Checking In On Virginia Football’s Class Of 2020

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Armstead is Virginia football’s lone quarterback commitment in the class of 2020. ~ Photo credit to Tom Noie South Bend Tribune

The University of Virginia football program is at the halfway point of its 2019 season and is set to take on Duke on Saturday in Scott Stadium. But what about the Cavaliers’ class of 2020 verbal commitments? Lets look at how the future Hoos are faring in their final go ‘round on the high school level.

Ira Armstead, Dual-Threat Quarterback, South Bend Adams (South Bend, IN)

The 6’4”, 195-pound senior signal caller aimed to turnaround an Eagles team that went 3-7 each of the previous two seasons. Adams easily could have won two of its first three games, falling in its season opener to Northridge 35-34 and its third regular season game to South Bend Riley 20-19. Failed two-point conversion attempts doomed Armstead and company at the end of both contests.

Armstead tossed two touchdown passes and ran for another score in the loss to Northridge. Against Riley he had a 35-yard touchdown pass to go along with two touchdown runs.

Adams’ season has spiraled out of control from there and the Eagles are 0-8 heading into this week’s regular season finale against South Bend St. Joseph. Armstead’s status appears to be in question after he was unable to finish last week’s contest versus Washington. After rushing for touchdowns of 18 and 54 yards to position his team within seven points (20-13) at halftime, Armstead reportedly did not re-enter the game with a possible left knee injury.

“I think (Armstead’s injury) affected their offense big time,” Washington head coach Todd Stammich said in this story by Marek Mazurek of the South Bend Tribune. “They had trouble coming up with something after that, (Armstead) is special, that’s for sure.”

Lavel Davis Jr., Wide Receiver, Woodland (Fort Dorchester, S.C.)

Per Max Preps, Davis has accumulated 16 catches for 241 yards and five touchdowns through six games, helping Woodland to a 4-2 record heading into Friday’s matchup at Bamberg-Ehrhardt. In midseason highlights posted below, Davis Jr’s appears every bit of 6’6”, 210 pounds. He plays wide receiver and safety but is being recruited by Bronco Mendenhall as a receiver.

Josh Rawlings, Tight End, Woodland Hills (Pittsburgh, PA)

The 2019 season has not gone as planned for Rawlings and Woodland Hills, although perhaps there is reason for optimism. After dropping its first four games, the Wolverines have rebounded with two straight wins. They’ll look to continue their winning ways against Moon Area at home on Friday.

Rawlings, who has impressive size at 6’6”, 240 pounds, could have an instant impact at Virginia next season as the Hoos will see current tight end starter Tanner Cowley depart after this season. The Cavaliers have only two other scholarship tight ends on the roster right now in redshirt freshman Grant Misch and redshirt junior Christian Baumgardner.

For those on Twitter, Rawlings is an entertaining follow. One of his latest is in reference to VHSL’s latest in-state college football rankings (VT is 1, followed by UVA).

Jimmy Christ, Offensive Lineman, Dominion (Sterling, VA)

Dominion has won two straight games after beginning 2019 with an 0-4 mark. A home game versus Heritage awaits on Friday. Christ, a 6’7”, 285-pound offensive tackle prospect and regular attendee of UVA football games, remains one of Mendenhall’s most highly rated recruits in this class. Check out his midseason highlight package below, courtesy of Hudl.

– Jestus Johnson, Offensive Lineman, Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.)

Johnson, a 6’3”, 325-pound center, is one of the top players on what is currently ranked the no. 19 high school football program in the nation by USA Today. Gonzaga’s only defeat in seven games came last weekend at the hands of USA Today no. 17 Good Counsel, 42-35. Johnson and company look to get back on the winning track when they take on DeMatha Catholic this Saturday.

Jahmeer Carter, Defensive Lineman, Archbishop Spalding (Severn, MD)

Max Preps credits Carter, who has helped Archbishop Spalding to a 5-2 record thus far, with 16 tackles including five tackles for loss and three sacks. The Cavaliers destroyed Gilman 52-3 last week and travel to Calvert Hall on Friday.

Senior season highlights of Carter, who at 6’3”, 300-pounds appears to be a likely nose tackle at UVA, are below.

Lorenz Terry, Defensive End, Varina (VA)

Virginia’s most recent commitment is one of the top players on a Varina team that has won six straight games since losing its season opener. Not only have the Blue Devils won six in a row, but they have done it in convincing fashion, winning by an average of 52 points per game. Henrico will try and slow down this state title contender on Friday.

The 6’5”, 245-pound Terry dedicated himself to preparing for his final season of football instead of playing AAU basketball during the spring and summer. His work paid off physically as he added 20-30 pounds. The new and improved Terry released midseason highlights on Hudl, which you can see below.

Sam Brady, Outside Linebacker, North Lincoln (Lincolnton, N.C.)

Brady is a terrific overall athlete with a 6’4”, 195-pound frame, and his athleticism and ability have been on display in all areas this season.

Offense – Per Max Preps, the future Cavalier has rushed 22 times for 241 yards and four touchdowns. He has five receptions for 160 yards and a score. In a 52-7 win over previously unbeaten East Lincoln last weekend, Brady ran 80 yards for a touchdown on the game’s first play. He had two touchdowns in a 24-14 win over a previously unbeaten West Lincoln squad on September 27.

Defense (UVA likes him as an outside linebacker) – Brady has tallied 29 tackles, three tackles for loss and one forced fumble in 2019.

Special Teams – Brady also has a blocked field goal and a blocked punt to his credit.

Indeed, Brady is a large part of a team that is 6-1 and a possible state title contender.

Williams announced his commitment via Twitter.

Brandon Williams, Outside Linebacker, Isidore Newman (New Orleans, LA)

Williams, a 4-star prospect, is one of the leaders of a Newman (6-0) defense that is allowing only 11.5 points per game. Newman’s D has allowed one opponent to reach 20 points and pitched a shutout last week. Up next is Riverside Academy.

– Ja’Darius Clark, Defensive Back, Alexandria (LA)

There continues to be rumors that Clark will ultimately end up signing elsewhere. For now, he remains committed to UVA. The 6’2”, 175-pound senior is being recruited by Virginia as a defensive back, likely safety, but he shows some intriguing ability as a receiver on his highlights below (courtesy of Hudl, the highlights are of Clark’s performance in a 21-17 win over Brusly).

Alexandria suffered its first defeat last week to West Monroe, 19-7. Now 5-1, they take on Pineville this week.

Dave Herard, Cornerback, Stranahan (Fort Lauderdale, FL)

Like Brady, Herard is a talented athlete with ability at several different positions. Cornerback is where I think he’ll begin his Cavalier career though and he could be needed to contribute sooner rather than later.

Max Preps credits the 6’1”, 180-pound senior with 10 pass breakups and two interceptions this season. On offense he has contributed as a runner, a receiver, and just this past week as a passer as he completed 15-of-27 passes for 270 yards with three touchdowns and one interception.

Stranahan is 4-3 this season. Highlights of the talented athlete’s performance versus Ely are below.

Donovan Johnson, Safety, Helen Cox (Harvey, LA)

Cox is 2-4 heading into Saturday’s game at St. Augustine. Johnson, who stands 6’2” and weighs 180 pounds, is yet another promising Louisiana prospect for the Hoos.

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