In last night’s postgame press conference, head coach Bronco Mendenhall alluded to the significant amount of talented prospects who were on hand to watch the Virginia football program defeat the No. 16 Miami Hurricanes, 16-13, in Scott Stadium. One of those prospects in attendance was Indian River (Chesapeake, VA) defensive lineman Ben Smiley, who delivered some excellent news to Cavalier nation earlier today (October 14).
— Ben Smiley lll (@BenSmiley9) October 14, 2018
Smiley, a 6’5”, 265-pound senior, becomes the 20th prospect to commit to Virginia’s class of 2019. He is the third true defensive line recruit in the class, joining consensus 4-star Jowon Briggs of Ohio and international recruit Emil Bo Andersen. Significant attrition dating back to last fall has made the defensive line a big-time need for the Hoos in this class, and Smiley gives the Cavaliers a second 4-star commitment at the position.
Rivals.com ranks Smiley as a 4-star recruit, the No. 11 prospect in the state of Virginia’s class of 2019, and the No. 16 defensive tackle in the nation in 2019. 247Sports.com ranks him as a 3-star recruit, the No. 14 overall recruit in Virginia in 2019, and the No. 39 high school senior defensive tackle in the nation.
Smiley, Virginia’s fourth class of 2019 recruit with at least one 4-star rating, claimed around 30 scholarship offers ranging from the ACC to the Big 10 to the Big 12 to the SEC before choosing the Hoos. An excellent student as well, Smiley is a member of the National Society of High School Scholars.
Smiley’s decision-making process has taken its share of twists and turns, most notably when he pledged to the Hoos back in the spring only to retract the commitment 16 minutes later. He made an official visit on Grounds on June 7 before returning to UVA this past Saturday, which appears to have sealed the deal. Cavalier coaches and recruits each seem pleased with Smiley’s decision.
Cant stop smiling… matter of fact, I'm pretty sure I've BEEN SMILING for a while.
⚔️THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA⚔️
— Vic So'oto (@Coach_Sooto) October 14, 2018
BOOM! Our time is now bro! I can’t wait to work hard with you and get some rings let’s go https://t.co/HsehpOsAWx
— Ja'Quay hubbard (@Jhubb3366) October 14, 2018
As a junior last season, Smiley racked up 16.5 tackles for loss, including 11 sacks, on his way to earning All Tidewater First Team honors. Check out his junior season highlights below followed by highlights from the most recent game of his senior campaign, both courtesy of Hudl.com.
Virginia Football’s 2019 Class Commitments
– Josh Ahern, Linebacker, Lake Braddock (Burke, VA)
– Kariem Al Soufi, Offensive Lineman, Germany
– Emil Bo Andersen, Defensive Lineman, Denmark
– Jowon Briggs, Defensive Tackle, Walnut Creek (Cincinnati, OH)
– Chayce Chalmers, Linebacker/Safety, Stonewall Jackson (Manassas, VA)
– Antonio Clary, Athlete, Sandalwood (Jacksonville, FL)
– Fentrell Cypress, Cornerback, Northwestern (Rock Hill, S.C.)
– Dorien Goddard, Athlete, Greeneville (TN)
– Robert Harvey, Jr., Dual-Threat Quarterback, Edgewarter (Orlando, FL)
– Ja’Quay Hubbard, Offensive Lineman, Sharpsville (PA)
– Jonathan Leech, Offensive Lineman, Mill Creek (Hoschton, GA)
– Seneca Milledge, H-Back, Dunbar (Fort Myers, FL)
– DSean Perry, Linebacker/Defensive End, Gulliver Prep (Miami, FL)
– Jairus Satiu, Linebacker, Fork Union Military Academy (VA) via Lehi, Utah
– Ben Smiley, Defensive Lineman, Indian River (Chesapeake, VA)
– Hunter Stewart, Linebacker, Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.)
– Tiquest Terry, Wide Receiver, Blacksburg (VA)
– Zachary Teter, Offensive Lineman, Lake Gibson (Lakeland, FL)
– Luke Wentz, Quarterback/Athlete, Germany
– Major Williams, Defensive Back, Dunbar (Fort Myers, FL)