Recruiting: Virginia's Top 25 Prospects (May Edition)

How many of Virginia's Top 25 will Mike London bring to Charlottesville this year? (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

Here's a new recruiting feature on Streaking the Lawn, where we rank the Top 25 prospects in the Commonwealth, and give our take on how their recruiting is going, and where it might be headed. Keep in mind that this list is fluid, and players will be moving up, down, in and out of this list as we move towards National Signing Day in February. So, without further adieu, here's Virginia's Top 25 for the 2013 class.

1. Jonathan Allen | Defensive End | Stone Bridge

Contenders: Alabama, Florida, Virginia Tech, Ohio State, Penn State

The Stone Bridge defender is the state's top player. With an impressive offer list to match an impressive 6'3'' 225 lbs frame, Allen can basically go wherever he wants. Two SEC schools, Alabama and Florida, have the lead. Allen has been to Virginia several times, but not lately. Since his recruitment has taken off, the Defensive End seems more focused on the big time programs than the ones closer to home. He continues to list Virginia Tech amongst his favorites however, and if he decides to stay close to home, he will probably choose the Hokies. Allen recently cancelled a visit to Ohio State, and set a visit for Tuscaloosa for the near future. The Ashburn product was born in Alabama, and his recruitment could wrap up in favor of the Crimson Tide when he makes his visit south.

Prediction: Alabama

2. Christian Hackenberg | Quarterback | Fork Union

Contenders: COMMITTED TO PENN STATE

Hackenberg's father, Eric, played Quarterback at UVA for several years before transferring out to a lower division. This fact made many believe that the Hoos would have a leg up on the field. His father was also close with Tennessee coach Derek Dooley (who played at Virginia with the elder Hackenberg), so many thought Tennessee would be a player for the Fork Union signal-caller. In the end, Hackenberg chose the team he grew up rooting for in Pennsylvania, the Nittany Lions. There was much jockeying between 2013 QB prospects to become the first prized field general to commit to former New England Patriots coach Bill O'Brien, who has a reputation as a Quarterback guru of sorts. Hackenberg won that derby. Of the four Virginia QB's in the top 25, Hackenberg is the most polished right now. He might not have the highest ceiling of the bunch, but I wouldn't be surprised if he had the best collegiate career of the three.

3. Ryan Burns | Quarterback | Stone Bridge

Contenders: COMMITTED TO STANFORD

Ryan Burns was one of those prized Quarterbacks that considered jumping on board with Penn State earlier this spring. Burns did not pull the trigger, but Hackenberg did. Right after that Burns, took a trip to Palo Alto, and, like many recruits who see the Stanford campus for the first time, he fell in love with the school. Burns, whose family is originally from Wyoming, does not have deep roots in Virginia, so his decision to go west was not a huge shock. Virginia was Stanford's biggest competition for the Stone Bridge Quarterback. At one point many UVA fans hoped to grab commitments from both Allen and Burns, Bulldog teammates. It appears now that both of them will leave the Commonwealth for school next summer. Burns has tons of potential, but he plays in a high school offense that doesn't feature the pass very much. In fact, Burns threw more interceptions than touchdowns as a junior. He does have a great arm and is a great student, so Stanford is a great fit for Burns.


4. Bucky Hodges | Quarterback | Salem

Contenders: COMMITTED TO VIRGINIA TECH

Hodges' commitment to Virginia Tech came as no surprise. The Salem Quarterback was one of several prospects that committed to the Hokies during their rained-out spring game festivities a month or so ago. Many compare Hodges to current Virginia Tech Quarterback Logan Thomas, because of their size and skill sets. It's a pretty good comparison I'd say. UVA was Virginia Tech's biggest opponent for the "757" product, but the Cavaliers' chances were never that great. The Hokies took another Quarterback recruit recently, North Carolina native Carlis Parker.

