No surprises on National Signing Day; Eli Harold headlines Virginia Football's Class of 2012

Virginia Football Class of 2012 National Signing Day

National Signing Day 2012 was nowhere near as exciting for Virginia fans as National Signing Day 2011 was. Heading into the big day last year, Virginia fans were still awaiting decisions from four highly-rated recruits, three of whom were said to be down between Virginia and at least one other school. The Hoos landed two of those four, which made for an exciting afternoon and promising future.

Service Ranking
ESPN Just Missed 0 3
18
247 20 1 6
18
Scout 28 1 3 17
Rivals 27 0 4 16

This year was a lot "calmer" by all accounts. At the start of yesterday, there were essentially no outstanding offers on the table that the Hoos were still waiting to hear back from. In fact, by 11:35 a.m., Virginia head coach Mike London and company had already received a fax from every single student they were expecting.

That's a good thing. By comparison, reports circulated the internet today of the Virginia Tech coaching staff giving an earful to a Hokie commit, Ja Wand Blue, who surprised the staff by de-committing from Virginia Tech in favor of the University of Miami instead.

"No surprises," Defensive Coordinator Jim Reid told Virginia beat writer Jeff White yesterday morning. "As long as there's no surprises, we're good."

"Luckily this year," London echoed, "the commitments that were made to us stuck, and hopefully today will show that our early message was consistent, and having the season we had drew them closer in terms of wanting to be here."

Virginia's commits had plenty of time to reconsider. In fact, of the 26 members of the Class of 2012, only three -- Kelvin Rainey, Canaan Severin and Divante Walker -- had not offered a verbal commitment prior to the start of the 2011 campaign.

Coming off the 8-win season and a trip to the Chick-fil-A Bowl, Virginia signed what most to be considered the fifth best recruiting class in the conference, behind Florida State as the clear ACC winner, Clemson and Miami as the second tear, and Virginia Tech, who joins Virginia in the third tier of recruiting success in the conference. The rest of the conference had a "meh" recruiting season at best.

State No. of Signees
Virginia 13
Tidewater 10
Richmond 3
Georgia 2
New Jersey 2
Pennsylvania 2
Florida 1
New York 1
North Carolina 1
Maryland 1
Massachusetts 1
Texas 1
Canada 1

Virginia's recruiting class is headlined by the top prospect in the Commonwealth, defensive end Eli Harold out of Ocean Lakes in Virginia Beach, VA. Kwontie Moore out of Norfolk Christian in Norfolk, VA is also considered one of the top recruits of the state.

The majority of this year's class actually comes from in-state. A couple days ago, Doug Doughty wrote a piece in the ACC Sports Journal about how Virginia and Virginia Tech did a great job this year of protecting the state's borders. In years past, the Tar Heels have had a pretty strong foothold in the Commonwealth, but this year, North Carolina failed to sign a single player from Virginia.

Also worth noting is that, of the Cavaliers' 13 Virginia signees, 10 of them hail from the fertile recruiting grounds of the 757. Oddly enough, there were no commitments from the Northern Virginia region, which is interesting considering that the Hoos held a free open practice in Alexandria, Va. last March.

In hearing the players talk about why they chose Virginia over their other scholarship offers, there are two recurring themes. The first is that the players are committing to Virginia for greater reason other than Mike London and the rest of the coaching staff. Whether it's his faith, his work ethic, or just his ability to relate to players, these signees are excited to work with these coaches and are ready to go all-in on the Virginia system. The second recurring reason is academics. Virginia continues to attract players not only because of its return to relevancy, but because of its commitment to academic excellence. For most of these guys, the dream of reaching the NFL, and the fame and fortune associated therewith, will never be anything more than a dream. They know this. Their families know this. Coach London knows this. Everybody knows this. So it's good to see many of them making these types of decisions on the value of their diploma, and I wouldn't trade that for the world.

Well, maybe. Let's see what our record is next year.

Below you'll find scouting reports, player quotes, ratings, video highlights, UVA-produced videos, and much more on each of the 26 members of the Class of 2012. Even if you were following along with us yesterday as these rolled in, you'll want to click through to the scouting reports, as Tiki has added comments to almost all of them assessing their impact on Virginia. Yesterday, he also assessed the class as a whole.

