With one of the younger teams in the nation last season, the Hoos were not going to be able to add a full allotment of 25 recruits this year. We knew that going in. After a 2-10 season, the Hoos would have to go for quality over quantity. The Hoos were in luck, as some of the top prospects in the nation were from right here in the state of Virginia. In fact, 3 of the top 10 players in the nation call Virginia home.
Coming of the aforementioned 2-10 season and with Mike London on the proverbial hot seat, Virginia was likely a tough sell for recruits of this caliber. However, London managed to pull in 2 of those 3 recruits. DT Andrew Brown and S Quin Blanding, each 5 star recruits, are the biggest “gets” in this class. (The third VA member of the top 10, Da’Shawn Hand, will attend Alabama.) Brown, in fact, has already enrolled and will be participating in spring practice. Blanding, sadly, does not arrive until this summer.
Just because the headliners are two of the top players in the nation doesn’t mean fans should neglect the rest of this class. The class of 17 total players boasts four 4-star recruits and none rated lower than 3 stars. (Again, this is based on ESPN rankings.) Rivals and Scout both rank the class slightly lower, giving the Hoos just two 4-star recruits and 5 (Scout) or 6 (Rivals) 2-star guys. Scout also has one player for the Hoos who is not rated. That player is QB Corwin “Turtle” Cutler, who is currently spending a post-grad year at FUMA. He was rated a 3-star recruit last year.
Overall, the Hoos rank 45th in the nation by Scout, 37th by Rivals and 23rd by ESPN. Most schools ranked higher have far more than 17 recruits. ESPN has given just 15 players 5-stars and they are set to attend just 7 schools. Only Alabama has more than the Hoos two 5-star players (Texas A&M also has 2). Rivals has given 33 players 5-stars, and those players are set to attend just 17 schools. Just 3 schools (Bama, Auburn and TxA&M) have more 5-star players than the Hoos (FSU and Tennessee also have 2 each). Scout has given 40 players their 5-star rating and they are set to attend just 18 schools. In this case, 5 teams have more 5-star players than the Hoos (Bama, TxA&M, LSU, Auburn and Miami). FSU has 2 as well.
Assuming that nobody changes positions (not likely, but it’s what we’ve got for now), the class breaks down as follows:
7 offense: 1QB, 1RB, 2WR, 1TE, 2OL
9 defense: 3DE, 1DT, 2DE/OLB, 1LB, 2DB
Of the 17 players, 5 have last names beginning with ‘B’. 5 have first names beginning with ‘J’. There are two Browns (not related). There are also two Dar(r)ious’s (spelled differently). The Hoos will likely be the only team in the nation with 2 players named “Caanan”. They may not be the only team in the nation with 4 players named Darius/Darious/Darrious, as I suspect that is a more common name than Caanan.
If Brown and Blanding are able to meet their lofty expectations and lead the Hoos back to success, this could go down as one of the best recruiting classes the Hoos have ever had. Of course, if the Hoos have another down season and Mike London is removed as head coach, this class may not matter very much.
Below is a list of the Hoos 2014 class, with links to each player’s profile. (Players are listed in alphabetical order. Links will be added as players LOIs are received.