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RANKINGS: Listed as the No. 31 weakside defensive end in the nation and the No. 25 prospect in North Carolina by Rivals … Rated as the No. 76  strongside defensive end in the country and the No. 47 player in his state by 247Sports … Listed as the No. 85 defensive end in the country by Scout … Ranked as the No. 66 defensive end in the country and the No. 24 player in the state by ESPN Recruiting Nation.

THE VITALS: Committed to the Hokies on 12/20/2014 … A member of the All-Atlantic Region Team by SuperPrep … Had 78 tackles, including 15 for loss and 10 sacks, during his senior season at Nash Central … Won the Tom Suiter Extra Effort Award … Represented North Carolina in the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas, an all-star game that features top seniors from North Carolina against their counterparts in South Carolina … Tallied 85 tackles, including 21 for a loss and 11.5 sacks as a junior.

PERSONAL: Born on May 2, 1997, in Rocky Mount, NC … Son of Jeff Gaines and Tardra Hilliard … Has two older brothers and two older sisters … Contemplated majors are business or management, with plans of opening his own restaurant.

WHY HE CHOSE TECH: “They [the coaches] always treated me like family. Coach [Charley] Wiles was my recruiter, and he’s also the defensive line coach. That helped out a lot that my position coach was recruiting me. I just feel like they were the best fit for me. Virginia Tech has a great defense, and I really love the area a lot. It’s a small town with a college in it. Another reason was that they have great food. That had a lot to do with it.”

VIDEO  | Houshun Gaines