Early Signing Day Recap

Posted on December 23, 2019 in The Team by Karl Hess.

Note that this piece was a combined effort from StLouHoo and Karl Hess. StLouHoo handled the roster projections and remaining needs. Karl handled the class composition and player profiles.

While most of the country gears up to celebrate Christmas this week, the college football universe celebrated their own holiday this past Wednesday. Popularly known as Early Signing Day, Wednesday was the beginning of 2019's Early Signing Period for college football programs. The Early Signing Period began on Wednesday, December 18 and concluded on Friday, December 20.

Because of a dearth of seniors on the roster, the Hoos were expected to sign a small class this cycle. And that's exactly what happened this week. UVA secured signed Letters of Intent from thirteen recruits.  

Class Composition

The new Wahoos come from ten different states and Washington DC. Only Louisiana provided more than one player to the Hoos with three. Special Teams Coordinator Ricky Brumfield and UVA's recruiting assistants from the Pelican State continue to make a sizeable impact for the Hoos in Louisiana.

New York1
North Carolina1
South Carolina1

By anticipated position in college, the class breaks down thusly.

Defensive Line2
Offensive Line2
Tight End1
Wide Receiver1

Fans that believe football games are won at the line of scrimmage will certainly be happy with the composition of this class.


The Recruits

Olasunkonmi (Su) Agunloye - Defensive Line

Lindenhurst High School - Lindenhurst, New York - 6-6 242

247 Composite Rating: 3 Stars (.8577)

Power Five Offers: Virginia, UCLA, Boston College, Indiana, Pitt, Rutgers, Syracuse

Other FBS Offers: Air Force, Army, Connecticut, Massachusetts

FCS Offers: Dartmouth, Elon, Fordham, Holy Cross, Monmouth, New Hampshire, Penn, Stony Brook, Villanova

John Adams High School - South Bend, Indiana - 6-4 195

247 Composite Rating: 3 Stars (.8370)

Power Five Offers: Virginia

Other FBS Offers: Ball State, Bowling Green, Buffalo, Central Michigan, Cincinnati, Eastern Michigan, Kent State, Miami (Ohio), Toledo, Western Michigan

FCS Offers: Dartmouth, Eastern Kentucky, Fordham, Illinois State, Indiana State, Princeton, South Dakota, Western Illinois, Youngstown State

North Lincoln High School - Lincolnton, North Carolina - 6-3.5 197

247 Composite Ratings: 3 Stars (.8464)

Power 5 Offers: Virginia

Archbishop Spalding High School - Severn, Maryland - 6-1.5 297

247 Composite Rating: 3 Stars (.8633)

Power 5 Offers: Virginia, Boston College

Other FBS Offers: Temple

FCS Offers: Howard

Woodland High School - Dorchester, South Carolina - 6-6 215

247 Composite Rating: 3 Stars (.8519)

Power 5 Offers: Virginia, Georgia Tech, Oregon

Other FBS Offers: Appalachian State, Coastal Carolina, Liberty, Western Kentucky

Episcopal High School - Alexandria, Virginia - 6-2 193

247 Composite Rating: 3 Stars (.8776)

Power Five Offers: Virginia, Penn State, Boston College, Duke, Georgia Tech, Michigan, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Pitt, Purdue, Rutgers, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, Wisconsin

Other FBS Offers: East Carolina

Columbine High School - Littleton, Colorado - 6-8 310

247 Composite Rating: 4 Stars (.9708)

Power 5 Offers: Virginia, Michigan, Notre Dame, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Auburn, Cal, Colorado, Florida, Kansas, Kansas State, LSU, Miami, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Oregon, Penn State, Stanford, Tennessee, Texas A&M, UCLS, USC, Utah, Washington State, Wisconsin

Other FBS Offers: BYU, Colorado State

Stranahan High School - Fort Lauderdale, Florida - 6-0 165

247 Composite Rating: 3 Stars (.8451)

Power 5 Offers: Virginia, Boston College, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Rutgers, Syracuse, Utah

