February 3, 2016

NSD '16: #HoosRising

This morning, #HoosRising was trending fourth on Twitter.

National Signing Day (NSD) is an exciting day.  Like David said, it's like Christmas morning for the college football fan.

But before we start digging into the recruits...  You'll never hear me say anything nice about Mike London after this moment, but he deserves some kudos for building a bulk of this class as a lame duck head coach in 2015.  He did a really good job putting together a way-better-than-it-ever-shoulda-been recruiting class on his way out the door.  If Bronco does what Bronco does, and spins hay into gold, I think we'll all be looking back at this 2016 class pretty fondly in a few years.  You have to give London and the old staff some credit - this recruiting class ain't bad!  Thanks guys!

Anyway, on to the recruits.  (And a special word of thanks to David for pitching in at the last second as johnny on the spot.  Thanks bro!)


Sonny Abramson -- 6-2, 208, Chester Rivals NJ

3☆ Rivals / 3☆ 247 (.8494 rating)
A typical pro style cube with a strong arm and good instincts.  Might have been undercut by the late commitment of De'Vante Cross.  Abramson did yeoman's work in "recruiting the recruits" after the coaching change, displaying his leadership ability and team-first mentality.

De'Vante Cross -- 6-2, 180, Allentown PA
2☆ Rivals 3☆ 247 (.8048 rating)
Good vision and an elusive runner.  Very underrated recruit.  More of a runner than a thrower at this point; will need to be developed.  Perfect fit for the read option / zone read spread-to-run offense Mendenhall and Anae would like to install at Virginia.


Tre Harbison -- 5-10, 218, Shelby NC

3 Rivals 3☆ 247 (.8650 rating)
Good vision and instincts.  Bellcow type, do-everything back.  Many feel as if Harbison is the star of Virginia's 2016 recruiting class.

Wayne Taulapapa -- 5-11, 200, Honolulu HI
2 Rivals 3☆ 247 (.8115 rating)
Good speed and an explosive first step.  Runs hard.  Runs tough.  Considered a BYU-style 'grinder' ala Harvey Unga.  Underrated due to early commitment to BYU and a general lack of exposure.  Projects as an every-down type of workhorse at the college level.


Cole Blackman -- 6-1, 193, Glen Allen VA

3 Rivals / 3☆ 247 (.8529 rating)
Good hands and takes good angles.  Many rave about his natural receiving ability and catch radius.  Might be a darkhorse type of recruit, cut in the Danny Coale mold.  I expect to see him in the slot / inside receivers group come fall.

Hasise Dubois -- 6-3, 195, Irvington NJ
3 Rivals / 3☆ 247 (.8550 rating)
He has very good size and is elusive in the open field.  Explosive.  Not necessarily a speed guy, but has enough of a 'next gear' that he projects to outside receiver in UVA's new scheme.  I feel like Dubois is similar to Canaan Severin in terms of upside.

Aidan Howard -- 6-4, 180, Monroeville PA
3 Rivals / 3☆ 247 (.8357 rating)
He has great size and has a big catching radius.  Tall, rangy.  Will definitely need to bulk up.  Projects as an inside receiver / slot receiver in Virginia's new offensive system.

Joe Reed -- 6-1, 198, Charlotte Court House VA
3 Rivals / 3☆ 247 (.8575 rating)
Another enticing size/speed combo WR for the 2016 recruiting class.  Reed was UVA's first commit in the 2016 cycle, and might be one of the best players.  More of a multipurpose weapon than the other three receivers in this class; expect Reed to initially slot with the outside receivers at Virginia.


Christian Baumgardner -- 6-4, 230, Longport NJ

2☆  Rivals / 3☆ 247 (.8073 rating)
He has good hands but is also very physical blocker.  Not sure to what extent the tight end position is marginalized in Anae's scheme, but Baumgardner's multi-faceted skillset should hold value however he is eventually deployed.


Ben Knutson -- 6-8, 280, Granger IN

3 Rivals / 3☆ 247 (.8401 rating)
Good size and a physical blocker.  Still needs to add about 20-30 pounds to his frame, but has the athleticism to play tackle.

Dillon Reinkensmeyer -- 6-5, 255, Highlands Ranch CO
2 Rivals 3☆ 247 (.8195 rating)
Naturally athletic and is a physical blocker.  The new staff loves this guy as a diamond in the rough who happens to be a perfect fit in a spread-to-run scheme.

Kendall's thoughts on the o-line,, in general...
I like these two guys, but this group is about three recruits shy of what we really needed to land in this class.  We're dangerously thin on the OL.  Expect o-line recruiting to be a major focus for Bronco in the 2017 cycle, and look for more than a few recruited walk-ons and maybe some senior transfers along the line.