Virginia Football's Signed Class of 2012

Demeitre Brim
Athlete
Jamall Brown
Wide Receiver

Demeitre Brim
Victory Christian Academy (Dundee, FL)
6' 3" / 200 lbs

Scouting Report and Highlights
Official Signing Video

Rankings:
Service Stars Pos. Rank
ESPN: #37 ATH
247: #144 ATH
Scout: #141 S
Rivals: #46 ATH


Hampton (Hampton, VA)
6' 0" / 180 lbs

Scouting Report and Highlights
Official Signing Video

Rankings:
Service Stars Pos. Rank
ESPN: #131 WR
247: #202 WR
Scout: #201 WR
Rivals:
Maurice Canady
Athlete
Tyrell Chavis
Defensive Tackle


Varina (Richmond, VA)

6' 1" / 180 lbs
Scouting Report and Highlights
Official Signing Video

Rankings:
Service Stars Pos. Rank
ESPN: #183 ATH
247: #51 ATH
Scout: #179 CB
Rivals:


Varina (Richmond, VA)

6' 3" / 285 lbs
Scouting Report and Highlights
Official Signing Video

Rankings:
Service Stars Pos. Rank
ESPN: #48 OG
247: #22 ATH
Scout: #114 OG
Rivals:
Anthony Cooper
Athlete
Kyle Dockins
Wide Receiver


Bayside (Virginia Beach, VA)

6' 0" / 185 lbs
Scouting Report and Highlights
Official Signing Video

Rankings:
Service Stars Pos. Rank
ESPN: #72 WR
247: #31 WR
Scout: #285 WR
Rivals: #57 WR


Landstown (Virginia Beach, VA)

6' 3" / 205 lbs
Scouting Report and Highlights
Official Signing Video

Rankings:
Service Stars Pos. Rank
ESPN: #130 ATH
247: #77 ATH
Scout: #82 TE
Rivals:
Ryan Doull
Offensive Guard
Adrian Gamble
Wide Receiver


All Saints/Fork Union (Kanata, Ontario)

6' 5" / 2310 lbs
Scouting Report and Highlights
Official Signing Video

Rankings:
Service Stars Pos. Rank
ESPN: #88 OG
247:
Scout:
Rivals:


Independence/Fork Union (Charlotte, N.C.)

6' 1" / 180 lbs
Scouting Report and Highlights
Official Signing Video

Rankings:
Service Stars Pos. Rank
ESPN: #86 WR
247:
Scout: #156 WR
Rivals:
Mark Hall
Linebacker
Eli Harold
Defensive End


Green Run (Virginia Beach, VA)

6' 3" / 220 lbs
Scouting Report and Highlights
Official Signing Video

Rankings:
Service Stars Pos. Rank
ESPN: #133 OLB
247: #46 OLB
Scout: #83 OLB
Rivals: #68 OLB


Ocean Lakes (Virginia Beach, VA)

6' 4" / 215 lbs
Scouting Report and Highlights
Official Signing Video

Rankings:
Service Stars Pos. Rank
ESPN: #15 DE
247: #4 WDE
Scout: #1 OLB
Rivals: #5 WDE
Matt Johns
Quarterback
Sean Karl
Offensive Tackle


Central Bucks South (Chalfont, PA)

6' 5" / 200 lbs
Scouting Report and Highlights
Official Signing Video

Rankings:
Service Stars Pos. Rank
ESPN: #80 QB
247: #35 Pro QB
Scout: #55 QB
Rivals:


Eastport-South Manor (Manorville, NY)

6' 6" / 295 lbs
Scouting Report and Highlights
Official Signing Video

Rankings:
Service Stars Pos. Rank
ESPN: #72 OT
247: #113 OT
Scout: #101 OT
Rivals: #56 OT
Greyson Lambert
Quarterback
Andre Miles-Redmond
Offensive Guard


Wayne County (Jesup, GA)

6' 5" / 215 lbs
Scouting Report and Highlights
Official Signing Video

(January Enrollee)

