As we move through this season, which thus far has gone as scripted, the Cavalier football team continues to improve and show signs of life.
The coaching staff is shifting their focus to the 2019 class and beyond and the same signs of life and optimism are appearing on the recruiting trail.
When a team has a performance the likes of the onslaught this past weekend, it’s hard not to have some positive momentum with recruits. Based on their actions this past week, the coaching staff agrees.
The Cavalier staff passed out offers to a few important 2019 targets, including one that took longer than expected.
As mentioned last week, Virginia offered Honolulu native Maninoa Tufono. It was updated that Tufono was offered specifically as an inside linebacker, as previously it was listed as a linebacker offer.
The next day the staff offered 2019 Hunter Spears from Sachse High School (Sachse, TX). Spears, rated a 4-star by Rivals and ESPN, is a 6-4, 270 pound defensive end. Alabama, Notre Dame, and Texas Tech have each offered Spears which puts Virginia behind the 8-Ball in the sweepstakes for this ESPN Jr. Top 300 player.
The most interesting offer extended this week was to 2020 offensive tackle Jimmy Christ. If you recognize the name, it’s because Jimmy’s older brother, Tommy Christ is a true freshman defensive tackle on the current UVa squad. The offer to Jimmy was expected, but was not made official until this past week.
I can't even describe how thrilled and excited I am to have received an offer from the University of Virginia!!! Go Hoos!!! pic.twitter.com/ZNFEcWxGmX— Jimmy Christ (@Jimmy_Christ66) September 14, 2017
Tommy was a 3-star recruit and measures at 6-5, 280. Jimmy, three years younger, is already 6-6, 250 and projects to be a highly sought after OT prospect. The Cavaliers are Christ’s first Division I offer.
The offer raises some interesting questions.
Tommy is definitely a Division I talent but does this offer show that the staff is forward looking enough to a.) Get a solid DT like Tommy while creating a relationship with the Christ family that b.) Leads to a commitment from a potential big time recruit like Jimmy?
Virginia Tech has had copious amounts of luck using tactics like this with the Fuller and Edmonds brothers. It can be nothing but a positive for the UVa program if the staff succeeds in this initial trial of a new tactic.
2018 offensive tackle Martin Weisz was selected to participate in the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl, an all-star game for the nation’s top prep prospects.
Through three weeks of the Florida high school football season, Wyatt Rector is second among all quarterbacks in total passing yards, averaging 292.0 per game.
Linebacker commit Noah Taylor continues to impress, and appears to be putting on a little bulk. He lived in the Bullis High School backfield the entire game last week and continues to show he has the ability to cover wide receivers and lay the lumber on unlucky running backs.
On a non-football related recruiting note:
Keep the faith in Tony Bennett, Ron Sanchez, Jason Williford and Brad Soderburgh. There’s still not a reason to panic, get mad or lose hope in the 2018 recruiting efforts. Many of the program’s top prospects remain on the board and Virginia is in a good position to land a few of them.
Kurt Benkert’s bid for the Heisman Trophy continues to pick up steam. Make sure to tweet at your favorite (or least favorite) Heisman voter to remind them of the record-setting QB running the POTENT UVa Air-Raid offense.