Welcome to perhaps the biggest Recruiting Roundup of the summer! Today, we will break down all five football commits, and a key basketball pledge that took place since we saw you last.
After a slow start to the 2015 class, head coach Mike London has responded in a BIG way. Between May 29th and August 5th, the Wahoos reeled in 16 recruits, (including two for 2016)… that's one commitment every 4.25 days! This past week was especially impactful, as UVa addressed some key needs for this class. Let's take a closer look...
Two Tailbacks on Board:
Virginia may have struck out on Centreville's AJ Turner, but the Cavaliers responded by securing verbals from Olamide Zaccheaus and Chris Sharp. Both 'backs compliment each other perfectly, with Sharp's ability to run between the tackles , and Zaccheaus being a home run threat out of the backfield. UVa appears to be finished at running back for this cycle, unless the Wahoos can gain any traction with four-star tailback Chris Warren out of Texas. Warren recently visited Charlottesville and is UVa legacy, but there is plenty of competition and it is too early to tell if Virginia has any staying power in this one.
While Cavalier fans waited for the two big announcements scheduled to take place on Tuesday, Good Counsel WR/DB Myles Robinson committed to the Orange and Blue on Monday. Robinson is the only member of the 2015 class that does not know where he will be slotted at the next level, but his quickness makes him an asset on both sides of the ball. The 5-11, 175 pounder is also the only member of the class to appear on Sportscenter's Top 10 as a youth. The Wahoos beat out several B1G powers for Robinson's services, and he is a great addition to the class.
The Big Day:
Tuesday, August 5th was pegged as a big day for the Wahoos on the recruiting trail, and it did not disappoint. Washington D.C. OLB Kareem McDonald got the party started a little after 2:00, committing to UVa, and four-star Virginia Beach linebacker Javhoni Simmons followed suit three hours later. Both are centerpieces of the defensive class, especially Simmons, who is ranked as one of the top middle linebackers in the country. This will be his fourth-year starting at Ocean Lakes, and the 6-0, 230 pound linebacker is responsible for calling out plays for one of the state's best defenses. Oh, and for those who feel that offers from other schools are the end all tell all, Simmons boasted over 20 offers, including Alabama, Ohio State, and Oregon.
As we stated yesterday, linebacker is one of the biggest needs for 2015, and the Hoos have addressed it so far, and then some. In fact, if UVa is able to reel in Ricky DeBerry, it would be in the conversation for one the top, if not the top linebacker haul in the nation this year. DeBerry trimmed his list to eight on Monday evening, and the Cavaliers made cut.
Change of Plans:
Three-star wide receiver Freddie Simmons was scheduled to make his decision at 12:00 p.m. last Sunday, but the Pennsylvania native has decided to pull back on the reins. Less than an hour before noon, Simmons tweeted that he would not make an announcement that day, and wanted to make sure he was 100 percent sure about his decision. The Cavaliers were the favorite to land Simmons heading into Sunday, but Wake Forest has made a strong surge late. New Wake head coach Dave Clawson has sold Simmons on being the cornerstone of the Demon Deacons' 2015 class, and a source close to the program tells us that the wide receiver is listening. This situation should become more clear in the coming weeks, but for now, Simmons remains on the board.
Can't Win 'Em All:
Virginia did not bat 1.000 this week, as New Jersey defensive end Jake Pickard committed to Wisconsin. The Wahoos were in good shape with the Garden State native all summer, but his late-July visit to Madison appeared to be a game-changer. The 6-5, 234 pounder would have been an excellent defensive end in Jon Tenuta's scheme. On to the next one.
Virginia fans should keep a close eye on Georgia defensive end, G.G. Robinson, who is set to announce his decision next week. Much more on this in next Wednesday's edition of Recruiting Roundup.
Simmons and McDonald were not the only visitors on grounds last weekend, as Philadelphia Pa. defensive end Gladimir Paul made the trek down to Charlottesville as well. The 6-3, 210 pounder is a weak side defensive end, but could be used as a DE/LB hybrid in Tenuta's system. Paul also holds offers from UConn, Umass, and Temple. Virginia has hit the Keystone State hard in 2015, nabbing four Pennsylvania natives so far.
Switching to the hardwood, where Tony Bennett reeled in three-star power forward Jarred Reuter over the weekend. Reuter received his UVa offer back on July 26th, and selected the Cavaliers over several Power-Five Conference schools that had been recruiting him for much longer. At 235 pounds before his senior year of high school, strength coach Mike Curtis is going to have a blast working with Virginia's new weapon in the front court.
The 6-8 forward is a bruiser inside and an excellent passer on offense. Reuter will walk into a crowded lineup when he arrives on grounds, but the older Cavaliers will benefit from squaring off against the physical Reuter in practice. Considering this staff's ability to develop big men, it is safe to assume that UVa fans will be extremely happy with what they will see from Reuter.
Reuter represents the lone scholarship available for 2015. Unless there is any attrition during or after next season, the staff can focus on the class of 2016, where they will have five scholarships to work with.
That will do it for this week's extremely busy edition of Recruiting Roundup. Have a great week everyone and we will see you next time!