Wunderlich, a UVa legacy, chose the Cavaliers over his other two finalists, Texas A&M and Ole Miss. The Memphis native visited Charlottesville last month and watched a spring practice. It's been clear for some time that Virginia would probably land the 3-star kicker. Wunderlich is rated the #1 kicker and the #1 punter in the nation for the 2014 class by Kohls Kicking Camps, the authority on high school specialists. Wunderlich is rated a 3-star prospect by Rivals.
Wunderlich, who plays at Memphis University High School, recorded touchbacks on 60% of his kickoffs as a junior. He also averaged over 40 yards per punt. Wunderlich held offers from Virignia and Texas A&M, whose special teams are coached by Jeff Banks, who was hired by UVa to coach special teams for a short time after the 2012 season. Ole Miss was on the verge of an offer, but it's unclear whether they were going to extend the star kicker an offer or not.
It's pretty rare that kickers are offered scholarships by FBS schools, but Wunderlich is an exceptional kicking talent. With the adventures the Cavaliers have had on special teams and the small margin for error in many games, having a star kicker can be a huge asset, and can be worth giving up a scholarship. Looking back through the Kohls Kicking rankings from previous years, almost all of the kickers ranked #1 overall are in the NFL now. If Wunderlich is on scholarship, expect him to come in right away and compete for the starting kicker job at Virginia next year.
Below are Wunderlich's kicking camp highlights, and a list of Virginia's 2014 commits to date.
Virginia Cavaliers 2014 Recruiting Class
Chris Nelson, DT, Lakeland, FL (Victory Christian Academy)
Ratings: Rivals (NR), 247Sports (3*)
Offers: Virginia, USF, Kentucky, Purdue
Quin Blanding, FS, Virginia Beach, VA (Bayside)
Ratings: Rivals (5*), 247Sports (5*)
Offers: Virginia, Alabama, Florida State, North Carolina, Michigan, Ohio State, Miami, Clemson, NC State, Notre Dame, West Virginia, Auburn, Cincinnati, UConn, ECU, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Penn State, Purdue, Tennessee, UCLA, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech
Steven Moss, OL, Fredericksburg, VA (Chancellor)
Ratings: Rivals (4*), 247Sports (4*)
Offers: Virginia, Auburn, Florida State, Arkansas, Tennessee, Clemson, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia Tech, Penn State, West Virginia, NC State, Maryland, Boston College, Illinois, Oklahoma, Syracuse, ODU
Gary Wunderlich, Kicker, Memphis, TN (Memphis University)
Ratings: Rivals (3*), 247Sports (NR)
Offers: Virginia, Texas A&M