Virginia Football Recruiting Notes: Weekend Recap

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UVA football hosted a large number of high school senior recruits, mostly players who had already committed to the staff but some targets as well, on official visits and some junior prospects on unofficial visits this past weekend. So far the weekend has produced one new commitment — from Brunswick (GA) senior receiver Shawn Smith, who announced his pledge this past Saturday.

We’ll be working the phones throughout the week catching up with this past weekend’s visitors and looking ahead to the final weekend before the February 1 National Signing Day for the 2017 Class. In the meantime, here is the latest UVA-related news beginning with the class of 2017.

CLASS OF 2017 NEWS & NOTES

– Smith has committed, but as of this writing there has been no word from Knoxville Central (Knoxville, TN) senior defensive lineman Isaac Buell and Lake Travis (Austin, TX) senior nose tackle Sammy Ochoa, who were also in Charlottesville last weekend.

– Virginia is trending the wrong way with current Cavalier commitment Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah and coveted offensive tackle target Mekhi Becton.

Owusu-Koramoah took an official visit to Michigan State this past weekend. However, Notre Dame, which came through with an offer for the 6’2”, 200-pound Bethel (Hampton, VA) safety/outside linebacker late last week, is the school UVA should be concerned with. Owusu-Koramoah reportedly is eying an official visit to South Bend this week. Additionally, he is no longer listing himself as a Virginia commit on his Twitter account.

To be clear Owusu-Koramoah has not yet publicly decommitted from Virginia. Without question, though, there is real cause for concern for the Hoos.

Becton, a 6’7”, 300-pound tackle out of Highland Springs (VA), had a great official visit to Virginia Tech this past weekend. No public verbal commitment has been given, but the Hokies have emerged as the frontrunner according to the prognosticators on 247Sports.com’s Crystal Ball feature.

UVA has hosted Becton numerous times on unofficial visits. Perhaps Coach Mendenhall can convince the talented big man to take an official to Charlottesville before National Signing Day. If not, it appears he is headed to Blacksburg.

– Linebacker Levani Damuni (Stanford) and offensive lineman Henry Klinge (Baylor) are off the board. Damuni was a longtime target of Coach Mendenhall’s, while Klinge picked up an offer from the Hoos late last week, just prior to his Baylor official.

– Last Friday, Cardinal Mooney (Sarasota, FL) senior quarterback Tristan Hillerich announced his commitment to UVA. I suspect this is a recruited walk-on opportunity but will confirm as soon as possible. The 6’2”, 180-pound signal caller is certainly excited to be a Cavalier. Check out his commitment tweet followed by his senior season highlights below.

CLASS OF 2018 NEWS & NOTES

– Virginia is off to a good start in the recruitment of North Caroline (Ridgely, MD) defensive tackle prospect Ja’mion Franklin. UVA was the first school to offer the 6’2”, 300-pound junior, coming through over one month ago. Franklin was on Grounds last Saturday for an unofficial and had a “phenomenal time.”

No commitment yet from the talented junior, but again the Cavaliers are off to a great start here. Franklin’s weekend ended with an offer from Rutgers. Syracuse has offered as well.

North Caroline junior running back prospect David Bailey was also on Grounds on Saturday. One day later he announced he had a scholarship offer from the Cavaliers. Check out highlights of the 6’2”, 225-pound prospect below.

– Benedictine (Richmond, VA) standout Chris Collins, a 6’5″ defensive end prospect, was among the other juniors Virginia hosted on Saturday. UVA and Georgia have offered.

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