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What to watch for Virginia football during the early signing period

How Streaking the Lawn will have Recruiting Christmas covered

Virginia v Miami Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

On Monday, we explained some of the background for the new early signing period in college football recruiting. And today comes the good stuff: how Streaking the Lawn will be covering it, and what you should look for from the Virginia Cavaliers.

Timing

Unlike national signing days past, there won’t necessarily be a mad flurry of activity right at the top of the day. With a three-day window for submitting letters of intent, some guys will want to stretch things out to grab some spotlight after the first day. High schools will also have more flexibility for when they hold any signing ceremonies or other events.

Some of UVA’s commits have announced when exactly they will be signing. All of the following are on Wednesday, December 20th (the first day):

  • 11:00 AM — Jordan Redmond, DT (Kissimmee, FL)
  • 12:15 PM — Hunter Pearson, K (Seneca, SC)
  • 12:30 PM — Brennan Armstrong, QB (Shelby, OH)
  • 1:30 PM — Joseph Bissinger (Houston, TX)

Several other players have announced they will submit letters of intent on Wednesday, but without a specific time attached:

  • Martin Weisz, OL (Palm Beach Gardens, FL)
  • Ugo Obasi, WR (Baltimore, MD)
  • Jaylon Baker, CB (Chattanooga, TN)

Expect the vast majority of signing to take place on Wednesday, with some trickle of activity through the end of the week.

Good, bad, or as expected

As the hours and days tick by, here are some benchmarks to follow for how the signing period is going for UVA.

Good

  • Virginia picks up at least a verbal commitment above the 21 we already know about. (EDIT: 22! Welcome, Jaylon Baker!) If that verbal becomes a signing, then it’s a VERY good development.
  • D.J. Brown signs a letter of intent. Brown—who has been selected for the Under Armour All-America Game—has been the focus of late presses from Notre Dame and Louisville. He scheduled but ultimately scrapped a visit to South Bend, a good sign for Virginia’s hopes of hanging onto the talented corner out of DC’s St John’s College school. If he puts ink to paper, the Virginia coaches will sleep much easier.
  • Remaining targets don’t sign letters of intent. UVA has extended lots of offers to players committed elsewhere in the past few weeks, and to players who have publicly named other schools as their favorites. Some of them were on Grounds for an official visit last weekend. If some—or, hope beyond hope, all—of them are still on the market come Saturday, then consider the Hoos to be in extremely good shape going into the intra-signing recruitment period.

Bad

  • Any current verbal commitment publicly decommits. Even if a guy doesn’t sign with Virginia, it’s not a disaster so long as the public statements continue to indicate Charlottesville is his chosen destination. A public decommitment would chum the waters for schools on the prowl between the two signing days.
  • Any commits who don’t sign also pick up offers from more established/higher profile programs. This would be a situation where not signing would be a real reason to worry. If an SEC school or top Big Ten program comes calling and it’s enough for a UVA commit to not sign in the early period, there’s a good chance that guy will be gone when the February signing day rolls around.
  • And of course the true nightmare: a current commitment not only decommits, but signs elsewhere. Don’t expect to see this happen (but you would be justified in freaking out if it does).

As Expected

  • D.J. Brown doesn’t sign yet, but continues to name Virginia as his committed school of choice. Keeping Brown on the path to Charlottesville will become THE priority of the next few months.
  • Uncommitted targets who have recently picked up offers keep their recruitment open—but most of the committed offerees end up signing with the school they are committed to.
  • Sixteen or seventeen current Virginia commitments submit letters of intent. Note that it is possible that a player could send in his NLI paperwork but ask that it be made public. I have no idea why a player would want to do it this way, but a properly signed and submitted letter of intent is binding whether it’s public info or not. There could be “silent commits” that only the players and coaches know about.

Site Coverage

If you’ve been with us for National Signing Day before, you know most of what to expect. We’ll have individual profiles for each player that we’ll publish once they’ve officially signed. And we’ll add some analysis of the class as a whole: who is the biggest get, what are the positions of need, which player is the most underrated, etc.

On the home page, we’ll have a box that populates with all our signing period #content throughout the week. There will be a landing page with links to the profiles and to analysis pieces.

Once Friday closes out the activity, we’ll cover Bronco Mendenhall’s media availability, which will be his first chance to comment publicly on individual players. We’ll follow things up with some targets to watch from now through February, and supplement our bowl coverage with some ‘crootin talk too.

It will be a fun, hectic, tweet-filled three days. If the fax machines are up to the task, STL will be too. Come get nuts with us.