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Virginia football recruiting: Caucusing the recruits remaining on Virginia's radar

National Signing Day is Wednesday, February 3

Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images

The crazy carousel of 'crootin comes to a stop on Wednesday, as recruits will sign their National Letters of Intent and formally link up with their chosen schools.

But today is the Iowa caucuses, which got us thinking: How is Virginia's campaign going in the last days before NSD?

We're sorting the outstanding recruits into four categories:

  • Front-runners: UVa is the favorite, including late-breaking verbal commitments
  • Contenders: Virginia is in the hunt but hasn't closed the deal yet
  • Dark Horses: The Hoos may land their man, but it would be a surprise
  • Non-viable**: So you're telling me there's a chance...

** - Candidates receiving below a certain vote threshold (15% on the Democratic side, ~3% on the Republican) are deemed "non-viable" and their supporters pick another candidate. For more details, watch this video.

Front-Runners

Devante Cross, QB

The three-star dual-threat QB and former BC commit tweeted out his new school choice on Sunday afternoon, becoming the first commitment of the Mendenhall era at Virginia. Cross was the Pennsylvania state player of the year in his division, and brings an immediate upgrade in athleticism at QB.

Wayne Taulapapa, RB

Taulapapa is a Hawaii native and former BYU commitment. He decommitted from BYU less than a month after Mendenhall et al. departed for the east coast. He was on Grounds as part of official visit weekend. Hopefully the snow didn't dissuade the islands native but he seems like a strong likelihood to follow the coaching staff to which he initially committed.

Nash Griffin, P

Griffin is a high school classmate and friend of basketball commit Kyle Guy.

Griffin was offered a preferred walk-on instead of a scholarship (as is the usual course with specialists). As much of a recruiter as Guy has been on the hardwood, it's easy to imagine he'll be going full-court press on his football buddy as well.

Contenders

Taysom Hill, QB

Definitely the biggest focus of Virginia football fans, the BYU graduate transfer has maintained a good relationship with his former coaches. QB coach Jason Beck has gone to visit Hill since the end of the dead period.

Hill is also said to be considering Michigan, but the Wolverines appear to be set at QB with John O'Korn and incoming freshman Brandon Peters leading the way. It's far from a lock, but Hill to the Ville would accelerate the rebuild under Mendenhall by at least a year. Don't expect to see anything on Signing Day, as Hill needs to finish out this semester before transferring.

Trysten Hill, DT

Yes, there could be two "T. Hill" jerseys in the locker room next year. Heftier Hill was committed to Georgia Tech but reopened his recruiting in late November. Virginia is in the mix with UCF and Kentucky but is thought to have the edge. The Yellow Jackets recruited the 300-pounder as an offensive lineman, and that could be where he ends up for Virginia as well.

Dark Horses

Rashad Weaver, DE

Weaver was committed to Michigan and had been since June 2015, but found himself back on the market January 25. In the intervening week, he picked up 12 scholarship offers. The 3-star visited Pitt and Penn State instead of U.Va. this past weekend, indicating that he's more likely to head to the Keystone commonwealth than the good one.

Dylan Powell, OL

Another of the late decommitments, Powell had been committed to Purdue. Virginia jumped in a bit late in the game and found itself competing both near (Virginia Tech) and far (Stanford, where he took an official visit this past weekend).

Powell will be announcing his commitment on Tuesday, but it's unlikely to be good news for Virginia fans.

Non-Viables

Erik Swenson, OT

Like Weaver, Swenson had been an early commit to Jim Harbaugh and Michigan. But the four-star tackle found himself without a scholarship offer in late January. Offensive line coach Garrett Tujague went to Illinois for an in-home visit but it wasn't to be: Swenson committed to Oklahoma during his official visit last weekend.

Victor Viramontes, QB

Coach Beck went out to visit with Viramontes in California after he decommitted from Michigan (no, there's not an echo in here). The former Wolverine commit—as a linebacker—took official visits to Arizona and Cal, but did not come east.