Wednesday, June 6, 2012

recruiting board update

Did I say that we'd have at least one commitment this week that I could move to the orange section?  I did.  I sort of expected that to happen because of the junior day event, not because of another totally out of left field verbal.

Well, not totally.  LaChaston Smith has been on the board for a few weeks.  Still, his commitment is a surprise.  A very pleasant one, though; Smith is a high-caliber recruit, and his presence won't change our pursuit nor our position with other high-caliber linebackers.  It's like playing blackjack and getting a $100 bonus for getting three sevens in a row.  I did that once and it was awesome.  So's this.

Not all the week's developments were that awesome, so read on.  As ever, here's the board itself.

-- Moved LB LaChaston Smith from yellow to orange.  A rare move, but I like it, and not just because we added another quality linebacker to go with Micah Kiser.  No, if players never committed from the yellow section, there really wouldn't be much point in having it.

-- Removed DT Maurice Hurst from blue.  I guess in a way I could say the same about this move, but it's a lot suckier that way.  Really, I always had this feeling Hurst would commit to Michigan (which he did); there were reports brimming with confidence from both sides (UVA and Michigan, that is) but Hurst had visited UVA and not Michigan.  When you're in that great of shape without a visit yet, the visit is a clincher more often than not.  The only thing that surprised me was the speed of the commitment.

-- Removed DT Henry Poggi from yellow.  Also to Michigan, and his other finalist was Alabama.  I like to see this, of course, but if you'd asked me my ideal scenario I'd'v'e sent Poggi to U-M and Hurst to UVA.

-- Removed DE Tashawn Bower from red.  Bower's top ten doesn't have UVA in it, and that came out a few weeks ago, but I'd read he might visit for the junior day.  He didn't.  So that puts an end to that story.

-- Added LBs Yannick Ngakoue and Reggie McGee and DE Shaun McGee to yellow.

Also - finally - ESPN dropped most of the rest of the evaluations they'd been sitting on.  Which means that stars now fill almost the entire board.  The biggest surprise: Corwin Cutler is in the newly-minted ESPN 300, and our highest-rated prospect.  Higher than Micah Kiser, higher than Tim Harris.  Weird for a guy with no offers but the one he committed to - and ESPN acknowledges that lack of offers in their writeup and says "haters gonna hate, this dude's good."  Last year, Maurice Canady got a lot of people really excited because he put up some freakish stats as Varina's emergency quarterback, but I was a little more reserved because Canady has always been bound for defensive back.  The athleticism will transfer, the skills do not.  But Cutler is a QB all the way - it'll be interesting to see if he can have a Canady-like season and validate the very glowing report.  One strike against ESPN, though: Cutler is listed as coming from Indian River, but he transferred to Ocean Lakes, where he played last season.

Next major milestone is football camp, which may or may not see any kind of action.  There aren't but about 9-11 more spots left in this class, and a few are reserved - there's no way the coaches recruit over Taquan Mizzell or Wyatt Teller, for example.  Still, I sort of get the feeling that most of our recruiting will be wrapped up by the fall.

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