Virginia Football Recruit Highlights: Defense, Special Teams Commits

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Of the 19 recruits that have committed to Virginia football’s 2017 Class, 11 are projected to play defense or on special teams. This “Virginia Football Recruit Highlight” feature provides the latest highlights and season updates of these recruits.

The highlights are courtesy of Hudl.com. Statistics are courtesy of MaxPreps.

Defensive Ends (3)

Tommy Christ, 6’5”, 255 pounds, Dominion (Sterling, VA)

Dominion (6-2) can capture a district title with a win over Heritage on October 21. Christ starts on both sides of the line, but defense is where he is being recruited to play at UVA. He plays standup defensive end for the Titans and leads the team with two interceptions. The Virginia coaches see him as a defensive end in the 3-4.

Below are Christ’s senior season highlights, updated on October 20.

John Kirven, 6’5”, 250 pounds, Woodberry Forest (VA)

Kirven has 19 tackles including four sacks as one of Woodberry Forest’s (5-1) starting defensive ends. This is his first season as a full-time defensive end, the position he is being recruited to play by Bronco Mendenhall.

Ryan Thaxton, 6’5”, 245 pounds, St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes (Alexandria, VA)

Thaxton is a very promising athlete at the defensive end position, from which he has totaled at least three sacks and one tackle for loss in 2016. Check out highlights from the first three games of his senior year below.

St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes is 3-3.

Nose Tackles (1)

Mandy Alonso, 6’3”, 275 pounds, Gulliver Prep (Miami, FL)

Alonso has racked up 25 tackles, 11 of which went for a loss, and four sacks in five games in his final year at Gulliver Prep, which is 2-3 heading into an October 21 contest versus Champagnat Catholic.

Below are Alonso’s highlights from Gulliver Prep’s 34-28 win over Everglades Prep on September 23.

Linebackers (2)

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Gahm with the Virginia coaching staff

Matt Gahm, 6’3”, 220 pounds, Highland Park (Dallas, TX)

Highland Park is 6-1 this season. MaxPreps has Gahm’s stats through five games. In those contests the likely future outside linebacker had 34 tackles (22 solo) with six tackles for loss and one sack, two interceptions, and three forced fumbles.

Gahm’s midseason senior year highlights are below.

Charles Snowden, 6’7”, 200 pounds, St. Albans (Washington, D.C.)

Snowden is an interesting prospect who could end up as an outside linebacker or possibly defensive end at Virginia. Wide receiver or tight end could be possibilities, too, but Mendenhall sees him as a defensive player initially.

St. Albans dropped last week’s contest versus Georgetown Prep but is still 4-2. Snowden’s highlights from St. Albans’ win over Paul VI are below.

Defensive Backs (4)

Joey Blount, 6’2”, 175 pounds, Landmark Christian Academy (Fairburn, GA)

Blount, whose father played safety for UVA in the late 1970s, is being recruited to play free safety. The standout prospect known for his feel for the game has helped LCA to a 7-0 record so far in 2016. His midseason senior highlights are below.

Darrius Bratton, 6’1”, 195 pounds, Fork Union Military Academy (VA)

Bratton has added some weight since graduating from William Fleming this past spring, going from 170 to about 195 now (per FUMA’s website). He looks pretty good at cornerback (where UVA wants him to play) in the highlights below.

Zachariah Burton, 6’0”, 185 pounds, William Penn (New Castle, DE)

Burton does a little bit of everything — even punting, something he certainly can do if you see his video below — on a William Penn squad that is 5-1. Virginia likes the versatile prospect as a cornerback.

Check out his highlights versus Newark as well as his punting highlights below.

Germane Crowell Jr., 6’3”, 185 pounds, Carver (Winston-Salem, N.C.)

Crowell, son of former UVA wide receiver Germane Crowell, has the versatility to play safety or corner for the Cavaliers. He has stated to TheSabre.com that corner is likely the position he will start out playing.

The elder Crowell is head coach at Carver, which went 8-5 last year but is 2-6 this season. See the younger Crowell’s highlights versus Asheville below.

Special Teams (1)

Brian Delaney, Placekicker/Punter, 5’11”, 200 pounds, Westfield (Chantilly, VA)

Could only find Delaney’s junior season highlights, which are posted below. He has helped the Bulldogs to a 5-2 record so far in 2016.

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