Friday, June 22, 2018.
Mark that date as one where the Virginia Cavaliers football program may have turned the corner under Bronco Mendenhall.
Fast on the heels of a commitment from four-star linebacker Hunter Stewart, UVA picked up another pledge from the best player yet in the Mendenhall era: defensive tackle Jowon Briggs from Cincinnati.
Thanks to anyone and everyone involved in recruiting me, but you can’t just step over a field of diamonds— Jowon M. Briggs (@briggsjowon0) June 22, 2018
I know that this decision is the best one I can possibly make
I’m proud of it.
I’ve never smiled so brilliantly on a trips
Let’s go @Coach_Sooto pic.twitter.com/GOb9NFgHjE
Briggs is among the top defensive tackles and overall players in the country. 247 rates him a four-star, the 6th best defensive tackle, and #105 overall in the country. Rivals says four-star, 2nd best DT, and 57th nationally. ESPN? Four-star, 11th best DT, 86th nationally.
UVA landed Briggs’ commitment over Alabama, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State, Tennessee, and Wisconsin, among others.
At 6-foot-2, Briggs has the stout frame you want for an interior defensive lineman. He’ll obviously bulk up once an FBS strength and nutrition program is in his corner, but he starts from a very solid 280 pounds. Briggs is explosive off the snap and plays under enough control to read things like screens and options, staying at home to make plays.
According to the 247 Composite, Briggs’ commitment jumped the UVA class of 2019 up 4 spots in the ACC and 12 spots nationwide. He becomes the 4th highest rated commitment in the ACC so far for his class.
With the Hoos’ well documented need for immediate playable depth along the defensive lines, there’s plenty of room for Virginia’s own Ben Smiley to commit alongside Briggs to form a dynamic D-line duo in Charlottesville.