Virginia Football Hosted Top Junior, Sophomore Prospects Last Saturday

The Virginia football program has been fully engaged in class of 2019 recruiting for some time, welcoming top prospects such as highly regarded cornerback Cam’Ron Kelly of Oscar Smith (Chesapeake, VA) on Grounds throughout January. A large and talented contingent of high school junior prospects made their way to Charlottesville this past Saturday, a majority of whom had previously been offered by the Cavaliers.

Here is the rundown of those players we confirmed to be in attendance for Virginia’s Junior Day event.

Hakeem Beamon, DL, L.C. Bird (Chesterfield, VA)
The North Carolina commitment is a 247Sports Composite 4-star recruit. He committed to the Tar Heels in June of 2017; however, the Tar Heels will have to fend off numerous new schools that have extended scholarship offers. Beamon claimed an offer from Ohio State earlier this month and offers from Virginia, Maryland, Penn State, Alabama, West Virginia and South Carolina last month. Virginia Tech has also offered.

Dean Ferguson, LB/S, Potomac Falls (VA)
Virginia is looking to strike twice at this northern Virginia school, which produced Cavaliers class of 2018 linebacker recruit Grant Misch. Virginia was one of the first to offer Ferguson, who is also considering scholarships from Rutgers, Syracuse, Virginia Tech and West Virginia, among others. He has good size (6’2”, 205 pounds) for a safety but could also become a linebacker in Virginia’s scheme.

Tysheik Galloway, DL, Belton Honea Path (S.C.)
Galloway claimed an offer from UVA last October.

Joshua Harris, DL/OL, Person (Roxboro, N.C.)
The 6’5”, 295-pound junior just received an offer from South Carolina and boasts earlier offers from Virginia, North Carolina, NC State, Notre Dame, Penn State, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. A player with good potential on either side of the line.

Nick Jackson, LB/S, The Lovett School (Atlanta, GA)
Jackson had a good day in Charlottesville, coming away with a scholarship offer from head coach Bronco Mendenhall. Iowa State, Middle Tennessee State, Rutgers, South Alabama, Syracuse and Western Michigan have also offered the all-state performer in recent weeks. Jackson was previously in Charlottesville last November to watch the Cavaliers clinched bowl eligibility with a win over Georgia Tech, and he also visited last June, so the interest on his part certainly appears high.

Tayvion Robinson, ATH, Cox (Virginia Beach, VA)
The 6’0” playmaker is likely a wide receiver or cornerback on the major college level. Virginia Tech is the heavy favorite according to the 247Sports Crystal Ball feature. Maryland, Ohio State, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia, among others, have also offered the talented junior.

– Ben Smiley, DL, Indian River (Chesapeake, VA)
Virginia made a strong move for the highly recruited junior, who boasts 17 scholarship offers in total, including offers from schools in the ACC, SEC and Big 10 conferences. Virginia Tech is a strong contender and was considered the favorite for the 6’5”, 270-pound first-team all-Tidewater selection prior to the Virginia visit. Might this be an in-state battle?

Brandon Smith, LB/DE, Louisa County (VA)
Virginia is well aware of Smith and Smith has been a frequent visitor on Grounds. Landing the 4-star junior will prove difficult, though, as the Hoos have to contend with Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State and Virginia Tech, among others.

Mataio Soli, OLB/DE, Douglas County High School (Douglasville, GA)
In addition to Virginia, the 6’4”, 225-pound defensive standout boasts offers from California, Duke, Florida, Georgia Tech, Indiana, Kansas, Oregon, South Florida, Stanford, Syracuse, and Wake Forest.

There were some junior prospects in attendance who have not been offered by the staff. These players could be ones to watch down the road – Joshua Fuga (DL, Freedom H.S. in Woodbridge, VA), Immanuel Hickman (LB, Matoaca H.S. in VA), Jaden Payoute (WR, L.C. Bird H.S. in Chesterfield, VA), and Deon Riley (DL, St. Vincent Pallotti in Laurel, MD).

Joining the group of juniors in Charlottesville were some of state’s top high school sophomore prospects. Thomas Dale (Chester, VA) running back Chris Tyree boasts double-digit major FBS scholarship opportunities and is considered one of the top running back prospects in the nation in his class. Though UVA has not traditionally done well at this school, Tyree has visited Charlottesville multiple times.

Jimmy Christ, a 6’6”, 265-pound lineman out of Dominion (Sterling, VA), has seen his recruitment flourish since last December, as he has landed offers from Indiana, Louisville, Michigan State, Boston College, Maryland, Syracuse, and Rutgers. Virginia was the first to offer the standout sophomore, whose brother, Tommy, is a rising redshirt freshman defensive lineman for the Hoos. Older brother Matt plays football at Virginia Tech as a walk-on.

Ethan West, a sophomore tight end at Cosby High School (Midlothian, VA), claimed an offer from Virginia last summer. Duke came through in January. He was also at UVA last Saturday.

Class of 2019 News: Ford Names Top 6; Hanson Headed To Blacksburg

– North Stafford (Stafford, VA) star Devyn Ford is considered one of the top running back prospects in the 2019 Class. Unfortunately for Virginia, the speedy prospect did not include the Cavaliers in his recently released top 6. Barring a change, Ford, who plans to commit in June, will choose Clemson, North Carolina, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Penn State or Virginia Tech.

– Lord Botetourt (VA) offensive lineman Jesse Hanson announced his verbal commitment to Virginia Tech last Thursday, February 8. Hanson was one of those top junior recruits who visited UVA in January, but the visit wasn’t enough to propel the Cavaliers to the top.

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