Welcome to another edition of Recruiting Roundup! Today, we will break down another busy week in UVa football recruiting and preview a big decision that will take place on Thursday.
Tomorrow night, 2015 Centreville running back AJ Turner will reveal his college destination while at The Opening in Beaverton, Oregon. After toying with the idea of committing last night, Turner will announce tomorrow at 8:00 p.m., which was his original plan. Turner will decide between his five finalists, Clemson, Michigan State, Ohio State, South Carolina, and Virginia.
USC was the first school of his top group to offer and look to be the odds on favorite in this one. Credit the Gamecocks for recognizing Turner’s ability before the talented ‘back went off the in the state title game in December and began to pull in offers left and right. Will the Cavaliers be able to pull off the upset? Keep it right here for the latest.
The fourth annual Opening, sponsored by Nike will be dominating the airwaves on ESPNU in the next couple of days. The elite talent showcase has been home to several big-time UVa commits in years past, including Smoke Mizzell, Quin Blanding, and Andrew Brown. While Virginia will not receive many mentions on television, several 2015 and 2016 kids on UVa’s radar, including Turner are in Oregon this week.
Tim Settle- The 2015 Stonewall Jackson defensive tackle is extremely familiar with the Wahoos, having made numerous visits to grounds in the past year. Like any elite DT, there is a lot of competition for the four-star prospect, but UVa was included in his top group of schools that he released in the spring.
Matthew Burrell- Though the Cavaliers did not make his top 15, Mike London and staff are not giving up their pursuit for the 2015 Hylton offensive tackle. It will be an uphill climb, but if the Wahoos can show some success on the gridiron this fall, they might have an opportunity to make up some ground.
LeVonta Taylor- The 2016 Ocean Lakes cornerback is no stranger to going up against older kids, having showed well in the Rivals 100 Five-Star Challenge back in June. Taylor holds over two dozen offers, but has many connections to the Virginia program. Ocean Lakes High School has been kind to UVa in recent years, giving the Cavaliers Eli Harold and Corwin Cutler.
Two other Virginians are Oregon this week, in Clemson commit Chad Smith, and Oscar Smith defensive end Josh Sweat. The Cavaliers are out of the running for Sweat, but we wanted to point out that the five-star DE ran 4.46 40 at yesterday’s combine. That's faster than any DE at 2014 NFL Combine, including Jadeveon Clowney.
Shifting away from the Opening, we will now recap the week that was in UVa recruiting.
Hall to Tennessee
Virginia was dealt a tough blow last Thursday evening when 2015 Northside OL/DL Chance Hall selected Tennessee over UVa among others. There are misses in every recruiting cycle, but this is a tough one to swallow if you are a Cavalier fan. No recruit in this class was more familiar with UVa, as Hall was a lifelong UVa fan and season ticket holder. In addition, Hall would have offset recent losses in offensive line recruiting and would have meshed well with the big uglies already on board.
Hall is the latest top tier offensive lineman to leave the state in 2015, along with former UVa target Justin Skule (Vanderbilt), Austin Clark (South Carolina), and Blake Camper (Rutgers). The state's top lineman, Burrell is likely to take his talents outside the Commonwealth as well.
So what's next for offensive line recruiting? The reality is, we don't know right now. UVa was in the thick of things with Hall, Skule, and Sage Hardin, but each decided to head elsewhere. The Cavaliers have cast a wide net for the trenches and more offers could come during next weekend's one-day camp.
Pair of 757 Kids off the Board
We will preface this next section by saying that nobody in the McCue Center is thinking twice about these two decisions, but a pair of Virginia Beach prospects are now off the board.
Salem defensive end Trevon Hill committed to Virginia Tech over the weekend. Hill recently made a surprise visit to grounds, but ended up cutting his list to UNC and the aforementioned Hokies. His pledge was big in that it was VT's first verbal commitment in almost 40 days. As seen with the offensive lineman, it has been a tough recruiting season for both UVa and Tech.
While the two ACC schools are struggling, Old Dominion is putting together an impressive class, recently securing a verbal from Landstown wide receiver, Quincy Watts. We will not delve any further on this recruitment, but we will tell you that several 2015 wideouts that are higher on UVa's board are still out there.
Making the Cut
Highland Springs wide receiver, Felton Davis tweeted out his top 10 last week and the Cavaliers made the cut. Davis' top ten included Louisville, Miami, Michigan State, Missouri, Nebraska, Vanderbilt, UVa, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. Davis, who many see as a Hokie lean is ranked #20 in the Rivals.com Preseason Virginia Top 25.
Bethlehem Pa. wideout Freddie Simmons Jr. released his top five via twitter as well, with Virginia, Rutgers, California, Wake Forest, and San Diego State all earning a nod. UVa offered Simmons back on April 2nd.
That’s all for this week’s edition of Recruiting Roundup. Keep it right here for the latest on A.J. Turner and all things UVa recruiting. Have a great week everybody!