To redshirt or not to redshirt: An analysis of the 2013 recruiting class

Now that we've had over a week to digest National Signing Day and everything it comes with, it's time to analyze the recruits that could potentially make an impact next season and the ones that will take some developing before they see the field.

Tyrell Chavis, DT

Chavis was originally part of Virginia's 2012 class, but he didn't qualify academically and spent a post-grad year at Fork Union Military Academy. Because of this extra experience and the fact that he plays a position of need for the Cavs, I expect the coaching staff to give Chavis every opportunity to earn some serious playing time early in his career. He's a big kid, coming in at 6'3 and 315 lbs, which means he is physically ready for the college game. He's great at stopping the run and with some coaching, come become a fantastic player up the middle for Coach London.

Verdict: Not redshirting

Micah Kiser, LB

Linebacker was Virginia's biggest need coming into the 2013 recruiting season, and the coaching staff did a tremendous job of getting quality players at the position. Kiser had offers from schools such as Florida, Oklahoma, and Stanford, but chose to come to Charlottesville instead. After losing Steve Greer and LaRoy Reynolds, a lot of young players are expected to step up and fill those holes on the defense. If Kiser picks up the defense quickly and shows his potential, he could actually become a starter or at least factor into the linebacking rotation. If not, he can easily become a special teams contributor.

Verdict: Not redshirting

Zack Jones, WR

Virginia has built up some nice depth at the receiver position in the past few seasons, and Darius Jennings and Dominique Terrell are expected to make big jumps in production next season as they enter their junior years. Jones is a nice slot receiver prospect for the future, but I don't see any way he can get playing time this season, especially considering he's the lowest rated receiver in his own class (more on that later). He has some nice tools to work with, but he should take a year to learn the offense and get stronger.

Verdict: Redshirting

Kirk Garner, CB

Garner is another high level prospect who chose the Cavaliers over some powerhouse programs. He had offers from Florida State, Auburn, Tennessee, and Michigan State, among others. He's a physical defensive back with great man-to-man coverage skills and very good hands. He's also a perimeter player who can stop the run. He will definitely be in competition to earn some playing time in a young UVA secondary, and if he can't crack the rotation, he will be a special teams contributor.

Verdict: Not redshirting

Tim Harris, CB/S

Harris is a versatile player who can play either cornerback or safety for the Hoos. He was a consensus 4-star player and one of UVA's top targets for this recruiting cycles. He's a tremendous athlete with a lot of range, which might make him a better fit at safety. If he can come in and impress right away, he has a chance to start as a true freshman. Harris is one of the few recruits I can say for certain won't redshirt, as I feel like Mike London and Chip West will find a spot for him. He's too talented to keep off the field.

Verdict: Not redshirting

Max Valles, DE/TE

Valles is athletic enough to play wherever the staff needs him to. I think giving Tom O'Brien the athletic, blank canvas that is Max Valles and letting him develop as a tight end would be the best case scenario in this situation. He's a freak athletic with great length and good hands. He needs to add strength and improve his blocking, but if he can get into the 230ish range, he should be a great addition to the Cavaliers passing game in the future.

Verdict: Redshirting to gain strength and learn offense

Brendan Marshall, QB

Marshall has a solid frame for a quarterback (6'5, 200 lbs), but with so many quarterbacks ahead of him on the depth chart, redshirting is pretty much certain. He ran a pro-style system in high school and Virginia runs a similar style, so that should help him in the future. He will have to compete with Corwin Cutler and Grayson Lambert for playing time in the future, which is a good problem to have if you're Mike London.

Verdict: Definitely redshirting

Eric Tetlow, OT

Tetlow was a Signing Day flip from Wake Forest, adding even more depth to a position of need for the Hoos. He's a big guy at 6'6 and 290, and can play either tackle or guard. Virginia has a lot of young options up front, so Tetlow will have to make a pretty big impression early on in order to earn playing time. I expect him to redshirt and gain some strength while getting acclimated to the college game.

Verdict: Barring any surprises, he'll probably redshirt

Jack English, DE

English didn't receive the same fanfare as most of Virginia's other recruits, but he's a talented player who caught the eye of Virginia Tech and UVA before finally settling on the Hoos. He's is a pretty good athlete, having played tight end and defensive end for his high school, but unlike Max Valles, he's more likely to stick to defense in college. He needs to get stronger and improve his technique, but he has good potential for the future.

Verdict: Redshirting

Malcolm Cook, DB

Malcolm Cook has 15 interceptions in his senior year ALONE. Of those 5, he returned 5 for touchdowns. Let that sink in for a moment. This kid is a great athlete with a knack for finding the football and making big plays. After he committed to UVA, he got other offers from Penn State, Miami, NC State, and TCU. He has a good chance to earn some early playing time, whether it be on defense or special teams.

