Not all highly rated high school athletes pan out on the next level. That’s part of the inexact science of recruiting. The more upper level recruits a program can add, however, the better the chances for success become certainly. In that regard, Mike London and company have hit the Grounds running at Virginia. With that in mind, 20 players have either enrolled, signed or committed in the last two classes as London is in the midst of building his defense. This “Strategy Session” – a new big picture recruiting series exclusively on TheSabre.com – focuses on that side of the ball for the Hoos.
Demetrious Nicholson and Brandon Phelps headlined last year’s defensive haul, giving the Cavaliers two consensus 4-star recruits at the cornerback position. Defensive tackle David Dean earned one 4-star accolade, from ESPN.com, while defensive end Vincent Croce enters as the 2010 Washington Post All-Metro Defensive Player of the Year.
That 2011 class, Mike London’s first full recruiting class as Virginia’s head coach, consisted of 16 prospects initially designated for defense (not including Petersburg product Kevin Green , who could end up on defense as a safety or linebacker). All four 2012 class commits – Kwontie Moore (MLB), Deionte Brim (likely OLB), Mark Hall (likely OLB), and Wil Wahee (DB) – project to play defense. From a strategic standpoint, the 2011 class did not feature a bona fide middle linebacker though and that made the MIKE spot a major need on the recruiting board this time around.
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