Virginia Tech parted ways with coach Justin Fuente earlier this week, immediately launching a national search to find its next head coach.

It’s still early in the process, but one candidate who has started to gain traction amongst the fanbase is Marshall head coach Charles Huff.

Huff is in his first season with the Mean Green, and has led them to a 6-4 record so far in 2021.

But what makes Huff a good candidate for the Hokies? It comes down to three important factors. Let’s examine them:

Incredible mentors

You’d be hard-pressed to find a coach who has worked for more established coaches in the game than Huff has. He’s coached under PJ Fleck, James Franklin, Joe Moorhead and Nick Saban for the last seven seasons before taking the Marshall gig.

He was the running backs coach and special teams coordinator at Penn State from 2014-17, the assistant head coach and running game coordinator at Mississippi State in 2018 and served as Alabama’s assistant head coach and running backs coach from 2019-20.

Only time will tell if that experience will translate into wins, but he has the institutional knowledge to be successful at Virginia Tech.

Regional ties

Huff is originally from Maryland and played at Hampton University in Virginia.

One area where Fuente struggled mightily was recruiting in-state. Fuente’s roots were in Oklahoma and Texas, and he failed to establish important recruiting pipelines in Virginia.

That’s one area where Huff would theoretically be able to improve immediately given his experience in the state.

Elite recruiter

In addition to having ties to the area, Huff is just an exceptional recruiter. He’s earned that reputation over the course of his career, and that’s already playing out in Year 1 at Marshall.

Marshall currently has the No. 1-ranked recruiting class Conference USA for the class of 2022, according to 247Sports Composite rankings. Perhaps more impressively, the class ranks No. 50 nationally.

With Huff’s recruiting prowess and the large amount of talent produced each year in the region, he could turn the program back into a ACC competitor sooner rather than later.

There is no timetable for a hire to be made, but it’s expected Virginia Tech will make a decision before the Early Signing Period begins on Dec. 15.