Thomas Dale (Chester, VA) running back/athlete DJ Reid is the latest high school senior to commit to Virginia Tech, Dale head coach Kevin Tucker has confirmed. The Hokies now boast 17 verbal commitments in the class of 2013.
Virginia Tech won out over South Florida and UVa, among others, with the final decision being between the Bulls and Hokies.
“With South Florida, there was a sense of comfort because that's where his family is from,” Tucker said. “Virginia Tech is close to where his family is now. Both schools offer a great education. When it came down to it, he wanted to be closer to his mom and dad and sister. And then there is the coaching staff. The Tech coaches are unbelievable. DJ and his parents felt good about those guys being able to take him to where he wants to go.”
Reid, who was offered by head coach Frank Beamer following a Tech one-day camp in 2011, will be the second Thomas Dale product to sign with the Hokies in as many classes. Desmond Frye is a freshman safety on scholarship, and former Thomas Dale standout Quinton Taylor is also on Tech's roster as a walk-on freshman safety.
“Those guys give DJ the truth about what life is really like [at Virginia Tech],” Tucker said, referring to Frye and Thomas. “There is a whole lot of truth about Tech having a family atmosphere. They are also fair. They push you to be the best player you can be. They play the best players. DJ will go there, maybe red-shirt a year, and then he'll get a fair shake to play.”
Reid has played quarterback, running back, wide receiver, safety, and linebacker over the course of his high school career, but Frank Beamer and company ultimately see him developing into a running back. The talented athlete's blend of size (6'0″, 218 pounds) and speed (sub 4.5-second 40 time) could equate to several positions at Tech, and this versatility certainly is valuable.
“His first year playing, I think they want to see him returning some kicks and punts. Probably, as a freshman, he'd probably do more slot receiver work. That might give him a shot to get on the field earlier,” Tucker said. “Later on, they'd like to have him in the running back rotation.”
Rated a 3-star prospect by Rivals.com and Scout.com, Reid is the no. 13 high school senior overall in the TSL Preseason In-State Top 40. All 13 of Virginia Tech's in-state commitments are in the TSL In-State Top 30.
Academically, Reid has some work to do, but qualifying is definitely still within reach. If he falls short, he would likely spend a semester at Fork Union with the plan of enrolling at Tech in January of 2014.
“His GPA is fairly good. Once he can get the SAT up there, he'll be qualified,” Tucker said. “He wants to be at Virginia Tech next year. He wanted to get recruiting behind him so he can focus on football, being strong in the classroom, and getting stronger on the SAT. Also, he said Virginia Tech is where his heart kept telling him to go.”
So, for two years in a row Virginia Tech's Signing Day roster will include a player from Thomas Dale. There is a good chance the Hokies land a third in as many classes, as right now Tech leads for Knights junior safety/linebacker CJ Reavis. Tucker doesn't expect the 6'1″, 200-pound prospect to decide until well after the end of this season, but he admits the Hokies may have an advantage in Desmond Frye.
“Desmond and CJ are best friends,” Tucker said. “CJ has been playing football with Desmond his entire life. He looks up to Desmond.”