February 25, 2011

Hokies are first to offer athletic 'backer

The Hokies continue to be the first scholarship for many recruits in the 2012 class. An emerging sleeper prospect in North Carolina is one such prospect that just received an offer from Virginia Tech and is thoroughly impressed by the scholarship.

"Officially, I've gotten one offer, I got it on Wednesday night from Virginia Tech," Hope Mills (N.C.) South View 2012 linebacker Dahman McKinnon said. "It's my first offer and actually, it was one of my favorite schools, I was hoping out of all of the schools it'd be them to offer me."

Why is McKinnon so high on the Hokies?

"Well, I love the way they run their defense up there," he said. "I've been watching a few videos on Youtube and they have great special teams, the coaching staff seems cool from my first impression and all-around it seems like an environment I'd like to be in."

Though his conversations with his recruiter Charley Wiles have been limited, McKinnon has been impressed so far.

"He's a great guy," he said. "Coach Wiles is a very cool guy, he liked my film and told me they offered cause of how I get to the ball, my speed showed well in games and how I was always around the ball. Plus, I have plenty of room for improvement, I'm only going to get better."

Despite the last minute notice, McKinnon claims he is making an effort to be in Blacksburg tomorrow for an unofficial visit.

"I'm going to Virginia Tech Saturday," he said. "Coach Wiles told me it was short notice, but if I could come Saturday for junior day that'd be great. I needed to talk to my family members, I talked to all of them and my granddad is able to take me."

With the effort he is putting in, it is obvious McKinnon is high on the Hokies, is he anywhere close to a decision then?

"I was told to wait it out cause more offers will be given to me," he said. "But, Virginia Tech is one of my favorites from the beginning, so I don't know yet."

Virginia Tech is far from the only school interested in McKinnon as North Carolina, NC State, Wake Forest and Tennessee have also expressed an interest.

With college recruiting picking up, McKinnon broke down what he wants in his future home.

"Academic wise, I want a school with a good engineering program, engineering is another thing drawing me to Virginia Tech and kind of NC State," he said. "Football wise, I want a team that is committed to their players, all about making them better and becoming better. Of course, I want a team with a decent defense too."

On the field, McKinnon had a breakout year for South View posting 144 tackles, five sacks and two interceptions.

"As an individual, I had probably one of my best seasons," he said. "I started out as a defensive back my sophomore year. I led the team in tackles both years. I was way more improved this year in all categories."

McKinnon is of Samoan descent, but what stands out about him on the field?

"The first thing people notice about me is my hair," he joked. "Everyone compares me to Troy Polamalu, I absolutely love that comparison, that's my favorite team. On the field, I'm a big hitter and I'm speedy."

It shouldn't be a surprise McKinnon is a standout athlete as he also did wrestling and baseball in high school and comes from an athletic background, as his mother was a Taekwondo junior Olympian.

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