February 5, 2013
Meet the Recruit: Andre Levrone
One of the things Mike London has done since he was named Virginia's head coach is recruit wide receivers, and lots of 'em. E.J. Scott, Miles Gooch, Darius Jennings, Dominique Terrell, Adrian Gamble, Canaan Severin, Mario Nixon, Kyle Dockins, and Jamall Brown in the 2010-12 classes, and Zack Jones, Keeon Johnson, and Andre Levrone in 2013 adds up to a pretty nice stockpiled hoard of receivers. Levrone is a nice prospect as a possession-type receiver with good-enough (4.57) speed, fairly good (albeit streaky) hands, and nice size (6-2, 193). His best asset is probably his strength and physical nature at the receiver position -- a fairly unique thing to see. He struggles with "slumps" catching the ball, like he sometimes gets a case of the dropsies for no good reason. His prep career suffered through injury-related fits and starts, along with being overshadowed by Stefon Diggs and Kendall Fuller at Good Counsel. Luckily, he showed enough on the camp circuit to draw scholarship offers from Auburn, Mississippi State, and USC. Still, Levrone flew a bit below the national radar, and enters the Virginia program as a bit of a darkhorse-type recruit. Fine by me, as he clearly has BCS conference talent, and could be a steal for the Hoos. Expectations should be relatively low (I'd say there's a pretty good chance he ends up being "just a guy" due to his lack of top-end speed and inconsistent hands), but it's okay to allow hopes to soar with this kid -- the frame and the strength could add up to a special possession receiver at some point down the line.
UVA Projection: Levrone needs to stay healthy, develop some downfield blocking chops, and learn to run good routes and catch the ball consistently at the college level (otherwise known as natural development for an ACC-caliber flanker). If he does those things, he could end up being one of the late-blooming gems of this recruiting class. No doubt he'll have a chance to muddle through the crowded depth chart at receiver and find some playing time once Jennings and Terrell exhaust their eligibility after the 2014 season. He's not an instant impact player, and I expect to see him redshirt in 2013 and struggle to crack the rotation in 2014. But as an upperclassman, he could break out. I see Michael McGrew / Kris Burd upside here. Hopefully he embraces special teams work as a younger player, as that could be his quickest path to serious playing time.