Virginia Football Class Of 2022 Targets Eyeing July Decisions

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Top placekicking prospect Will Bettridge will announce his college commitment on Thursday (July 8) at 4 p.m., he revealed via Instagram. Florida State, Georgia, Tech, LSU, Michigan, and Virginia are the finalists for the Gulliver Prep (Miami, FL) star, who visited all five schools in June.

Bettridge is one of two Virginia football targets expected to announce this week. ~ Photo courtesy of Bettridge’s Twitter account.

“Deciding factors would be a place that suits me and my family best,” Bettridge told TheSabre.com days after making an official visit to UVA the weekend of June 25-27. “A place that I can get a great education while playing Power 5 football at the same time.”

Bettridge, who is rated the top underclass (class of 2022 and beyond) placekicker in the nation by Kornblue Kicking and the no. 7 placekicker in his class by Kohl’s Kicking, also told TheSabre.com that LSU, Michigan, and Virginia were the favorites in this June 29 EDGE article. Soon after, Georgia Tech offered a full scholarship while Florida State came through with a preferred walk-on opportunity.

FSU and Michigan are preferred walk-on opportunities, while Georgia Tech, LSU, and Virginia have offered full scholarships.

Bettridge isn’t the only Virginia target with a set decision date in July. In fact, a top offensive line target is set to commit a day before Bettridge. On Wednesday, July 7, Niceville (FL) offensive/defensive lineman Austin Firestone will make his college plans known. Three schools made the final cut.

Crest (Shelby, N.C.) senior defensive line prospect Eli Hall and Episcopal School (Alexandria, VA) senior wide receiver prospect Jaiven Plummer will announce their commitments on Wednesday, July 21. Hall took an unofficial visit to Wake Forest and was scheduled to take officials to UVA, Minnesota, and Duke to close out the month of June. The 6’4”, 250-pound consensus 3-star prospect claims over 20 FBS scholarships but has not released an official finalist list.

Plummer, a 6’3” senior, has revealed his four finalists – California, Rutgers, Stanford, and UVA – after making official visits during the month of June. 247Sports has one Crystal Ball pick for the 3-star prospect. It is for Virginia, which has landed a prospect from Episcopal in each of the previous two recruiting classes.

While June was a busy month for visits, July is shaping up to be the month of commitments. Many more UVA class of 2022 targets have indicated they hope to commit in July or could conceivably be closing in on their decisions. Here is the rundown:

– Fisher Anderson, Offensive Lineman, Franklin (TN)
Decision Date: None
Finalists: Anderson released his top four – North Carolina, Northwestern, Stanford, Virginia – on July 2. The 6’7”, 275-pound 4-star has taken official visits to all four schools.

Ryan Baer, Offensive Lineman, Eastlake North (Eastlake, OH)
Decision Date: None. However, Baer tweeted that he plans on “committing sometime this month.”
Finalists: Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan State, Pittsburgh and UVA are the five finalists for the 6’7”, 320-pound Baer, who has visited all five schools. Michigan State is trending on 247Sports and Rivals as the favorite with Kentucky picked as well, although Baer responded to the buzz by tweeting that he is “not committed anywhere.”

Drew Bobo, Offensive Lineman, Auburn (AL)
Decision Date: None.
Finalists: Bobo, the son of Auburn offensive coordinator Mike Bobo, told Kentucky Sports Radio that Auburn, Georgia, Georgia Tech, UVA, and Kentucky are his five favorites and indicated that he hopes to make a college choice this month.

Bobo made official visits to Georgia Tech, Kentucky, and Virginia. He made unofficial visits to Auburn and Georgia as well last month.

Xavier Brown, All-Purpose Running Back, Lexington Christian Academy (Lexington, KY)
Decision Date: None
Finalists: None named. Brown took an official visit to UVA in June and 247Sports’ consensus is UVA at this point. I’m wondering if the Hoos would take both Brown and the player next on this rundown as they seem like similar type of players (H-Back types) in UVA’s system.

Demond Claiborne, All-Purpose Running Back, King William (VA)
Decision Date: Claiborne tweeted on July 2 that “A Decision will be made very soon !!!!!”
Finalists: Power 5 offers include Purdue, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, and West Virginia. UVA is the consensus favorite according to 247Sports experts (two picks). Claiborne has excellent speed, claiming a state title in the 100 meters with a time of 10.6 seconds.

Jeremiah Dillon, Wide Receiver, Tylertown (MS)
Decision Date: None, although 247Sports reports he is nearing a decision date.
Finalists: No official finalist list. The past month, Dillon has visited UVA (official), Mississippi, Kentucky, and Memphis. All four programs have offered. Houston is among the other FBS programs he is considering.

Jake Maikkula, Offensive Lineman, Valor Christian Academy (Highlands Ranch, CO)
Decision Date: None
Finalists: Announced a top eight of California, Colorado, Duke, Kansas State, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, and Virginia on May 31. Maikkula visited all eight programs in a whirlwind month of June. Stanford extended a scholarship offer on June 30, perhaps giving him something to think about, but if he is solid on this top eight a decision could come at any time.

Dominique McKenzie (Wide Receiver) and Marcus McKenzie (Defensive Back), Pine View (St. George, UT)
Decision Date: None
Finalists: No finalists named. The brothers took official visits to Pittsburgh, Arizona, and UVA in June. They may not commit this month, but it is noteworthy that UVA has multiple 247Sports Crystal Ball selections for both Marcus and Dominique. Oregon is another Crystal Ball prediction for Dominique, who has an offer from the Ducks while Marcus does not.

Zach Rice, Offensive Tackle, Liberty Christian Academy (Lynchburg, VA)
Decision Date: None
Finalists: Alabama, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Virginia. The 5-star prospect visited all five finalists in June. Liberty Christian Academy head coach Frank Rocco recalled how detail-oriented Rice is being with his decision, saying: “Zach is being very systematic when taking these trips. He has given numerical values to each of his criteria. I think UVA is right up there certainly, but he is doing a steady job of breaking down everything on all of these visits.”

It appears Rice is taking a step back to digest his June experiences, but unless he wants to see live-game experiences, a decision could come at any time.

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