Recruiting Roundup: Big Weekend For Virginia Football, Basketball Recruiting

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What a special weekend for the Virginia men’s basketball program, which will hoist its first ever National Championship banner in John Paul Jones Arena on Friday night (September 13), and the Virginia football program, which is looking to improve to 3-0 as it takes on Florida State under the Scott Stadium lights on Saturday evening. Charlottesville will be electric … no better time to show recruits what UVA has to offer, so it’s no surprise that both programs will host top prospects this weekend.

Virginia men’s basketball commit Jabri Abdur-Rahim is returning to Charlottesville this weekend, visiting for the first time since he committed in July. ~ Photo courtesy of Jabri Abdur-Rahim

UVA Hoops’ 2020 Class, 2021 Targets Visiting

All three verbal commitments from the University of Virginia men’s basketball program’s highly rated class of 2020 are expected on Grounds this weekend. They won’t be alone, as two of UVA’s top targets in the class of 2021 are expected to be in Charlottesville as well.

Blair Academy (Blairstown, N.J.) wing Jabri Abdur-Rahim will be making his first trip to Charlottesville since verbally committing to the Hoos in July. Since he made his official visit in June, this trip to Virginia will be an unofficial visit. He’s excited nonetheless.

Greensboro Day (Greensboro, N.C.) shooting guard Carson McCorkle, who committed to Virginia in September of 2018, and Scotlandville Magnet (Baton Rouge, LA) point guard Reece Beekman, who pledged to the Cavaliers while on Grounds for the 2019 NBPA Top 100 Camp in June, plan to make official visits this weekend.

For Beekman, this will be his second official to UVA. He took one last November, during his junior year, but NCAA rules permit Division 1 men’s basketball prospects to take five official visits during their junior year and five more from the end of their junior year through October 15 following high school graduation. A prospect can take an official visit to a school more than once, so long as it does not come in the same academic year (so Beekman could not take two official visits to UVA during his junior year).

Abdur-Rahim, Beekman and McCorkle make up a Virginia 2020 Class that is ranked no. 2 in the nation by 247Sports (behind Kentucky) and according to Rivals.com is tied for no. 3 in the nation with Tennessee (behind Kentucky and Duke). All three prospects are 4-star recruits according to both national recruiting outlets. Virginia’s most highly acclaimed class before this was 2016, which of course included Ty Jerome, Kyle Guy and De’Andre Hunter, who are back in Charlottesville to celebrate the raising of the national title banner Friday night (September 13).

Rivals and 247Sports both recently updated their class of 2020 rankings. Abdur-Rahim is no. 38 overall (no. 9 small forward) by Rivals and no. 49 overall (no. 13 small forward) by 247Sports. Beekman is no. 56 overall (no. 8 point guard) by 247Sports and no. 67 overall (no. 16 point guard) by Rivals, while McCorkle is no. 120 overall (no. 25 shooting guard) per Rivals and no. 126 overall (no. 24 shooting guard) per 247.

Additionally, ESPN ranks Abdur-Rahim (no. 30) and Beekman (no. 40) as top 40 prospects in the class of 2020. Courtside Films produced new videos of both prospects recently (we couldn’t find recent highlights of McCorkle).

Top class of 2021 prospects Trevor Keels and Efton Reid are also expected in Charlottesville this weekend. Both prospects – Keels a 6’5” wing out of Paul VI (Fairfax, VA) and Reid a 6’11” post out of Steward School (Richmond, VA) – have received scholarship offers from head coach Tony Bennett.

Multiple outlets, from The Washington Post to Rivals to Prep Hoops, are reporting that Keels, a top 50 prospect in the class of 2021 according to Rivals and 247Sports, is set to make Virginia his first official visit destination this weekend. Keels, who attended a game at UVA last February (he was offered on the visit), is also considering scholarship offers from Butler, Cincinnati, Florida, Georgetown, Marquette, Maryland, Oklahoma State, Seton Hall, South Carolina, Villanova, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest.

Bennett has extended multiple offers at WCAC member Paul VI but has yet to land a commitment. Keels, a high-IQ player with the ability to score inside and out, would be a great place to start.

Reid, who received an offer from UVA this past June and is rated among the top 35 prospects in 2021 by Rivals and 247Sports, reportedly is headed to Charlottesville today for the NCAA Championship banner raising.

Bennett made the trek to Richmond to visit Reid this past Monday (September 9), which marked the opening of a Division 1 men’s basketball Recruiting Period. It appears UVA’s coach is certainly making Keels and Reid a priority in 2021 recruiting.

Football Recruiting News

Virginia true freshman running back Mike Hollins is one of four Louisiana natives who either signed with the Cavaliers in 2019 or are committed to sign in 2020. Bronco Mendenhall will host another Louisiana talent this weekend in 4-star linebacker/defensive end Brandon Williams. ~ Photo by Kris Wright

Four-star OLB Set To Visit Virginia

Rivals and 247Sports 4-star outside linebacker/defensive end Brandon Williams highlights the list of prospects attending UVA’s Saturday night tilt versus Florida State. Williams, a 6’3”, 225-pound senior out of Isidore Newman (New Orleans, LA), will be making an official visit on Grounds.

Virginia features two true freshmen – running back Mike Hollins and wide receiver Dontayvion Wicks – from the state of Louisiana. Two more Bayou state natives – defensive backs Ja’Darius Clark and Donovan Johnson – have committed to the Hoos in the class of 2020. Louisiana is not a typical hotbed for Virginia football recruiting, but special teams coordinator Ricky Brumfield and senior scout Jordan Arcement are doing their best to change that.

“Ricky Brumfield is our connection to Louisiana, and we have a personnel staff member named Jordan Arcement who is also from Louisiana,” Bronco Mendenhall said during his weekly press conference on Monday. “Those two, if you look at our players that are coming or have come from Louisiana recently, you can trace them to those two coaches or that one coach and one personnel member. They’re excellent recruiters. They know the state really well. They have amazing relationships.”

Florida State promises to be a big draw in terms of prospects, so stay tuned to TheSabre.com for a full list of those prospects we confirm to be in attendance.

New Offers

Virginia football, which currently has 10 verbal commitments in the class of 2020, offered a few more high school seniors this week.

Chantilly (VA) offensive tackle James Pogorelc was informed by Virginia offensive line coach Garett Tujague on Monday that he had an offer. The 6’8”, 270-pound senior has been on UVA’s radar since the summer and says he plans on attending a game in Scott Stadium this fall.

Illinois, Indiana, Purdue, Syracuse, UCLA and Wake Forest are among the other schools that have offered Pogorelc, who wants to make a commitment in December.

“UVA would definitely be a school to strongly consider due to everything it offers,” said Pogorelc, who specifically listed UVA’s “great education,” top 25 football ranking, and proximity to home as positives. (Stay tuned for an EDGE article on the Chantilly product soon.)

Switching coasts, Junipero Serra (San Mateo, CA) jumbo athlete (DL/TE/OL potential) Nusi Malani reported on Wednesday (September 11) that Virginia had offered.

In addition to Virginia, the 6’6”, 250-pound senior claims offers from Arizona State, Boise State, BYU, Colorado, Colorado State, Hawaii, Nebraska, New Mexico and Utah State. Malani reports that he is taking an official visit to Nebraska this weekend.

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