Nine Early-Enrollees From 2017 Class Join Program

National Signing Day for college football’s Class of 2017 is just under two weeks away now, with most players across the country signing in their letters of intent of where they will play college football on February 1st.

On Tuesday however, there were nine players who enrolled early at Virginia Tech, allowing them to take part in the new semester of classes, as well as spring workouts that will begin in the coming weeks.

The following players are the newest members of the Virginia Tech football program that have already enrolled at the school. Height, weight, and prior school information (parentheses) provided by hokiesports.com.

The Quarterbacks

Hendon Hooker, 6’5″ 212 lbs., Greensboro, NC (Dudley)

A.J. Bush, 6’4″ 220 lbs., Alpharetta, GA (Iowa Western Community College) 

These two quarterbacks figure to enter into the race for the starting quarterback position over the coming months, joining redshirt-freshman Josh Jackson in the competition.

Hooker enters as a three-star true freshman, looking to push for early playing time. Meanwhile, Bush will be a redshirt-junior following his transfer from Iowa Western Community College, and will be eligible to play immediately.

If Hooker does not win the starting quarterback job, he is likely a candidate to redshirt, while Bush and Jackson battle it out for the number one spot on the depth chart. If Hooker performs well in camp, however, don’t be surprised to see him enter into the fold as the starter, even as a true freshman.

The Punter

Oscar Bradburn, 6’2″, 190 lbs., Sydney, Australia (Sydney Secondary College)

Bradburn is an intriguing prospect out of Sydney, Australia, and is expected to play heavily into the competition for starting punter, as last season’s punter, Mitchell Ludwig, is no longer with the program.

Bradburn is a true freshman and has a full four seasons of eligibility for the Hokies.

The Athletes

Terius Wheatley, 5’11”, 195 lbs., Ann Arbor, MI (Fork Union Military)

Caleb Farley, 6’3″, 185 lbs., Hickory, NC (Maiden)

Terius Wheatley comes from quite the background, as he is the son of legendary Michigan running back Tyrone Wheatley. Terius can do a bit of everything on the football field, and it will be interesting to see where the high school track star winds up on the Hokies’ depth chart come the fall.

Farley meanwhile accounted for over 10,000 total yards in his high school career from the quarterback position, but with the quarterback spot going from extremely thin to a position of depth, Farley may perhaps move to another position on the roster, such as wide receiver. He’s certainly athletic enough to make the move if the coaching staff so chooses.

The Wide Receiver

Kalil Pimpleton, 5’7″, 165 lbs., Muskegon, MI (Muskegon)

Pimpleton is likely an early candidate to redshirt in his first season with the Hokies in order to put on more weight. He’s slight currently at only 165 lbs., but he is an absolute burner on film, and should provide an explosive playmaker in the slot for the Hokies for years to come.

The Tight End

Dalton Keene, 6’5″, 228 lbs., Littleton, CO (Chatfield)

Dalton Keene, much like Chris Cunningham this past season, has a chance to make an immediate impact as a freshman for the Hokies at tight end. With Chris Durkin leaving the program, Keene will have an excellent opportunity at 6’5″ to enter into the mix at tight end with Cunnigham in 2017.

The Linebacker

Aundre Ricardo Kearney, 6’0″, 220 lbs., Jacksonville, FL (Mandarin)

Aundre Ricardo Kearney played primarily as an outside linebacker in high school, but has the motor to potentially make an impact at inside linebacker for the Hokies. Regardless, Kearney is not expected to play into the mix this upcoming season at any of the linebacker spots unless there is injury, as the Hokies return three of their top playmakers at the position in rising seniors Andrew Motuapuaka and Anthony Shegog, as well as in rising junior Tremaine Edmunds.

The Offensive Lineman

Silas Dzansi. 6’6″, 295 lbs., Woodbridge, VA (Fork Union)

Virginia Tech is losing their right side of the offensive line to graduation, as guard Augie Conte and tackle Jonathan McLaughlin move on from the 2016 roster. With two spots open on the line, could incoming freshman Silas Dzansi figure into the mix? At 6’6″, 295 lbs., Dzansi could figure into the tackle mix at some point in the next couple of seasons, even if he does not receive playing time right away. A little bit more weight added to Dzansi could make him a force against ACC defensive lines for years to come.

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