With the season over and everyone turning their attention to recruiting for next season, Virginia Tech fans might want to keep an eye on Tyrell Ward, who announced today he is decommitting from Xavier.
The 6-foot-7 Ward played at DeMatha (in Hyattsville, MD) under current Virginia Tech associate head coach Mike Jones, and is a teammate of Hokie signee Rodney Rice, so there is a clear connection and relationship there. He announced on social media he was decommiting after former head coach Travis Steele parted ways with the program.
“Due to the recent coaching changes at Xavier University, I've decided to ask the university for my release from my NLI (national letter of intent) and will reopen my recruitment,” Ward said in a graphic he posted on Twitter. “100 percent Xavier will still be an option. I'm grateful to Xavier for the love they've shown to me and my family throughout the process.”
The Hokies were among Ward’s final 8 the first time around, as Ward considered LSU, Georgia, Virginia Tech, Indiana, Miami, Xavier, Maryland, and Georgetown before paring it down to just Xavier and the Hokies, then committing to Xavier last July. Less than a year later, half of those schools have made or are in the process of head coaching changes, while Virginia Tech is coming of an ACC Tournament championship and 5 straight appearances in the NCAA Tournament.
The combination of stability, recent success and opportunity for Ward could make the Hokies a team in the right place at the right time.
Rivals ranks Ward the No. 26 player in the nation while 247 has him at No. 36. Ward averaged 19.1 points per game and 4.5 rebounds a game for Dematha this season, and his teammate Rice – who has already signed an NLI with Virginia Tech - averaged 20.5 points per game this season. The combination of playing for his old coach and with his current teammate could be a huge factor that could benefit the Hokies.