Posted: 11:15 a.m. Thursday, May 9, 2013
By Justin Ferber
Here is a breakdown of Virginia's top remaining in-state targets, and how their recruitments are trending. We give predictions for where they will land, and a confidence percentage on our picks.
Andrew Brown (Defensive Tackle, Oscar Smith): Things continue to look good for UVa in the recruitment of the 5-star defensive tackle. Brown last visited Charlottesville for the Spring Game in April, the most recent of many visits to Grounds for the Chesapeake native. Brown has said that he plans to enroll in January at his school of choice, and wants to make his decision before the start of his senior season at Oscar Smith. The 5-star prospect has mentioned wanting to take some more visits to schools before making his decision, with possible trips to Michigan, Florida State and others on the docket. Right now, it appears that the Hoos are out in front, with Brown having a great relationship with Coach London, and other Cavalier players and recruits as well. There is a draw to UNC as well, because Brown grew up a Tar Heels fan, but right now, UVa fans should feel pretty confident.
Prediction: Virginia (90%)
Jeremiah Clarke (Defensive End, T.C. Williams): Clarke recently released his top six schools leading up to his decision, Virginia, Tennessee, Wake Forest, UNC, Miami, and Penn State. Clarke had talked about making his decision by the end of May, but now with some new offers coming in, he may delay that announcement. At this point it looks like Virginia and Penn State are the top contenders, with the Hoos holding a slight edge. Obviously the dynamic could change if Clarke blows up with some big offers, but right now the Cavs are in a good spot. Clarke wants to visit a few schools before making his choice, and there will be some nervous moments for those following his recruitment. Clarke is pretty close to the vest about naming favorites, but if we had to guess right now, we think he'll end up in Charlottesville.
Prediction: Virginia (55%)
Da'Shawn Hand (Defensive End, Woodbridge): NOT. HAPPENING. Hand will either end up at Virginia Tech, or a national power (see what I did there?) like Michigan or Alabama.
Prediction: Michigan (40%)
Jalyn Holmes (Defensive End, Lake Taylor): UVa was off Holmes' radar for a long time, with Virginia Tech seen as the favorite for the Lake Taylor standout. At this point, Virginia fans shouldn't get too excited about the Hoos' chances with Holmes, but it's too early to totally write it off. Holmes seems interested in looking out of state for school, particularly Florida State and North Carolina. Virginia Tech seems to be fading some, and Holmes didn't seem very excited about his recent trip to Blacksburg for the Hokies' Spring Game. The hope for Virginia is that they are able to land Kamara, Nnadi and Brown and that their friendship with Holmes will help persuade him to take a serious look at UVa. If the Cavaliers land those three, and Holmes is still on the board, then we can talk about this scenario. But when the dust settles, I think he lands out of state, its just not clear where.
Prediction: Florida State (25%)
Jamil Kamara (Wide Receiver, Bishop Sullivan): The 4-star wideout has had some great camp performances of late, and his stock will only continue to climb. By the end of the 2014 cycle, Kamara will be a consensus top 100 prospect, and he's pretty close as it is, before the summer camp season. Virginia has lead for the Bishop Sullivan star for some time now, and many feel he may be a lock to join his good friend Quin Blanding in Charlottesville. Kamara released a Top-9 list recently, which included Virginia, Tennessee, Wisconsin, UNC and NC State, who are considered the serious contenders for his services. Kamara has a tie to Wisconsin, with Tidewater native Chris Beatty on the Badgers' staff recruiting the area. Kamara also has mentioned wanting to visit Tennessee and Vanderbilt before making his decision. In the end, Virginia is going to be really tough to beat, and Kamara is the closest to a sure thing on the Hoos' board at the moment.
Prediction: Virginia (95%)
Derrick Nnadi (Defensive Tackle, Ocean Lakes): Nnadi seems like he is basically down to the Hoos and the Hokies. Virginia is seen as the leader, but there are some ties to Tech as well. Nnadi's father is a VT alum, so that will be a factor down the stretch. Nnadi is also really close with Quin Blanding and the rest of that "757" group, which could help the Cavaliers land him. Right now, Nnadi hasn't really firmed up a timetable for his decision, so a visit to Charlottesville could be huge for the Cavaliers' chances, and hopefully for UVa, end his recruitment. Virginia fans should feel good about Nnadi, but after what was said about Wyatt Teller being a Cavalier lean last year and ending up in Blacksburg, there is always reason for pause.
Prediction: Virginia (75%)
M.J. Stewart (Athlete, Yorktown): Stewart seems to be working his way towards a decision after taking visits to his top schools. He seems most interested in UVa, Virginia Tech, UNC and Penn State at the moment. Stewart, like Clarke, doesn't list a favorite and is tough to read. Virginia and North Carolina are probably the top two contenders for the Arlington native, both of which like Stewart as a defensive back. Tar Heel quarterback commit Caleb Henderson is actively recruiting Stewart to join him in Chapel Hill, and right now, this one is too close to call. We do feel that Stewart will land at either Virginia or North Carolina though.
Prediction: Virginia (50%)
So, as you can see, the Cavaliers are in a good spot for a bunch of their top targets in the Commonwealth. With the Hoos expected to take a small class in 2014, This group could make up the core of the 2014 class, with a few out-of-state targets hopefully to join them.