A 2-6 record and continued mediocrity may have people speculating about Mike London's job security, but Virginia's recruiting has yet to take a major hit -- according to the 247Sports composite, the Cavaliers have the 34th-ranked class in the country, even though their 2014 commits number barely more than 10.
As of now, Virginia's class sits in the middle of the pack among ACC teams, but that figure is a bit misleading due to the small size of the current class. In terms of average recruit rating, Virginia outpaces the rest of the conference, including the classes currently being assembled at Miami, Clemson and Florida State -- no small feat, to say the least.
Since September, London has only added one new recruit: cornerback Darious Latimore from Lawrenceville (Ga.) Central Gwinnett. Latimore, a 6'0, 175-pound senior is a three-star recruit on the 247Sports composite and rates out as the 62nd-best player at that position this year.
The real meat of the class remains at the top, specifically with a pair of top in-state commitments: safety Quin Blanding and defensive tackle Andrew Brown. Both share quite a bit more than the fact that they call Virginia home, however. Blanding and Brown are both five-stars on the 247Sports composite, and perhaps even more impressively, both are considered the top players at their position this season.
In fact, London's ability to keep in-state talent at home has been a large part of his recruiting success this season. Four of Virginia's five highest-rated recruits hail from the Old Dominion. Blanding and Brown are two, but they're joined by four-star guard Steven Moss from Fredericksburg (Va.) Chancellor and four-star quarterback Corwin Cutler out of Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy. Cutler, in particular, is a prospect worth paying attention to -- the 247Sports composite has him ranked as the top pro-style quarterback in the country for 2014, although that is among prep school players.
Will Virginia keep London in an effort to save the class? Will it matter?
-- by National Recruiting Analyst Bud Elliott
Normally in this section, I take a look at the different players for whom the school is still in play. But given Virginia's abysmal season, I'll use the space to do something different.
Virginia is awful this year. But so far, all of its recruits are saying the right things. But 2-6 is not 2-10. And 2-10, with nine straight losses to close the year, is in fact quite possible, as UVA closes with games against Clemson, North Carolina, Miami and Virginia Tech. If it does go down like that, London will have gone 4-18 in his last 22 games.
The Cavaliers are in a tough spot.
Based on the team's performance, there is little doubt that London should be fired. But that is not the only consideration. London's class is tremendous by UVA standards, and other teams are absolutely waiting to pounce on the talent he has committed should he be let go. That could be enough incentive for Virginia to keep him.
On the other hand, does Virginia want to delay starting over with a new coach for a year just to save a very good recruiting class?
And yet, there is no guarantee that all of the commitments will remain with Virginia should the Cavaliers continue to tank. At this point, opposing schools are already pointing to London's failure as a coach at UVA, and telling recruits that even if his job is saved for a year, he won't be there to coach them in their remaining three seasons after 2014.
What would you do if you had to make the call?