Wednesday, April 28, 2010


I need to update both the recruiting board and the depth chart, so that's exactly what we're doing today. Recruiting board first:

- Dropped the following players: OT Evan Mulrooney (Maryland commit - we never offered), TE Brian Miller (Boston College commit), CB Jeremiah Hendy (Maryland commit), OT Conor Hanratty (Notre Dame commit, and that was pretty much a foregone conclusion), and DE Giorgio Newberry (has never really talked UVA.)

- Moved CB Demetrious Nicholson from blue to yellow. Bummer. UVA seems to be dropping here.

- Moved DE Corey Marshall and DE Norkeithus Otis from red to yellow. UVA's chances with Marshall still look slim, with VT and Michigan both pursuing him very hard, but we are in a top-four group and he didn't commit to Tech at the VT spring game. So either Tech is slow-playing him and telling him to be patient with committing, or he's serious about checking out the other schools on his list. Michigan is coming hard and I bet he goes to their barbecue on May 22nd - another "great news if he doesn't commit" date.

- Added OT Jake Goins to yellow. He'd be blue, but then he'd probably already be a Hokie if they actually wanted him this year. His offer there is for a grayshirt.

You'll notice some of the names are now highlighted in orange - these are the top-of-the-wishlist guys. The guys you need to really put a stamp of approval on a recruiting class. I'd be ecstatic, frankly, to get half of them, but if we can't get at least two it'll be a disappointment. Nobody in red is highlighted because frankly that's while-we're-at-it-I'd-like-a-pony territory, and orange doesn't show up too good on red anyway.

A little feedback on that would be appreciated, by the way, because I can't decide if it's better to have the wishlist guys in orange at the top of the color section or just at the top of their positions. I went with the latter for now because it's less work.

Also, I said I'd update the depth chart, and I did. Last year's seniors have now disappeared and the depth chart reflects the ground truth heading into fall camp. Thoughts on that because that's why this blog is here:

- Marc Verica, as mentioned, is the clear starter, and the race is behind him. That designation has an expiration date of mid-October, and you can bet the staff will be scrutinizing Verica in the season's early going to make sure it's worth it to keep sending him out there.

- Red flags should be going up in your head when you look at the running backs. Perry Jones topping the chart at RB is a surprise. It's not a good sign that the two-deep at RB comprises 1) the football Muggsy Bogues and 2) a guy who's made a long career out of getting passed up on the depth chart. I dunno, maybe Jones blew away the coaches with his moves and football IQ and Keith Payne is finally living up to the Chuck Norris-like status he was assigned as a recruit, but one thing we definitely didn't hear out of spring camp is how the running backs were really stealing the show. Reading between the lines here, I'd hazard a guess that this is more about what the competition (Torrey Mack, mainly) didn't show in spring camp. Expect this battle to start totally anew in the fall with all-new horses in Dominique Wallace, Kevin Parks, and Khalek Shepherd.

- Wide receiver will be a position of strength if Tim Smith is as good as advertised. Kris Burd is a good receiver but not the kind you game-plan for; Smith is the only such player in that group.

- Don't be fooled by the apparent lack of depth at guard; I'm pretty much only going by what they say, and they don't list a whole lot of guards. A lot of guys are just listed as OL and they basically end up at tackle until we learn otherwise, because tackle is what they were recruited as. They have to go somewhere, and the byproduct of that is, tackle looks really heavy and guard looks really thin, when that's not the case.

- On the other hand, I've been telling you we're really heavy at linebacker and really thin in the secondary: a side effect of London's decision to move a lot of players a slot closer to the line of scrimmage. This illustrates it pretty nicely. Four linebackers, including incoming guy Chris Brathwaite because I think DE is where he'll end up, got moved down to the D-line, so there really isn't a major glut of linebackers, but we can't even go three deep in the secondary until the freshmen show up, and then only just barely, and also only because Javanti Sparrow got shifted to the defensive side of the ball. It's no accident that three of our first seven commitments for 2011 (counting Kyrrel Latimer) are defensive backs.

- London omitted the kickers from the depth chart; it's clearly still open season on that competition as well.

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