Virginia Football Recruiting: Regular Signing Period “Signing Day” Primer

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Wednesday (February 5) marks the beginning of Division 1 football’s Regular Signing Period for the class of 2020. Virginia football signed 13 recruits in the Early Signing Period, which took place in December, and is in position to sign a few more high school seniors.

One player who reportedly will not be signing with the Cavaliers is Varina (VA) defensive end Lorenz Terry, a UVA pledge since last October. Per Eric Kolenich of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the 6’5″, 245-pound senior plans to attend Fork Union Military Academy (VA) for some postgraduate work in the fall. He then hopes to enroll on Grounds in January of 2021.

Barring something – or someone – unexpected, there are two names two focus on as far as possible additions to UVA’s 2020 Class. They are Junipero Serra (San Mateo, CA) defensive end Nusi Malani and East Nashville Magnet (Nashville, TN) wide receiver Demick Starling.

Malani, a consensus 3-star prospect, made official visits to Nebraska, Virginia, Washington State and Arizona, in that order. The Nebraska trip took place last September, while the latter three visits occurred during the last three weekends. Malani, a 6’5”, 260-pound senior, boasts offers from all four schools as well as Boise State, BYU and others. Virginia defensive line coach Vic So’oto visited him in December. So’oto and head coach Bronco Mendenhall trekked to California for one last pitch last week.

As of this writing, Virginia is the favorite to land Malani according to 247Sports’ Crystal Ball feature. Junipero Serra will hold a Signing Day ceremony at 2 p.m. EST.

UPDATE: Malani signed a letter of intent with Virginia!

Starling, a 6’0”, 170-pound senior, received a scholarship offer from the Hoos this past Sunday, the final day of his official visit on Grounds. Coach Mendenhall mentioned wide receiver as a remaining need in this class when he addressed the media during the Early Signing Period. Starling, a state champion in track in the 400 meters, would be UVA’s second wide receiver recruit in the class. The Hoos signed 6’7” Lavel Davis Jr. back in December.

East Nashville will have a Signing Day ceremony at 3 p.m. EST.

UPDATE: Starling has signed a letter of intent with Virginia!

Below is the rundown of UVA’s 2020 Class so far. Those with a *** enrolled on Grounds in January.

(Note: Coach Mendenhall will not have a press conference as he did on the first day of the Early Signing Period.)

Olasunkonmi Agunloye, Defensive Lineman, Lindenhurst (N.Y.)
6’6″, 240 pounds (Note: Heights and weights are from
Rivals: 3-star; No. 7 New York; No. 42 strong-side defensive end
247Sports: 3-star; No. 9 New York; No. 49 strong-side defensive end

***Ira Armstead, Dual-Threat Quarterback, Adams (South Bend, IN)
6’3″, 200 pounds
Rivals: 2-star
247Sports: 3-star; No. 8 in Indiana; No. 68 athlete

Sam Brady, Linebacker, North Lincoln (Denver, N.C.)
6’3″, 200 pounds
Rivals: 3-star; No. 37 in North Carolina
247Sports: 3-star; No. 42 in North Carolina; No. 87 outside linebacker

Jahmeer Carter, Defensive Lineman, Archbishop Spalding (Severn, MD)
6’2″, 300 pounds
Rivals: 3-star; No. 18 in Maryland; No. 41 defensive tackle
247Sports: 3-star; No. 33 in Maryland; No. 82 defensive tackle

Lavel Davis Jr., Wide Receiver, Woodland (Dorchester, S.C.)
6’7″, 200 pounds
Rivals: 3-star; No. 14 in South Carolina
247Sports: 3-star; No. 11 in South Carolina; No. 134 wide receiver

Elijah Gaines, Defensive Back, Episcopal (Alexandria, VA) (native of Queens, N.Y.)
6’2″, 185 pounds
Rivals: 3-star; No. 11 in Virginia; No. 55 cornerback
247Sports: 3-star; No. 12 in Virginia; No. 40 safety

Andrew Gentry, Offensive Tackle, Columbine (Littleton, CO)
6’7″, 300 pounds
Rivals: 4-star; No. 65 in the nation; No. 1 in Colorado; No. 9 offensive tackle
247Sports: 4-star; No. 90 in the nation; No. 2 in Colorado; No. 10 offensive tackle

Dave Herard, Defensive Back, Stranahan (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
6’0″, 170 pounds
Rivals: 3-star; No. 38 safety
247Sports: 3-star; No. 186 in Florida; No. 137 cornerback

Jonathan Horton, Outside Linebacker, Scotlandville Magnet (Baton Rouge, LA)
6’4”, 215 pounds
Rivals: 3-star; No. 19 in Louisiana; No. 19 weak-side defensive end
247Sports: 4-star; No. 9 in Louisiana; No. 10 weak-side defensive end

***Donovan Johnson, Safety, Helen Cox (Harvey, LA)
6’2″, 180 pounds
Rivals: 3-star; No. 31 in Louisiana; No. 49 safety
247Sports: 3-star; No. 23 in Louisiana; No. 43 safety

Jestus Johnson III, Offensive Lineman, Gonzaga College (Washington, D.C.)
6’3″, 330 pounds
Rivals: 3-star; No. 9 in Washington, D.C.
247Sports: 3-star; No. 11 in Washington, D.C.; No. 29 center

Nusi Malani, Defensive Lineman, Junipero Serra (San Mateo, CA)
6’5″, 260 pounds
Rivals: 3-star
247Sports: 3-star; No. 111 in California; No. 57 strongside defensive end

***Josh Rawlings, Tight End, Woodland Hills (Pittsburgh, PA)
6’5″, 245 pounds
Rivals: 3-star; No. 12 in Pennsylvania
247Sports: 3-star; No. 12 in Pennsylvania; No. 44 tight end

Demick Starling, Wide Receiver, East Nashville Magnet (Nashville, TN)
6’0″, 170 pounds
Rivals: 3-star
247Sports: 2-star; No. 75 in Tennessee; No. 400 wide receiver

Brandon Williams, Outside Linebacker, Isidore Newman (New Orleans, LA)
6’3″, 200 pounds
Rivals: 3-star; No. 23 in Louisiana; No. 38 outside linebacker
247Sports: 4-star; No. 298 in the nation; No. 13 in Louisiana; No. 25 outside linebacker

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