Wednesday, September 3, 2008

the recruit: Jake Snyder

Quick Hanna update: The last forecast now has the "2 PM Saturday" dot parked squarely over Norfolk instead of Charlottesville. Good for the game, bad for those who live in Norfolk, good for those who live in Norfolk and want to watch the game. The other thing about that forecast? The line now goes directly over the top of my house. So if you're looking for a Sunday post and it isn't there, blame the hurricane.

So it's time for something we haven't done in a while. Today's spotlight is on a guy who could be the best of the class.

Name: Jake Snyder
Position: DE
Hometown: Glen Allen
School: Deep Run
Height: 6'5"
Weight: 237
40: 4.8

ESPN: 78, #38 DE
Rivals: three stars, 5.7, #16 at "weakside defensive end" (but not to get too specific or anything)
Scout: three stars, #72 DE

Pay no attention to the Scout ranking on Snyder. As late as June 2, Scout hadn't rated Snyder, and neither for that matter had Rivals; the next day, he was a UVA commit, and thus the urgency to rate him went away. Rivals, though, still had their state-by-state rankings to compile, and when they did, Snyder came out none too shabby: 15th in the state of Virginia.

Snyder is a two-way player at Deep Run; on offense, he plays tight end. There haven't been any clear indicators of what he'll do when he gets to Charlottesville, but if Snyder gets his way he'll be on the defensive side of the ball. May not necessarily be at defensive end, though; 237 is not DE sized but it is perfect for the OLB in a 3-4.

The DE highlights have him shedding blocks pretty quick, and even dropping into pass coverage on occasion. (Did someone say linebacker?) He's got the talent. And you have to like the offer list. Tech offered, as you'd expect since he's one of the top recruits in the state, though we may have had a slight edge since Jake's brother Matt is a walk-on receiver here. Out of state, there was BC, Colorado, Penn State, Louisville and Purdue - good programs all. The big kahuna was the Ohio State offer - which was also the one that gave Jake the final push toward UVA. Getting an OSU offer is a big deal, and it made Jake realize, if that's not enough to sway me away from UVA, nothing will be.

So, he's got the ratings, he's got the offers. We'll assume for a minute he bulks up (he'll have to, to make it as a college DE) and stays on the defensive line. DE is a spot where right now a freshman can show up right away on the depth chart. There are seven on the roster and five on the depth chart - the only ones missing are Sean Gottschalk, who is out with mysterious health issues, and Tory Allen, whose redshirt is probably solidly attached to his person. If Gottschalk (a former Deep Run teammate of Snyder) returns, Snyder could redshirt unless he comes to camp and blows away guys like Jason Fuller and Zane Parr - not unthinkable, by the way. If Gottschalk doesn't, and Snyder stays at DE, you can look for him and Justin Renfrow to have a spirited competition and maybe be out there pretty quickly in 2009.

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