Hokies a consistent Top 20 team in way-too-early 2018 polls

On Tuesday, the final 2017 AP Poll put the Hokies at No. 24 and the last USA Today Coaches Poll placed Tech at No. 25 to close out the season. Almost as soon as those polls were released, media outlets and writers started posting where they believe Virginia Tech and other squads should be ranked heading into the 2018 campaign. Here’s a look at some of the highlights.

Sports Illustrated – No. 10
The Hokies were a bit of a mystery this season, but with a year of experience under his belt, quarterback Josh Jackson could be one of the best in the ACC, and Bud Foster’s defense should be as stout as usual.
– Joan Niesen


CBS Sports – No. 11
Justin Fuente is staying for at least a third season, meaning the Hokies continue to have something special going on. Josh Jackson should be one of the nation's best quarterbacks.
– Dennis Dodd


ESPN – No. 14
Quarterback Josh Jackson seemed to hit the freshman wall in the second half of the 2017 season. The Hokies struggled right along with him, losing three of their final five games. Jackson should be even better as a sophomore, after passing for 2,991 yards with 20 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

Deshawn McClease and Steven Peoples emerged as productive runners, and the Hokies will have to replace three of their five starting offensive linemen.

Defensive coordinator Bud Foster's unit loses a couple of key pieces, such as Motuapuaka and Facyson, but there's plenty for him to work with. The Hokies will play Notre Dame, Miami and Georgia Tech at home in 2018.
- Mark Schlabach


Sporting News – No. 15
Justin Fuente didn't entertain some big-time coaching openings in the offseason, a testament to his commitment to Blacksburg. The Hokies have proven they're good enough to compete for the ACC championship game again. They'll have to build around quarterback Josh Jackson to take the next step.
– Bill Bender


Athlon Sports – No. 15
With quarterback Josh Jackson expected to take a step forward in his development this offseason, the Hokies should be poised to make another run at the Coastal Division title. Jackson threw for 2,991 yards and 20 scores and rushed for 324 yards and six touchdowns in a standout freshman campaign in 2017. Restocking the offensive line and developing a few playmakers will be the top priorities this offseason for coach Justin Fuente. Deshawn McClease and Steven Peoples are a promising duo at running back, while Sean Savoy, Eric Kumah, Phil Patterson and Caleb Farley will be asked to step up at receiver to replace Cam Phillips.
- Steve Lassan


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