Welcome to another edition of Recruiting Roundup! Today we will examine the additions and subtractions to the football program and a huge pickup for the basketball team.
Killeya-Jones is a Wahoo
The most exciting news of the week came last Friday when 2016 big man Sacha Killeya-Jones committed to the Orange and Blue. The consensus top 150 stretch-four selected UVa over a handful of ACC schools as well as VCU among others. Killeya-Jones' commitment is especially exciting seeing that he was beginning to gain serious interest from Duke, North Carolina, and several blue bloods, but he went ahead and ended his recruitment anyway. Virginia will have some serious balance in its front court for years to come. Isaiah Wilkins and Killeya-Jones will provide the athleticism, while Jack Salt and 2015 signee Jared Reuter will be the enforcers down low.
With Killeya-Jones locked up, all eyes are on Blue Ridge big man Mamadi Diakite. He's going to take his time, but the 6-10 athletic freak is the top priority right now for the class of 2016.
Speaking of Diakite, the junior was one block shy of a triple double last night. Diakite recorded 16 points, 11 rebounds, and nine blocks in Blue Ridge's 57-56 win over Middleburg Academy.
Switching gears to football where, there was good news and bad news this week. Since the fall was full of bad news, we'll start with the good.
In the past week, UVa bolstered its receiving corps in a big way.
On Monday night, former North Carolina wide receiver T.J. Thorpe announced his decision to leave the Tar Heels for UVa. The dynamic playmaker will be able to play right away, and will have one year of eligibility remaining. Thrope was a former recruiting target for Mike London and the Cavaliers, before he ultimately selected UNC back in 2012. In case you've blocked it out, it was Thorpe that caught the game-winning touchdown for Carolina back on October 25th at Scott Stadium. With the loss of Darius Jennings, Thorpe will be able to step right in and make an impact as both a speed receiver, and in the return game.
Several hours after Thorpe tweeted out his intentions, Virginia fans received even more good news when 2015 William Fleming wide receiver Warren Craft committed to the Orange and Blue. Craft was a former basketball commit to Virginia Tech, but the multi-sport athlete decided to focus on football. Craft has only been playing wide receiver for two years, but the senior has helped lead the resurrection of the Fleming program over the past two years. The 6-3, 185 pound Craft entertained interest from Virginia Tech and several other schools, but decided on the Wahoos. With a crowded depth chart, look for Craft to redshirt in 2015, but his speed will be a nice complement to the bigger receivers already on the UVa roster.
All and all, Virginia added a former UNC player and a former Virginia Tech commit on the same night. Pretty wild stuff.
Unfortunately, not all the news the surfaced this week was good, as the Cavaliers lost a pair of defensive recruits. On Sunday night, Florida DE Brandon Wilson flipped from Virginia to Indiana. Wilson officially visited the Hooisers several weeks ago, but still maintained his commitment to the Cavaliers. That is not the case anymore.
On Friday afternoon, it was announced that four-star defensive end Rasool Clemons was no longer a member of the member of the class of 2015. Clemons was a big-time get for London and company over the summer, but questions began surface about whether he would ultimately end up in Charlottesville or not. Well, it's the later.
These are two unfortunate losses, especially considering that Virginia will also lose its top two pass rushers, Eli Harold and Max Valles to the NFL draft. In other words, UVa's current and future pass rush took major hits this week.
Fortunately, the Hoos signed three defensive ends in the class of 2014. Look for redshirt freshmen Darius Carter, Jordan Jackson, and Michael Biesimier to get plenty of reps this spring.
That will do it for this week's edition of Recruiting Roundup. The coach's clinic begins this weekend, so look for news about the vacancies on the Virginia staff to come about. Have a great week everybody.