Wednesday, June 23, 2010

the recruit: Adrian Gamble

Time for another regularish offseason feature, and by regularish I mean sooner or later I'm getting through every one of these, but on no set schedule. We need to get up to speed on the 2011 commitments and find out what these guys are all about. Why not sooner? It helps to be able to compare the services' rankings on these guys and see who's full of crap and who isn't. Usually it's all of them at one point or another. Anyway, we go in order of commitment and that means starting with someone whose association with UVA is now almost a year old.

Name: Adrian Gamble
Position: WR
Hometown: Charlotte, NC
School: Independence
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 175

ESPN: 77, three stars, #66 WR
Rivals: NR
Scout: two stars

This wasn't even a recruitment; at least, not a public one. Gamble came to camp in Charlottesville last year and was offered a scholarship on the spot by the Groh regime when they saw his speed and jumping ability. Figure out the wide receiver stuff later, I guess. He committed before you're even able to get your offer in written form. Gamble plays for basically the top high school football program in the state of North Carolina, which makes it difficult to crack the roster; by the time of his commitment, he'd still actually never started a game for his varsity squad.

Independence is a really high-profile school; therein lies some of the silliness. Rivals has handed out their stars by now, but Gamble remains unrated because somehow (I'm guessing this is why) they have no film of one of the starting receivers on the top program in an important southern football state. ESPN has a pretty full evaluation, but a really bogus 40 time for the guy: 4.76. That's like, linebacker territory. Al Groh didn't offer a wide receiver who'd never played varsity football because of his 4.76 40 time.

Still, I think ESPN's is the fairest evaluation. Read the report and it's easy to see that the ratings they give him are based on a future projection. Of all the players already committed to UVA for 2011, Gamble is the one most worth watching during his senior season; he'll be a feature guy surrounded by talent, so it'll be important to see some major production.

Gamble is the only wide receiver in the class so far, but it's a near-certainty that won't be the case on Signing Day. When he arrives for fall practice, there'll be three scholarship senior WRs and three more scattered around the other classes - a really thin group, barring some position switches. A big senior season could see him arrive with similar credentials and expectations as Tim Smith, who stepped right into the lineup as a freshman, and likewise there'll probably be open playing time for a 2011 freshman as well. Whether Gamble is ready for it will depend a lot on how 2010 goes.

No comments: