
Silver Spring, Maryland/Bullis School

Brown was named to Under Armour’s Big 33 “ELITE 100” team and was named a finalist to play for Team Maryland in the Big 33 Football Game. He also picked up a 2016 first-team All-Interstate Athletic Conference honor and played for Team Washington in the 2016 Crab Bowl All-Star Game. He played his first two years at St. John’s High School in Washington, D.C. before transferring to Bullis and playing for Coach Pat Cilento. Brown also threw the shot put and lettered two seasons in track and field under Coach Joe Lee.

Christian Darrisaw
Offensive Line, 6-4, 299
Upper Marlboro, Maryland/Riverdale Baptist

Darrisaw played for Coach Caesar Nettles at Riverdale Baptist and was a two-time letterwinner, helping the Crusaders to a pair of conference championships. After his senior season, he was a member of Team Baltimore and played in the 2016 Maryland Crab Bowl All-Star Game. He was voted the best lineman of the year.

Drake DeIuliis
Tight End, 6-5, 220
Charlotte, North Carolina/Providence

DeIuliis caught 71 passes for 1,140 yards and 14 touchdowns in three years at Providence under Coach Brad Bowles. He also rushed for 856 yards and six scores and added five touchdown passes in his three seasons at the varsity level. He was a Big 22 North Carolina state player of the year candidate and was a two-time all-conference selection. He also played basketball for Providence.

TyJuan Garbutt
Defensive End, 6-3, 220
Fredericksburg, Virginia/Riverbend

Garbutt is a consensus four-star recruit as rated by ESPN, Scout and 247Sports. He is considered the No. 2 defensive end in the state of Virginia by Scout and No. 3 in the East Region, while 247Sports lists him as the No. 8 player in the state and ESPN has him rated at No. 9 overall. As a senior playing for Coach Tony DeMarco, he played on both sides of the ball – rushing for 211 yards and posting 554 receiving yards with nine touchdowns, while totaling 68 tackles, 33 solo, with seven sacks on defense. He also had seven forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries in 2016. For his efforts, he was named a 2016 USA Today all-state second-team honoree on the defensive line and earned All-Conference 4 first-team honors at both wide receiver and defensive end.

J’Bril Glaze
Defensive Line, 6-4, 270
Tampa, Florida/Thomas Jefferson

Glaze earned honorable mention All-Hillsborough County in 2016 while playing for Coach Jeremy Earle at Thomas Jefferson. He finished his senior season with 32 tackles, seven for a loss, and added three sacks for 33 yards and a forced fumble. As a junior, he had 38 tackles, six for a loss, and added two sacks for 23 yards. He also had a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries his junior season.

Jaylen Griffin
Linebacker, 6-2, 230
Rome, Georgia/Rome

Griffin earned a pair of 5A all-state honors in 2016, garnering first-team 5A honors at linebacker by the Georgia Sportswriters and honorable mention honors by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Playing for Coach John Reid, and with his three brothers, he helped lead Rome to 2016 5A state championship, the first in the school’s history. In his senior season, he finished with 87 tackles, including 17 tackles for loss, two interceptions, three forced fumbles and one defensive touchdown, while also being named a News-Tribune All-Area first-team linebacker.

Hezekiah Grimsley
Wide Receiver, 6-0, 180
Williamsburg, Virginia/Lafayette

Under the tutelage of Coach Andy Linn, Grimsley collected all-state honors on offense, defense and special teams his senior year, while also picking up the 2016 Virginia Gazette Football Player of the Year honor. In addition, he made the 2016 USA Today all-state second team list at wide receiver. In 2016, Grimsley totaled 949 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns, and he returned six kicks for touchdowns. As a junior, he was a Group 4A first-team all-state selection at wide receiver and a second-team selection at defensive back after helping the Rams finish with a 12-1 record overall. He caught a Bay Rivers District-leading 38 passes for 1,065 yards and 13 touchdowns. He was also the district’s top punt returner, averaging 24.6 yards per punt return, scoring three times. The two-way player added seven interceptions at the defensive back position, returning two for a touchdown.

Jalen Holston
Running Back, 6-0, 220
Stockbridge, Georgia/Stockbridge

Holston, rated a four-star recruit by ESPN, produced more than 3,000 yards for Stockbridge during his high school career, including rushing for more than 1,300 yards in back-to-back seasons. He averaged 7.4 yards per carry and rushed for 32 total touchdowns. Holston ran for more than 1,300 yards and 15 touchdowns his senior year, helping Coach Kevin Whitley and the Tigers finish with a 13-1 overall record. The team’s only loss was in the semifinal round of the Georgia 5A state tournament. In 2015, Holston scored 13 rushing touchdowns and ran for 1,361 yards.

Devon Hunter
Defensive Back, 6-2, 215
Chesapeake, Virginia/Indian River

Hunter, a five-star recruit as rated by Scout and a four-star prospect by ESPN and 247Sports, is rated as the No. 1 safety in the state by Scout and the No. 3 player in the state by ESPN and 247Sports. Hunter played safety and running back as a senior this past season at Indian River for Coach Glenwood Ferebee. On offense, Hunter rushed for 1,223 yards and 24 touchdowns and added 350 receiving yards and four more scores. He finished with 86 tackles on defense and was a first-team All-Atlantic Conference and second-team All-5A South Region pick at defensive back. He also was selected to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

Robert Porcher IV
Defensive End, 6-3, 255
Orlando, Florida/Dr. Phillips

Porcher IV helped lead Dr. Phillips and Coach Rodney Wells to the Class 8A state championship game — its first since 2010. As a senior, Porcher IV totaled 104 tackles in 15 games and added 40 tackles for a loss, 17 sacks – a school single-season record – two fumble recoveries and an interception. He was named the Orlando Sentinel’s Varsity 2016 Defensive Player of the Year for his efforts, while also setting the school record for most sacks in a career with 28. As a junior, he recorded 92 tackles and 11 sacks. His father, Robert Porcher III, an 11-year NFL veteran and three-time Pro Bowler for the Detroit Lions, was inducted into the East-West Shrine Game Hall of Fame in January 2017.

Nathan Proctor
Defensive End, 6-3, 230
Indian Head, Maryland/Lackey

Proctor is a consensus four-star recruit as rated by ESPN, Scout and 247Sports. He is considered the top linebacker in the state of Maryland by Scout, the No. 2 player in the state by ESPN and the No. 4 player in the state by 247Sports. He was named to the 2016 All-USA Maryland football team at linebacker and played in the 2017 Under Armour All-America High School Football game. In 2015, he was a consensus all-state player at linebacker, while adding a Washington Post All-Met second team selection as a junior. Playing for Coach John Lush, Proctor finished his high school career with 205 total tackles (133 solo), 19 sacks and 55 tackles for a loss. He also added 43 quarterback hurries, had six fumble recoveries and forced seven fumbles.

Dylan Rivers
Linebacker, 6-3, 230
Sherando, Virginia/ Sherando

Rivers is a consensus four-star recruit as rated by ESPN, Scout and 247Sports. He is considered the top linebacker in the state of Virginia by Scout, the No. 7 player in the state by 247Sports and the No. 14 player in the state by ESPN. This past season, Rivers led the area with 102 total tackles, 13 for a loss, and caught 21 passes for 346 yards and seven touchdowns as a tight end. He also ran the ball 22 times for 211 yards and eight scores for the Warriors and Coach Bill Hall. In 2016, Rivers was the Conference 21 West defensive player of the year and was named a first-team All-Region 4A West selection at both linebacker and tight end. He was a second-team Group 4A all-state pick at both positions as well.

Sean Savoy
Wide Receiver, 5-11, 180
Washington, D.C./Woodrow Wilson

Savoy helped lead Woodrow Wilson to a 10-3 record and a No. 2 seed in the state playoffs this past season, but the team fell to Woodson High in the semifinals. Savoy, playing for Coach Mark Martin, totaled 949 receiving yards, 320 rushing yards and scored 22 total touchdowns as a senior, earning the 2016 D.C. Player of the Year honor. As a junior, he caught 71 passes for 1,351 yards on offense, had five interceptions on defense and scored 26 total touchdowns, including two on kick returns. He was a two-time All-Met first-team performer.

Devante Smith
Defensive Back, 6-0, 190
Manassas, Virginia/Stonewall Jackson

Playing for Coach Darryl Robinson, Smith rushed 22 times for 101 yards, caught four passes for 63 yards and was 13 for 28 with one interception and 140 yards as a passer in 2014. As a junior, he threw for almost 500 yards and five touchdowns and rushed for close to 300 yards. Smith played in just two games as a senior before tearing his ACL.

Lecitus Smith
Tight End, 6-4, 260
Fitzgerald, Georgia/Fitzgerald

Smith, who played for Coach Jason Strickland at Fitzgerald, caught seven passes for 132 yards for two touchdowns in five games as a senior. He picked up several honors, including being named a 2015 2A first-team choice by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and a second-team selection by the Georgia State Writers. He was also a three-time GHSA All-Region honoree.

Bryce Watts
Defensive Back, 6-1, 185
Toms River, New Jersey/Toms River North

Watts is listed as the top cornerback in the state of New Jersey and the fifth-best cornerback in the East Region. In his three-year varsity career under Coach Dave Oizerowitz, Watts had 412 career rushing yards, 1,336 receiving yards and 17 total touchdowns. Defensively, he finished with 75 total tackles, 53 solo, with five tackles for loss. Watts added two interceptions and 19 passes defended, along with seven fumble recoveries to his totals. During his senior year, he helped the Mariners to an 11-1 record and a berth in the sectional championship game, where they lost their only game, ending the team’s 21-game winning streak. Watts was named a 2016 All-Group 5 first-team player on defense by and an all-state second-team performer by NJ12 Varsity.

The nine student-athletes below were announced by Virginia Tech on Tuesday, Jan. 17 as part of the mid-year enrollees release and already have joined the Hokies for the spring 2017 semester. They are included in the official National Signing Day recruiting class.

Oscar Bradburn
Punter, 6-2, 190
Sydney, Australia/Blackwattle Bay/Sydney Secondary College

Bradburn is a left-footed punter who has only competed in Australian rules football. He played for Sydney Swans Academy.

A.J. Bush
Quarterback, 6-4, 220
Alpharetta, Georgia/Norcross/Nebraska/Iowa Western CC

As a senior, Bush helped Norcross to a state title in the 6A ranks. The left-handed Bush completed 139 of 259 passes for 2,101 yards, with 16 touchdowns for Coach Keith Maloof’s team. Bush also rushed for 764 yards and 13 touchdowns. He spent his junior season at Milton High School, helping the Eagles to the first round of the 6A playoffs after rushing for almost 900 yards and passing for 1,000 yards in 2012. He spent two seasons at Nebraska and did not see any action before transferring to Iowa Western in 2016. His numbers this past fall included 10 games played, 602 yards passing and three touchdowns. Bush also ran the ball 89 times for 265 yards and five scores.

Caleb Farley
Athlete, 6-3, 185
Hickory, North Carolina/Maiden

Farley set a Maiden school record for rushing in a single season with 2,574 yards and added 37 touchdowns on the ground to go along with 1,776 passing yards and 21 touchdowns while playing for Coach Will Byrne. The 58 total touchdowns in a single season ranks third in North Carolina history. He also set the state record for touchdowns in a game twice, in back-to-back games, with eight in each, while his 4.83 TDs per game is also a state record. Farley threw for 1,831 yards and 20 touchdowns and rushed for 1,534 yards and 18 touchdowns as a junior. In his career, he rushed for 5,878 yards and 73 touchdowns, ranking 25th all time in rushing yards in the state. He added 4,574 passing yards and 51 touchdowns to total 10,425 yards of offense and 124 career touchdowns, ranking sixth in the state’s record book.

Hendon Hooker
Quarterback, 6-5, 212
Greensboro, North Carolina/Dudley

In his career at Dudley, while playing for Coach Steven Davis, Hooker passed for 6,027 passing yards and 55 touchdowns and had 2,975 rushing yards and 48 touchdowns. He was a three-time all-conference selection and made the Associated Press all-state team twice. NC preps named Hooker the state player of the year, and he was a two-time state champion, being named the game’s MVP in 2016 after accounting for six touchdowns in a 54-0 rout in the title game. He also finished his career as Dudley’s all-time leading passer. In addition, Hooker became a member of the 1,000-point club in basketball and was a three-time All-Metro conference choice.

Rico Kearney
Linebacker, 6-0, 220
Jacksonville, Florida/Mandarin

Kearney was a four-year letterwinner at Mandarin under Coach Quinn Gray & Brian Braddock while playing outside linebacker and running back. He finished his career with 240 tackles, including 40 for a loss, and 18 sacks. He rushed for 1,217 yards with 23 touchdowns. Kearney was a two-time All-Gateway Conference outside linebacker and was a first-team Class 8A selection as a linebacker in 2015 — a year when Mandarin High made it to the region final. He had 102 tackles, including 16 tackles for a loss, and seven sacks on defense that season, in addition to rushing for 13 touchdowns as a running back.

Dalton Keene
Tight End, 6-5, 228
Littleton, Colorado/Chatfield

Keene earned letters all four years while played tight end, running back and linebacker for Coach Brett McGatlin at Chatfield. He once earned all-state honors and was also an academic all-state performer. Keene competed on the school’s track team, earning four varsity letters while running the 110- and 300-meter hurdles and earning second-team all-conference honors. His dad, Wesley, played football at Murray State and his brother, Trey, played football and baseball at Northern Colorado.

Kalil Pimpleton
Wide Receiver, -7, 165
Muskegon, Michigan/Muskegon

Pimpleton was named the 2016 Muskegon Chronicle’s Football Player of the Year and was one of five finalists for the MLive Michigan High School Football Player of the Year award, while also garnering the 2015 Muskegon Chronicle’s Offensive Player of the Year honor. As a senior, he produced more than 2,800 total yards and 43 touchdowns for the Big Reds, helping them to a 12-2 record and a berth in the state championship game, which they lost by a point (29-28) to Orchard Lake St. Mary. During the 2016 season, playing for Coach Shane Fairfield, he rushed 139 times for 1,512 yards and 24 touchdowns, was 41 of 75 passing for 772 yards and 14 touchdowns, caught 22 passes for 317 yards and two scores, and had 11 punt returns for 241 yards and three touchdowns. In 2016 season opener, Pimpleton had five touchdowns – two passing, two rushing and one receiving — in Muskegon’s 51-14 win over Ann Arbor Pioneer at Michigan Stadium. As a junior, he was a 1,000-yard rusher and passer and accounted for 27 touchdowns.

Silas Dzansi
Offensive Line, 6-6, 295
Woodbridge, Virginia/C.D. Hylton/Fork Union Military Academy

Dzansi spent the 2016 season at Fork Union Military Academy playing for Coach John Shuman. As a senior at C.D. Hylton playing for Coach Tony Lilly, he was on both sides of the ball, racking up 56 tackles on defense, while protecting the blindside of the quarterback. He was named a 2015 second-team All-Conference 4 selection on the offensive line, and an honorable mention choice on the defensive line. He started playing football his sophomore year, while also playing basketball for the Bulldogs. He was on the 2016 conference championship team and was a 2015 dunk contest champion.

Terius Wheatley
Athlete, 5-11, 195
Ann Arbor, Michigan/Pioneer/Fork Union Military Academy

Wheatley spent the 2016 season at Fork Union Military Academy playing for Coach John Shuman and his senior season at Pioneer, playing for Coach Jari Brown. Played for four different high schools in his career, as he followed his father, Tyrone – a 10-year NFL veteran and one of Michigan’s top running backs in program history – to various coaching stops. He excelled on the track team, finishing second in the long jump (23 feet, 10.75 inches) and sixth in the high jump (6 feet, 5 inches) at the 2016 Division 1 state meet. The senior broke school records in the indoor and outdoor long jump events en route to earning the 2016 Ann Arbor News Boys Track Athlete of the Year award.