Virginia Football Recruiting Week In Review: Thaxton Decommits

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail to someoneGoogle+share on TumblrShare on Reddit

One of the University of Virginia’s 2017 Class football commits helped his school achieve a WPIAL title last weekend. A handful of other future Cavaliers helped their schools advance in the playoffs. But before we run down last week’s action on the gridiron, we begin with some not-so-good news for the Cavaliers on the recruiting front.

Thaxton Decommits

St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes (Alexandria, VA) defensive end Ryan Thaxton announced this past Sunday that he has backed away from his verbal commitment to Virginia.

“I want to thank the coaching staff at the University of Virginia for everything but I am decommitting and reopening my recruitment so that I can take visits and make the right decision for my family and I,” Thaxton wrote in this tweet.

Thaxton, a 6’5”, 250-pound senior with plus athletic ability, was one of Virginia’s more well regarded commitments. More importantly, he was a commitment at one of UVA’s top positional needs in the 2017 class.

Thaxton, who originally pledged to the Hoos this past June, attended Virginia’s home finale against Miami but obviously wasn’t sold. The fact that he just visited and then decommitted probably does not bode well for Virginia in terms of bringing him back into the fold, but we’ll see what happens in the coming weeks and months.

The Cavaliers now have 21 verbal commitments in the 2017 Class. Two of those prospects are sure-fire defensive end prospects.

State Championship For Zandier

Now, for some good news.

Linebacker prospect Zane Zandier, who committed to Virginia immediately following the Miami game, and his Thomas Jefferson (Jefferson Hills, PA) teammates shutout New Castle, 42-0, to capture the WPIAL Class 4 championship last week. It is the school’s second consecutive WPIAL Class 4 title.

Zandier, a wide receiver and safety for Thomas Jefferson, had 48 yards receiving and a touchdown as well as an interception in the championship game. Next up for the Jaguars is a matchup with Cathedral Prep in the PIAA state quarterfinals. The two teams faced off in last year’s state playoffs, with Cathedral Prep edging Thomas Jefferson by a score of 28-21.

Playoff Action: Offense Commits

-Tailback Lamont Atkins was outstanding on both sides of the ball, rushing for 151 yards and three touchdowns and coming through with a Pick-6 as Lake Braddock (Burke, VA) blanked Hayfield, 42-0. The Bruins (11-1) will now host South Lakes the 6A North Region semifinals on November 26.

-Mill Creek (Hoschton, GA), which features UVA-bound center/offensive guard Tyler Fannin, crushed Cherokee by 35 points in the second round of the AAAAAAA playoffs. An 11-1 McEachern squad awaits the undefeated Hawks next.

Playoff Action: Defense/Special Teams

– Dominion (9-2) doubled up Amherst, 42-21, to advance in the 4A West Region playoffs. A tough challenge lies ahead for UVA-bound defensive end Tommy Christ and company, who travel to unbeaten and 4A West top seed Woodgrove on November 25.

-Linebacker commit Matt Gahm racked up eight tackles and one sack as the Highland Park Scots (Dallas, TX) cruised to a 45-3 victory over Independence. The Scots (10-2) face Lake Ridge in the 5A, Division 1, Region 2 semifinals on November 25.

-William Penn (New Castle, DE) downed Sussex Central, 38-21, to advance to the DIAA Division 1 semifinals and a matchup with unbeaten Smyrna. This was win no. 10 for Virginia cornerback recruit Zachariah Burton and company, who have lost only once this season.

Joey Blount’s 22-yard touchdown pass pushed Landmark Christian (Fairburn, GA) passed Darlington, 13-12, in the second round of the Private School playoffs. Landmark Christian (10-1) meets Prince Avenue Christian in third round action this week.

Blount, whose father starred at safety at UVA in the late 1970s, is being recruited by Virginia as a free safety.

-Cornerback prospect Darrius Bratton does not have a playoff game to play, but he helped Fork Union Military Academy’s postgraduate football squad to a successful 8-2 2016 campaign. The Canadian Federation game awaits on December 5.

-Westfield (Chantilly, VA) defeated South County, 20-3, to advance in the 6A North Region playoffs. Place-kicker/punter Brian Delaney drilled two field goals (24, 27) and two extra points in the win. Up next is a date at James Madison on November 26.

Season Complete

Lindell Stone, QB, 6’1”, 205 pounds, Woodberry Forest (VA)

2016 Record: 9-1

Stone amassed 3609 yards passing, 45 total touchdowns (38 passing, 7 rushing), and threw only seven interceptions in a fantastic senior season performance.

PK Kier, SRB (Speed Running Back), 5’11”, 215 pounds, Millbrook (Winchester, VA)

2016 Record: 10-2

Kier was held in check by Salem, which defeated Millbrook, 59-14, in the 4A West quarterfinals. Kier, an all-state selection his junior season, rushed for over 1,000 yards as a senior.

Jamari Peacock, BRB (Big Running Back), 6’0”, 240 pounds, Yulee (FL)

2016 Record: 7-4

Peacock rushed for 207 yards in his final game at Yulee. Check out highlights of his performance below …

Darnell Pratt Jr., WR, 6’3”, 185 pounds, Good Counsel (Olney, MD)

2016 Record: 6-5

Pratt had a touchdown catch in Good Counsel’s season ending loss to DeMatha. Here it is …

Chris Glaser Jr., OL, 6’4”, 270 pounds, Solon (OH)

2016 Record: 10-2

Ryan Nelson, OL, 6’5”, 260 pounds, Buena Park (CA)

2016 Record: 10-2

Buena Park was defeated by Edison by a score of 38-21 in the Division 3, CIF Southern Section quarterfinals.

Below are highlights of Nelson in Buena Park’s win over San Juan Hills the previous week.

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

2016 Record: 3-6

Alonso amassed 41 tackles (28 solo) with 19 tackles for loss and eight sacks his senior season. His 2016 highlights are below (courtesy of Hudl). Notice Alonso, his father, and Gulliver Prep HC Earl Sims giving the V-sabres symbol at the beginning …

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

2016 Record: 9-1

Kirven was an All Prep defensive end/outside linebacker selection in what was his first year on defense.

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

2016 Record: 5-5

Highlights of Snowden’s performance in St. Albans’ season finale versus Landon (courtesy of Hudl). Snowden had a touchdown reception in the 1-point loss …

Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, OLB, 6’3”, 200 pounds, Bethel (Hampton, VA)

2016 Record: 6-5

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

2016 Record: 5-7

Crowell Jr. and his teammates rebounded nicely from a 1-6 start to the season to make the 2A playoffs. And they were in good position last week, leading 7-6 over Brevard at halftime, but ultimately fell by a score of 28-14.

Crowell Jr., a defensive back recruit, expects to enroll at UVA in January of 2017. Watch highlights of his performance in a win over South Stokes this season.

Terrell Jana, ATH, 6’1”, 185 pounds, Woodberry Forest (VA)

2016 Record: 9-1

A terrific senior season included 1,545 total yards, 21 total touchdowns, and 64 catches.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail to someoneGoogle+share on TumblrShare on Reddit