Virginia Tech Football: Coach Beamer's Biggest National Signing Day Battles

Bryan Manning@bdmanning4Featured ColumnistJanuary 31, 2014

Virginia Tech Football: Coach Beamer's Biggest National Signing Day Battles

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    Top Hokie target, Derrick Nnadi
    Top Hokie target, Derrick Nnadi247Sports

    The last seven days have been very busy for the Virginia Tech Hokies. A new athletic director was hired in addition to the appointment of Stacy Searels as the team's new offensive line coach. 

    Lost amid all of that news is that national signing day is just under one week away. The Hokies currently have 21 verbal commitments, courtesy of 247Sports (subscription required) and are among the finalists for a handful of other talented prospects. 

    For the first time in years, maybe ever, national signing day will be big for Virginia Tech. As many as five recruits are expected to decide next Wednesday and those decisions could go either way for the Hokies. 

    The next week will be a busy one for head coach Frank Beamer. And regardless of how many additional players the Hokies sign next week, this could be one of Beamer's best recruiting classes ever. 

    Here is a look at Beamer's four biggest battles come national signing day.

    *All recruiting rankings courtesy of 247Sports

Derrick Nnadi

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    Derrick Nnadi
    Derrick Nnadi247Sports

    In a year where the state of Virginia is loaded with elite high-school talent, Beamer needs to close hard on defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi.

    Players such as Da'Shawn Hand, Andrew Brown and Quin Blanding all spurned the Hokies, so signing Nnadi would ensure that Tech gets one of the state's premier talents in 2014. 

    Not only is Nnadi the No. 5 ranked player in the state, he could make an immediate impact in Blacksburg. The graduation of All-American Derrick Hopkins and the transfer of backup Kris Harley could mean early playing time for Nnadi. 

    Beating out Florida State won't be easy. Both teams will sweat this one out until Nnadi announces on Wednesday morning. 

Javon Harrison

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    Javon Harrison
    Javon Harrison247Sports

    Javon Harrison originally committed to the Hokies in July 2012. A lot of things have changed since then and despite still staying committed to Tech, Harrison will officially decide his college on national signing day.

    This, just like with Nnadi, looks to be a two-horse race between the Hokies and Florida State. 

    Can the lure of possibly playing early with a team that has been with him the whole time trump the national champions?

    Harrison is being tight-lipped about his decision. One positive for the Hokies is Torrian Gray. Gray, Harrison's primary recruiter, is also from Kathleen High School where Harrison plays. 

Isaiah Ford

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    Isaiah Ford
    Isaiah Ford247Sports

    Finally one the Hokies can feel good about.

    Keep in mind, each prospect represents a certain amount of uncertainty. They are all high-school kids of course and their minds can easily change. 

    But when Charlie Strong left Louisville for Texas, the Hokies became the favorite for Isaiah Ford. A super-talented two-sport star from Jacksonville, Fl., Ford can make an instant impact for Virginia Tech in 2014. He is a game-changer in the return game and a threat to take it the house every time he touches the ball.

    Louisville will be the Hokies' primary competition on signing day, but look for Tech to pull this one out. 

Kevin Bronson

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    Kevin Bronson
    Kevin Bronson247Sports

    Delray Beach, Fl., has been good to Virginia Tech over the years. Luther Maddy and Dadi Nicolas, both current Hokies, hail from Delray Beach.

    If everything goes according to Beamer's plan, Tech will add another defensive standout from the area in Kevin Bronson.

    At 6'4", 235 pounds, Bronson looks like an ideal Virginia Tech defensive end. His highlight film shows a player who is not only a good pass-rusher, but active in the run game, too. 

    Bronson's decision will come down on Wednesday morning and the Hokies are in a good position. Look for USF and Nebraska to be VT's prime competition for Bronson.