The busy period for Virginia Cavaliers football recruiting is off to a good start.
For each of the past several cycles, UVA has landed about half of its football commitments in April, May, or June—right as guys are wrapping up their junior year of high school and before they head into the summer camp circuit. The addition of Bud Clark on April 16 was the first in that time period for the 2020 cycle.
And a four-star, in-state offensive lineman just became the second: Jimmy Christ, out of Dominion High School in Sterling.
Christ—whose older brother Tommy is a redshirt sophomore defensive lineman for the Hoos—is rated as a top-30 national tackle by both Rivals and the 247 Composite. Both services also have him in the top 10 of in-state Virginia recruits for 2020: 247 says 8th, Rivals says 3rd. And at 6-foot-7 and 280-plus pounds, it’s not hard to see why.
His offer list is a veritable who’s-who among the elite of FBS: Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Miami, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Stanford, Tennessee. Christ had taken recent unofficial visits to Penn State, North Carolina, and Maryland, as well as official stops in early April at Notre Dame and Oklahoma. UVA got the last visit during the Hoos’ spring game and closed the deal over the Irish and Sooners.
Yes, please. Even as big as Christ already is, you can see where he has room to add more bulk to his imposing frame. He is an exceptional athlete too: you can see it best in his plays as a defensive end but he gets quickly to second- and third-level blocks as an OL, too. Christ displays the tenacity that is a favorite of UVA line coach Garrett Tujague, as well: the first whistle is basically a suggestion of when to think about letting up on your block a little.
Adding Christ gives Virginia two consecutive classes with a four-star offensive lineman after man-giant Ja’quay Hubbard was one of the headliners for the class of 2019; Ryan Nelson—a high three-star—was also the top rated prospect of the 2017 class. It also marks UVA’s steady improvement among the top in-state recruits: from one top-20 in 2017 (Lindell Stone), to one top-15 in 2019 (Ben Smiley), to a surefire top-ten and possible top-five in 2020.
This is the kind of cornerstone around whom a top class can be built. Jowon Briggs was that guy last year: a nationally prestigious recruit whose choice of UVA generated “program on the rise” headlines for the Hoos. Christ being a Virginia product who has been a frequent visitor to other top programs could act as a signal to other players who have had UVA under consideration.