5. E.J. Levenberry | Linebacker | C.D. Hylton

Contenders: COMMITTED TO FLORIDA STATE

Levenberry was always bound for a major out of state program. The Linebacker committed to the Seminoles over Michigan a few weeks ago, in what was thought to be a very close race. Levenberry is actually a Maryland native that transferred from Dematha Catholic in Hyattsville to C.D. Hylton in Woodbridge for his senior season. Neither in state school really gathered much momentum with Levenberry, but UVA was mentioned in connection with him a lot more than Tech was. In an interview last winter, Levenberry's father, who played at Maryland, said that they had basically eliminated Virginia because of Kwontie Moore's commitment in the 2012 class. I'm sure he will see plenty of competition for playing time in Tallahassee though.

6. Taquan Mizzell | Running Back | Bayside

Contenders: Virginia, West Virginia

Mizzell is a perfect example of a prospect on the rise. Already in Rivals' Top 100, the Bayside Running Back has shown very well at every camp he has attended this spring, earning invites to Nike's The Opening combine in Oregon, and Gridiron Kings, another all-star event in Florida. Mizzell continues to reel in offers, including three, from Tennessee, Cincinnati and Clemson, on the same day recently. Although his offer list continues to grow, he named two of his earliest offers, Virginia and West Virginia, as his top two. The Bayside prospect has a great relationship with former teammates and Cavaliers Demetrious Nicholson and Anthony Cooper, which of course bodes well for Virginia. UVA is widely considered the team to beat, and it might not even be that close.

Prediction: Virginia

7. Holland Fisher | Linebacker | Manchester

Contenders: COMMITTED TO VIRGINIA TECH

Fisher seemed like a Hokie all the way, and he committed to Virginia Tech early in the cycle. The Richmond native has shown well at the camps he has attended so far this spring. Fisher is quite athletic for his position, and some even thought he might end up playing safety in college. Fisher and Hodges are Virginia Tech's two most coveted commitments to date.

8. Tim Harris | Safety | Varina

Contenders: COMMITTED TO VIRGINIA

Harris is Virginia's highest rated commitment for the 2013 class thus far. The Varina product chose the Cavaliers after their Spring Game back in April, over a bunch of other solid offers. UVA took two commits from Varina in 2012, Tyrell Chavis and Maurice Canady, and that probably helped Virginia land Harris. The Safety caused a stir recently by telling an Ohio State blogger he is considering taking a few official visits (to Ohio State, Oregon and Virginia Tech specifically), but at this point, Virginia fans need not worry. Harris seems solid in his commitment, and a lot of times when prospects say they intend to take visits down the road, they don't end up taking place.

9. Derrick Green | Running Back | Hermitage

Contenders: Ohio State, Wisconsin, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Clemson

Like the Quarterback position, there are several highly rated Running Backs in the Commonwealth's 2013 class. Along with Mizzell and D.J. Reid, Derrick Green is among those elite backs. A power back, Green is getting a lot of attention from national programs, including Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, Oregon, and others. Green seemed to show some interest in both in-state programs, but he seems quite comfortable with leaving the state. With Mizzell likely bound for Charlottesville, it seems unlikely that Green would join him at Virginia. If he stays in-state, look for Green to land in Blacksburg. Unfortunately for the Hokies however, there is a great chance that he will in fact go outside the state's borders to play college ball. Right now, Clemson and Ohio State seem to hold the edge.

Prediction: Clemson

10. Doug Randolph | Linebacker | Woodberry Forest

Contenders: COMMITTED TO STANFORD, Virginia, Michigan, Notre Dame

Randolph, a talented linebacker, committed to Stanford during his junior year. However, he has taken several visits, and his recruitment is far from over at this point. Virginia, Michigan and Notre Dame all seem to have a shot with Randolph. Obviously academics are a priority for the Woodberry Forest standout. Of those three challengers, Virginia probably has the best chance to de-thrown the Cardinal for Randolph. Proximity to home, along with Virginia's academics, and Randolph's relationship with the coaching staff could all factor in down the line if the Linebacker decides to reconsider his commitment. Randolph also has a former teammate at UVA, Jake McGee, who was Randolph's teammate at Collegiate before he made the move to Woodberry Forest. For now though, Randolph still seems to want to head west.

