The University of Virginia football program enters the weekend boasting verbal commitments from Benedictine (Richmond, VA) dual-threat quarterback Jay Woolfolk and Milledge (Milledgeville, GA) running back Amaad Foston in the class of 2021. On Saturday (March 7), the Hoos will host a recruiting event that is expected to include some top uncommitted high school junior prospects.
Two top class of 2021 line prospects from northern Virginia have made known their intentions to travel to Charlottesville this weekend.
Robinson (Fairfax, VA) offensive lineman Tristan Leigh, who is rated a 4-star by Rivals.com and 247Sports.com, has visited Charlottesville multiple times over the past year. UVA was the first to offer the 6’5”, 280-pound junior. Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, LSU, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Penn State and Virginia Tech are among the competition the Cavaliers are facing for this top in-state prospect.
Leigh earned Class 6 first-team all-state honors at offensive line this past season. Stonewall Jackson (Manassas, VA) junior defensive tackle Tyleik Williams notched Class 6 first-team honors as a defensive lineman. Williams, a Rivals.com and 247Sports.com 4-star prospect, claims offers from Florida State, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Michigan, Penn State, Texas A&M, Virginia, and Virginia Tech, among others. The 6’3”, 310-pound junior has visited UVA previously, so this won’t be his first experience on Grounds. He has also taken trips to Alabama, Duke, North Carolina, NC State, Penn State and Virginia Tech.
One of the top out-of-state uncommitted juniors expected on Grounds Saturday is Oakleaf (FL) dual-threat quarterback Walter Simmons III. The 6’2”, 180-pound Simmons boasts offers from Central Florida, Georgia Tech, LSU, South Florida, Virginia, Virginia Tech and West Virginia.
Stay tuned as we will provide a rundown of those confirmed visitors and any breaking news that may come.
Grad-Transfer Sears Reportedly Visits UVA
It’s no secret that Virginia is hoping to bolster depth at the quarterback position ahead of the 2020 season. Jack Sears, a 6’3”, 210-pound signal caller and USC graduate transfer, has emerged as a potential option. 247Sports.com reports that the California native visited UVA on Wednesday (March 4).
Cavaliers have been pushing since January. Big visit for both parties today.
— Tom Loy (@TomLoy247) March 4, 2020
247Sports’ Loy also reported that Sears followed up his trip to UVA with a visit to NC State on Thursday. Multiple outlets reported that the former San Clemente High School (CA) star visited Northwestern before heading east to Charlottesville.
Virginia enters spring football with rising redshirt sophomore Brennan Armstrong as the heir apparent to the departed Bryce Perkins, who started every game for the Hoos the past two seasons. However, there is virtually no experience behind Armstrong. Rising redshirt junior Lindell Stone provides maturity as a fourth year student but has only seen spot snaps in three games the past three seasons. Stone, a pocket passer, did not play at all while redshirting in 2018. Rising redshirt freshman RJ Harvey, rising redshirt freshman Luke Wentz, and true freshman Ira Armstead are other scholarship quarterbacks in the program. Neither Harvey nor Wentz have seen any college action, and it seems likely that Wentz will switch positions.
Sears enrolled at Southern Cal in January of 2017. He didn’t play in any games his true freshman season before seeing action in one full game as a redshirt freshman in 2018. In the only game of his collegiate career to date, Sears completed 20-of-28 passes for 235 yards and two touchdowns against Arizona State. He added 10 yards rushing on 10 carries.
Fourth on USC’s quarterback depth chart following preseason camp, Sears announced last August that he was transferring. He stayed at USC last fall but was not on the team. In December he signed a non-binding grant-in-aid with San Diego State; however, he never enrolled. Whatever the next destination may be, Sears will have two years of eligibility remaining beginning in the 2020 season.
Sears was evaluated in high school as a pro-style quarterback, but he rushed for over 1,100 yards as a senior in high school and over 800 yards his junior campaign, so he appears to have the dual-threat capability Mendenhall covets in a quarterback.
Opening Date For Spring Practice Announced
Spring football at the University of Virginia begins on March 23, meaning practices start in just over two weeks. With Armstrong taking over as the starter, quarterback is certainly atop the list of positions to watch this spring. Running back will be interesting to follow, too. Wayne Taulapapa probably has a firm grasp on the starting job heading into the spring, but talented Louisiana native Mike Hollins will have his chance to carve out a large role in the Cavalier offense.
Hollins, a rising sophomore, is one of those players who will be vying for a bigger role on the reigning Coastal Division champion Cavaliers. In what appears to be the beginning of a neat Twitter feature by UVA football, the Cavaliers featured Hollins in the below video.
— Virginia Football (@UVAFootball) March 4, 2020
UVA Football Signee Tears ACL
Some tough news involving Virginia football’s class of 2020 as cornerback prospect Dave Herard, who signed with the Hoos last December, suffered a torn ACL and dislocated meniscus in the Florida Class 4A boys varsity basketball regional final.
The Sun-Sentinel, which reported the injury in this article, notes that the injury didn’t keep the Stranahan (Fort Lauderdale, FL) captain from rooting his teammates on to victory in the state semifinals.
“(Herard’s injury) kind of hurt us but his spirit was so uplifting, so the guys didn’t get too down,” Stranahan head coach Terrence Williams told Sun-Sentinel writer Adam Lichtenstein.
Herard excelled at quarterback and defensive back for Stranahan’s football team. Cornerback is his likely starting position at Virginia; however, the injury means he’ll likely redshirt his true freshman season. The Cavaliers were devastated by injuries at cornerback last season, including the loss of All-American Bryce Hall to a broken ankle in game six at Miami.