Cameren Fleming made an early June official visit to Minnesota, and he loved it. In fact, he committed to the Golden Gophers.
Yet, there was some tugging from his heart strings about it, and it grew markedly larger when he thought about playing for in-state Virginia Tech, and it strengthened even more when he made an official visit to the Blacksburg, Va., school.
A recruitment that was sometimes tiring and stressful ended Thursday afternoon for the Richmond (Va.) Trinity Episcopal cornerback when he announced his commitment.
“I am going to Virginia Tech,” the 6-foot, 185-pound Fleming said. “It was just the right fit for me and my family. Not sure if many people know, but I was committed to Minnesota for a bit, silently, and I thought I was really following my heart to go to Minnesota, but then I kept second-guessing staying home and playing ball for the Hokies.
“I have a great group of guys coming in with me in (cornerbacks) Braylon Johnson and Dante Lovett, and our relationship has been growing so it was kind of a no-brainer to stay home and play ball for Tech.”
Fleming told the Hokies staff about his decision last week, which help alleviate a lot of stress.
“Calling them and telling them was a huge relief,” he said. “I kept it honest with them and I told them where I was going (in June), and where my heart was telling me, and they respected it.
“Their reaction (when committing to the Hokies) was they were really excited. When I went up there on my official, they were telling me I was the No. 1 guy on their board, and they were showing me I was No. 1 on the list. With them showing me that and being in constant contact, not just with me and my parents but with my coaches, my mentors, I could tell they really wanted me as an athlete and a man. It’s a relief to know I am committed.”
Fleming’s relationship with the coaching staff was another big part of his decision, and it is led by his belief in coach Brent Pry and the desire to play for cornerbacks coach Derek Jones.
“Coach Pry is a defensive-minded coach so that was a plus for me,” Fleming said. “I love his mentality going toward his team of being defensive strong. With him, we have been growing over the last few months. He offered me back in February and it was one of my first Power 5 offers, so it was a great feeling. We are really close. We talk every weeek or so.
“Coach Jones is my guy. We have that same mentality and he has his motto and he goes by, ‘Cheetah.’ It’s just a mentality thing and I feel the same way about how he carries his game onto the field and I know he will develop me as a man before an athlete, and he is just a great dude. My relationship with the whole staff is very good. They are all great guys. I feel comfortable with the whole staff.”
Also committed to the Hokies from within the state are offensive tackle Hannes Hammer of Roanoke (Va.) North Cross, receiver Marcell Baylor of Radford (Va.) High, safety Braylon Johnson and athlete Takye Heath of Highland Springs (Va.) High, safety Caleb Woodson of Haymarket (Va.) Battlefield, edge rusher Jason Abbey of Richmond Freeman, athlete Krystian Williams for Richmond Collegiate and linebacker Tavorian Copeland of Appomattox (Va.) County.