Prediction: Stanford

11. Wyatt Teller | Defensive End | Liberty

Contenders: Virginia, Virginia Tech

Teller is the perfect example of the in-state battles we see between the Hoos and Hokies every year for certain prospects. For a while, it seemed like Virginia Tech had a leg up for the 4-star Defensive End. In recent months however, Teller has taken a bunch of visits to Charlottesville, and UVA is now the favorite. This one isn't over yet though. Teller's timetable is somewhat up in the air, and he may decide soon. Virginia isn't a lock by any means though. A lot of out-of-state schools would love to get Teller on their campuses, but for now, it looks like it's down to the 2 in-state rivals. Teller is a strong, athletic defender that will remind a lot of UVA fans of Chris Long when seeing him on tape.

Prediction: Virginia

12. Matt Rolin | Linebacker | Briar Woods

Contenders: South Carolina, Virginia Tech

Rolin, like Christian Hackenberg, seems to have a connection to several programs that are recruiting him. Those connections seem to be shaping the Linebacker's recruitment as well. Rolin's family is originally from South Carolina, and a bunch of his relatives still live there. Rolin also has a connection to Virginia Tech, as his older brother is a walk-on for the Hokies. These two schools have emerged as the two options for Rolin, with South Carolina being the team to beat at this point. Rolin's offer list is really impressive though, and he could go to almost any school he wants to, especially if he continues to perform well in camps. In the end, I believe Rolin will make the trip South to play for the Ole Ball Coach. Yeahhh, Click Clack.

Prediction: South Carolina

13. Michael Parker | Athlete | Kettle Run

Contenders: COMMITTED TO MARYLAND (2014)

Parker's recruitment has been weird. It sounds like he will have to prep for one year because of academic issues, and that has kept many (basically all) schools from accepting a commitment from him, even though they offered. This includes Virginia. Apparently Parker was very high on the Cavaliers but he has too much work to do for Virginia to accept a commitment from him at this point. So, it appears, Parker has committed to Maryland for the 2014 class, after prepping for a year. Whether he ends up sticking with this choice, who knows. His state ranking shows however that he is a very talented athlete.

14. Daesean Hamilton | Wide Receiver | Mountain View

Contenders: Virginia, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Miami

Hamilton has gained a lot of attention from programs all over the place recently, and has seen his recruitment take off. The in-state schools have an edge on the rest of the field at this point though. Although his high school's colors may scare some Virginia fans off, UVA has a pretty decent shot at landing Hamilton at this stage. Whether the Mountain View standout opens his recruitment up a bit more and looks out of state remains to be seen, but if it's an in-state battle, UVA has a fighter's chance.

Prediction: Virginia

15. Daniel "D.J." Reid | Running Back | Thomas Dale

Contenders: Virginia, Virginia Tech, USF, North Carolina

Reid is the third of the trio of in-state Running Backs in the Top 25. A talented back, Reid has offers from both in-state schools, as well as some other BCS-level offers. Thomas Dale has produced several Hokies in recent years, and if I were a betting man, I'd bet big on Reid signing with Virginia Tech in February.

Prediction: Virginia Tech

16. Charles Clark | Cornerback | King's Fork

Contenders: COMMITTED TO VIRGINIA TECH

Clark's recruitment was really quiet before his commitment to the Hokies during their spring game weekend. The Suffolk product is a lockdown type corner, and a great get for Tech. Virginia Tech hasn't taken a lot of commits out of the 757 area code recently, but Clark was one of several from that area that have jumped at the Hokies' advances this recruiting cycle.

17. Oren Burks | Linebacker | South County

Contenders: Virginia, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Maryland

Burks continues to take visits and weigh his options. The talented backer has a lot of offers, including of course, Virginia and Virginia Tech. Both in-state schools appear to be contenders for Burks, as well as a few schools outside the state as well. Burks plays at South County, which recently produced the Vandyke brothers in back to back classes, both of which signed with Virginia Tech. That would seem to give the Hokies an "in" with Burks, but he seems open to both in-state schools at this point. Burks has visited UVA a few times and the post-visit feedback has been very positive for the Cavaliers. At this point, Burks' recruitment is very fluid, and tough to predict.

