Sabre Scoop: Virginia Football & Basketball Recruiting Roundup

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Virginia basketball coaches are on the road, visiting high schools to watch workouts and evaluate prospects. The weekend of September 21-23, at least three prospects — UVA class of 2019 commits Casey Morsell and Kadin Shedrick as well as class of 2020 point guard target Reece Beekman — will head to Charlottesville on official visits.

Morsell and Shedrick seem rock-solid in their commitments and both are expected to sign in November during the Early Signing Period. The official visits for both players are still important, especially in regards to getting to know their future teammates.

In an article on TheSabre back in May, Morsell said the following when discussing what he wants to see when he returns to Charlottesville: “I have a really good relationship with the coaching staff. I really don’t have a great relationship with a lot of the players because I just haven’t been there or around them. Just to meet everybody, besides the coaching staff, because you spend a lot of time with everyone else. The coaching staff is not the only people you spend most of your time with. Just sort of meet more people, learn more stuff about the school, that’s pretty much it.”

Shedrick has only visited UVA once before. It was an unofficial and he committed 15 minutes after he left, so obviously it went well. The players weren’t on Grounds at the time, though, so this will be his first chance to meet them.

As for Beekman, having him come for an official visit next weekend, when Virginia’s present and future players are on Grounds, could be telling in terms of how highly Coach Bennett thinks of him.

McCorkle Would Be A Big-Time Pickup In Any Class

When Greensboro Day (Greensboro, N.C.) sophomore shooting guard Carson McCorkle tweeted the news of the Virginia offer he received on Monday (September 10), he drew some interesting responses. One is from the mother of Kadin Shedrick, a class of 2019 post who has committed to the Hoos. McCorkle (16U) and Shedrick (17U) played in the same AAU program, Garner Road.

Another was from Trinity Episcopal (Richmond, VA) class of 2020 combo forward Henry Coleman III, who received a scholarship from Virginia early last month.

I certainly wouldn’t base all that much off Twitter, but I thought those were interesting.

Anyway, it’s easy to see why head coach Tony Bennett extended the offer to McCorkle, a 6’3” combo guard with a sweet stroke and good feel for the game. It may also be worth remembering that while he is classified as a sophomore (class of 2021), the 2018-19 school year will be his third on the high school level. He attended Broughton High School (Raleigh, N.C.) as a freshman in 2016-17 before reclassifying when he enrolled at Greensboro Day in 2017.

It remains to be seen what happens next spring in terms of possible departures (De’Andre Hunter tops the list) and possible new recruits and/or transfer additions, but for now I think Virginia will take two guard prospects (a point guard and a shooting guard/combo guard) in the class of 2020. I’m not sure if reclassifying back to 2020 is something he is seriously considering at this point, but McCorkle has the talent to do so. Virginia seems off to a good start in its pursuit. However, I expect Bennett and company will have to beat out many teams, probably including the so-called “blue blood” programs, for his signature.

Coleman III Makes Visits

Henry Coleman III took unofficial visits to Pittsburgh and West Virginia this past weekend. In the Sabre Scoop from August 21, the 6’8”, 215-pound junior said he wanted to visit NC State, Pitt, Virginia and West Virginia this fall. Two down, two more to go.

At last check with Trinity Episcopal head coach Rick Hamlin, Coleman III was eyeing October 13 for the Virginia trip. This is the day of the UVA/Miami football game as well as the Pepsi Blue-White Scrimmages for men’s and women’s basketball.

“I’m going to see if I really, really fit in there,” Coleman III answered when asked what he’ll be looking for when he returns to Charlottesville, a place he has visited many times. “I’ve been to a ton of basketball and football games. I’m seeing if I fit in the system there, on and off the court.”

Also of note, Adam Ayalew reported that Virginia was represented at Trinity Episcopal on Monday (September 10).

FOOTBALL RECRUITING

Virginia football has 19 verbal commitments in the class of 2019. If things go the Cavaliers’ way, two more high school seniors could join the group in the near future.

Jerit Roser of Rivals.com reports that running back Michael Hollins, who is one of Virginia football’s top remaining targets in the class of 2019, is set to make an official visit to Utah this weekend and could be ready to make his college commitment soon.

Of the schools that have offered, Hollins’ primary focus appears to be on three: SMU, Virginia and Utah. The 5’10”, 205-pound senior has taken official visits to SMU and UVA already. LSU has not yet offered the University Lab (Baton Rouge, LA) star a scholarship yet, but the Tigers bear watching, before and possibly even after Hollins makes his commitment. Tough to count out the hometown school, particularly a strong SEC program like LSU with a head coach with a strong recruiting background, if a scholarship is extended.

Virginia loses Jordan Ellis after this season but is expected to return the following scholarship players next season: Chris Sharp (Sr), Lamont Atkins (Jr), P.K. Kier (Jr), Jamari Peacock (Jr) and Wayne Taulapapa (R/S Fr). Additionally, Dunbar High School (Fort Myers, FL) senior Seneca Milledge has committed to the Hoos in the class of 2019. The 5’6” speedster could end up at running back but could end up as an H-back in the mold of Olamide Zaccheaus.

Especially when you consider Coach Mendenhall’s idea of establishing clear succession at each position, there is a need for a more traditional running back like Hollins in this class. Most importantly, his blend of size, toughness and speed is impressive.

Another longtime top Virginia target, this time on the defensive line, is Indian River (Chesapeake, VA) senior Ben Smiley. In recent days, the 6’4”, 265-pound prospect has indicated he is ready to make his college choice.

Smiley revealed a Top 10 of Alabama, Miami, Nebraska, NC State, Oklahoma, Penn State, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M and Virginia back in May. He took an official visit to UVA in June, and he seems to be pleased with the Cavaliers’ most recent commit, offensive lineman Ja’Quay Hubbard.

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  1. Thank you for this article! The great news on the basketball side is what great young men the recruits appear to be — it sure seems as though they would fit right into the family atmosphere Coach Bennett has built, while developing talent at an elite level.

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