Two Liberty University cornerbacks Tayvion Land and Kei’Trel Clark announced June 22 that they will be leaving Liberty and entering the transfer portal.
Both cited racial insensitivity and cultural incompetence as the reasoning behind their decision. Linebacker Waylen Cozad also announced his entry into the transfer portal shortly after Clark and Land.
Liberty women’s basketball player Asia Todd was the first to cite racial insensitivity on her way to the transfer portal herself.
This all came shortly after the president of the University, Jerry Falwell Jr. was pictured wearing a face mask with one individual in blackface and another wearing a Ku Klux Klan robe taken from Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s school yearbook.
Could the Hokies look to pursue either of the two cornerback prospects?
Land played his high school ball at Ocean Lakes in Virginia Beach and was ranked the No. 17 prospect in Virginia in the 2019 class. He was the highest ranked commit for Liberty in program history. He recorded 23 total tackles in 11 games during his freshman season in 2019.
Kei’Trel Clark was a two-star prospect coming out of school in Midlothian, Virginia. He actually outperformed Land in 2019 with 38 tackles and three tackles for loss. Virginia Tech had offered Land in 2019 and had recruited Clark but never extended an offer.
The cornerback position could be the best unit for the Hokies in the 2020 season, however the expected success at the collegiate level could produce an early exit for lauded corners Caleb Farley and Jermaine Waller. Both are juniors and have two years of eligibility left.
Currently the only listed cornerback recruit in the 2021 class is Shawn Asbury from Stafford, Virginia who committed June 21. However, the Hokies have their sights set on premier DB target DJ Harvey of Chatsworth, CA. Nykelius Johnson is listed as an athlete on 247 sports but projects as a cornerback at the next level.
It may be hard for Justin Hamilton to ignore two homegrown products from the state of Virginia. However, cornerback is not necessarily a position of great need for the Hokies immediately.
Brion Murray and Armani Chatman are likely to see the field in 2020 but will be set up well to take over the starting roles in 2021 if Farley and/or Waller decide to move on. DJ Harvey’s recruitment is a main thing to keep an eye on here. He is set to announce his commitment decision September 18.
If Hamilton feels strongly about nabbing Harvey then he may pass on these two, but if there is ambiguity on Harvey then Clark or Land could become major targets. The Hokies also notably lost out on Iowa transfer cornerback DJ Johnson. He landed at Purdue after a misunderstanding with transfer credits.
Land is 5’8’’ and lacks a little bit of size which could also deter Hamilton from pursuit. Clark at 5’10’’ is still a bit undersized as well. They could add some needed depth in the defensive backfield though.
If Justin Hamilton and cornerbacks coach Ryan Smith like the game film and intangibles of these two prospects the Hokies could become a player in their transfer process.
There are always lots of moving parts and this situation is no different. It should start to become clear as more recruits announce their decisions.