Four top targets had been scheduled to officially visit Virginia this weekend, but that number has been cut in half. 4-star Lebanon (PA) defensive lineman Jared Odrick and 3-star Lumberton (N.C.) offensive lineman Hutch Eckerson are now the only scheduled official visitors, certainly giving the Cavs two quality prospects to impress on grounds.
Rico Bell , a speedy defensive back out of Vance (Charlotte, N.C), has a playoff game on Friday night and is concerned about the timing with the Virginia game at noon. He will reschedule and Virginia still appears to be in good shape, although it would have been nice if he could have made the trip. Clemson, N.C. State and Tennessee are the primary competition here.
We have not been able to confirm if Andrew Quarless , a 4-star tight end/linebacker out of Uniondale (N.Y.), will make his official visit. Uniondale was eliminated from its conference playoffs last weekend, so presumably the weekend is free for him to visit. If he doesn’t, look for him to reschedule as well. The primary competition here is Miami and Penn State.
Now, on to the official visits…
Jared Odrick , considered by many to be one of the top defensive linemen in the country, will be making his fifth and final official visit. Virginia is recruiting the athletic 6-6, 300-pound prospect to play defensive end in its 3-4 defense and there is no mistake how much the Cavs want him. In late October, head coach Al Groh traveled to Lebanon High School to catch Odrick’s final home football game.
Last weekend, Odrick had a terrific visit to the University of Georgia. Heading into the visit, Penn State and Virginia Tech had seemingly become the schools to beat in this race, but Georgia put itself on that list with a great experience. Virginia looks to do the same this week and could, as Odrick has developed a good relationship with the coaching staff and with several players including defensive end Chris Long .
Odrick was thinking about announcing his commitment at the Army All-American bowl in January, but may have a decision before then.
Also coming this weekend is Hutch Eckerson . The 6-6, 270-pound offensive tackle recruit plans on making three or four official visits and this will be the first. Eckerson has developed an awesome relationship with the coaching staff – he likes to say that the entire staff is his primary recruiter – and that fact has put Virginia in the lead heading into official visits.
This weekend, Hutch is looking forward to seeing Charlottesville and determining how comfortable he feels on grounds with the students in school. He has visited Charlottesville before for the June elite junior day and had a great time, but the students were not there. How he feels on grounds this weekend will be a big factor in his recruitment.
Eckerson has an official visit set up with Virginia Tech and plans on taking one to South Carolina and, possibly, N.C. State. He rates Virginia Tech second on his list right now.
Headlining the unofficial visitors almost certain to be in attendance are Blue Ridge defensive back Greg Davis and Phoebus (Hampton, VA) athlete Brent Vinson . I talked to John Graves on Wednesday night and John told me he didn’t think he would make the trip, but I’ll be sure to follow up with him on Sunday anyway.
Douglas McNeil , a 6-4, 190-pound wide receiver out of New Town HS in Owings Mills, MD, told me yesterday that he was unsure if he would make the trip to UVa this weekend. He was thinking about taking an unofficial for the game. No matter, though, as McNeil is very likely to commit to Virginia Tech after next weekend’s official visit to Blacksburg.
Look for a good amount of junior targets in attendance as well.
As far as commitments go, a handful, including B.J. Cabbell , Asa Chapman , Sean Gottschalk , Mark Herzlich , Raynard Horne , Keith Payne , Marc Verica and O.C. Wardlow , are expected on grounds Saturday. West Iredell High School wide receiver Chris Dalton will make his official visit to Virginia this weekend. West Iredell fell 32-12 last night in the second round of the 3A state playoffs, ending what was an excellent season for the team and for Dalton. Dalton, who has been selected to the NC/SC Shrine Bowl, tied the WIHS record for most touchdown receptions in a single season.
Stay tuned over the weekend as I will post which players, committed and otherwise, did make the visit to Charlottesville.