Early Signing Period Central: Virginia Football Class Of 2022

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The University of Virginia football program has a new head football coach in former Clemson offensive coordinator and assistant head coach Tony Elliott, who takes over for Bronco Mendenhall, who resigned on December 2 after his sixth season in Charlottesville. Mendenhall’s decision came as a shock to many, including class of 2022 recruits, who have the opportunity to sign letters of intent during this week’s Early Signing Period, which begins today and runs through Friday, December 17.

All-purpose running back Xavier Brown plans to sign his letter of intent with Virginia football on Wednesday, the first day of the Early Signing Period for the class of 2022. ~ Photo courtesy of Xavier Brown

While Coach Elliott’s hiring moved rather swiftly, the new Cavalier head man only officially accepted the job last Friday, December 10, leaving him with less than a week to try and sway still committed players to stick with their decisions to play at UVA.

“I did have a chance to evaluate and had a chance to speak with those individuals [the evening of Sunday, December 12], and I thought we had a good — just a good meeting, and able to kind of outline who I am and what my plan and vision is going forward,” Elliott said during his December 13 introductory press conference.

“The challenging part was the dead period started (on December 13), and I wasn’t able to see those guys face to face, so my message was, hey, just got to trust that I’m going to do everything I can to build a staff that you can be proud of for those guys, and we’ve just got to continue to work through communication up through signing day to try and hold those guys together.”

Since Mendenhall’s resignation, six players have publicly decommitted from the Cavaliers’ class of 2022. Offensive lineman Joe Brown, wide receiver Dominique McKenzie and cornerback Marcus McKenzie, who are all natives of Utah, flipped their commitments to BYU. Safety prospect Will Hardy flipped his pledge from UVA to UNC. Defensive end Keyshawn Burgos and defensive tackle Anthony Holmes Jr. have also decommitted. Burgos plans to signing early and all signs are pointing to him signing with Virginia Tech. Holmes Jr’s decision plans are not clear at this point. He may wait to sign during the Regular Signing Period, which begins February 2.

Rivals.com 4-star offensive tackle Brody Meadows, one of two 4-star recruits in UVA’s 2022 Class, is another name to watch as we enter this Early Signing Period. The Graham (Bluefield, VA) senior has not publicly decommitted but is thought to be leaning heavily towards flipping to Virginia Tech. He does plan on signing on Wednesday.

Including Meadows, Virginia has 10 verbal commitments in the class of 2022. All are expected to sign early.

Stay tuned to this page for all of the latest Virginia-related recruiting news. Below is an “Early Signing Period News Blog” where I will post updates throughout the day. Further below is the “Virginia Football Class Of 2022” section, where I have listed the players who are committed. As the letters of intent are announced, we will change the designation from “Committed” to “SIGNED”.

Early Signing Period News Blog

UPDATE, 8:30 a.m.

Dakota Twitty indicates via Twitter that he has signed with the Hoos! His tweet is below. Former commit Will Hardy has made his “flip” official by signing with UNC.

UPDATE, 8:47 a.m.

UVA football makes its first official signing announcement of the day!

UPDATE, 8:55 a.m.

Brody Meadows has flipped from Virginia to Virginia Tech. Look for the offensive line to be a focus of Tony Elliott’s in the coming weeks/months, on the high school front and especially in the transfer portal. UVA saw both of its offensive line commits flip and also lost Andrew Gentry to Michigan. Gentry, one of the jewels of the 2020 Class, was originally planning to enroll on Grounds this summer, at the end of a two-year mission trip. With Mendenhall’s resignation, he was let out of his LOI and committed to Michigan.

UPDATE, 9:48 a.m.

Virginia is up to four announced signees. Five more are expected in today.

UPDATE, 10:15 a.m.

VirginiaSports.com has uploaded a Signing Day Central page, which you can see by clicking here. It includes a roster of those who sign with the Hoos and more. On the roster, in addition to the high school prospects, is former Wisconsin wide receiver Devin Chandler. Chandler, who will enroll on Grounds in January, announced his intentions to transfer the same day Mendenhall resigned. It appears the coaching change had no impact on his plans.

UPDATE, 11:40 a.m.

Nine verbal commitments plus transfer Devin Chander have signed! No other prospects are expected to commit at this point.

Virginia Football Class Of 2022

Will Bettridge, Placekicker, 5’11”, 160 pounds, Gulliver Prep (Miami, FL)
Rivals ranking: 3-star; No. 4 kicker in the class of 2022
247Sports ranking: 2-star; No. 3 kicker in the class of 2022; No 275 prospect in Florida in the class of 2022
Other rankings: 5-star, No. 1 underclass placekicker by Kornblue Kicking; 5-star, No. 7 class of 2022 kicker per Kohl’s Kicking

Stevie Bracey, Linebacker, 6’0”, 220 pounds, The Lovett School (Atlanta, GA)
Rivals ranking: 3-star
247Sports ranking: 3-star; No. 95 linebacker; No. 79 prospect in Georgia
SIGNED (Enrolling in January 2022)

– Xavier Brown, Running Back/Athlete, 5’11”, 180 pounds, Lexington Christian (Lexington, KY)
Rivals ranking: 3-star; No. 20 all-purpose running back; No. 8 Kentucky
247Sports ranking: 3-star; No. 86 running back; No. 10 Kentucky
Other accolades: Named the 2021 Gatorade Player of the Year in Kentucky

Delaney Crawford, Quarterback/Athlete, 6’3″, 180 pounds, Corona (CA)
Rivals ranking: 2-star
247Sports ranking: 3-star; No. 98 Quarterback; No. 172 California

Karson Gay, Tight End, 6’6.5”, 225 pounds, Boyd Buchanan (Chattanooga, TN)
Rivals ranking: 3-star; No. 26 Tennessee
247Sports ranking: 3-star; No. 35 tight end; No. 21 Tennessee

Davis Lane, Quarterback, 6’2”, 195 pounds, Liberty Christian Academy (Lynchburg, VA)
Rivals ranking: 3-star; No. 38 Virginia
247Sports ranking: 3-star; No. 57 quarterback; No. 25 Virginia
SIGNED (Enrolling in January 2022)

Trey McDonald, Linebacker, 6’4”, 225 pounds, Baylor (Chattanooga, TN)
Rivals ranking: 3-star; No. 35 Tennessee
247Sports ranking: 3-star; No. 144 linebacker; No. 39 Tennessee

– Dakota Twitty, Wide Receiver, 6’5”, 215 pounds, Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy (Mooresboro, N.C.)
Rivals ranking: 3-star; No. 83 wide receiver; No. 14 North Carolina
247Sports ranking: 4-star; No. 50 wide receiver; No. 9 North Carolina

Sean Wilson, Wide Receiver, 6’5”, 215 pounds, Canarsie (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
Rivals ranking: 3-star
247Sports ranking: 3-star; No. 208 wide receiver; No. 7 New York

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