February 6, 2013
Meet the Recruit: Connor Wingo-Reeves
All you really need to know about Connor Wingo-Reeves is what 247's UVA recruiting guru Jamie Oakes said about him today: "I see Wingo-Reeves as the steal of this class because of the value he brings at a position of need." BOOM. The value? Prototypical fullback size (220 pounds and still adding beef) with functional fullback speed (4.75 in the 40) and a fullback-style sense of aggression. (Said Wingo Reeves: "I play with a lot of passion and I'm a very physical football player. I think I use my hands well and read things well in coverage and study the game. And I just like hitting people.") The need? The fullback position, where all we've had so far during the Mike London era is an ensemble cast of retreads and misfits. We got CWR to flip from an earlier commitment to Temple, and we traded off the services of 3-star cornerback Hipolito Corporan in order to land Wingo-Reeves. (Corporan's scholarship was stripped away when he chose to visit Utah, in order to create space for CWR's commitment in this class.) Wingo-Reeves was recruited to play linebacker and/or fullback -- I believe his offer from Navy was to play fullback in that throwback wishbone triple-option offense. Personally, I'm just glad we can end the trend of moving jumbo-type athletes who fail at their first position to the fullback position here at UVA. Max Milien (RB), LoVante' Battle (S), Terence Fells-Danzer (LB), Ryan Cobb (LB), and now Zach Swanson (TE) and Vincent Croce (DT) all started out at different positions at UVA, then segued to fullback mid-career. While Wingo-Reeves also played linebacker and tight end in high school, he's coming to Virginia to play fullback, to focus on developing as a fullback. He's a fullback, all the way. He's just a 2-star recruit (according to both 247 and Rivals), and he's the lowest-rated recruit in our 2013 class... but I agree with Jamie in that CWR is the coup of the class. I look forward to seeing him split blocks and blow open holes as a featured component of a Tom O'Brien-style power running game in that not-too-distant future.
UVA Projection: I'm going to be bold with this one. Croce is a full-time fullback since he can't keep the weight he needs in order to play defensive tackle, so with him and now CWR and a few priority walk-ons at fullback, Zach Swanson (who was always too tall to play fullback position, anyway) is free to move back to tight end, where the numbers are perilously thin. Wingo-Reeves could redshirt this season, but with Swanson out of the way, I see CWR as a four-year starter at fullback and as a core special teams player.
CWR's commitment to this class could essentially improve two positions, including ending a bad revolving door situation at FB. All in all, pretty good for a lowly 2-star recruit.