As the Virginia Cavaliers have been racking up 2023 commitments over the last month, the eighth and ninth players of the class committed to UVA earlier this afternoon as three star running back Noah Vaughn and cornerback Keandre Walker join Tony Elliott’s program.
Walker, the second commit of the day, hails from Denver, North Carolina out of East Lincoln High School. He also held offers from schools including Air Force, Army, James Madison, and Richmond. At 6’3”, 180 pounds, he brings length to the cornerback position. Granted, with UVA being only his power five offer, he comes in unranked by 247Sports but with plenty of time to develop within his promising physical frame.
Considering that Elliott and new offensive coordinator Des Kitchings have placed an emphasis in offseason work on being more committed to the running game than the previous staff did, bringing in another running back among the 2023 group — after Donte Hawthorne committed back in late May — was a priority.
Out of Maryville High School in Maryville, Tennessee, Vaughn also had offers from Rice, Navy, Princeton, Richmond, Appalachian State, Austin Peay, and Eastern Kentucky. In fact, his commitment to Virginia comes just six days after he received the offer from the Wahoo staff back on June 21st.
A 5’9”, 185 pound prospect, Vaughn is a three star according to 247Sports and is ranked as the 102nd best running back nationally and the 57th best prospect out of Tennessee. As an undersized player, he relies on his acceleration to burst through holes along with his finishing speed as, once he’s got space, he’s hard to bring down. He could absolutely be a weapon on kick returns during his time in Charlottesville. Vaughn has that ability to make defenders look like they’re standing still as he flies past them.
Granted, Vaughn is a fairly unknown prospect with Virginia being his best offer. Nevertheless, he’s got the ability to make big plays and could do so early on in his career if given the opportunity.
This brings the count to nine for Elliott’s 2023 group after defensive tackle Rodney Lora and tight end Tekai Kirby committed on Friday and wide receiver Amare Thomas did a week ago today. These recent verbals leave Virginia with the 53rd ranked class in the 247 Composite.