Hokies a consistent Top 15 team in latest updates to pre-spring rankings

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 with the most recent updates included.

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. 15
The Hokies won 19 games in coach Justin Fuente's first two seasons, and now they'll have to reload on both sides of the ball to be as successful in 2018. Quarterback Josh Jackson gives the Hokies a chance to compete for an ACC Coastal title, as long as he plays the way he did during the first half of the 2017 season.

The Hokies will need young skill players to continue to develop, including tailbacks Deshawn McClease and Steven Peoples and receivers Sean Savoy and Phil Patterson. The addition of Ball State transfer Damon Hazelton, who sat out last season, might be a big boost for the receiver corps. He had 51 catches for 505 yards with four touchdowns as a freshman.

Defensive coordinator Bud Foster will have to find replacements at defensive tackle and linebacker after Edmunds and Settle turned pro. Replacing Facyson and Stroman in the secondary is another priority. Juco CB Jeremy Webb, No. 9 ILB Dax Hollifield and No. 17 safety Chamarri Conner were big additions through recruiting.

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 … Even though the defense loses a couple of key players, Bud Foster will keep the defense near the top of the ACC. Defensive tackle Ricky Walker is one of the best linemen in the ACC.
- Steve Lassan

For updates on Virginia Tech football, follow the Hokies on Twitter and on Instagram @HokiesFB Instagram