Tuesday, February 8, 2011

the recruit: Jay Whitmire

Name: Jay Whitmire
Position: OT
Hometown: Alexandria
School: T.C. Williams
Height: 6'6"
Weight: 290

ESPN: 77; three stars; #70 OT
Rivals: 5.7; three stars; #43 OT; VA #14
Scout: three stars; #30 OT

Other offers: Notre Dame, Penn State, North Carolina, West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Boston College, Maryland, NC State, Rutgers, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Duke

This is the good part. Because by this time room in the class was getting way crammed, and the coaches got real choosy about who they took a commitment from, and managed to close on most of the best targets besides. Jay Whitmire was one of the top Northern Va. targets of the year, and got a whole big list of offers real early. The ankle sprain that caused him to miss almost half the season probably prevented a few more, but regardless he was entertaining overtures from Notre Dame as late as November, a couple weeks before his commitment to UVA.

Whitmire is the top OL commit of the class by both offers and scouting services. "Athletic" is the word that gets tossed around the most; you are permitted to believe it on account of the lacrosse he plays. A 290-pound guy playing lacrosse is athletic.

On account of being an offensive lineman and missing half the year, there's not much to say about Whitmire's season, though he did happen to collect a few sacks on the defensive side. Whitmire was easily a Washington Post All-Met pick as a junior; the injury kept him off the list this fall. It probably also cost him his fourth star with Scout, though they didn't drop him too many places in their OT rankings. The rankings can be cruel to a guy with an injury.

Anyway, I wouldn't worry. Whitmire reminds me muchly of Sean Cascarano, except that Cascarano's about 20 pounds lighter and staggeringly ginger. Both are very athletic tackles with similar rankings (if ESPN had bothered) and accolades coming out of high school, and Cascarano's looking like a guy who's going to be very hard to keep off the field in his redshirt sophomore year. If not a starter, he'll still be in the rotation. Whitmire should have a similar timeline. As 98% of linemen do, he'll redshirt, and once 2012 arrives it's not hard to see Whitmire nosing into the two-deep as a redshirt freshman. Following that year, Oday Aboushi and Aaron Van Kuiken graduate, and we should see a lot of Whitmire after that.


A little housecleaning of the news on the street is in order:

- You know by now that Billy Baron packed up and went back to Rhode Island. I suppose it was inevitable that one of the six freshmen in this class would get squeezed out of the rotation enough to want to leave. Still, it's weird that our association with Baron was less than a year long; the guy only committed last March. Hate to say it after sending so much praise his way when he committed, but the impact here is minimal. Obviously it's got no effect on this year, and Baron was going to have to wait until at least 2012-'13 to get a real shot on the court, especially if Malcolm Brogdon turns out to be just as much all that as he's supposed to.

- Pick three different positions on the football team where we can least afford to have the inevitable attrition this offseason. How about cornerback, center, and linebacker? Welcome to your average UVA offseason. It never fucking fails. It's exactly the way things go at UVA that the guys acting like dumbasses would be the ones standing in between the starters and the totally untested freshmen - or the starters themselves with freshman backups.

In case you're too lazy to click the link, that's starting LB Ausar Walcott, potential starting CB Devin Wallace, and backup C Mike Price, all suspended indefinitely for the ever-popular "conduct detrimental to the team." Walcott's been in trouble with the law in the past, though as I recall it was something really dumb and nothing that went past "why don't you cool off in the back of the car here and then go home." This isn't police stuff, fortunately. Also fortunately, it's not actually the attrition we're waiting for; these three knuckleheads will probably be back after they demonstrate appropriate contrition, dedication, etc. etc.

- The men's tennis team is deserving of at least a quick mention - they're ranked #1, and they've played 67 matches this season and lost two. Eh, not bad. The indoor nationals are approaching - UVA hosted and won them last year - and they'll be going for four in a row in Seattle in a couple weeks. The outdoor season is the real deal (that's the one that earns you an actual NCAA championship) but the men are dominating this season in a way they didn't last year.

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