Friday, July 18, 2008

the recruit: brent urban

Before you hear all about our north-of-the-border-and-I-don't-mean-the-Potomac recruit, I point you in this direction: where Rivals has listed the top 30 players in the state of Virginia. #'s 8, 10, 15, 27, and 30 are UVA commits - so far. Last year? One signing.

'Nuff babbling. On with the show.

Name: Brent Urban
Position: DE
Hometown: Mississauga, ON
School: Lorne Park Secondary
Height: 6'7"
Weight: 266
40: 4.9

ESPN: 77
Rivals: hasn't bothered
Scout: ditto

Not going to see a whole lot of recruiting-service evaluation on this kid - that ON, in case you don't know your postal codes, stands for Ontario, as in Canada, as in the land of moose, mounties, hockey, and weird football rules. Even just looking at his highlight video is weird: Canadian defensive linemen are required to line up a yard off the line of scrimmage. Thus Urban's highlights show very little contact - he runs around blockers, not through them. Urban is also used by his football team on punt coverage, a decent display of either his quickness or a small football team, I don't know which.

ESPN did have a real nice little piece on Urban as part of a larger newsbits type article, and damn if I can find it any more. What it said was essentially, "this kid's good, and yay Al Groh for digging up a diamond in the rough." The praise for Groh's ability to go weird places and find talent is nice to read but a little overstated: Urban was getting letters from a lot of the big dogs like USC, Ohio State, and Notre Dame (he even visited South Bend) and ended up with a fair set of offers from the likes of Maryland and Louisville. UVA, on the other hand, made an actual offer as early as last fall.

UVA does actually have a little something of a connection in Canada, which helps explain why two years in a row now we have a commitment out of Ontario. TE coach Bob Price, who recruited Urban, coached in the CFL for six years. (No head coaching gigs though.)

Bottom line, then: Urban is a primo candidate for a redshirt during his freshman year. Naturally there is always a jump in talent from high school to college that freshmen must adjust to; Urban's will be much bigger than normal. Not only the talent level, but probably the coaching too, and definitely the rules - and most especially that crazy deal where you get to line up right on the line of scrimmage. Once he's adjusted to the American game, it could well be that the sky is the limit.

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