Trysten Hill -- 6-2, 308, Live Oak FL
2☆ Rivals / 3☆ 247 (.7998 rating)
NSD drama!  As of this writing, he still hadn't decided... but it was down to between Virginia and [hometown] UCF.  I'm listing him here as wishful thinking, because the scary alternative is a big fat goose egg on interior d-line talent --- a major, MAJOR position of need in the 2016 class.  Meanwhile, Hill is a big kid with a bright future at nose tackle in a collegiate 3-man front, like Bronco will be using at UVA.  Let's hope we land him!  (4:15 PM update: We got him!  GO HOOS!)


Christian Brooks -- 6-5, 240, Centreville VA

2 Rivals / 3☆ 247 (.8114 rating)
Good size and takes good angles.  He's a pure, prototypical defensive end.  He'll need to add size and strength to play end in the 3-man front, but he's got really good natural pass rush talent.

Osiris Crutchfield -- 6-3, 227, Crozet VA
2 Rivals / 3☆ 247 (.7989 rating)
Good instincts and good pass rush ability.  Local recruit Osiris Crutchfield is raw, but the raw tools are off the charts.  If he develops, he could be a good one... but he's still at least two years away.  He might also end up at outside linebacker.


Juwan Moye -- 6-3, 235, Lilburn GA

3 Rivals 3☆ 247 (.8392 rating)
Good pass rusher.  To me, he's a Max Valles type, pass rush specialist.

Matt Terrell -- 6-4, 227, Lynchburg VA
2 Rivals / 3☆ 247 (.8017 rating)
Has good speed and instincts.  He'll need to make a dent through sheer work ethic and want-to.  Kinda like the Rudy of this year's recruiting class.


Robert Snyder -- 6-3, 225, Lawrenceville GA

3 Rivals / 3☆ 247 (.8150 rating)
Good size and instincts.  Good tackler.  A blue collar type of worker at the linebacker position.

Landan Word -- 6-3, 245, Vienna VA
2 Rivals / 3☆ 247 (.8306 rating)
Good tackler and instincts.  UVA legacy recruit.  I think his upside is way higher than the recruiting services portrayed.  I really like the fit with Bronco's scheme.


Bryce Hall -- 6-2, 195, Harrisburg PA

2 Rivals / 2☆ 247 (.7908 rating)
Good size and takes good angles.  The most lightly-regarded recruit in the class.  His path to playing time might be exclusively on special teams... but defensive backs are often very difficult to project.

Jordan Mack -- 6-3, 205, Lithonia GA
3 Rivals / 3☆ 247 (.8537 rating)
Good speed and a big hitter.  MACK TRUCK!  Folks rave about his physical style of play.  Could be a candidate to fill a safety/linebacker hybrid role at UVA.


Deedrick Daniels -- 6-0, 168, Tampa FL

2 Rivals / 3☆ 247 (.8219 rating)
Good speed and hands.  A playmaker.  A ballhawk.  Gurus think he's the steal of this recruiting class, one of those Florida recruits who is overlooked -- it happens every year, due to the flood of talent in that state.  I watch his highlights and see a starting cornerback and a shutdown type of guy at the ACC level.  I'm bullish on this kid.

Nick Grant -- 6-1, 170, Spotsylvania VA
3 Rivals / 3☆ 247 (.8200 rating)
Good instincts and hands.  Could slot at safety.  A talented kid who should see the field after some time spent developing.  I like his upside.

Chris Moore -- 6-2, 181, Ashburn VA
2 Rivals / 3☆ 247 (.8044 rating)
Good speed and instincts.  To me, he looks like a nickel specialist or a slot coverage ace, which is always useful in today's era of spread offenses.


Holland Corbett -- 6-0, 173, Charlottesville VA (FUMA), 3
 Rivals  He has a strong leg and is accurate.  I love the potential of Ian Frye handing the baton off to a kid who could be a four-year starter.


  1. Thanks guys. Always an exciting day.

  2. What do you see that makes you so low on Bryce Hall this early?

    1. I'm not low on him, just reporting the information I've gathered. He's unanimously a 2☆ recruit across all recruiting services. My guess is that he lacks speed for coverage and lacks size/strength for safety or linebacker. He's kind of positionless at the college level. But guys like this - EXACTLY like this - are the ones who often end up being the very best special teamers. That's not a bad thing! If you're using one of your 85 scholarships, you want the player to have a role.

  3. I am optimistic about the upcoming season, and I hope that CBM can work some coaching magic on these players. I did see a ranking that has us at #12 in the ACC, only one spot above Wake Forest. Sigh... And the OL situation that you touched on is frightful. In hindsight, this may be a good thing since we may be adjusting our OL recruiting slightly anyway. As always, thanks for the help with the football analysis.