Football: Signing day preview
Note: A full recap of Virginia’s signing day will be available following Coach Mike London’s 4 p.m. news conference, followed with position-by-position breakdowns in the coming days.
What to expect: Expect Virginia to sign around 17 players, four of whom are quarterbacks. Whether they are all listed at quarterback in the autumn – or three autumns from now – is not likely. One of those quarterbacks, Michael Strauss, is already enrolled.
Most of the players committed while Al Groh was coach and were recruited by Groh’s staff. Coach Mike London maintained all the commitments, while adding a handful of new players to the haul late in the process.
The class does not have a significant local flavor. Wide receiver E.J. Scott comes from Good Counsel, defensive back Kyrrel Latimer played for DeMatha and running back Khalek Shepherd hails from Gwynn Park, but that’s it from the Washington region. The Cavaliers struck out on some of the top prospects from the area, including Good Counsel cornerback Louis Young and Archbishop Carroll Jeremiah Attaochu – both of whom are expected to sign with Groh and play for Georgia Tech.
What to watch: Watch Morgan Moses’s decision. Moses was the gem of Virginia’s recruiting class last season, committing to the Cavaliers on signing day. Academics held the mammoth tackle from enrolling, so he spent a season prepping at Fork Union Military Academy while recruiters from some of the top programs through out the nations pursued Moses.
Moses is not bound by last season’s letter-of-intent to Virginia and is scheduled to announce his decision on Wednesday. If he re-affirms a commitment to the Cavaliers, it will serve as a boost to Coach Mike London and could help the Cavaliers as it transitions to a traditional, run-oriented offense. If he goes elsewhere, it will not serve as a major blow as there have long been skeptics about whether Moses could ever land in Charlottesville.
What you should know: Know that Mike London is not entirely responsible for this recruiting class. Wednesday’s signing day is neither a testament nor indictment to London’s recruiting or his future recruiting. Judge London by the class of 2011 and 2012 recruits. He inherited most of the 2010 class, and the major strides in football recruiting are conducted during a player’s junior year. Look for London to make a mark on in-state recruiting this summer. What happens Wednesday is merely preserving a class and filling in holes where possible.
What to wonder: Virginia is signing more players than it has players leaving. That means some players will not be back, and usually those players are fifth-year seniors. Whether that determination is made in the coming weeks or in the coming months, it will reveal the composition next season’s team.
Additionally, Groh was criticized – particularly in his final season – for burning redshirts. Pay attention to which players London plans to play early in their careers, and which players hang around for five seasons.
February 3, 2010; 9:18 AM ET
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