Friday, July 19, 2013

big picture look

On the right you'll find the depth chart updated with all the changes over the summer.  A few things we know since the last time that was done:

-- Phillip Sims and Clifton Richardson are no longer on the team.

-- Neither is Justin Renfrow.

-- Corwin Cutler will prep.  I mean, that was kind of an open thing for a long time, but I decided to wait until the roster was updated before I made anything official on my charts.  Just in case.

-- Zack Jones....probably won't ever make it to UVA.  I don't think anything's a real done deal yet, but he's making other plans, and guys with that much of their foot out the door don't usually make it back.  So I think we're going to have to write off Perry Jones's younger brother.

A few other shuffles have been made too, but none really worth going over in detail.  The upshot now is that we'll go into this season with 81 scholarship players....and only seven of them seniors.

We'll discuss later the roster questions that face the 2013 season, like who's going to carry the ball the most (Parks and Mizzell, perhaps), who's going to throw the ball (probably Watford or Lambert), what happens if Sean Cascarano's hip is a long-term problem (pray), what Renfrow's departure means for the DT rotation (lots of PT for the true freshmen, probably) and so on.  Today we deal with the longer-term stuff.  Which is a euphemism for recruiting.

With Cutler headed off to FUMA, there are currently ten players signed up to be 2014 freshmen - which thanks to some rather disappointing attrition (Richardson, Renfrow in particular) means there's actually one more slot open just to get us to the limit of 85.  After that you look to the junior class for non-invitee possibilities, of which I see a few.  This would be the 2010 recruiting class that we're looking to, which, since that was the coaching-change class, isn't one of our best.  I'd say I see three strong possibilities (not going to go into names at the moment) with one or two more outside possibilities.  Then of course you'd have to figure on the usual other attrition routes too.

Not taking anything for granted, but Chris Brathwaite is a decent possibility to go the Jameel Sewell route and work his way back to school, so for now let's say that one-short slot that we talked about is his.  So future hauls for the 2014 recruiting class will rely on uninvited fifth years and attrition for their slots.  For the sake of argument, let's call it three non-invites and four attrites; probably a conservative guess.  Now, who fills those spots?

-- Probably one more offensive lineman, maybe two.  This could either be someone like Alex Bookser or Marcus Applefield, or a story like last year with a late-blooming pickup.

-- A space is there for Jamil Kamara whenever he wants it.  I think the coaches would take both him and Cameron Phillips in a heartbeat as well.

-- A space is also there for Derrick Nnadi if he wants it, which is looking less and less likely by the week.

-- Melvin Keihn and Greg Stroman are each, I would guess, slightly better than 50/50 chances to pick UVA.  Maybe two-thirds chance they do, one-third chance they don't.

So let's say we do get one lineman, both receivers, Keihn, and Stroman.  That's five, and by the way that'd really round out this class in beautiful fashion especially if that lineman is Bookser.  (He seems more likely Pitt or OSU-bound, but UVA does have a shot.)

That leaves two more slots, maybe three to four if the attrition guess turns out to be too conservative.  Other possibilities, then?  Jeffery Farrar appears to have a very genuine interest, and Mike London really likes "athletes" that he can get on Grounds and then figure out his position later, which is the deal with Farrar.  I think we badly need a born-and-bred tight end; the only real one on the list currently is Devin Pike, but there might be a guy like Jamal Custis that the coaches think they can turn into a tight end.  On the other hand, if Pike was someone the coaches absolutely had to have, I think he'd be committed by now.

Defensive end is another major need.  Andrew Brown might get a look on the outside.  Kentavius Street would be the pipe-dream scenario, and Kurt Holuba would be a great addition as well.  Neither seem likely at this point, but they're not dead to us either.

In a realistic good-case scenario, then, the seven slots will be filled by:

-- An O-lineman
-- Kamara
-- Phillips
-- Stroman
-- Keihn
-- Farrar
-- A defensive end

Missing on any of those (and let's be honest, even with optimistic appraisals of our chances in all five specific cases, we only have about a 15% of bringing them all in) would probably open the door to London offering an as-yet unnamed instate guy, as he tends to do.  (Think Mason Thomas, Divante Walker.)  Also opening the door: the likelihood that seven spots is a conservative guess.

The overall point: we're looking at a lot of flexibility at this point.  I'd guess more than the coaches anticipated.  They have the freedom to really put out the red carpet and work hard on the players listed above, as well as to not give up the ship on guys like Nnadi.  And I think we'll see the recruiting board expand at some point with new offers.  I'm easing up on worrying that the class will be full with some badly-wanted players on the outside looking in.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Freshman receiver Zack Jones, brother of former UVa running back Perry Jones, will attend Fork Union Military Academy this season. London said he got this information from Perry Jones.

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