Other FBS Offers: Buffalo, Eastern Michigan, Florida International, Florida Atlantic, Marshall, Northern Illinois, Toledo, Tulane, South Florida, Western Kentucky

FCS Offers: Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth

247 Composite Rating: 4 Stars (.8926)

Power 5 Offers: Virginia, Baylor, Utah, Arizona, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Tennessee

Other FBS Offers: SMU, Tulane

FCS Offers: Southeastern Louisiana

Helen Cox High School - Harvey, Louisiana - 6-2 180

247 Composite Rating: 3 Stars (.8647)

Power 5 Offers: Virginia, Arizona, Arkansas, Arizona State, Baylor, Colorado, Georgia Tech, Indiana, Kansas, Miami, Oklahoma, Rutgers, Texas Tech, Utah, West Virginia

Other FBS Offers: Florida International, Houston, Liberty, Louisiana, Louisiana Tech, Louisiana-Monroe, Memphis, SMU, South Alabama, Southern Miss, Tulane, UNLV, Utah State, UTSA

FCS Offers: Southeastern Louisiana, Southern

Gonzaga College High School - Washington, DC - 6-3 324

247 Composite Rating: 3 Stars (.8484)

Power 5 Offers: Virginia, Rutgers, West Virginia

Other FBS Offers: Cincinnati, East Carolina, Massachusetts, Old Dominion

FCS Offers: Howard

Woodland Hills Senior High School - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - 6-5 230

247 Composite Rating: 3 Stars (.8506)

Power 5 Offers: Virginia, Iowa State, Minnesota, Pitt, Indiana, Maryland, Syracuse, Vanderbilt, West Virginia

Other FBS Offers: Akron, Ball State, Bowling Green, Buffalo, Central Michigan, East Carolina, Kent State, Liberty, Marshall, Massachusetts, Ohio, Temple, Toledo, Western Michigan

FCS Offers: Howard, William & Mary, Yale

Isidore Newman School - New Orleans, Louisiana - 6-3 220

247 Composite Rating: 4 Stars (.8928)

Power 5 Offers: Virginia, Arkansas, Boston College, Colorado, Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Miami, Oklahoma State, Purdue, Tennessee, Texas A&M

Other FBS Offers: Houston, SMU, Southern Miss, Tulane

FCS Offers: Southern

The 2020 Roster and Remaining Recruiting Needs

Now let's pivot and look at how it fits with the roster as a whole. Important to note that the roster is a living document and there will probably be additional attrition over the winter and spring as some players transfer or suffer injury concerns, so understand that this is purely a snapshot. What this will allow us to do, however, is "best guess" what priorities the staff will have over the course of January and beyond in recruiting the final pieces for next year's rosters. Class-of-2020 high schoolers will have an opportunity to sign a Letter of Intent again in early February, and incoming transfers can sign a grant-in-aid at any time.

We'll take it position group by position group with scholarship counts in parentheses, identifying any remaining needs.



Losses (1): Bryce Perkins (graduation)

Returning (3): Lindell Stone (RS Jr), Brennan Armstrong (RS So), Robert Harvey Jr (RS Fr)

Incoming (1): Ira Armstead (Fr)

Remaining Need: The staff will quite likely be looking for an immediate-eligible transfer (4th year graduate or junior college) this winter who can come in and compete with Armstrong and add some depth to the position. Stone is more of a headset-wearing assistant to coach Beck, and both Harvey and Armstead (who's looking like a January enrollee) probably need at least a year before you'd be comfortable with either as the QB2. As such, a transfer makes a lot of sense.


Running Back:

Losses (1): Chris Sharp (graduation)

Returning (6): PK Kier (Sr), Jamari Peacock (Sr), Lamont Atkins (Sr), Wayne Tualapapa (Jr), Mike Hollins (So), Seneca Milledge (RS Fr)

Incoming (0): None

Remaining Need: The staff made the decision not to go hard after a running back this cycle due to small class size and plenty of returning talent for next year. They'll hit the position hard in the 2021 cycle, probably taking two. With that said, should numbers work out, look out for the possibility they take a traditional sit-out transfer this winter or spring, someone who'll redshirt 2020 then come eligible, ready to contribute once the big rising senior class graduates in 2021.


