Sunday, June 27, 2010

the recruit: Matt Bailey

Name: Matt Bailey
Position: S/LB
Hometown: New Orleans, LA
School: Edna Karr
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 190

Rivals: 5.5, three stars, #40 in LA
ESPN: 74, two stars, #82 safety
Scout: two stars

UVA hasn't gone to Louisiana for a prospect since Lord knows when. The Groh regime gave it a shot last year, aiming in the process for a couple of Matt Bailey's teammates; it didn't pan out, but Bailey did, earning the distinction of being Groh's final recruit.

Bailey plays linebacker for Edna Karr, but scouts figure him for a safety at the next level. You've got a lot of scouting reports that highlight his attributes for the position: good at diagnosing plays and in pass coverage, etc. It's more or less a given .... but I'm not so sure. London turned a lot of our safeties into linebackers. Bailey is listed at under 200, but others have him at 205 or even 215. At the very least there's absolutely no way he's 175 like Scout says. I think Bailey stays at linebacker when he gets to Charlottesville; he's just the same size as DB-turned-LB Lo'Vante Battle, and Battle was a high school linebacker too.

If Bailey gets to Charlottesville, anyway. At least as of April, he hadn't really shut off his recruitment. Not too surprising for a guy who jumped at his first offer, which came from coaches that aren't around any more. I'd still be surprised if he decommitted, but no predictions from me along those lines.

Predictions along career lines, though: both linebacker and safety are tough places to break into as a freshman. Bailey's medium-low ratings are pretty consistent, and he comes from a school with plenty of visibility. Somewhere in the mid-30s to 40th best player in Louisiana, a high two-star or low-three star type. Bailey's not going to crash the lineup right off the bat; a redshirt season is a lock and a half. One of Bailey's strengths is his smarts, which actually kind of plays against him in the London regime: a 4.2 student like Bailey is would have had a leg up on the competition learning Groh's intricate NFL-style defensive schemes. Jim Reid's are simpler, which might nullify his advantage somewhat. He'll be in a big mix for playing time, so if he starts - whether as a safety or a linebacker - it'll probably be as a junior at the earliest.

No comments: