The month of June is usually a busy one for the Virginia Cavaliers’ football recruiting efforts. June 2023 is following suit.
After hosting a number of high school prospects on Grounds the first weekend of the month, the Hoos picked up commitments from three of the visitors over the course of three days. The commitments bring the class of 2024 up to six members, currently ranked 54th in the 247Sports Composite rankings.
Grant Ellinger - OL (Naperville, Illinois)
The first addition on Monday was the biggest, at least physically.
Grant Ellinger is a 6-foot-4, 270-pound offensive lineman out of Illinois. His other FBS offers include Cincinnati, Coastal Carolina, Kansas, Marshall, and Army, along with Columbia, Penn, and Yale from the Ivy League. Ellinger holds an 83.67 rating in the 247 Composite, but 247’s Allen Trieu sang Ellinger’s praises in a post-commitment analysis piece:
What stands out about him immediately on film is his ability to bend and get leverage which allows him to be an excellent drive blocker in the run game. Typically when we evaluate high school offensive linemen on film, we see a lot who play a little bit high, but are able to still be dominant because they are bigger, better, and stronger than everyone they play against.
With Ellinger, not only is he more talented than his opposition, but he is also the low man, which means there are some dominant clips on his film.
According to Trieu, Virginia may have landed Ellinger before his stock really shot up in the eyes of other Power Five schools. UVA may not be done recruiting him yet, especially if Big Ten programs came calling.
Christian Zachary - WR (Saint Matthews, SC)
Following Ellinger’s commitment on Monday came wide receiver Christian Zachary from tiny Saint Matthews, South Carolina (just southeast of Columbia).
110% COMMITTED @UVAFootball @Coach_Mims2 @Coach_TElliott @coachdeskitch @coachbuttsUVA @CoachSintim @Coach_TerryHeff @CoachChrisSlade @Coach_Rud @Coach_Gaither @CoachCCox @taylor_lamb11 @coachdowning1 @jsperos @_LD82 @CalhounSaints pic.twitter.com/uCtdVxehwl— Christian Zachary (@christian_zach3) June 6, 2023
UVA beat out an ACC offer from Duke, as well as G5 offers from Appalachian State, Charlotte, Georgia State, and Old Dominion. Zachary boasts a 247 Composite of 87, well above what one might expect from that offer list; he is also a top-15 prospect in the state of South Carolina.
Standing 6-foot-3 and 190 pounds, Zachary certainly has Power Five stature. And he’s a multi-sport standout as well, starring both for the track and basketball teams at Calhoun County. UVA has enjoyed plenty of success in recent years with big-time athletes from small towns: Altavista’s Juan Thornhill and Charlotte Court House’s Joe Reed both come to mind.
Chase Morrison - DE/Bandit (Roswell, GA)
Adding a man on the defensive side of the ball, Chase Morrison committed to UVA on Wednesday.
At 6-foot-5 and 240 pounds already, Morrison fits the “bandit”/edge role in John Rudzinski’s defense; the best current player comp for him is probably Chico Bennett. Morrison is an 86.5 in the 247 Composite, with offers from Duke, Wake Forest, JMU, Liberty, and Tulane, among others.
Morrison was a standout for a Roswell team that was one of the best in Georgia last year. Competing in Class 6A (the second highest classification in the Peach State), Morrison and the Hornets made it to the state semifinals before losing a nailbiter to Gainesville.
The Hoos welcome another crop of visitors this coming weekend, and there are another handful of prospects who could be on commitment watch in the weeks to come.