Wednesday, January 18, 2012

the recruit: Canaan Severin

Name: Canaan Severin
Position: WR
Hometown: Marlboro, MA
School: Worcester Academy
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 210

24/7: 93; four stars; #26 WR; MA #3; US #216
ESPN: 77; three stars; #97 ATH; MA #4; Atlantic #119
Rivals: 5.8; four stars; #22 WR; MA #4
Scout: three stars; #50 WR

Other offers: Penn State, Boston College, Michigan State, Missouri, Iowa, NC State, Purdue, Syracuse, Rutgers, Connecticut, a few smaller ones

And so we come to the temporary end of this series for 2012; Canaan Severin was the most recent recruit to commit to UVA, and he did so way back in September.  It's been that kind of recruiting year.  There may be one or two more commits on the way, but the bulk of the class is basically done.

Severin is my favorite kind of recruit.  Following recruiting is a lot more fun when they follow a path like his.  He started out (from our perspective) as no more or less of a name than a lot of others, and UVA was in a large pile of worthwhile offers.  Virginia stayed in the mix every time the offers were narrowed, all the way to a top three of UVA, PSU, and BC, and there was actually a little drama in the decision.  In fact, he chose UVA less than a week after visiting Penn State.  From the perspective of this site's recruiting board, Severin was added in February to the yellow section, moved up to green in June, blue in August, and orange in September.  So he's a guy we got to follow for a while, and with a happy ending to the story.

Oh, and he's pretty good too.  His game has positives and negatives and both are pretty glaring, which translated to some disparity in his recruiting rankings between the sites.  Let's get the negatives out of the way.  First, he's kind of slow for a receiver.  Everyone that evaluates him makes a point of saying he's a very good athlete, but Scout registers him at 4.7 in the 40.  That would be pretty good for, say, a linebacker, but if you're going to be ranked as one of the top 250 or whatever, the sites want to see that blazing 4.5, 4.4 stuff.  Second, on defense he's a little bit of a tweener - too slow for safety and not big enough for linebacker.  No, we don't care because he's not going to play defense for us, but the recruiting sites aren't in the business of predicting a player's ultimate position, only projecting it.

Severin's size is his biggest positive: he's listed at 210-215 and looks like he could add to that, and he's nice and tall at anywhere from 6'2" to 6'4" depending on which site you ask.  (We'll just say 6'3".)  UVA has a few receivers of similar size on the roster - Miles Gooch, Bobby Smith, Kevin Royal, for example - but you notice I didn't list too many regulars, and only Gooch has athleticism comparable to Severin's.  Smart, too - there was a little chatter about early enrollment which never came to pass, and I think that was more of a deal with his high school's standards than with UVA's.  And he's a little older than the usual recruit - Severin repeated the 10th grade upon transferring to Worcester Academy at the urging of his father.

Part of the reason Severin chose UVA is because our coaches were recruiting him at wide receiver; Penn State kept the possibility of tight end or H-back open, which he wasn't keen on.  So initially at least, that's where he'll be, despite any thoughts you might have about a big guy being moved elsewhere.  He'll have a good chance to come in right away and fill the big-receiver role that's being voided by Matt Snyder.  There'll be some competition in that regard in camp, but Severin comes in on at least an even footing.  None of those aforementioned big receivers saw much of the field, you'll remember (though in Bobby Smith's case, he was hurt,) even though Snyder missed a chunk of the season with a broken foot.  He was just replaced with more Kris Burd.

That means Severin should step right in during the fall and have a chance.  We have a ton of receivers, but Severin's in a niche that's presently unfilled.  Don't look for him to be the kind of guy who gets behind the defense for big yardage; he won't be fast enough.  But he should be able to outmuscle small nickel backs and outmaneuver linebackers for those crucial third-and-sevens.  I don't expect a redshirt year.  I don't expect a 600-yard receiving season right off the bat either, but on the checklist of requirements to contribute right away as a freshman - fills a need, football-mature, athletically capable - Severin fits to a T.  Darius Jennings was the same way, and finished with 20 catches for 238 yards; expectations should be similar for Canaan Severin.

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