TheSabre’s Recruiting Roundtable

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Recruiting Roundtable

Generally speaking, what is your take on Virginia’s 2008 recruiting class?

JHoo: My take depends on the context of the question. If you are asking me to grade how the staff did, I think they did pretty darn well under the circumstances. In the early going, the program was coming off a tough season, there were a ton of questions about the future of Al Groh and his staff, and the state was looking awful in terms of how it set up for UVA. Then in the late going, we lose Mike London … ugh. Yet despite all that, and even with a couple of late defections, the staff did a good job putting together a solid class with a good mix of athletes, some solid prospects to add to the line mix, and a group that is on solid footing academically.

Chris Horne: It was one big roller coaster ride. About this time last year, I honestly didn’t feel that Virginia was in good shape at all heading into the summer. There was no momentum coming off a down 2006 season and with questions about Al Groh’s status. In April, Virginia had three commitments and didn’t seem to be the favorite for many others. But that all changed in the summer months, really beginning with the Elite Junior Day in June. That day was a major high, as the staff came away with four excellent prospects including running back Torrey Mack . The staff wasn’t expected to take many players in this class and was well on its way to being finished heading into November. December and January were disappointing months, though, as the staff had two verbal commitments – Corey Lewis and Ugo Uzodinma – de-commit. Top targets such as Cameron Saddler and R.J. Mattes headed elsewhere. The staff scrambled to fill those final spots and did so with some promising prospects such as QB Riko Smalls and LB Steve Greer , but the class certainly ended on a disappointing note overall. The ups and downs stick out to me the most, but in the end, while the staff missed out on some top targets, there are some players who could be significant contributors in their time at Virginia. Plus, overall, the staff rebounded from what originally looked