I'm always impressed at the improvement made by SB Nation sites in the area of recruiting coverage. One of those sites is Streaking The Lawn, the excellent folks covering the Virginia Cavaliers. Coach Mike London has made major progress undoing the damage done to relationships between Virginia and high school coaches. Justin Ferber has put together a great two-part series on Virginia's recruiting needs for the 2013 cycle.
Part one examines the recruiting needs on offense. Here's a sample on the wide receivers:
Current Depth Chart:
The Wide Receiver position is probably the biggest question mark on the offensive side of the ball going into the spring. The Hoos lose two starters from 2011 at the position, Kris Burd and Matt Snyder, and replacing their production is imperative for further growth on offense. Tim Smith will be the number one receiver heading into next season. Smith will be partnered with rising sophomores Darius Jennings and Dominique Terrell, who both showed flashes of potential in 2011. Several other players on the depth chart could make an impact in 2012 at receiver, including former Quarterback Miles Gooch, and E.J. Scott, both redshirt sophomores. The 2012 recruiting class brings a ton of talent at the receiver position, led by Canaan Severin and Anthony Cooper, both four-star prospects. Three prospects from the 757, Mario Nixon, Kyle Dockins and Jamall Brown are slotted at wide receiver as well. Also, coming in this season is 2011 commit Adrian Gamble, who attended Fork Union Military Academy this year. Not many of these 2012 commits will see the field this year.
In every recruiting cycle, Mike London and his staff will look to add explosive, game-breaking talent at the wide receiver position. Virginia has already offered a bunch of wide receivers or "athletes" for the 2013 class. In fact, Virginia has a great chance to seal the deal with Andre Levrone, a talented prospect with several SEC offers, who is also a teammate of UVA commit Brendan Marshall. UVA was the first to offer Levrone, and if he is trying to keep his likely destination a secret, then he might want to change his twitter background. There are a lot of other wide receiver targets out there for the staff, but none seem close to a decision, and none besides Levrone seem to be leaning heavily toward UVA at this point either. Virginia will probably take two or more wide receiver commits for the 2013 class, as they usually do.
Part two takes a look at the recruiting needs on defense. This is the take on the safeties:
Current Depth Chart:
If Virginia's cornerback experience troubles you, then you might want to avert your eyes from the safety depth chart. UVA loses both starters to graduation, so that means three quarters of the starting secondary will have to be replaced for 2012. Rijo Walker, who has bounced back and forth between cornerback and safety, is penciled in as the starting free safety. Sophomores Kameron (Tallest Safety on Earth) Mack and Pablo Alvarez will also compete for the starting job in the spring and fall camps. Anthony Harris is the starter at strong safety, and he will be pushed by Kyrrel Latimer, Mason Thomas and incoming freshman Demetrie Brim. Latimer and Thomas both redshirted in 2011, and Brim will likely redshirt this year, and may end up as a linebacker depending on his growth. While the safety spot loses a great deal of experience, the young guys that take their place are probably more talented, and hopefully the experience they gain in the spring and fall practices will pay off when the season starts in September.
The safety position at Virginia is loaded with young, talented players. Like the cornerback position however, their on-field abilities have yet to be truly tested. If they ball out when the season starts, that's great and better things are yet to come. If not, well, that's why you have to keep recruiting. Virginia is the clear leader at this point for one of the nation's top safeties, Tim Harris. Harris, who has a solid offer list, has visited UVA a bunch of times and many people believe it's not if but when Harris becomes a Hoo. There are other safety prospects for the Cavaliers, including Kirk Garner from Maryland, but Harris is the big prize at the position for 2013. There is also the possibility of taking on Mike Tyson, a 2012 prospect who will play this fall at Hargrave Military Academy in an attempt to better his academic standing.
This page is worth a bookmark. Refer back to it throughout the year and make sure to visit Streaking The Lawn for more great UVA recruiting coverage.