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Versatile LB/DE Keihn Commits To Virginia Tech

Thursday, December 26, 2013 3:40pm
By: Brian Geisinger

The Hokies have added talented pass rusher Melvin Keihn o their 2014 recruiting class.

Melvin Keihn was supposed to announce his college decision next week, during the Under Armour All-American game (January 2, 2014). The four-star pass rushing specialist, however, was ready to make a decision now. On Christmas Eve, Keihn committed to Virginia Tech.

So, just what have the Hokies landed in Keihn?

The Baltimore (Md.) Gilmore School product stands 6-3 and weighs 220-pounds. He has the size and speed to be the prototypical hybrid defensive end/linebacker. One thing is certain, though: he's at his best when he's blitzing. It doesn't matter what his angle or depth is either. When blitzing Keihn creates havoc, which is defensive coordinator Bud Foster will no doubt try to utilize, no matter where Keihn's launch point starts.

With that said, don't be surprised to Foster and Co. stick him at the outside linebacker spot of their 46 defense and let Keihn do what he does best: pressure and pursue. For the record, Keihn has more than enough speed to burn on the edge - he clocks in at 4.5 on the 40-yard dash, according to Rivals.

Lets make this clear, too: Keihn - whose family moved to America from Liberia when he was eight - is a big-time get for VT, especially because it addresses a position of need - linebacker. 247Sports.com has him ranked as the No. 9 overall player in Maryland. Meanwhile, Rivals, on the other hand, has Keihn slotted as the No. 3 overall player from his home state - and as the No. 15 linebacker in the nation.

During his senior campaign, Keihn posted another banner season: 85 tackles, nine sacks, and two forced fumbles.

Over 50 schools offered Keihn a scholarship, but his top three choices were three local ACC schools: Virginia Tech, Virginia and Maryland. According to Keihn, he visited each school at least two times, too.

His recruitment by Virginia Tech, which was led by wide receivers coach Aaron Moorehead, benefitted greatly from those visits to Blacksburg. Keihn told HokieHaven.com that with each trip to Tech's campus, his bond with the team's players grew stronger, which in turn drew him to becoming a Hokie.

"I just feel really comfortable with them and I like what they're all about. I'm really good friends with most of the kids on the team and I feel like I know the whole team."

That wasn't all that appealed to Keihn, though. His father graduated from college earlier this year - the first in their family to do so. Now, the younger Keihn has similar aspirations.

"I love the engineering program up there. Anywhere I go, engineering is gonna be hard, so why not go somewhere with good program, where I can work on it."

From what Keihn told HokieHaven, it looks like he, too, believes Foster will utilize him in a variety of methods

"He's gonna use me as a blitzer, bring me down to help with the run and then drop me into pass coverage, help with the tight ends and running backs. I've got the speed, big-play ability and size and you can do a lot of things with me in blitz and pass coverage."

Recruitin analyst Adam Friedman covers the Mid-Atlantic region for Rivals, and he told Hokie Haven he believes Keihn could make an instant impact in 2014, albeit on special teams:

"I think he could make an impact early. He's got the talent to do that. It's all about coaching and the way his body develops. He's pretty lean right now. He needs to add muscle and get in the weight room."

Friedman also believes Keihn scores high marks for character as well. 

This truly looks like a great pick-up for the Hokies, and not a bad way to close out the 2013 calendar recruiting year.

If you'd like to see Keihn in action during his standout senior season, check here.