Nusi Malani, Demick Starling Sign With Virginia Football

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Nusi Malani, a consensus 3-star defensive line prospect out of Junipero Serra High School (San Mateo, CA), and Demick Starling, a wide receiver prospect out of Nashville (TN), made their college intentions known on Wednesday, February 5, the first day of Division 1 football’s Regular Signing Period for the class of 2020. In both cases the news was good for the University of Virginia football program, which announced the signing of Malani and Starling Wednesday afternoon.

Malani (pictured left) and Starling. ~ Photo courtesy of Virginia Athletics Media Relations

“We were very pleased to add Nusi and Demick to this class and it is interesting how they have diverse backgrounds regarding the recruiting process,” Virginia head coach Bronco Mendenhall said in this press release. “Nusi has been a highly-targeted prospect after playing so well as a sophomore in his team’s state championship season. He’s played in a program that has produced Power Five players and we loved his physical approach, mentality and leadership. He will be a good fit in a 3-4 scheme.

“Demick blossomed late in his high school career, didn’t attend summer camps, a bit of a diamond in the rough. We were fortunate to have one of our analysts, Zach Bradshaw, identify him. He’s an amazing, amazing athlete. Fantastic track and field competitor who excels at sprints and the high jump. We feel he has the skills, and more importantly the desire and work ethic, to fit into our wide receiver room and develop along the same path that some of our recent players at that position have.”

Malani received scholarship offers from Arizona, Boise State, BYU, Nebraska and Washington State, among others, before ultimately deciding on Virginia. Mendenhall extended a scholarship offer in September of 2019 and would ultimately convince the Bay Area standout to take an official visit to Charlottesville the weekend of January 17-19. Mendenhall and defensive line coach Vic So’oto traveled to California to visit with Malani last week, just ahead of the senior’s official visit at Arizona. Malani also made official visits to Nebraska (last September) and Washington State (January).

The 6’5”, 260-pound Malani becomes the third defensive line prospect in Virginia’s 2020 Class, joining Jahmeer Carter and Su Agunloye. The Junipero Serra star helped his team reach the state championship game in 2019, earning Bay Preps Area defensive player of the year by the Mercury News for his performance.

While Malani was high on Virginia’s wish list for several months, Starling emerged on the Cavaliers’ radar in the weeks leading up to the Regular Signing Period. More specifically, the 6’0”, 170-pound senior was offered by Virginia this past weekend while on an official visit. Starling accepted, choosing the Hoos over offers from Liberty, Miami (OH), Western Michigan and others.

The East Nashville Magnet product plays three sports. On the gridiron he hauled in 34 receptions for 454 and five touchdowns last season, helping his team to a 9-3 overall record. A star in track, Starling capture a state championship in the 400 meters last spring. He earned all-state honors in the 100-meter and 200-meter events as well, finished second in the state in the 100 meters with a time of 10.74 seconds. Starling plays on the varsity basketball team too.

Wide receiver is a position Mendenhall wanted to address further before next season. Starling helps, and the Hoos may continue to scour the graduate transfer market as well. Starling joins 6’7” Lavel Davis Jr. as the sure-fire wide receiver prospects in this class.

The additions of Malani and Starling give UVA 15 signees in the class of 2020. Three of those prospects – quarterback Ira Armstead, tight end Josh Rawlings, and defensive back Donovan Johnson – enrolled on Grounds in January.

Virginia Football’s Class of 2020

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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