One of the top rising senior prospects in the state of North Carolina is headed to the University of Virginia. Dakota Twitty, a 6’5” wide receiver prospect out of Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy (Mooresboro, N.C.), announced in front of family, friends and coaches that he has committed to the Hoos over Georgia Tech, NC State and Yale.
Twitty’s decision came down to four schools, but he claimed many other scholarship offers including Power 5 programs Indiana, Kentucky, Louisville, Mississippi, North Carolina, Pittsburgh and West Virginia. Howard University, where his father played in the 1990s, offered as well.
Virginia coaches extended a scholarship offer on April 20, 2020 and have been in hot pursuit ever since.
“It kind of just came to me one day,” Twitty said when asked how he came to his decision. “There was a lot of communication, a lot of Zooms, Facetimes, calls and texts. I was really open to [Virginia] and excited to get the offer. It really grew on me.”
“I love Coach Mendenhall and everything he’s doing,” Twitty said. “I like the sense of family there.”
Helping with this “family” feel is the relationship Twitty has built with UVA Wide Receivers Coach Marques Hagans.
“Coach Hagans is a great dude,” Twitty said. “I talk to him practically every single day. We’ve gotten to know a lot about each other. He told me what I need to work on and showed me some of the offense. He’s humble. He doesn’t like to talk about himself a lot, but a lot of the [Virginia coaches] speak on him. He’s all about his players and family.”
Virginia’s use of and success with bigger wide receivers such as Lavel Davis Jr. was another positive for Twitty, who noted that “Lavel Davis started as a true freshman. A good bit of their wide receivers are like me, around 6’4”. I just think the offense fits me.”
ESPN.com ranks the promising prospect as a 4-star recruit and no. 216 in the ESPN 300 for the class of 2022. 247Sports rates Twitty as a 4-star prospect and the no. 10 rising senior in North Carolina. Twitty is rated a 3-star prospect and the no. 13 rising senior in North Carolina according to Rivals. In addition, longtime football recruiting guru Tom Lemming tweeted the following about the future Hoo this week.
Dakota Twitty 6‘5“ 215 Forest city Thomas Jefferson HS, NC has the great length, long arms and Quick hands and feet to play either WR or TE at the next level. Very impressive player you can run routes from the slot or outside. Great hands.@dakota_twitty 4.3 GPA. pic.twitter.com/xPzChEzNvy
— Tom Lemming (@LemmingReport) May 26, 2021
Twitty has been productive since arriving on the varsity football scene as a freshman in 2018, when he hauled in 34 catches for 404 yards and five touchdowns according to MaxPreps.com. As a sophomore he tallied 39 catches for 582 yards and 15 scores, and in seven games this spring he racked up 35 receptions for 521 yards and five touchdowns. Twitty has been a major factor on a Gryphons team that has lost only four games the past three seasons.
“Speed and explosiveness, those are things I always try and work on,” Twitty said when asked what he wants to improve for his senior season. “Definitely being explosive in and out of breaks. I have a trainer I work with, so I’ll be working with him a lot. And summer ball is coming around pretty soon.”
Virginia has a host of official visitors lined up for the month of June. Twitty does not plan to be one of those visitors because he wants to take his official visit this fall for a game weekend. For now, he is basking in the glow of making his college commitment, an event he is thankful to have shared with his family, including his father, who also serves as an assistant coach at TJCA.
“I love him for everything he has done for me,” Twitty said of his father, Derrick. “I couldn’t speak on sacrifices he’s made for me. I can say he has built a strong foundation and made me a self-motivated person.”
An excellent student, Twitty carries over a 4.0 GPA at TJCA. Interested in becoming an athletic trainer when his playing days are done, Twitty wants to study in the Sports Medicine field at UVA.
Virginia Football’s Class Of 2022
With his frame, Twitty qualifies as a receiving option who is “always open”, to borrow a phrase Virginia head coach Bronco Mendenhall likes to use. Twitty discussed his abilities as a receiver with the Fayetteville Observer.
“I would say, being a big receiver, not only can I go up and get the jump balls but I’m able to run all the routes that smaller guys are able to run,’’ Twitty told Sammy Batten of the Fayetteville Observer in this article. “I’m able to get into the slot and I’m able to manipulate defensive backs like some of the smaller guys are able to do.”
Twitty told TheSabre.com: “I kind of pride myself on being able to play outside and in the slot. I know a lot of schools wanted me as a tight end, but UVA was strictly as a receiver.”
UVA’s class of 2022 grows to five commitments in light of Twitty’s decision. He becomes the second offensive recruit to commit to HOOS22, joining 6’6″ tight end Karson Gay. UVA has three defensive commits, including two linebackers and a safety.
– Stevie Bracey, Linebacker, 6’1”, 215 pounds, The Lovett School (Atlanta, GA)
– Karson Gay, Tight End, 6’6”, 225 pounds, Boyd Buchanan (Chattanooga, TN)
– Will Hardy, Defensive Back, 6’2”, 185 pounds, Greater Atlanta Christian (Norcross, GA)
– Trey McDonald, Linebacker, 6’4”, 225 pounds, Baylor (Chattanooga, TN)
– Dakota Twitty, Wide Receiver, 6’5”, 215 pounds, Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy (Mooresboro, N.C.)