The University of Virginia football program’s first full recruiting class of the Bronco Mendenhall Era includes 21 signees plus four midyear enrollees. The Cavaliers have also announced two graduate transfers — quarterback Marvin Zanders (Missouri) and offensive lineman Colin McGovern (Notre Dame) — with more possibly on the way.
Those hoping the new coaching staff would make an immediate splash on the recruiting trail are probably disappointed. In terms of national rankings, Rivals.com ranks Virginia’s class No. 56 in the nation. Scout.com ranks the class No. 57 and 247Sports puts the class at No. 59. By contrast, Mendenhall’s UVA predecessors Al Groh and Mike London each recruited classes ranked among the Top 25 nationally in their first full recruiting cycles. Groh’s first full class was considered by some to be a Top 10 group nationally.
The reality is that this Virginia program has had only one winning season since 2008 and is coming off a 2-10 2016 season. Until UVA can achieve success on the field, recruiting many 4 and 5-star prospects to Charlottesville could be a challenge. Rankings don’t tell the whole story, though.
Mendenhall’s vision for this program begins with building the roster the way he wants it as well as developing a culture. UVA’s current players bought into the new culture and this 2017 Class is comprised of players who not only fit Mendenhall’s vision on the field but also believe in his philosophy, want to be part of establishing a winning program, and who, if all goes...
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