Wide Receiver:

Losses (5): Hasise Dubois (graduation), Joe Reed (graduation), Terrell Chatman (graduation), Jacobi Brissett (graduation), Nathanael Beal (transfer)

Returning (7): Terrell Jana (Sr), Tavares Kelly (Jr), Billy Kemp (Jr), Ugo Obasi (RS So), Dontayvian Wicks (So), Dorien Goddard (RS Fr), Luke Wentz (RS Fr)

Incoming (2): Theo Howard (RS Sr), Lavel Davis (Fr)

Remaining Need: This is a really thin group. We project just 9 receivers next year, and that's including Tavares Kelly whose standing is in question with his current team suspension. We went into this past season with 13 (which includes DJ Pratt who switched midseason to cornerback), and had 12 the season before it. The staff went hard after a number of high school wideouts late in the cycle but missed on them all. It was the lone position group Bronco singled out in his signing day presser that was still a major need. They likely would love to add two more, but we'll see if that's in the cards. More transfers may be an option.


Tight End:

Losses (1): Tanner Cowley (graduation)

Returning (1): Christian Baumgardner (RS Sr) (PWO), Grant Misch (RS So)

Incoming (1): Joshua Rawlings (Fr)

Remaining Need: None. Rawlings' (who's expected to enroll this winter and will have a jump on readiness as a true freshman) signing is the only TE we'll take this year, and the spot won't be addressed until maybe the 2021 class.


Offensive Line:

Losses (0): None

Returning (17): Dillon Reinkensmeyer (RS Sr), Alex Gellerstedt (RS Sr), Chris Glaser (Sr), Vic Oluwatimi (RS Jr), Tyler Fannin (RS Jr), Gerrik Vollmer (RS Jr), Ryan Swoboda (RS Jr), Ryan Nelson (RS Jr), Tommy Christ (RS Jr), Bobby Haskins (Jr), Martin Weisz (RS So), Joseph Bissinger (RS So), Derek Devine (RS So), Ja'Quay Hubbard (RS Fr), Kariem Al-Soufi (RS Fr), Jonathan Leech (RS Fr), Zachary Teter (RS Fr)

Incoming (1): Jestus Johnson (Fr)

Remaining Need: Bonus Best Available. We've got 18 guys projected next year, most of whom are upperclassmen. It's the deepest and most experienced line Bronco's ever had at UVA. Really what we're doing from a succession standpoint right now is looking at 2022 when all our currently rising juniors graduate. The staff obviously wants an OT, hence the one-time commitment of OT Jimmy Christ and the current pursuit of 4-star OT James Pogorelc. That's really about having those guys ready to be starters when they're redshirt sophomores and we have most of our starting O-Line to replace.


Defensive Line:

Losses (2): Eli Hanback (graduation), Richard Burney (graduation*)

Returning (7): Mandy Alonso (Sr), Isaac Buell (RS Jr), Aaron Faumui (Jr), Jordan Redmond (RS So), Samson Reed (RS So), Jowon Briggs (So), Ben Smiley (RS Fr)

Incoming (3): Jahmeer Carter (Fr), Lorenz Terry (Fr), Olasunkonmi "Su" Agunloye (Fr)

Remaining Need: None. There's likely a 2-deep already in place, and Carter could possibly figure into the 2nd line. There's not a ton of immediate need, though certainly as Beull and Reed have yet to earn numbers, there's opportunity for the right D-Linemen to compete. Virginia is still pursuing one "too good to pass up" option right now in unsigned South Carolina pledge Alex Huntley, but I doubt they ultimately feel they have the room to take him barring unexpected attrition.

