Welcome to an extremely busy edition of Recruiting Roundup! Today we will break down UVa’s latest commitments and preview what could be a very busy couple of weeks on the trail. Oh yeah, some basketball too J
Cavs Gain a Pair of Prospects
The Wahoos’ class of 2015 grew by two since we saw you last, as Hickory tight end Richard Burney and West Lakota (Ohio) linebacker C.J. Stalker both committed to Mike London and UVa.
Tight end has rapidly become a position of need for Virginia. The Cavs have four, maybe three healthy tight ends on the 2014 roster, and two of which are upperclassmen. London and company have addressed the need, bringing along New Jersey tight end Tanner Crawley, and now Burney to fill the void.
On Wednesday afternoon, Virginia picked up a big commitment from four-star linebacker C.J. Stalker. Stalker is a versatile linebacker that can play both inside and out, but has thrived in his short time at the “mike” position. Coming off of a 2-10 season and with question marks surrounding the coaching situation, 2015 appeared to be a difficult recruiting cycle for the Wahoos, but landing the nation’s 11th ranked linebacker is a big step in the right direction. Could the linebacker class grow? More on that later.
The first week of August could be a big one for the Cavaliers, particularly August 5th, and we have got you covered on who to keep an eye on and when.
Jahvoni Simmons: The four-star Ocean Lakes linebacker surprised many late last night by announcing that he is moving his decision date up to August 5th. Simmons originally planned on taking official visits after cutting his list to 10 earlier this summer, but the 6-0, 230 pound ‘backer has decided to bring things to a close sooner than expected. The August 5th date appears to be great news for UVa on the surface, as Simmons is the more familiar with the Wahoos than any other program, and many consider Virginia to be the odds-on-favorite. Alabama, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Miami, NC State, Ohio State, Oregon, Tennessee, UVa, and Wisconsin made his initial top 10, but look for further cuts to be made between now and August 5th.
Kareem McDonald: One of the most intriguing prospects in the DMV is linebacker/hybrid Kareem McDonald. A former ODU commit, McDonald impressed the Virginia staff yesterday at London’s one-day camp. The 6-3, 220 pound athlete had a LONG conversation with London following the day’s events, and received an offer soon after. The Woodrow Wilson standout is up to ten offers, including Virginia, Charlotte, and Toledo among others. McDonald has named UVa as his favorite and will visit grounds one more time before making his decision on August 5th.
Freddie Simmons: Three-star wide receiver Freddie Simmons took a visit to UVa on Monday, and appears to have formed a strong bond with assistant coach, Marquis Hagans. The Bethlehem Pa. native is down to Virginia, Wake Forest, Rutgers, and West Virginia, with a trip to Morgantown on the docket before he makes his decision on August 3rd. Simmons would be an excellent pickup at wideout to go along with David Eldridge who is already in the fold.
Jake Prickard: The New Jersey native visited UVa on Sunday, marking his second trip to grounds since April. The weakside defensive end/tight end has complied an impressive offer sheet in the past number of weeks, adding Oregon, Nebraska, and Wisconsin to his already growing list. Prickard will visit Madison this weekend and a decision will likely come soon after.
Two Off the Board
Virginia’s recruiting board shrunk by two this past week, when Highland Springs wide receiver Felton Davis committed to Michigan State, and offensive line target Tony Pilato selected hometown school, Pittsburgh. The Wahoos are well positioned for another one of the region’s top wideouts, but the offensive line situation remains in question.
Odds and Ends:
St. Christopher’s quarterback Alex Faniel picked up an offer yesterday at Mike London’s camp. The Cavaliers are the third school to throw their hat in the race for the 2017 signal-caller, along with NC State and Virginia Tech. Faniel is teammates with 2015 linebacker Ricky DeBerry, who was also in attendance for London’s camp.
Three-star Georgia defensive end G.G. Robinson released his top six schools on Tuesday evening, and Virginia was sitting at the top, along with Louisville. We will keep a close eye on the Robinson situation as a decision before the season appears likely.
Switching to basketball, where Tony Bennett and company are making the most of the evaluation period. 2016 point guard, Ty Jerome tweeted out on Sunday night that he received an offer from the Cavaliers. Jerome holds nearly a dozen offers, but Virginia is the first major school to join the competition. How hard the Cavaliers will pursue the New York native is the question, as three-star Ty Graves appears to be UVa’s first choice at point guard for 2016.
An Offer For Maye?
The twitterverse was buzzing on Saturday afternoon when various reports surfaced regarding an offer for 2015 big man Luke Maye. We’re not exactly sure about the offer situation for Maye at the moment, but coach Bennett has spent time during this evaluation period watching him in person. Last Saturday at the Peach Jam, Maye was looked in an intense battle with fellow Virginia target, former Georgetown commit, Noah Dickerson. Maye scored 12 points, while Dickerson notched 11 as Dickerson’s Georgia Stars sunned Maye’s Team United at the buzzer.
New Name Surfaces:
The rough summer for Larry Brown and SMU continued, when four-star shooting guard Matt McQuaid decommitted from the Mustangs. According to Jeff Borzello of CBS Sports, Virginia has expressed interest in the Texas sharpshooter, along with North Carolina, Baylor, Indiana, Texas, LSU and Creighton. Each of the above schools has since extended an offer, with the exception of UVa the Tar Heels. Once again, the Wahoos have just one scholarship available for 2015, and Bennett is being extremely careful about who he decides to offer.
That’s it for today’s edition of Recruiting Roundup. Have a great week everybody!