UVa Junior Day: Recruiting Notebook

Tim Settle

HooNation breaks down the big story lines from UVa's junior day all in one place.

With a lot of Junior Day reaction stories pumped out the last few days, it might have been hard to keep track. So here is your BIG junior day breakdown, including links to stories with extended interviews with the visitors.

This notebook includes both football and basketball prospects that were on Grounds on Saturday.


New Offers Given on Junior Day

  • 2015 Virginia Beach (Va.) OT Blake Camper, who was offered by the Cavaliers while on campus, enjoyed his time in Charlottesville.

    "It went great," said Camper. "I got a chance to talk to coach Wachenheim and coach London. We also watched practice. During practice coach London and coach Wachenheim offered me. I also got a chance to meet the players and the rest of the coaching staff. Then we went to the basketball game, which was great."

  • 2016 Washington (D.C.) 2016 Gonzaga LB Landan Word received his first offer from UVa on Saturday. His father is Barry Word, who earned the Atlantic Conference's Player of the Year. The sophomore standout knows the Wahoos well and was overjoyed when he received his offer.

    "I don't even know how to explain it, I was speechless. UVa is definitely my dream school," Word said. "I was so excited, I was so happy."

    Click here for Rachel Klein's complete story about Word's visit.

  • 2016 Woodberry Forest (Va) offensive lineman Clark Yarbrough received an offer from the Wahoos on his visit. The UVa legacy was "pumped" after the offer.

    "It means a lot to me, growing up a UVA fan. I never thought I would have an opportunity to play at that level but it's all coming together."

    Yarbrough's granddad and cousin, Zac Yarbrough played at Virginia. The 2016 prospect also has a Maryland offer.

    Yarbrough goes into more details about his "dream offer" here.

    2015 Visitors

  • Virginia continues to sit well with five-star Manassas (Va.) Stonewall Jackson, who made another visit to Charlottesville for junior day. Although this is not the first time he made it down, Settle says this visit was different.

    "Coach London and I talked," Settle said. "He told me that there is a family there for me, and that there's always a spot for me."

    "That visit really stood out," Settle said. "Just being there was a lot of fun"

    Settle talks more about his visit, Ricky DeBerry and future visits with Michael Clark here.

  • Four-star Woodbridge (Va.) Hylton offensive tackle Matthew Burrell is also a familiar face on Grounds. But this time he was able to see what it would be like in a practice situation.

    "The practice was a lot of fun," said the 6-foot-6, 285-pound Burrell. "There was a positive vibe from the players to the coaches. I enjoyed watching the offensive and defensive lineman compete against each other. They practiced very hard and were very passionate."

    Burrell discusses the visit with Michael Clark here.

  • Over the summer Washington (D.C.) Gonzaga three-star quarterback Nick Johns received an offer from offensive coordinator Steve Fairchild after Gonzaga participated in the 7-on-7 tournament.

    Johns enjoyed his return to Charlottesville. "When we got there, I went in to coach [Mike] London's office with my dad, and he gave us a really good speech, a really convincing speech about why I should go down there," Johns said. "[London] He said not only will I have a good shot at the NFL, but I will have a world-class degree too that will take me anywhere, and it's very unique to have a school like that that is such a good football school and is really good academically too."

    Johns discusses the visit and what's next with Rachel Klein

  • 2015 Roanoke (Va.) Northside defensive tackle Chance Hall also enjoyed his visit.

    "It was fun and the basketball game was good," Hall said. "My favorite parts were watching the basketball game and watching practice."

  • Lexington (Va.) Rockbridge offensive lineman Austin Clark made his return to Grounds on Saturday. Clark has made plenty of visits to see the Wahoos, however, this time he had the chance to sit in practice which was a big deal for him.

    "It definitely reassured me," he said about watching Coach Wachenheim during practice. "I really liked his coaching style, and getting to see him coach even more today reaffirmed me what I thought about him."

    "I've been there a few times now, it's cool getting to come back and seeing all the coaches again, and knowing everybody by name. When you go on some visits, you remember some coaches more than others, but every time I go to UVa, I just remember everyone.

    Click here the complete story about Clark's visit and recruitment.

  • Atlanta (GA) Marist offensive tackle Sage Hardin was all smiles during junior day, and Hardin told HooNation that the UVa visit will be "hard to beat"

    "My dad and I had an unbelievable time," said the three-star 2015 prospect. "The thing that I liked the most was the film sessions, when we got to be with the team and with our specific positions. I got to see offensive line coach (Scott) Wachenheim coach, and see what they are all about."

    Hardin goes into detail about why the Virginia visit stood out here

  • Coatesville (Pa.) three-star tight end Amir Ealey visited on Saturday and he told Scout.com's Greg Pickel, Virginia is an early leader.

    "It was a really good experience," Ealey said. "They've been showing me a lot of love, and [the Virginia men's basketball team] beat Syracuse, and that was a good time getting to rush the court and spend time with [Virginia offensive coordinator Steve] Fairchild. "Coach Fairchild seemed like a really good coach, and he seems like he wants the best for me. He's recruiting me really heavy. They are a great school academically, and they told me I have a great chance of playing right away."