Verdict: Probably not redshirting

Taquan "Smoke" Mizzell, RB

The highest rated recruit Virginia has signed since Eugene Monroe in 2005. Mizzell is a special athlete with insanely quick feet and tremendous speed. With the departure of Perry Jones, expect Mizzell to come in and form one of the deepest backfields in the ACC with Kevin Parks and Clifton Richardson. Mizzell will also likely handle kick return and punt return duties, and Steve Fairchild will likely try to get the ball to him in space.

Verdict: Not redshirting; will likely contribute significantly as a freshman

Donta Wilkins, DT

Wilkins is a monster of a man, standing at 6'3 and 315 pounds. He showed his array of moves off the snap at the Chesapeake Bowl, where he was one of the top performers. Once he gains some functional strength and learns the defense, he'll be a nightmare for opposing offensive linemen. If he has a nice summer, he could get some early playing time, but right now, I'm leaning towards a redshirt year to develop his technique and improve his strength and conditioning.

Verdict: About 60-40 in favor of redshirting

Eric Smith, OT

Smith was another OL commit that adds even more depth to a position of need for the Cavs. He is very strong for his size and his strength shows up well in run blocking. He needs to refine his technique a little bit in pass protection, and he could eventually make the switch to guard due to his prowess in the run game. He is raw, but could become a very good player with some coaching and development.

Verdict: Redshirting

Jack McDonald, OG

McDonald is a lineman from the Northeast, so you know he's a mauler and a physical football player. He's a blue collar guy with a terrific work ethic and he plays through the whistle on every down. I think he will eventually make the move to center for the Cavaliers, as he's very smart and athletic for his size. He'll likely redshirt to gain more strength to his frame.

Verdict: Redshirting

Sadiq Olanrewaju, OT

Olanrewaju has the most potential out of any offensive lineman in this class. He's a super long and athletic tackle with quick feet and good strength. He has the potential to play left tackle in the future because he's solid in pass protection and can mirror defenders. He'll likely redshirt to gain strength and refine his technique.

Verdict: Redshirting

Zach Bradshaw, ATH

Bradshaw can either play wide receiver or linebacker in college, but will likely stick with linebacker due to the depth of the receiver position. He is a tall and athletic prospect who could stand to add some bulk to his frame. He has a nose for the football and he's fast. He could contribute on special teams, but he'll likely redshirt to learn the nuances of playing linebacker full time.

Verdict: Redshirting

Corwin Cutler, QB

Cutler is a big and physical quarterback from the 757 area that Virginia has dominated since Mike London took over. He has a big time arm and great athleticism to move in the pocket. He has a lot of potential and will likely compete for a starting job at some point in his career. He tore his ACL in the first round of the state playoffs, so he'll likely redshirt to recover from the injury and learn the offense.

Verdict: Definitely redshirting due to his ACL and depth at the quarterback position

George Adeosun, OT

Adeosun's stock exploded a few days before National Signing Day, as he went from being committed to William & Mary to having offers from several BCS teams, such as Georgia, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Kentucky. He picked the Wahoos because he wanted a school with good academics. Adeosun will likely redshirt to gain strength and polish up his skills, but he should be a solid contributor in the future.

Verdict: Redshirting

Connor Wingo-Reeves, LB/FB

Wingo-Reeves was one of the last players to commit, but he's a solid player whose position has yet to be determined. He has a terrific nose for the ball and tackling skills at linebacker, but he has the size, speed, blocking ability, and tenacity to be a factor at fullback. Either way, he should be a solid player for UVA with some development and fine-tuning to his overall skills.

Verdict: Could contribute on special teams, but will likely redshirt

Keeon Johnson, WR

Johnson has the physical tools that make coaches and scouts alike salivate. He stands at 6'3 and 200 pounds, and he runs a sub 4.5 40. He committed to UVA over North Carolina and Notre Dame, and more offers would've likely surfaced had he not committed so early. With the depth at the receiver position, I find it difficult to believe that the coaching staff wouldn't reshirt him to allow him to learn the offense and add some strength to his frame.

Verdict: Most likely redshirting

LaChaston Smith, LB

Smith was the only early enrollee for this recruiting class, so he's already on campus and will participate in spring practice in March, giving him a huge advantage over the other linebackers for early playing time next year. He's a little on the smaller side at 5'11, but he is very fast and is a hard hitter. I think he'll definitely get some playing time as a freshman, whether it be on defense or special teams.

Verdict: Not redshirting

Andre Levrone, WR

Levrone comes from the same school as Brendan Marshall and Kirk Garner. He's a stud at receiver who also had offers from USC and Auburn, but chose to stay close to home. Levrone can act as both a deep threat and a possession receiver, and with some polish, could become a very good weapon for Steve Fairchild and the UVA offense. He'll likely redshirt to learn the playbook and polish his route running.

Verdict: Redshirting

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