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Mendenhall emphasizes fit, philosophy in National Signing Day remarks

NCAA Football: Virginia at Georgia Tech Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

After a busy National Signing Day—albeit one not full of surprises—Virginia football coach Bronco Mendenhall addressed the media about the Hoos’ 2017 signees.

National Signing Day 2017 Press Conference

Coach Mendenhall LIVE recapping the 2017 National Signing Day!

Posted by Virginia Football on Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Some of the highlights:

  • Talked about the 2016 class being “transitional,” and this year’s class being “foundational,” adding depth and talent with guys who fit the program’s goals and philosophy well.
  • VERY emphatic in disliking the “reality TV nature of signing day.” Spoke at some length about supporting two signing days, one in December in line with JUCO signing day to let guys who have made up their mind early commit officially without “drama” of buildup to signing day.
  • Coaches will continue to emphasize Virginia recruiting first, going to anywhere in the state the right guys come from. Acknowledged that the lack of guys from 804/757 area codes in the 2017 class is something they’d like to do better on in the future.
  • UVA will continue to use graduate transfers to fill immediate needs as younger players develop, but building the program will be based on four years of developing high school recruits. Any transfers who come into the program have to be able to contribute at a high level right away—preferably as starters, but at minimum by being “in the rotation” for playing time.
  • Emphasized how much he likes building relationships with schools like FUMA and Woodberry. Said there are “18 to 20” schools like them in what he plans to establish as UVA’s recruiting footprint—about an 8-hour driving radius from Charlottesville—but those two are closest both in terms of geography and culture and playing style.