    Click here for Greg Pickel's complete story about Ealey's visit.

  • New Canaan (Conn.) High linebacker Zach Allen made his first trip to Charlottesville for junior day, but he is already planning his return visit.

    "It was great," Allen said. "Everything was beautiful about it and the facilities are amazing, and also the coaching staff …they're all great. I went down with my aunt this time, and I really want to bring down my parents and show them it later in the spring."

    Brian Dohn goes in-depth with Allen about his visit and recruitment here.

  • Plymouth Meeting (Pa.) Plymouth Whitemarsh junior offensive tackle Ryan Bischoff received an offer from the Cavaliers a day before his visit to UVa for junior day.

    "It was good," Bischoff wrote in a message to Scout.com. "UVa is very professional and well organized in practice. [Head] Coach [Mike] London can really give one heck of an impression. I really liked everything that went on.

    "The campus is great. It's a great academic school, and I am really starting to build a good communication with the coaches."

    Click here for Greg Pickel's story with Bischoff discussing his visit in more details and about his UVa offer.

  • Stafford (Va.) Colonial Forge athlete Gary Jennings enjoyed his visit "a lot".

    "I got to meet a lot of the coaches in person and just talk. And to top it all off there was a great game at the end," he wrote. "I talked to coach Fairchild and coach London. They both seemed like very down to earth people..seemed very sincere."

    Jennings plans to visit ODU and North Carolina as well.

  • Clifton (Va.) Centreville offensive tackle Justin Skule texted he had a "great time," straight after leaving Grounds on Saturday. It was all about the coaching staff for him.

    "Being able to see how practice was run and how coach (Scott) Wachenheim coaches, and also being in the atmosphere of the basketball game. It was everything I expected."

  • Justin's teammate Clifton (Va.) Centreville running back A.J. Turner called his visit "shocking" in a good way.

    "I didn't think that it would be that good," the running back explained. " I didn't really know much about the school, that's really why I went. I was very impressed and surprised at what they had to offer.

    "I was thinking it was going to be this normal visit, where I was going to talk to the coaches and then get a bite to eat and then go to basketball game. It was just really different. And now I am really considering UVa. They were almost at the bottom of the list, but now they definitely moved up the charts.

    More on Turner's eye-opening visit to UVa here.

  • It was not too long ago Nokesville (Va.) Kettle Run wide receiver David Eldridge received his offer from Virginia, but this visit helped the Cavaliers sit well with the 2015 recruit.

    "It was good! Had an amazing time and great experience," he said. "The interaction between the team and the coaches. They were having fun with each other but still getting the job done and practicing hard." Eldridge recaps UVa visit here.

  • Not stranger to UVa, Virginia Beach (Va.) Ocean Lakes LB Jahvoni Simmons had a "great day" on Grounds.

    "I got a chacne to actually feel how it is during practice," he wrote after his visit. He also stated that Coach Tenuta's style of coaching is like his own defensive coach so he likes it.

  • Hopewell (Va.) defensive end Darrell Taylor said he liked talking to Coach London, who gave him and his father some one-on-one time during the visit.

    "He seemed like he cared a lot me as a player, as a student andas a person. I really like the school. I am just keeping my options open."

    He also mentioned that he likes getting to know Coach (Jappy) Oliver, and says he likes that Oliver is a tough coach on the practice field.

    2016 Visitors

  • 2016 Virginia Beach (Va.) Ocean Lakes cornerback Levonta Taylor enjoyed his visit to UVa, focusing on the intensity of the practice.

    "(The practice was) pretty intense for their first practice, but you should expect that from the season they had last year (setting goals)," he texted.

    He also had a chance to talk with the coaches.

    "Mike London and Chip West, they both were saying I can change the program along with the other teammates I know and I can as a true freshman."


  • He might have visited Virginia for the team's win over North Carolina, but the 2016 Richmond (Va.) Henrico shooting guard De'Monte Buckingham's return gave him goose-bumps.

    "They are still high," said the Henrico 2016 guard on Saturday night after witnessing UVa clinch the regular season ACC title, after beating Syracuse 75-56.

    "I didn't expect them to win like that. They went on a big run, and then I knew they were going to blow them out then," Buckingham stated. "That's crazy because that's Syracuse."

    Buckingham recaps his visit here.

  • Like Buckingham, 2017 Maury (Norfolk, Va.) point guard Matt Coleman was filled with adrenaline from the game.

    "The atmosphere at UVa was incredible," he texted. "It was a great experience. Honestly I don't think any other UVa game could top that one."

    Coleman recaps his visit here.

  • 2016 Charlottesville (Va.) STAB forward Javin Montgomery-Delaurier is seeing interest from Virginia, and he was very impressed by the ‘Hoos second-half run to beat Syracuse, but he also impressed by the ‘Hoo Crew.

    "I was really impressed at how many people came out to support UVa today. The atmosphere was a lot different than I ever thought I would see in Charlottesville, it was amazing."

    More on Montgomery-Delaurier's visit here.

    Michael Clark, Greg Pickel, Rachel Klein and Brian Dohn contributed to this report.

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