Welcome to another addition of Recruiting Roundup! Today, we will further break down UVa's latest pledge, and update you on a key member of the 2016 class.
Shortly after Mike London was hired in 2009, the new Virginia head coach made the short trip to Woodberry Forest in an attempt to reel in safety Ed Reynolds. No such luck. Between 2012-2014, the Hoos looked to land Tiger standouts CJ Prosise, Doug Randolph, and Greer Martini, only to watch all three elite prospects eventually sign with Notre Dame. (Virginia fans saw first hand how good Prosise was this past September at Scott Stadium). Even in this cycle, UVa felt that it had an excellent chance with top Woodberry offensive lineman Clark Yarbrough, but the Wahoo legacy ended up committing to Stanford.
On Tuesday night, the Wahoos finally landed a prospect from WFS. 2017 tight end John Kirven announced his commitment to the Orange and Blue. Kirven is of curse the younger brother of UVa basketball walk-on Caid Kirven. The younger Kirven is short on experience, but already has excellent size for a college tight end (6-6, 240 pounds). Kirven is a part of an absolutely loaded Woodberry offense, and will only get better under the guidance of long-time Tiger head coach Clint Alexander.
More importantly, Virginia finally got its foot in the door at one of the biggest football factories in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Baring anything crazy, Kirven will sign with UVa in 2017, regardless of who the head coach is. Kirven is good friends with elite Woodberry signal-caller Lindell Stone, and the junior tight end has plenty of time to sell the Wahoos to his quarterback.
Switching gears to 2016, where the news is not as good. On April 12, Virginia received a verbal pledge from running back Tre Harbison. Earlier this month, Harbison took a big step in the right direction for UVa, signing his grant-in-aid with the school. The paperwork allows the Virginia staff unlimited contact with Harbison, and clears the way for the talented 'back to enroll at UVa in January.
Everything is just peachy right for the Orange and Blue right? Wrong. According to 247 Sports, Harbison spoke with the running backs coach at Wisconsin last week, and the Badgers could be close to extending an offer. If the Badgers do pull the trigger on an offer, expect head coach Paul Chryst to push for Harbison to schedule an official visit to Madison. Harbison is scheduled to graduate from high school in December, so if he is going to make a move elsewhere, it has to be done in the next several weeks. We're in wait-and-see mode for now, but a Wisconsin offer would be a major cause for concern.
We'll keep a close eye on this one, but like we said, things could heat up in a hurry.
This past weekend, Harbison became the all-time leading rusher at Crest High School, with 4,692 career yards.
While Virginia is doing everything that it can to hold onto Harbison, the Hoos received good news from two other early enrollees in the past week. FUMA placekicker Holland Corbett and Florida linebacker Kenneth Ruff reportadly signed their grant-in-aids, paving the way for the two 2016 prospects to enroll at UVa in January. No official announcement has been made by the University on either Corbett or Ruff, but we expect those to come out soon. Harbison helped recruit fellow Florida native, Ruff to UVa, so Ruff enrolling early can do nothing but help Virginia's chances in holding into the talented running back.
Assuming Harbison stays put, the Wahoos will welcome five 2016 signees to grounds in January. Given the uncertainty surrounding the coaching situation, Virginia would be wise to take as many early enrollees as possible.
That will do it for today's edition of Recruiting Roundup. See ya!