Monday, August 29, 2011

the recruit: Tyrell Chavis

There's a lot of newsish stuff to catch up on, mainly the highly-anticipated publishing of the depth chart, but I also don't want to get too far behind on the recruit profiles.  So today is a two for the price of one special.

Name: Tyrell Chavis
Position: DT
Hometown: Richmond
School: Varina
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 300

24/7: 83; three stars
ESPN: 78; three stars; #44 OG; VA #16; Atl. Reg. #104
Rivals: 5.5; three stars; VA #24
Scout: two stars; #99 OG

Other offers: Boston College, Vanderbilt

Tyrell Chavis is an important recruit for a couple of reasons.  Actually about 300 reasons.  Chavis is really the only true defensive tackle in the class right now, and unless Korren Kirven comes on board - highly unlikely - it'll stay that way.  There will be others that might grow into DTs, but Chavis is already one, and the only one like him in the class.  So of course, all the sites rate him for his play on the offensive line instead.

Yes, Chavis plays both sides of the line, and his 6'3" height screams guard all the way, but there are plenty of those guys in the class.  So despite any rumblings about the "possibility" he'll play on the offensive side, I expect defense.  Chavis looks like a true nose guard.  I say this from looking at the one highlight film available since all the evaluations are on offense.  He's got one move: go forward regardless of what is in the way.  Technique isn't his strong suit; being physical is.

So I expect Chavis to develop as a middle-clogging zero-tech or one-tech nose tackle.  (Meaning he plays right over top of the center or just a shade over in the gap.)  But not for a couple years.  It's a little bit of an open secret that Chavis will likely end up having to prep for a year, probably at FUMA, the usual designated place for UVA recruits who need a little help making the grade.  Chavis's academic challenges are said not to be the product of laziness or incorrect priorities, rather, a family situation.  The other schools to offer him actual scholarships were Boston College and Vanderbilt, which should give you an idea of the concern level. 

So even if a prep year is in the cards it's not the worst thing.  Chavis needs a year anyway to get rid of some baby fat and turn into a 300-pound person-crusher instead of merely a large obstacle, so he'd have simply spent the year redshirting.  Right now, Chris Brathwaite is the fifth defensive tackle as a redshirt freshman; after Chavis FUMA-shirts, it wouldn't surprise too greatly to see him filling that role in technically his true freshman season in 2013.  It depends on how many other guys move inside to DT.  I don't think Chavis will develop into a major pass-rush threat, as he doesn't really have the quicks for it; he'll probably rotate out during passing situations.  Rather, his potential is as a big run-stuffer who creates those passing situations in the first place.


Let's talk depth chart.  Actually, no.  Let's save that til the end just to make you crazy.  Let's talk Senior Seasons instead.  High schools around the country got into the game for real this weekend, even here in Michigan as the GP South Blue Devils got off to a fine start with a shutout against U-D Jesuit and ended the week ranked #4 in the Eastern region of Metro Detroit.  A fine start to build on last year's surprise appearance in the state semifinals.  It's my blog, I get to write what I want.

But you're here to read about my other alma mater, so let's see what UVA's recruits did this weekend.  A little under half of them were in action this weekend.  Sort of.  The 757 guys got postponed thanks to Irene.  Norfolk Christian is playing as I type, so, update on that next week.  So really all there is, is the Georgia games again.

Wayne County 28, Windsor Forest 28: Yes, a tie.  Greyson Lambert threw two touchdowns for Wayne but also two picks, and was just 13/27 overall for 127 yards.  Wayne was up 28-6 to start the fourth, but turnovers cost them the win.  Wayne County is 0-0-1.

Also playing:

Buford 49, Gainesville 0 (C.J. Moore. Buford is 2-0.)


OK, now we can have some sweet sweet depth chart action.  The official two-deep is here, and the FOV depth chart has been updated as well.  The items of interest:

-- Demetrious Nicholson has indeed won the starting position at cornerback opposite Chase Minnifield; the real news, though, is Rijo Walker's surprise move to safety.  That makes Dom Joseph basically the nickel corner and walk-on Drequan Hoskey the fourth cornerback.  (For now; Brandon Phelps may overtake Hoskey in the rotation.)  This is actually excellent news for Walker, whose path to a starting job at corner was going to be very difficult with Nicholson and Phelps around; Walker is now the backup free safety, which means plenty of playing time and a starting job to inherit as a junior.  We'll see how his talents translate to safety.

-- The other backup at safety is true freshman Anthony Harris.  Walker's move and Harris's promotion is bad news for Groh recruits LoVante' Battle and Pablo Alvarez.  Alvarez is still only a redshirt freshman so no big deal yet; Battle is a junior without a spot on the two-deep, which makes it pretty official that he's been passed up.  I think the Nicholson promotion is a good sign and Harris's promotion a bad one; Nicholson beat out someone who'd been establishing a quality rep.  Harris beat someone who's never distinguished himself and has bounced from safety to linebacker and back without hardly ever seeing the field.  Fortunately there's a very strong starter at strong safety in Rodney McLeod, but Harris is probably in for a baptism by fire.

-- Ausar Walcott is working his way back up the depth chart very nicely; now listed as Aaron Taliaferro's backup at Sam linebacker.  It wouldn't surprise me at all to see him overtake Taliaferro by season's end; Walcott is much more physically gifted and needs only to match Taliaferro's mental grasp of the position.  Good to see Walcott recovering from his misstep in January.

-- Conner Davis as the backup right guard gives me more confidence than when that was Billy Cuffee.

-- Good things have been said about Kelby Johnson this fall; even so, his position on the depth chart as backup left tackle is mainly due to Landon Bradley's ongoing injury saga.  (FWIW, I don't think Bradley will be able to make it back, unfortunately.)  There are some very good players at offensive tackle but not a world of depth.

-- It's interesting how Matt Snyder keeps hanging around.  He must be doing something right.  Looks like he, Kris Burd, and Tim Smith are the starting rotation at wide receiver with the wondertwins, Darius Jennings and Dominique Terrell, backing up and sharing kick/punt return duties.

-- Reading the tea leaves from the press conference and the depth chart, it sounds like Mike Rocco and Ross Metheny are interchangeable - that is, Metheny is Rocco's backup - and David Watford has his own specially carved out role.  I think this will be different than when Bryson Spinner and Matt Schaub were on the play-til-you-screw-up schedule in 2001.  I hope I'm right.

-- Lot of freshman types, both redshirt and true, on the two-deep here.  I count 12, not including long snapper Matt Fortin.  Unless injuries start running crazy on our starters, this actually looks like a very promising setup since of those 12, only one is a starter and he's got a very good reason to be there that doesn't involve the suckiness of the competition.  We have veteran starters in most positions with underclassmen being heavily worked into the rotation; I like how that works for both now and the future.

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