Posted: 4:17 pm Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

Village Academy DE Kevin Bronson signs with Virginia Tech, WR Tre’Quan Smith signs with UCF 

By Anthony Chiang

Balloons and banners surrounded Kevin Bronson on signing day.

It was supposed to be a surprise, but the Village Academy defensive end did not want to wait until Wednesday.

“Kevin was ready to get all of this out of the way,” Village Academy coach Don Hanna said. “It got to the point where we were getting calls and visits from coaches, and it made the process so much harder.”

Instead, Bronson announced that he was heading to Virginia Tech on Saturday. The 6-foot-4 defensive force made it official Wednesday, signing with the Hokies in a Village Academy media center full of students and family.

It was an emotional ceremony, as Bronson’s parents and brother spoke. The three-star recruit and the eighth-best recruit on PBGametime’s Class of 2014 Big Board was visibly emotional during their short speeches.

“The recruiting process is crazy,” Bronson said. “A lot of things come and a lot of things go. A lot of coaches tell you a whole bunch of stuff.”

Bronson chose Virginia Tech over USF and Florida Atlantic. The Hokies offered the Post’s Small School Defensive Player of the Year late in the process on Jan. 23, and he took a visit to the campus on Jan. 24.

“It threw red flags up for me,” said Hanna of the Hokies’ late offer. “We made sure that we cleared that up. The coaching staff was worried about his academics, but once they saw where Kevin was academically and they knew it would work out, they pulled the trigger.”

There were plenty of twists and turns in Bronson’s recruiting process.

Early in the process, Rutgers seemed to be the favorite. Vanderbilt entered the picture in January, visiting Bronson and offering him. At first, he was intrigued, but he ruled out the Commodores later that week.

As a senior, Bronson recorded 58 tackles, 24 tackles for loss, nine sacks and six forced fumbles for Village Academy. Virginia Tech features the same style of defense Bronson played in high school, a 4-3 defense.

In addition to Bronson, Village Academy wide receiver Tre’Quan Smith signed with UCF on Wednesday. The speedy 6-foot-2 wide receiver verbally committed to UCF in June, sticking with the Knights ever since.

Smith recorded 30 catches for 674 yards and 14 total touchdowns as a senior. UCF finished with a 12-1 record last season.

“There was never any doubt,” said Smith of his commitment to UCF. “The coaches always stayed in contact with me. Even if they would have had a losing record, I still would have been there.”