Prediction: Virginia Tech

18. Donta' Wilkins | Defensive Tackle | Potomac

Contenders: Virginia, Virginia Tech, Penn State, Miami

Wilkins has been high on Virginia for a long time, but the Potomac standout is hearing from some heavy hitters so far. Like Charles Clark, Wilkins' recruitment has been pretty quiet to date. He has visited both in-state schools to this point, and has declared UVA his leader several times. Many think that it's not if but when Wilkins will commit to Virginia, but when big out-of-state programs enter the fray, sometimes it can muddy the waters. At the end of the day though, Virginia fans should feel great about landing Wilkins.

Prediction: Virginia

19. David Prince | Athlete | Patrick Henry

Contenders: COMMITTED TO VIRGINIA TECH

The Hokies have dominated one part of the state in particular in the past decade, west of the Blue Ridge. Landing David Prince is another example of that. Prince, a Roanoke native, grew up in the Hokie footprint. Other players Virginia Tech has landed from western parts of Virginia in recent years include David Wilson, Danny Coale, and 2012 commit Trey Edmunds. Its not going to be easy for Mike London and his staff to pull players from these areas, but the staff is going after kids like Prince a little harder than the previous staff did.

20. Zack Jones | Wide Receiver | Oscar Smith

Contenders: COMMITTED TO VIRGINIA

If there was a lock for UVA in the 2013 class, this was it. Zack Jones, the younger brother of Perry, got an offer from Virginia right after an impressive performance in Oscar Smith's state title win in Charlottesville back in December. From then until Jones committed several weeks ago, it seemed like a lock that he would end up in Orange and Blue. It seems like Perry is already letting him see what he'll look like in a Virginia uniform.

21. Corwin Cutler | Quarterback | Ocean Lakes

Contenders: Virginia, Virginia Tech, Rutgers, Florida

Cutler has been getting really good reviews from his recent camp performances. The Ocean Lakes standout could see his recruitment really take off soon, if he doesn't commit first. UVA is the big favorite for Cutler, even though they already hold a verbal from Good Counsel signal-caller Brendan Marshall. According to Cutler, he's interested in Virginia Tech, Rutgers and Florida as well, if they offer. I would expect his offer list to grow big time over the next few months.

Prediction: Virginia

22. Deon Newsome | Cornerback | Hampton

Contenders: COMMITTED TO VIRIGINIA TECH

Deon Newsome's father, Myron, played at Virginia Tech, so his commitment to the Hokies should come as no surprise. The Hampton Crabber could play at either Wide Receiver or Defensive Back in college, so it'll be interesting to see where he is slotted next year.

23. Ryheem Lockley | Athlete | Middlesex

Contenders: Virginia, Virginia Tech, West Virginia

Lockley's recruitment has been interesting so far. At one point, he seemed like a lock to be bound for Blacksburg. However, Virginia Tech has yet to offer the Middlesex standout. Instead, he holds offers from Virginia and West Virginia. If Virginia Tech doesn't offer, or doesn't offer soon enough, Lockley could wind up in Charlottesville. For now, we'll see where his recruitment goes, and how a potential Virginia Tech offer could change the game.

Prediction: Virginia


24. Demetri McGill | Defensive Tackle | Ocean Lakes

Contenders: Virginia, ECU

McGill is very high on Virginia, but is waiting on the Cavaliers to offer. If Virginia does offer, McGill's recruitment will probably wrap up pretty quickly. If they don't, he'll wind up somewhere out of state probably. If UVA lands Donta' Wilkins, they will probably consider not taking another Defensive Tackle in the 2013 class, and may pass on McGill. It's all up in the air at this point.

Prediction: Virginia

25. Parker Osterloh | Offensive Tackle | Warhill

Contenders: COMMITTED TO VIRGINIA TECH

It took until the 25th ranked player to get an Offensive Linemen on the board. Osterloh was an in-state battle between the Hoos and Hokies that could have gone either way, until he committed to Virginia Tech during their Spring Game weekend. There are several Offensive Linemen, including another Tech commit Braxton Pfaff, that just missed the Top 25. It's worth noting that UVA commit Sadiq Olenrewaju (from Connecticut) would have made this list, so it's not like UVA is totally whiffing on Offensive Linemen so far.

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