Everything about Silas Dzansi’s young football career to this point has been about speed. At 6-foot-6, 260 pounds, the burly Hylton lineman runs the 40-yard dash in a nimble 4.9 seconds. A basketball player with little interest in football his freshman year, he took only two seasons to develop into a college prospect. And when Virginia Tech dealt him a scholarship offer on Monday, he took almost no time to make his college decision.
Previously a Delaware State commit at defensive end, Dzansi flipped his commitment Monday when Virginia Tech offensive line Coach Vance Vice visited the Woodbridge school to make an official offer. Nine days ahead of National Signing Day, the Hokies became the only FBS school to extend Dzansi an offer. Aside from Delaware State, the raw prospect had talked to coaches from Temple, Rhode Island, Virginia State, Virginia Union, Hampton and Shepherd.
“I grew up with Virginia Tech,” said Dzansi, the Hokies’ 19th commitment in the Class of 2016. “They were the first college football team I ever watched. Virginia Tech is my dream school. I’ve always wanted to go there. I love the atmosphere, the coaches.”
A two-star prospect according to Rivals, Dzansi played both ways his senior season, racking up 56 tackles on defense while protecting the blind side of quarterback Donovan Williams, a Connecticut commit. Dzansi, who began playing football his sophomore year, used his long and athletic frame to thrive at defensive end his junior season. His inexperience made him a project, but Hylton coaches showed their belief in the up-and-comer by challenging him to replace All-Met Matt Burrell Jr. (Ohio State) as the Bulldogs’ starting left tackle last fall.
“My junior season I was a lot more confused,” said Dzansi, a second-team all-Conference 4 selection as an offensive lineman and honorable mention on defense last year. “I didn’t really know plays and stuff like that, but after I sat down with coaches and players to help me progress I learned more about the game.”
Dzansi, a reserve center on Hylton’s No. 17 basketball squad this winter, will spend the fall semester at Fork Union Military Academy, where he’ll take an Algebra 2 course and work on bulking up for the rigors of ACC football. In December he plans to enroll at Virginia Tech, where he will join Forest Park wide receiver Eric Kumah and Stonewall Jackson running back Reggie Floyd as the Hokies’ only Northern Virginia natives in this year’s recruiting class.