Well damn, you guys. Just one week after whining that recruiting was going too slowly for my tastes, the board is now so shuffled I hardly know what to do with myself. We probably took more steps toward making the 2013 board irrelevant this past week than in any other week so far; there truly isn't that much recruiting left to be done any more.
More in depth analysis after the changes:
-- Moved OT Brad Henson, OG Jack McDonald, and DT Donta Wilkins from blue to orange. Woo- MF'in-hoo. That pretty much wraps up O-line recruiting for the year, among other things. The Hoos missed out on the two instate targets (you remember Braxton Pfaff and Parker Osterloh) but ended up with a better OL class than if they'd landed those two. Now you see why I said it was a great thing for the Hokies to land them both but not a terrible thing for us to lose them.
-- Moved CB Kirk Garner from green to orange. Double woo hoo. Garner and Wilkins got this whole wild week started, and Garner combines with Tim Harris to give the 2013 class a nasty good pair of defensive backs.
-- Removed LB Peter Kalambayi from blue; committed to Stanford.
-- Removed LBs Buddy Brown and Larenz Bryant from green; committed to Temple(!!) and South Carolina, respectively.
-- Removed WR Zach Bradshaw and ATH Myles Nash from yellow; committed to Penn State and Rutgers, respectively. Bradshaw had been very high on South Carolina previously, so the Gamecocks had a very good and very bad week all in one. Probably came out ahead overall, though; Bryant is a heavily-recruited consensus four-star.
-- Added TE Kyle Chung to yellow.
-- Re-added RB David Williams to red. I don't really think we'll get him, but there must be something going on - he included UVA in his top ten just recently after leaving us out before. It's probably a top ten the same way Taquan Mizzell has a top ten, with like seven or eight of them not actually have a legitimate chance, but what the hell, after all those names disappearing we need someone to keep the board full.
So there was some bad news and a lot of good news this week. The bad news is the sudden dearth of linebackers after things looked so bloody promising. That said, we already have two very good ones in the fold and will probably look to get at least one more. The three most likely options in that regard: Oren Burks, Doug Randolph, and Reggie McGee. Burks is a VT target as well. Randolph is the most highly-rated, but can't seem to decide whether he wants to be recruited away from his Stanford commitment or not. McGee is the most lightly recruited and probably the third option behind the other two, but would be the fourth Good Counsel prospect in this year's class.
The good news, obviously, was the wave of commitments, which among other things finished up O-line recruiting. It's not too often you nail down all of your top targets at a position, but the Hoos have essentially done that here, as well as at cornerback with Harris and Garner.
The four commitments this week brought the total to 15, which is to say we're awfully close to closing the door. At most I think we might have room for 20. With only six players left in the blue or green section, the coaches would probably take them all if they could to get them to 21, although if Burks or Randolph decided to commit the coaches might tell the other thanks but no thanks. (Then again, they might not.)
It probably won't come to that. The inn is fuller than it looks because Wyatt Teller and Taquan Mizzell both have reservations and both will probably get on board. If I had to rank those six players from most to least likely to eventually be Hoos, I'd say this:
-- Tevin Montgomery
Mizzell seems to be serious about his interest in West Virginia, but this is a case where the 757 relationships developing at UVA will probably pull him to Charlottesville. Teller is a strongish UVA lean but Michigan makes me nervous. More nervous than VT does. If the story is true about him talking up UVA to other recruits while in Blacksburg for a camp, he ain't going to Tech. But we have to make it through an Ann Arbor visit that he seems dead set on taking; the best-case is that he doesn't ever go.
I think McDonald's commitment is likely to influence Montgomery. In fact, though I think Montgomery is the third-most likely of that group to be a Hoo, if he does commit he'll be the next one to do so.
The coaches will go after Burks hard in order to finish up the linebacking corps of this class. I think it's 55-45 that Burks ends up here. In other words, close, but a slight lean our way. Hamilton is the opposite; I think 55-45 he goes to Tech. Randolph seems most likely to stick with his pledge to Stanford after all's said and done.
So if you're looking for predictions: I think we reel in the top four on that list and miss on Hamilton and Randolph. That would give us 19. If we don't get Burks, we go after Reggie McGee or maybe Marcel Ngachie, yet another Good Counsel prospect. Either one of them would commit yesterday if the coaches really pushed.
But let's say we do get the top four - then what? It's possible we'd then be done, but there's one more wild card: London's propensity to surprise us in January with a 757 name we've never before heard of. Think Mason Thomas and Divante Walker. I don't know what the likelihood of that is, because I've gotten really good in past years at declaring us done and then being as surprised as anyone by the final commitment.
At any rate, 2013 recruiting just went from still wildly uncertain to a question of finishing touches, all in one week and by adding four top-priority guys. At this point, the rest of the recruiting cycle will be 95% about following those six names. And all six of them could easily commit somewhere in the next month. I'm not wild about the idea of the recruiting cycle continuing its continental drift backwards towards junior years, but at least in the case of this class it means Mike London has done a helluva job. Again.