Continuing the recruiting rewind series where we peek back at current Virginia Tech contributing players and take a look at their recruitment and compare them to recent recruits committed to Virginia Tech.
The running back room at Virginia Tech is full of new faces, but we look back at a player who flashed some serious talent on the field for the Hokies in 2019 in Keshawn King.
King was a 5-11, 175 lbs. running back coming out of Orange Park, FL from Oakleaf High School. He was ranked as the 23rd best running back in the country and the 361st recruit in the country by 247Sports.
He boasted an impressive offer list that included prominent members of both the ACC and the SEC like Miami, Arkansas, Louisville, and Ole Miss.
King’s tape shows a player who plays much bigger than his undersized frame suggests. There is a run where he bulldozes a defender with apparent ease and then makes a cut and breaks away from the entire defense for a score. He showed flashes of that in the 2019 season for the Hokies when he was just impossible at times to bring down. King is built like a bowling ball with a tough and determined running style. He shows in his high school tape that he isn’t afraid of contact but is smart enough to know when to avoid it and rack up the yardage.
His vision is impressive on film as he sees the blocks and makes the right cuts. King has had another summer to develop and continue to improve in the Hokies running game scheme. Expect him to play a prominent role in the backfield in 2020.
Recent recruit comparison: Malachi Thomas current 2021 verbal commitment for the Hokies.
Thomas is currently unranked by 247 and is listed at 6-0 180 lbs. He has similar measurables to King as a bit undersized but built in a stocky compact frame. Thomas has some seriously impressive high school numbers in 2019 with over 1,900 yards on the ground, and he accounted for 36 touchdowns. Thomas’s film shows a little more ability to catch the ball out of the backfield than King; however, they both exhibit a punishing running style.
There is a signature run on Thomas’s film that shows his determination when over 6 defenders attempt to bring him down, and he refuses to be denied and gains some serious yards after contact. Thomas may even have more breakaway speed on film than King with the ability to separate from the defense and break huge runs. It is baffling that Thomas is not ranked and the film weaves a story of a talented back with a full skill set.