Rankings:
Service Stars Pos. Rank
ESPN: #37 QB
247: 9 Pro QB
Scout: #9 QB
Rivals: #22 QB


Hermitage (Glen Allen, VA)

6' 4" / 260 lbs
Scouting Report and Highlights
Official Signing Video

Rankings:
Service Stars Pos. Rank
ESPN: #42 OG
247: #28 OG
Scout: #77 OG
Rivals:
Michael Mooney
Offensive Tackle
C.J. Moore
Cornerback


Malvern Prep (Malvern, PA)

6' 5" / 265 lbs
Scouting Report and Highlights
Official Signing Video

Rankings:
Service Stars Pos. Rank
ESPN: #63 OT
247: #68 OT
Scout: #61 OT
Rivals:


Buford (Buford, GA)

5' 10" / 160 lbs
Scouting Report and Highlights
Official Signing Video

Rankings:
Service Stars Pos. Rank
ESPN: #74 CB
247: #109 CB
Scout: #91 CB
Rivals:
Kwontie Moore
Linebacker
Michael Moore
Defensive End


Norfolk Christian (Norfolk, VA)

6' 2" / 243 lbs
Scouting Report and Highlights
Official Signing Video

Rankings:
Service Stars Pos. Rank
ESPN: #7 ILB
247: #1 ILB
Scout: #12 MLB
Rivals: #3 ILB


DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, MD)

6' 4" / 260 lbs
Scouting Report and Highlights
Official Signing Video

Rankings:
Service Stars Pos. Rank
ESPN: #35 DE
247: #11 SDE
Scout: #30 DE
Rivals: #11 SDE
Kye Morgan
Running Back
Mario Nixon
Wide Receiver


Franklin (Somerset, NJ)

5' 11" / 165 lbs
Scouting Report and Highlights
Official Signing Video

Rankings:
Service Stars Pos. Rank
ESPN: #152 RB
247: #71 RB
Scout: #71 RB
Rivals: #41 RB


Norfolk Christian (Norfolk, VA)

6' 5" / 215 lbs
Scouting Report and Highlights
Official Signing Video

Rankings:
Service Stars Pos. Rank
ESPN: #56 WR
247: #84 WR
Scout: #100 WR
Rivals: #97 WR
Kelvin Rainey
Cornerback
Canaan Severin
Wide Receiver


Stratford (Houston, TX)

6' 0" / 175 lbs
Scouting Report and Highlights
Official Signing Video

Rankings:
Service Stars Pos. Rank
ESPN: #141 S
247: #98 CB
Scout: #118 CB
Rivals:


Worcester Academy (Marlborough, MA)

6' 2" / 210 lbs
Scouting Report and Highlights
Official Signing Video

Rankings:
Service Stars Pos. Rank
ESPN: #141 S
247: #28 WR
Scout: #118 CB
Rivals: 23 ATH
Max Valles
Athlete
Wilfred Wahee
Athlete


St. Joseph (Sicklerville, NJ)

6' 5" / 230 lbs
Scouting Report and Highlights
Official Signing Video

Rankings:
Service Stars Pos. Rank
ESPN: #93 DE
247: #60 ATH
Scout: #174 WR
Rivals:


Norfolk Christian (Norfolk, VA)

5' 10" / 170 lbs
Scouting Report and Highlights
Official Signing Video

Rankings:
Service Stars Pos. Rank
ESPN: #93 DE
247: #120 ATH
Scout: 161 CB
Rivals:
Divante Walker
Cornerback
Courtnye Wynn
Defensive End


Salem (Virginia Beach, VA)

5' 11" / 175 lbs
Scouting Report and Highlights
Official Signing Video

Rankings:
Service Stars Pos. Rank
ESPN: #186 RB
247: 86
Scout: #86 ATH
Rivals:


Norfolk Christian (Norfolk, VA)

6' 6" / 240 lbs
Scouting Report and Highlights
Official Signing Video

Rankings:
Service Stars Pos. Rank
ESPN: #85 DE
247: #21 DT
Scout: #59 DE
Rivals:

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