Welcome to the Recruiting Roundtable! JHoo, Kamikaze Hoo and Mikeysurf join me to answer questions about Virginia’s 2008 football recruiting class. Virginia has reeled in 11 commitments so far, which has certainly been great work by the staff considering none have come from the state of Virginia. We’ll address the in-state issue as well as look at what the staff has done so far and where they could go with the remaining scholarships.
Many fans have voiced concerns about the lack of an in-state commitment. Is this a reflection of UVa not emphasizing the state or is this just a bad year?
JHoo: No and not exactly. How is that for a curve ball to start?
I think that the current UVA staff — minus the “Jersey Boys”, as some around the state referred to them — does emphasize in-state recruiting to a far greater degree than perceived by many. If you break down the offers extended and the time and resources spent, the UVA staff is working every bit as hard as the Tech staff to mine the Commonwealth for talent. That does not mean that the staff will offer an in-state Plan B guy over an out-of-state Plan A guy that fits our recruiting profile, but I generally have no problem with the overall level of focus on in-state talent (though I might disagree on the decision not to offer some in-state kids from time to time).
So why are we looking high and low for an in-state commitment this year? I will be the first to say that it is one of those years where the in-state class did not set up well for UVA from the start, but I cannot say that is the only reason for the problem without explanation. There are more long-term issues that explain the “bad year.” For example (and this is not an exhaustive list), Tech more than ever is enjoying the benefit of recruiting kids that grew up during Vick’s tenure at Tech, and Tech continues to put a more successful product onto the football field year-in, year-out. Second, the Tech staff benefits from longstanding relationships around the Commonwealth, the product of a relatively stable staff under Beamer’s tenure. Third, UVA is still dealing with the perception that it does not emphasize the Commonwealth in recruiting, a perception fueled by high-profile decisions like the offer to Scott Deke over Sean Glennon . Fourth, academics do impact UVA’s ability to go after some in-state recruits...
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