By Marty Gordon
P.J. Prioleau, one of the area’s top high school football players, is taking his game to the next level.
Earlier this week, the Radford running back announced plans to attend Virginia Tech in the fall. On Twitter, he said: “Proud to say I will be continuing my academic and athletic career at Virginia Tech.”
As a sophomore, the 5-11, 160-pounder rushed for 1,725 yards on 231 carries with 20 touchdowns and was named the All-county/All-city player of the year and was this year’s preseason pick for the same honor.
Prioleau follows in the steps of another former Radford tailback in Tommy Edwards, who played at Tech from 1991-92.
Prioleau also has some familiarity in the Hokie coaching staff as his father Pierson is the director of player development. The elder Prioleau had coached his son for several years as an assistant at Radford and has plenty of experience for him to learn from. Pierson was a three-year starter for at Tech before being drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the 1999 NFL Draft. He spent 12 years in the league, playing in 160 games for 5 different teams including the New Orleans
Saints with whom he earned as Super Bowl Bowl ring in 2009.
Prioleau’s decision came on the same day that two other area athletes signed with the Hokies.
The Hokies added Salem’s Jayden and Jorden McDonald to their 2021 signing class, bringing the number of signees in this group up to 27. The twin brothers are both listed as “athletes,” and the Virginia Tech coaching staff will determine their positions once they arrive on campus in the summer.
Salem High School began its 2021 spring season on Monday, Feb. 22 with a 50-0 win against Blacksburg after not playing football in the fall of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Spartans are currently 4-0 on the season.
The McDonalds are playing for head coach Don Holter at Salem, who finished the 2019 campaign with a 12-2 record that ended in the VHSL Class 4 state semifinals vs. Tuscarora. They were also members of Salem’s 2017 Division 4 Virginia state championship team coached by Holter.