A year after signing the best recruiting class in school history, the Virginia Tech men’s basketball team announced that it received national letters-of-intent from forwards Montrezl Harrell and Marshall Wood on Wednesday as part of college basketball’s national signing day.
Though it’s not considered a top 15 class nationally like this year’s group of five freshmen, Coach Seth Greenberg said in a school-issued statement that both players “fit the prototype that we are looking for in a player; great people with terrific work ethics and great passion who want to be at Virginia Tech. They both have outstanding athleticism. I expect them both to have a tremendous impact on the future of Virginia Tech basketball.”
Harrell, a 6-foot-8, 235-pound prospect from Tarboro, N.C., is the more highly rated of the two players. He’s considered a four-star recruit by all the major recruiting services, and both ESPN and Rivals.com have named him one of the top 100 players in the country this year.
Harrell orally committed to Virginia Tech last March after visiting campus for the Hokies’ upset of No. 1 Duke and is playing his senior season at Hargrave Military Academy. He averaged 16 points, 12 rebounds and 6.7 blocked shots per game for North Edgecombe High last season.
According to Rivals, Harrell also had offers from ACC schools such as Miami, Wake Forest, Clemson and Virginia.
Harrell “is a spectacular athlete with great length and explosive athleticism and he is a terrific person,” Coach Seth Greenberg said in a school-issued statement. “His year at Hargrave Military Academy will serve him well and prepare him for the rigors of ACC Basketball. He is an active rebounder and an attacking player. I look for him to develop into a similar role as JT Thompson; a guy who brings great energy to our team.”
Wood orally committed to the Hokies last month. Like Harrell, Wood is 6-8 but weighs just 210 pounds and is considered a late bloomer on the recruiting circuit. He impressed coaches and analysts playing for the AAU team East Coast Fusion this past year but previously had not gotten much exposure on the summer basketball circuit.
Last season, Wood averaged 19.5 points, 10.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 2.5 blocks per game at Rustburg High just outside Lynchburg, Va. He’s been rated a three-star recruit by all the major recruiting services and chose Virginia Tech over offers from Virginia, Wake Forest and VCU.
“He’s as versatile a forward as there is in the country,” Greenberg said of Wood. “He has great length and bounce and he shoots the ball with range. He has the ability to run the floor and will be able to guard multiple positions. He rebounds his position extremely well. Marshall is a world-class person and a terrific player. He is another player from the state of Virginia, which is very important as we are trying to establish ourselves as Virginia’s team.”
Harrell and Wood will replace guard Dorenzo Hudson and forward Victor Davila on the Hokies roster next year since both will have used up their eligibility after this season.
Virginia Tech will have either one or two remaining scholarships to use for this recruiting class depending on whether Thompson wants to return after suffering a season-ending knee injury for the second consecutive year last week.
Greenberg said Tuesday that he had yet to speak to Thompson about it, but his gut feeling was the 6-6 senior would want to try to play a sixth season even though he is scheduled to graduate in December.