Name: Landan Word
High School: Bishop O'Connell (Arlington VA)
Height/Weight: 6-3, 230 pounds
Ranking: Rivals 2*, 247 3*, ESPN 3*
Additional Offers: Arizona, Boston College, UConn, & Pittsburgh among others
Son of former UVa and NFL running back Barry Word, Landan will look to make a new for himself in the Orange and Blue. The younger Word was the fourth member of the class of 2016 to give his verbal pledge to Virginia, and the Wahoo legacy fought off interest from several other suitors along the way. Word played tight end/fullback and outside linebacker/defensive end in high school, but will likely make his mark in the middle of the defense at the college level.
As seen on the film above, Word is a productive open field tackler, which is pretty much priority A, B, and C for a middle linebacker. Word is a solid pass rusher and rarely lets anything get to the outside of him. The future Wahoo does a nice job of shedding blocks and using his long wingspan to extend and make plays that others might not be able to. Already a productive pass rusher from the middle, Word still needs to develop his footwork and pass coverage skills more.
Word posses the strength to contribute at the college level early, but the Arlington native will join a crowded depth chart at middle linebacker. Micah Kiser is coming off of an All-ACC season, and he has talented underclassmen Dominic Sheppart and Jahvoni Simmons waiting in the wings. Look for Word to redshirt in 2016 and be ready to compete for playing time in the coming years.