To celebrate his 17th birthday, Patriot High School junior Jalen Stroman announced Friday on his Twitter account his commitment to Virginia Tech. Stroman chose the Hokies over his two other finalists, Virginia and Duke.
Given the family connection, Virginia Tech was considered the favorite to land Stroman, who will follow his older brother Greg to Blacksburg.
Greg, a 2014 Stonewall Jackson High School graduate, was an all-ACC cornerback at Virginia Tech and a 2018 seventh-round pick by the Washington Redskins. In keeping with family tradition, Greg's three finalists out of high school were also Virginia Tech, Virginia and Duke.
Stroman said he informed Virginia and Duke of his decision earlier Friday before the announcement. The Hokies learned of Stroman's choice when it came over Twitter.
Jalen said he made his decision two weeks ago while working out at Greg's townhouse in Ashburn.
"[Virginia Tech] fit the best," Stroman said. "It felt like home. I never looked at it as [Greg] going there. I looked at it as what I want for myself. It's a brand-new school."
Stroman said he told his brother immediately of his decision. Greg, who never tried to influence Jalen one way or the other, responded by making sure Jalen chose Virginia Tech for the right reasons.
"He was happy for me and proud," Jalen Stroman said. "But he asked me if I was sure that's where I wanted go? I told him this was my choice."
Jalen Stroman originally planned on choosing his school with a video shoot at Sumerduck Dragway in Fauquier County. Rain doused those plans. But once the sun came out Friday afternoon, Stroman did the same thing at a parking lot near his house instead with a tire burnout that produced Virginia Tech's maroon and orange colors. Stroman then exited from the car's passenger side sporting a Virginia Tech cap.
Friday's announcement was scheduled for 5 p.m. but Stroman said posting the 1:37 video took longer than expected and delayed the news for close to 30 minutes.
Stroman is Virginia Tech's second in-state commitment for the class of 2021 and seventh overall. He was recruited as a safety and also had offers from Indiana, Kent State and Temple. A three-star recruit, Stroman is rated the No. 17 prospect in Virginia by 247Sports.
A three-year starter, the 6-foot-1, 190-pound Stroman displayed his versatility on both sides of the ball in helping lead the Pioneers to a 10-2 record in 2019. He punted and returned kicks, while playing wide receiver and safety. He was first-team all-Cedar Run District on defense and second-team all-district on offense.
In 2019, Stroman caught 18 passes for 470 yards and a team-high tying five touchdowns at wideout and recorded 58 total tackles along with three interceptions and two pass deflections on defense.