Penn State football’s class of 2013 has taken a hit as a result of the heavy sanctions the NCAA recently laid down on the program. UVa recruiting was impacted today, when former Nittany Lions recruit Zach Bradshaw , a 6’3″, 200-pound outside linebacker/wide receiver out of Damascus (MD), pledged to the Hoos.
Bradshaw initially committed to Penn State on June 27, but this morning he called head coach Bill O’Brien and de-committed. He then committed to head coach Mike London this afternoon, our sources confirm.
Of his son’s decision to de-commit, Mike Bradshaw said the following in this report on ESPN.com: “The deciding factor was the magnitude of the sanctions. With the loss of scholarships, PSU will be competing in the Big Ten against some of the best teams in the country with 65 scholarship players. The class Zach would be a part of would really bear the brunt of the sanctions.”
In Bradshaw, Virginia is getting a player who does a little bit of everything for the Damascus Hornets. He is a wide receiver, outside linebacker, Wildcat quarterback, snapper and punt returner. As a junior last season, Bradshaw totaled 685 yards of offense, including 466 yards receiving. He added nine total touchdowns.
Rankings-wise, Bradshaw is a consensus 3-star recruit by the four national recruiting outlets (ESPN, 247Sports, Rivals and Scout). In addition to Penn State and Virginia, he also held offers from Boston College, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State (where his father attended), Northwestern, South Carolina and West Virginia.
UVa now has 17 verbal commitments in its class of 2013. Bradshaw is being recruited initially as an outside linebacker, and his pledge gives the Hoos three linebackers in this class: Bradshaw, Gilman (Baltimore, MD) standout Micah Kiser and South Iredell (Statesville, N.C.) star LaChaston Smith.
Stay tuned to TheSabre.com for much more on this latest recruiting development. In the meantime, check out Bradshaw’s junior season highlights below.
TheSabre’s Take: An important addition for the Hoos for several reasons. Linebacker is one of the biggest needs in this class and Bradshaw gives the Hoos a third talented prospect at the position. He plays outside linebacker in high school. On his highlights, he gets off blocks well, has good speed and makes solid tackles. Bradshaw is also versatile enough to play a fullback/H-back role if linebacker doesn’t work out. Offensively, Bradshaw shows good hands and a natural feel for running the football.
Also, Virginia now has five class of 2013 commitments from the state of Maryland, an important recruiting state for the Cavaliers. So Bradshaw’s addition helps to further establish Mike London’s program there.
In terms of scholarships, UVa’s 2013 class is almost complete, with perhaps as little as three spots remaining.