Virginia Football Recruiting Notes: Class Of 2019 Climbs In Rankings

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Division 1 class of 2019 recruits won’t be able to sign with their respective schools until December 19, when the Early Signing Period begins. Barring an unforeseen circumstance, Virginia football is poised to sign easily its best class yet in the Bronco Mendenhall era.

Virginia football recruiting was on the uptick before the 2018 season began, securing commitments from two 4-star recruits in defensive lineman Jowon Briggs and linebacker Hunter Stewart. Briggs, a consensus 4-star and Under Armour All-American, is the most highly ranked recruit to commit to Virginia in the Mendenhall era.

Since the 2018 season began, though, UVA has added two more 4-stars (as ranked by at least one of the national recruiting outlets). Offensive lineman JaQuay Hubbard joined the class back in September, and this past Sunday Indian River (Chesapeake, VA) senior defensive lineman Ben Smiley announced his commitment.

While 247Sports ranks only Briggs on the 4-star level, Rivals.com rates Briggs, Hubbard, Stewart and Smiley as 4-star recruits. Not one recruit in UVA’s three previous classes earned a 4-star ranking by Rivals. 247Sports credits UVA with one 4-star in each of the 2017 and 2018 classes.

As of this writing, Rivals ranks Virginia’s 2019 haul No. 33 in the nation and No. 6 in the ACC. 247Sports (the site ranking, not the “Composite” ranking) currently rates the Cavaliers’ 2019 Class No. 40 in the nation and No. 7 in the ACC.

Virginia’s previous three classes were ranked as follows (Note: The 2017 and 2018 classes were Mendenhall’s first full recruiting classes as Cavalier head coach.) …

2016 Class
-Rivals Ranking: No. 61 in the nation; Tied for No. 11 in the ACC; 0 4-star recruits, 12 3-star recruits
-247Sports Ranking: No. 62 in the nation; No. 12 in the ACC; 0 4-stars, 17 3-stars

2017 Class
-Rivals Ranking: No. 58 nationally; Tied for No. 11 in the ACC; 0 4-stars, 15 3-stars
-247Sports Ranking: No. 58 nationally; No. 12 in the ACC; 1 4-star, 20 3-stars

2018 Class
-Rivals Ranking: No. 69 nationally; No. 13 in the ACC; 0 4-stars, 15 3-stars
-247Sports Ranking: No. 63 nationally; No. 12 in the ACC; 1 4-star, 21 3-stars

Official Visitors

UVA commits Major Williams and Seneca Milledge of Dunbar High School (Fort Myers, FL) and Cavalier targets Nick Jackson (LB, The Lovett School in Atlanta (GA)) and Devin Bush (DB, Edna Karr in New Orleans (LA)) were on Grounds on official visits this past weekend. Here are some photos tweeted by these prospects or their families, beginning with Bush followed by Jackson, Williams and Milledge.

Milledge, an H-back prospect, and Williams, a defensive back, seem stronger than ever with their commitments. Virginia appears to have a good chance with Jackson with Duke and Northwestern seemingly the top competition. For Bush, Arkansas was the consensus favorite heading into last weekend. The Virginia visit went well, but he is scheduled to visit Fayetteville officially next month so we’ll see what happens.

Other Confirmed Visitors

Other Virginia commits confirmed to be in attendance last Saturday: Jahmeer Carter (DL, 2020), Chayce Chalmers (S/LB, 2019), Antonio Clary (DB, 2019), Fentrell Cypress (CB, 2019), Dorien Goddard (WR/ATH, 2019), Ja’Quay Hubbard (OL, 2019), DSean Perry (LB, 2019), Hunter Stewart (LB, 2019), Antonio Webb Jr. (CB, 2020)

Ben Smiley was in attendance and decided to commit to the Hoos the following day. In addition, 4-star in-state offensive/defensive lineman Jakai Moore, a senior, was among the uncommitted prospects in attendance. The group we confirmed also included Briston Bennett (DB, 2020, UVA offer), T Lee (DB, 2020, UVA offer), Ahmani Marshall (RB, 2020, UVA offer), Brody Meadows (OL, 2022), and Seth Williams (OL, 2020, UVA offer).

Recruited Walk-On Pledge

Patrick Henry (Roanoke, VA) offensive lineman Charlie Boxley, 6’5”, 275-pound prospect who will miss his senior season because of an ankle injury, has accepted a preferred walk-on spot with Virginia according to the Roanoke Times. The story is here.

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