Thursday, August 13, 2009

more baseball in football season, but also football

Today, a break from the heavy stuff. Those season previews are no joke to write, man. We'll catch up on a little bit of the goings-on for Hoos in the pros.

First, a little fluff on John Phillips and Kevin Ogletree from the Cowboys' official site. Should be good news that the official site writer is putting stuff out there on these guys, right? And speaking of Cavalier wide receivers, Billy McMullen has been released by Seattle, and signed with the Lions yesterday. This probably is not significant - the Lions basically need warm bodies to run receiver drills with so many of them out, and McMullen is a long, long shot to make the roster. I mention this mainly just because it's cool as a Lions fan that McMullen's onboard, however long it lasts. Hey, you never know. Detroit's had good luck with UVA receivers in the past.

And speaking of early departures, Matt Packer has decided to join that club. This surprises me, frankly. Packer was picked in the 32nd round and I figured a good senior season would cut that draft round in half or so. All is quiet on the Tyler Cannon front; Cannon has four more days to sign if he's going to do so.

That makes three very reliable arms we have to replace instead of two, but Jeff White has your answer to that, as Branden Kline has turned down sixth-round money from the Red Sox to come to UVA. Outstanding. Kline has the usual sick and twisted stats of a kid who's obviously too good for high school - in his case, a 0.66 ERA and two strikeouts an inning - and should come in ready to contribute. Based on limited but highly effective summer league stints, Will Roberts and Justin Thompson could be ready to assume a larger role, and we should also be able to lean more heavily on Shane Halley. So fear not friends - the pitching is poised to get better, not worse.

I told you K.T. Harrell wasn't done moving up ESPN's list. He checks in now at #86 on the ESPNU 100 with a ranking of 93, a nice boost from the 90 he had before he committed. Regan and Harris don't make it, and neither does Trae Golden, but a few of our other targets are there: Kyrie Irving at #6 (!), James Johnson at #69, Michael Cobbins at #85.

Lastly we have - recruiting board! Yes! Actually boo. As with previous weeks, more names are dropping off than jumping on board. I have only two addition: LB Quayshawn Nealy, who we offered, and CB Louis Young, who's already decommitted twice from Stanford. Young claims to be a soft verbal to Stanford, but: riiiiiiight.

And the cuts are coming hard and heavy. CB Urell Johnson surprise-committed elsewhere, after, in reverse order: talking about taking all year to decide, decommitting from Southern Miss, surprise-committing to Southern Miss, and talking about taking all year to decide. So as a "verbal", he's off, for now, and would it surprise anyone to see him back at some point? Also gone are: LB Khairi Fortt, QB Munchie Legaux, DE Kareem Martin, and DT Bruce Gaston, all of whom came out with top threes or fives or sixes or whatever and didn't say Virginia when they did it. Fortt actually probably eliminated us a long time ago. Legaux has done all manner of mind-changing throughout his recruitment, but I think we were more of a novelty than anything there anyway. Martin is a little bit surprising; Gaston less so, but disappointing nonetheless - we need a DT in this class and Gaston was one of three we're focusing on. I'm getting antsy for a commitment here - it's been about five weeks.

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