*Further complicating the numbers game, there's a chance Richard Burney may qualify for a 6th year due to medical hardship, though that won't be known for a little while.   



Losses (1): Jordan Mack (graduation)

Returning (12): Robert Snyder (RS Sr), Charles Snowden (Sr), Elliot Brown (Sr), Zane Zandier (Sr), Matt Gahm (Sr), Noah Taylor (Jr), TC Harrison (RS So), Nick Jackson (So), Jairus Satiu (So), Hunter Stewart (RS Fr), Josh Ahern (RS Fr), D'Sean Perry (RS Fr)

Incoming (3): Brandon Williams (Fr), Sam Brady (Fr), Jonathan Horton (Fr)

Remaining Need: None. This position group is positively stacked. Williams, Brady, and Horton are an incredible haul that pair well with good youngsters already in class, and we'll be ready to rock and roll in 2021 when the 5-man rising senior class graduates. Next linebacker we take will be in 2021. 


Defensive Backs:

Losses (3): Bryce Hall (graduation), Myles Robinson (transfer), Germane Crowell (medical)

Returning (15): Brenton Nelson (RS Sr), Joey Blount (Sr), Chris Moore (RS Sr), Nick Grant (RS Sr), De'Vante Cross (RS Sr), Heskin Smith (RS Jr), Darius Bratton (RS Jr), DJ Pratt (RS Jr), Joseph White (RS So), Jaylon Baker (RS So), Antonio Clary (So), Tenyeh Dixon (So), Chayce Chalmers (RS Fr), Major Williams (RS Fr), Fentrell Cyprus (RS Fr)

Incoming (3): Donovan Johnson (Fr), Elijah Gaines (Fr), Dave Herard (Fr)

Remaining Need: None. We're projecting 18 guys at DB for next year which is a very high number, even in the current perma-nickel environment (i.e. - playing 5 DBs constantly to counter spread passing attacks) and understanding that DBs make excellent special teams options. Barring unexpected attrition from the returners, this group looks adequately stocked, maybe even enough to weather additional attrition this spring (like maybe Pratt moves back to WR).



Losses (0): None

Returning (3): K Brian Delaney (Sr), P Nash Griffin (RS Sr), K Hunter Pearson (RS So), LS Enzo Anthony (PWO) (So), LS Lee Dudley (PWO) (RS So), P/K Justin Duenkel (PWO) (RS Fr), P Brendan Farrell (PWO) (RS Fr)

Incoming (0): None

Remaining Need: Not giving out any scholarships here, but we may see a preferred walk-on arrive to add depth and compete for 2021 when Delaney and Griffin both graduate.


PositionScholly CountLossesSrJrSoRS FrTrue Fr
Quarterback4Bryce Perkins (grad) Lindell Stone(r)Brennan ArmstrongRobert Harvey, Jr.Ira Armstead
Running Back6Chris Sharp (grad)Jamari Peacock
PK Kier
Lamont Atkins
Wayne TualapapaMike HollinsSeneca Milledge (r) 
Wide Receiver9Hasise Dubois (grad)
Joe Reed (grad)
Terrell Chatman (grad)
Dejon Brissett (grad)
Nathanael Beal (transfer)
Terrell Jana
*Theo Howard

Chuck Davis (PWO)
Tavares Kelly
Billy Kemp
Ugo Obasi(r)
Dontayvion Wicks
Dorien Goddard(r)
Luke Wentz(r)
Lavel Davis
Tight End2Tanner Cowley (grad)Christian Baumgardner(r) (PWO) Grant Misch(r) Joshua Rawlings
Offensive Line18 Dillon Reinkensmeyer(r)
Chris Glaser
*Alex Gellerstedt (r)

Ben Trent(r) (PWO)
Tyler Fannin (r)
Gerrik Vollmer (r)
Ryan Swoboda(r)
Ryan Nelson(r)
Bobby Haskins
*Victor Oluwatimi(r)
<>Tommy Christ(r)
Martin Weisz(r)
Joseph Bissinger(r)
Derek Devine(r)
Ja'quay Hubbard(r)
Kariem Al-Soufi(r)
Jonathan Leech(r)
Zachary Teter(r)

