UVa Nabs Two Five-Star Recruits On Defense
By Zack Shelby
The University of Virginia bolstered its defense by landing two five-star recruits during college football's National Signing Day on Feb. 5. One of those recruits, Andrew Brown, a 6-foot-3, 298-pound defensive tackle from Chesapeake, Va., fills what was considered by 24/7 Sports as the team's biggest need. Brown was considered the Wahoos' top target by 24/7.
UVa's other five-star recruit was Quin Blanding, a 6-foot-2, 206-pound defensive back from Virginia Beach, Va. According to CavsCorner.com, he is projected to be the school's safety of the future. In Brown, UVa gets the No. 32 overall player in the Rivals 100 and the No. 1 defensive tackle in the class. Brown, ranked No. 3 in the Virginia Postseason Top 35, adds size, talent and instant credibility to a defensive line that 24/7 called an "extremely small class." Mike Farrell, of Rivals.com said of Blanding, "He has incredible range, great instincts, and he hits like a linebacker and covers like a safety. He is a natural born leader, he will be a team captain at UVa sooner than later, and he's the kind of player that raises his game when needed, never quits, and always works hard."
In addition to Brown and Blanding, UVa snagged four-star recruit Jeffery Farrar, the first Californian to commit to Virginia in more than a decade when he chose the Wahoos in August. He announced his choice on ESPN.com and called coach Mike London during UVa's first fall practice to deliver the news. The 6-foot, 194-pound Farrar is listed as an "athlete" instead of an official position, although he's projected to end up at cornerback, according to an article by Justin Ferber on CavsCorner.com. The piece said that Farrar's film shows "a player with good feet and quickness, as well as above-average ball skills. He should be a natural fit in the secondary for Virginia's aggressive defense." Farrar had offers from many other Pac-12 schools, including Arizona, Arizona St., and California. Farrar's personal connections to UVa allowed the Wahoos an opportunity to further bolster its defense with another athlete.
On the offensive end, UVa landed three different four-star recruits, including Jamil Kamara. The 6-foot-1, 202 pounder from Virginia Beach, Va., gives the Cavaliers a much-needed playmaker who could contribute right away. Kamara had offers from Wisconsin, Pittsburgh, Clemson, Florida, Georgia Tech, Miami, Michigan State, Nebraska, North Carolina, N.C. State, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Virginia Tech, among others, according to CavsCorner.com. Kamara is described as a physical, sure-handed receiver and an immediate-impact playmaker.
Another one of UVa's four-star recruits is offensive lineman Steven Moss, a 6-foot-5, 273 pounder from Fredericksburg, Va. Moss is described by CavsCorner as an elite talent at the guard position who has also played tackle. At the time of his commitment, he was ranked as the 89th overall prospect in the nation. The other four-star recruit is quarterback Corwin Cutler, a 6-foot-4, 200-pounder from Chesapeake, Va. In addition to his ability and improved play during his final year in high school, Cutler is a pocket passer who could have a shot to play given UVa's quarterback struggles. He is also valued because of his personality and ties to other top recruits. He is friends and cousins with Brown, and friends with Blanding and Kamara as well. UVa hopes he will foster a "family" atmosphere at the university, according to CavsCorner.
Three-star recruit Chris Peace is described by CavsCorner as a talented, but raw pass rusher. Peace, a 6-foot-3, 220 pounder from Newport News, Va., is a basketball player turned football player. As a junior, he played receiver and safety, and was later converted to a defensive end. Peace signed an outside linebacker, but its considered clear from the film that he is loaded with potential.
UVa was projected to have a Top-40 2014 recruiting class. Rivals ranked them 38, 24/7 had them 31st and ESPN had them 23rd coming into National Signing Day and the Wahoos didn't seem to do anything to discredit those rankings. Coming off its worst season since 1981, UVa hopes this class will have the Wahoos pointing in the right direction in the seasons to come.