Virginia Football Recruiting Notes: Recent News On UVA’s 2021 Class & More

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University of Virginia quarterback signee Jacob Rodriguez threw for 267 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 53 yards and two scores, but Rider (Wichita Falls, TX) fell to Aledo, 55-28, in the Class 5A state semifinals. The 6’1”, 200-pound signal caller, who completed 19-of-26 passes and tossed an interception as his team concluded the 2020 season with a 10-3 record, was the last Cavalier recruit left standing in fall 2020/winter 2021 postseason action.

The Times Record-News writes that Rodriguez should go down as one of the best players in Rider history, which includes stars such as former Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett.

“No matter what people say I know I did my best,” Rodriguez told Jonathan Hull in this Times Record-News article. “I know I prepared every day the best I could. I gave my heart every single day, so it just feels good to have no regrets about anything.”

Rodriguez is one of six class of 2021 signees expected to enroll on Grounds for the 2021 Spring Semester, which begins February 1. He joins running back Amaad Foston, offensive tackle Logan Taylor, linebackers James Jackson and Langston Long, and defensive back Javin Burke. All six student athletes are now on Virginia football’s official 2021 roster, which you can see by clicking here.

Here are highlights from Rider’s regional title win over Cooper, Rodriguez’ final win on the high school level.

More 2021 Class News, Notes & Links

– Under Armour All-American offensive lineman Noah Josey added two accolades to his list of high school accomplishments, earning Division II-AAA first-team all-state and All-Midstate Tennessee football first-team honors. The latter is determined by The Tennessean and includes another future Hoo in defensive lineman Michael Diatta, who made the second team.

– Blessed Trinity (Roswell, GA) offensive lineman Ty Furnish earned Region 7-5A first-team all-state honors for his play in 2020. Furnish helped pave the way for class of 2023 standout running back prospect Justice Haynes, who was region MVP and boasts ACC and SEC offers.

– Athens Academy (Athens, GA) defensive line prospect Hugh Laughlin is aiming to help UVA achieve a higher “standard” during his time in Charlottesville.

“I want to win an ACC championship,” Laughlin told Justin Hubbard of the Oconee Enterprise in this article. “I want to knock off Clemson because Clemson’s the big dog in the ACC. I’ve been talking with the recruits in my class and that’s what we want to do.”

– Cornerback recruit Micah Gaffney landed a spot on the 2020 All-Coastal Alabama Football Team, a squad selected by high school coaches and AL.com reporters. According to this article, Gaffney concluded 2020 with 42 tackles, an interception and a forced fumble. He earned Alabama State Writers Association Class 6A first-team all-state honors as well.

This WDEF feature came out around the Early Signing Period, but it’s a good piece on Bradley Central (Cleveland, TN) defensive back recruit Javin Burke, who is one of the six early enrollees.

– Taft Coghill of the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star noted the preferred walk-on commitment of James Monroe (Fredericksburg, VA) lineman Andrew Williams to Virginia, which was also reported here last week, in this article.

Coghill provided some interesting details on Williams, including his unique athletic background, which includes a black belt in Judo and being part of the JMHS swim team.

Tennyson Offered As Preferred Walk-On

Benedictine (Richmond, VA) senior quarterback Jay Woolfolk is one of 24 prospects who signed with UVA in the class of 2021. The future Cavalier signal caller and baseball player may have some familiar company joining him in Charlottesville, as UVA has extended a preferred walk-on offer to his teammate and classmate, Dillon Tennyson.

The 5’9”, 170-pound Tennyson, who was offered by UVA as a receiver, is the younger brother of former Vanderbilt and current University of Richmond student athlete Donaven Tennyson. Below are Dillon’s junior season highlights.

Class Of 2022 News

In-State LB Reveals Top 8

Barring a change of heart, Shawn Murphy will be taking his talents to a college outside of the state of Virginia. The Unity Reed (Manassas, VA) junior linebacker prospect revealed Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon and Penn State as his top eight schools on January 13.

Murphy is rated as a 5-star prospect and the No. 2 junior in the state by Rivals.com. 247Sports has him as a 4-star prospect and the No. 3 overall junior in the Commonwealth.

Of the state’s top 25 juniors according to Rivals and 247Sports, only two – Green Run cornerback prospect Tayon Holloway (No. 4 per Rivals, No. 6 per 247) and Princess Anne all-purpose running back Tychaun Chapman (No. 4 per 247, No. 14 per Rivals) – have committed. The Virginia Beach (VA) duo are headed to North Carolina.

Liberty Christian Academy (Lynchburg, VA) offensive lineman Zach Rice is rated by both national sites as the state’s top junior. Rice announced a top eight of Florida, LSU, Miami, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, and Virginia on November 14.

Could Rice make a decision soon? There is no specific date, but he did tweet the following on December 28.

Hoos Looking For More Success In Bayou State

After securing five recruits from the state of Louisiana in the 2019 (Mike Hollins, Dontayvion Wicks) and 2020 (Jonathan Horton, Donovan Johnson, Brandon Williams) classes, UVA did not sign any in 2021. The Bayou State remains a focus of UVA’s, though, as we dive into the class of 2022.

Jordan Allen, a 2020 first-team all-state cornerback out of Lafayette Christian Academy (Lafayette, LA), holds offers from Virginia, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Houston, Kansas, Michigan State, Minnesota, Mississippi State, SMU and Tulane, among others. A recent tweet from UVA caught the 6’0”, 185-pound junior’s attention.

According to 247Sports, Virginia has offered 25 class of 2022 prospects from the state of Louisiana. Ascension Episcopal (Lafayette, LA) defensive lineman Maxie Baudoin IV, a 6’6”, 290-pound junior, is one of the most recent recipients as he announced an offer from the Hoos on January 13. Arizona State, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Penn State, Southern Cal, Tennessee and Texas A&M are among the other scholarship opportunities he is considering.

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