As Matt Trogdon covered here on Streaking the Lawn earlier this week, UVA’s football recruiting efforts have bounced back after a disappointing spring. The 10 commitments in the month of June includes both of the highest rated prospects of the Mendenhall era, plus three diamond-in-the-rough European prospects.
That surge has led to big jumps in the national recruiting rankings for the Hoos. Going by 247 Composite puts the Virginia Cavaliers at 27th nationally and 6th in the ACC, before accounting for any rating on offensive lineman Zachary Teter. On Rivals, UVA sits 32nd overall and 8th in the conference, but none of the three Europeans has been rated yet.
Those numbers will change a bit as some of the national brands add more commits. But Virginia should still be looking at a likely top-40 finish and top half of the ACC, and maybe higher if the Hoos can close the deal on a few of the top outstanding targets.
Here’s some other news and notes from the recruiting trail:
UVA makes top eight for Enokk Vimahi
For fans of Virginia football, the Hawaiian Pipeline is turning into more than just a surfing destination. Four Cavaliers will hail from Hawaii once this season starts: three from the 2018 recruiting class, plus 2016 signee Wayne Taulapapa.
Two of those players—defensive lineman Samson Reed and offensive lineman Micah Mariteragi—played at Kahuku, which is also the prep alma mater of offensive coordinator Robert Anae and running backs coach Mark Atuaia.
And for 2019, Kahuku has one of the nation’s top-rated offensive lineman in tackle Enokk Vimahi. A four-star and top-200 in each of the major services, the 6-foot-5, 275-pound prospect has hauled in a full set of honors, including a spot in the Polynesian Bowl and an Adidas All-America selection.
On Wednesday, Vimahi released his top eight, and included the Cavaliers.
Thank you to all the Coaches who believed in me and supported me through this process List is subject to change but this is my Top 8! Please respect my decision‼️Thank you to @RedRaiderSoul & @loveneenalove for the edit ✊ IN NO SPECIFIC ORDER #Top8 pic.twitter.com/fTjckfPcY2— Enokk "Inoke" Vimahi (@enokkvimahi) July 4, 2018
Being in the running with West Coast powers USC and UCLA, together with national programs that regularly crack recruiting top-10 rankings, is a good thing for UVA. Hopefully Coach Tujague can borrow a little of Coach So’oto’s recent recruiting magic and play up the connections to home and family that would exist for Vimahi in Charlottesville.
Maryland wide receiver has Hoos in final three
The receiving corps in the 2018 signing class rivaled the linebackers for both depth and quality. Ugo Obasi, Wooby Theork, Tavares Kelly, and Billy Kemp will all bring game-changing speed to Grounds when they arrive this fall. But none brings much height: Obasi is the tallest, at a scant 6-foot-1.
Adding big-body receivers has been one of the focal points in 2019. The commitment from Tennessee wideout Dorien Goddard fit the mold, with Goddard at 6-foot-3 and 205 pounds. Baltimore’s Jordan Jakes would as well, and Virginia is among his finalists:
Jakes is built similarly to Goddard, but a little slimmer: 6-foot-4, 190. He’s a three-star for both 247 and Rivals, and plays for St. Frances Academy in Baltimore (the same school as quarterback Jalon Jones, who had UVA among his favorites before committing to Florida). Jakes has visited Michigan and Indiana but not Charlottesville yet.
Dylan Thompson has gotten REAL big
Defensive line depth has been one of the major areas of concern this off-season. One of the reinforcements for that position group is incoming grad transfer Dylan Thompson, who will play out his eligibility after graduating from Ohio State.
The most recent numbers we found when Thompson left tOSU listed his height and weight as 6-foot-5, 280.
In an Instagram post on Wednesday, Thompson says his body weight is up to a staggering 322 pounds. Three. Hundred. Twenty. Two.
Happy Independence everybody! Spent America’s birthday absolutely obliterating back and shoulders! Everybody has the right to celebrate this day in whatever way they want, I have a goal and a vision that I am going to turn into a reality so this is my way of celebrating! Happy 4th everyone stay safe tonight and don’t drink and drive! GO HOOS! ⚔️ Body weight 322lbs #powerbuilding #teamohearn #titancrew #back #shoulders #merica #usa #ladyliberty #freedom #gainz #boulders #vision #attack #beast #beastmode #thor #gohoos #okbye
Holy crap. UVA has lacked a true nose tackle with the attrition along the lines. If all of Thompson’s 322 is quality, playable weight, that won’t be a concern for 2018.