Sabre Scoop: Recruiting News & Observations From The NBPA Top 100, Day 1

The first day of play at the 2018 NBPA Top 100 Camp in Charlottesville is in the books. Virginia’s lone class of 2019 commitment – St. John’s (Washington, D.C.) guard Casey Morsell – is not participating as he prepares to compete in the USA Basketball Men’s 17U Training Camp on Friday (June 15). We were, however, able to get recruiting updates on two of Virginia men’s basketball’s current top targets in the class of 2019 in Moorpark (CA) guard Drake London and North Mecklenburg (Huntersville, N.C.) wing Jaelyn Withers as well as class of 2020 Cavalier targets Ziaire Williams (SF, Notre Dame H.S. in Canyon County, CA) and DayRon Sharpe (PF/C, South Central in Greenville, N.C.).



If you have followed the 6’5”, 210-pound rising senior’s recruitment, you he is seriously considering playing both football and basketball on the major college level. London (pictured above in the white jersey) gave an indication that this could ultimately be a family decision ultimately; however, his personal preference right now is to play both sports.

“Me, personally, I’m 80-percent I’d probably do both when I end up in college,” said London, a wide receiver prospect on the gridiron and shooting guard prospect on the basketball court.

“I’ve been [playing both football and basketball] forever,” London said. “It’s wear-and-tear on my body, but I love both so much. I’m so passionate about it that I’d do anything for it.”

There was no decision to make when London first began receiving scholarship offers. He noted the first schools to offer were for football. But then some schools, including Virginia, offered for basketball. UVA was one of the first high-major schools to offer a basketball-only scholarship, and Cavalier head coach Tony Bennett has been in hot pursuit ever since.

Virginia football has since extended an offer of its own, and Bronco Mendenhall and Bennett are both on board with the possibility of London coming to Charlottesville as a two-sport athlete.

“Very supportive of both,” London said of Virginia’s stance on the two-sport option.

In fact, Coach Bennett’s message to London is this: “If I come down here I can do both,” London said. “I’d have a spot on the team no matter what.”

Southern Cal and UCLA are currently the only schools London has visited. That’ll change on Monday, when he visits UVA unofficially. The visit, which London estimates will be about half of the day, will include meetings with both the football and basketball coaching staffs.

His initial impressions of Virginia are favorable, although he admitted on Wednesday (June 13) that he has not seen a whole lot. What he has seen – specifically, the John Paul Jones arena – has impressed.

“The facility is huge,” London said. “As a college-level area, this facility is huge.”

Asked if UVA basketball’s defensive style is something that appeals to him, London said: “Of course. If you want to play offense you have to play defense, so that’s the whole game and I think that’s great.”

Should London ultimately decide to play two sports, he would enter his college destination on a football scholarship. With this in mind, I asked if he look more at the football aspect of a school athletically.

“No,” London answered.


Virginia seemed to gain pretty good traction with Withers earlier on this year. In recent weeks, though, Louisville has emerged as a top contender and is the favorite according to many on national recruiting outlet 247Sports.

Withers says he has visited Clemson multiple times, NC State, and Louisville. The latter school was his most recent trip, which he described as “a great visit,” Withers said. “Coach (Chris) Mack is cool people. I like the vibe over there. It’s pretty basic. Everything’s walking distance. It’s pretty convenient.”