Late Signing Day Recap

Posted on February 6, 2020 in The Team by Karl Hess.

What was once simply National Signing Day for football programs has become the Late Signing Day. Most programs sign the majority of their recruits in the new Early Signing Day in December. UVA is no different in that regard. But there remained work to be done for the Hoos. As a result, UVA signed two new players to their 2020 class on February 5.

After the new additions, the Hoos have signed 15 new players in the recruiting class. 

Just like our Early Signing Day Recap, I'll profile the new additions. St Lou Hoo will then review the roster makeup, update the recruiting landscape, and cover any remaining class needs.

The Recruits

Nusi Malani - Defensive Line

Junipero Serra High School - San Bruno, California - 6-6 250

247 Composite Rating: 3 Stars (.8444)

Power Five Offers: Virginia, Arizona, Nebraska, Washington State, Arizona State, Colorado

Other FBS Offers: Boise State, BYU, Colorado State, Hawaii, Utah State

East Nashville Magnet School - Nashville, Tennessee - 6-0 170

247 Composite Rating: 3 Stars (.8114)

Power Five Offers: Virginia

Other FBS Offers: Liberty, Miami (Ohio), Toledo, Western Michigan

FCS Offers: Alabama A&M, Austin Peay, East Tennessee State, Southeast Missouri State, Tennessee State, Tennessee Tech, William & Mary

Maybe I should put "final" in quotes, since spring transfer activities count as recruiting to some. But as far as signing 2020 high school graduates, I like this class. On the defensive side, I like it a lot, nine players who balance great across the position groups and have plenty of buzz. Even better because due to returning depth, most if not all will have time to develop before being pushed into action. I give the staff a solid A on defense recruiting this cycle. Offense is a little harder to evaluate, as it's a much smaller group, 1 QB, 2 WRs, 1 TE, 1 OC. The players we got all seem like good fits for what we want to do. I think Davis, Starling, and Rawlings will be up to speed by their 2nd years, and Johnson won't be needed until 2022 after Vic Oluwatimi graduates, so he'll have two years to develop. Armstead probably needs at least two years as well, so he's essentially in the mix once Brennan Armstrong graduates in 2023 but it still leaves us in a precarious position backing up Brennan for the next two seasons. The class could've used a good RB given the losses of Kier and Atkins, and really just for long term class-spacing since both Tualapapa and Hollins played as true freshmen. And at OL, it admittedly stings to see both Pogorelc and Christ head out of state, both are missed opportunities for the staff to upgrade the talent level on the edge. To me, offensive recruiting gets a C+ grade due to the lack of a good RB and OT in this class and Armstead's projected long term development timeline. The offensive grade can get a bump if RB and QB transfers provide a quality bridge for the 2020/21 classes to get up to speed at those positions.

This was always going to be a small class with so few graduations. Right now it includes just 14 incoming freshmen plus whatever transfers we see this spring, far fewer than the usual 23-25 newcomers we see most years. I would've liked to see a little more success on the offensive side, but on the whole it's a good class with some good talent, and 247's average recruit rating for this class is right on par with last year's (once you factor out Gentry and Terry), which ranks in the middle of the ACC and Coastal. Remembering we're always going to come in behind the ACC's recruiting trinity of Clemson, FSU, and Miami, we essentially just want to do well compared to the other 10 rivals, taking into account the academic and character restrictions UVA has that rivals like VT and UNC don't. It continues a slow, steady build that hopefully will continue into a big 2021 class (18 projected seniors due to graduate plus additional 4th years unlikely to get invited back for their 5th), recalling that for the rising HS seniors UVA has been a bowl team for three straight years and are now confident that Bronco is a winning long term fixture in the ACC. 

The positive momentum is real.

This article contains the tags:

2020, Football, Recruiting, Late Signing Day