Charlie Boxley(r) (PWO)
Jestus Johnson
Defensive Line10Eli Hanback (grad)
Richard Burney (grad)
Mandy AlonsoIsaac Buell(r)
Aaron Faumui
Jowon Briggs
Jordan Redmond(r)
Samson Reed(r)
Ben Smiley(r)Jahmeer Carter
Lorenz Terry
Olasunkonmi "Su" Agunloye
Linebacker15Jordan Mack (grad)Charles Snowden
Zane Zandier
Elliot Brown
Matt Gahm
Robert Snyder(r)
Noah TaylorNick Jackson
TC Harrison(r)
Jairus Saitu
Hunter Stewart(r)
Josh Ahern(r)
D'Sean Perry(r)
Brandon Williams
Sam Brady
Jonathan Horton
Defensive Back18Bryce Hall (grad)
Myles Robinson (transfer)
Germane Crowell (medical)
Brenton Nelson (r)
Joey Blount
Chris Moore (r)
Nick Grant (r)
De'Vante Cross (r)
<> Darnell Pratt(r)
Shawn Smith(r)
Darious Bratton (r)
Joseph White(r)
Jaylon Baker(r)
Antonio Clary
Tenyeh Dixon
Chayce Chalmers(r)
Major Williams(r)
Fentrell Cyprus(r)
Donovan Johnson
Dave Herard
Elijah Gaines
Special Teams3 PK AJ Meija (PWO)
PK Brian Delaney
P Nash Griffin (r)
 PK Hunter Pearson
LS Enzo Anthony (PWO)
LS Lee Dudley (PWO) (r)
PK Justin Duenkel (PWO)
P Brendan Farrell (PWO)
 Key: * Transferred In(r) Redshirted<> Position Change(PWO) Preferred Walk On 



The scholarship count right now sits at 85, counting Theo Howard but not yet accounting for a potential Burney 6th year. By the time guys enroll next summer, that number can't exceed 85 by NCAA mandate. We'll likely see a few more names leave the program between now and May, and while we don't know any specific names, it'll probably be another 4 or 5, just by historical average. You like to keep a couple around to reward standout walk-ons, either because they've played their way onto the 2-deep like Nash Griffin and Vic Oluwatimi, or because they've become a program leader like Reed Kellam. That means maybe there's 4 more to play with either this winter or in the spring transfer cycle.

Two (#1 & #2) have to be set aside for wide receiver targets. It's our thinnest position group by a noticeable margin, and the one position group Bronco Mendenhall specifically called out in his press conference Wednesday. The staff will be scouring the country for good options here over the course of January. After the season we just had where we spread the ball around, we will hopefully be an enticing option, especially with likely early PT to sell. Another (#3) is likely held for Pogorelc or maybe another high-upside O-Lineman.

After that, I think we look at (#4) a JUCO or grad transfer QB to bridge until Harvey and Armstead are ready to be QB2s behind Armstrong and (#5) if there's room, a traditional transfer RB to be ready when the three rising seniors graduate. If any other positions are targeted, it's only because that player was of the "simply too good to pass up" variety.

Really the running back situation can wait until spring to help the numbers shake out; you don't care if they're around for spring ball really since they've got all next year redshirting to get up to speed. The rest, though, the staff would love to get locked up for February. The QB, especially, would be advantageous to get in the next couple of weeks if he'll be able to enroll for January and go through spring practices.

Long story short, expect recruiting to finish the 2020 class to continue with focuses on finding new wide receiver targets and a transfer QB, while the staff continues to see ongoing recruitments of 4-star trench players (OL and maybe DL) through. The numbers will be tight down the stretch, but overall this class is just a couple select pieces away from being complete and great given its limited size.



This article contains the tags:

2019, Football, Recruiting, Early Signing Day