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The Hokies climbed back into the polls Sunday for the first time in over a year and snagged a 2014 commitment from four-star Bethel High defensive tackle Ricky Walker.
Joel Hawksley | The Roanoke Times
Virginia Tech's Demitri Knowles (80) and Joshua Stanford (5) celebrate after Knowles scored a touchdown against North Carolina on Saturday in Blacksburg. Virginia Tech won 27-17.
JOE FUDGE | (Newport News) Daily Press
Senior defensive tackle Ricky Walker runs through camp drills at Bethel High School in Hampton. The four-star recruit committed to Virginia Tech for 2014.
Monday, October 7, 2013
BLACKSBURG — Virginia Tech’s feel-good weekend continued well past its win over North Carolina on Saturday.
The Hokies climbed back into the polls Sunday for the first time in over a year and snagged a 2014 commitment from four-star Bethel High School defensive tackle Ricky Walker.
Virginia Tech (5-1, 2-0 ACC) came in at No. 24 in the Associated Press poll and No. 25 in the USA Today coaches’ poll, snapping a streak of 19 straight polls in which it was unranked, the team’s longest drought of the BCS era.
The Hokies were last ranked in the Sept. 9 poll last year, when they were 2-0 and No. 13. That was before they were crushed at Pittsburgh 35-17. Coincidentally, the Panthers are up next on Tech’s schedule. The teams play at Lane Stadium Saturday at noon.
Three other ACC teams are in both polls. Clemson is No. 3 by the AP and No. 4 by the coaches, Florida State No. 6 in both polls and Miami is No. 13 by the AP and No. 14 by the coaches.
The news was just as good on the recruiting front for the Hokies, with Walker, a prized defensive tackle, making his commitment.
The 6-foot-2, 275-pounder is ranked as the No. 216 player nationally, No. 19 defensive tackle and No. 8 player in the state by Rivals. 247 Sports has him as the No. 22 tackle nationally and No. 10 player in the state.
He’s a big get for a Hokies team that hasn’t recruited many tackles in recent years and moved current freshmen Wyatt Teller and Alston Smith to the offensive line.
Walker, who had dozens of offers, had 70 tackles and 11 sacks in 10 games for Bethel High as a junior, earning first-team all-district and all-region honors on both sides of the ball.
He’s the 18th high school commitment for the Hokies in 2014. Three players at Fork Union — Holland Fisher, Cequan Jefferson and D.J. Reid — are expected to sign with Virginia Tech again this winter as well. Commitments are non-binding until recruits send in their letters of intent in February.
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