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Thursday, September 11, 2008 11:41am
By: Accsports Staff

Final Hours Brought Two Touted Linebackers

CHARLOTTESVILLE — Less than 48 hours before signing day, Virginia football fans waited nervously for word on a nationally prominent outside linebacker. Little did they realize the Cavaliers would get two players who fit that description. Only hours after receiving a commitment from Jermaine Dias, rated the No. 8 linebacker in the country by SuperPrep, the Cavaliers learned they would be getting 6-6, 243-pound Vince Redd from Elizabethton, Tenn. Redd was considered a virtual lock for Tennessee but was intrigued by the ability to play football and basketball at UVa, which will try him at outside linebacker in its 3-4 scheme. “It wouldn't be fair to call it a ‘surprise' because we gave it our best effort from the start,” Groh said. “If this is another Julius Peppers situation, I think all parties would be well-pleased. It's going to be hard to take those three-step drops and get it over him. It wasn't so much the height as the athletic ability, and the height just makes it so much better. This is certainly a reach, but I fantasize over Ted Hendricks-like skills out there.” Redd's other visits were to UT, Arkansas, South Carolina and Virginia Tech. He was rated the No. 13 outside linebacker in the country by Rivals.com but was not listed among the top 14 players in the state by SuperPrep. On the other hand, the Kingsport (Tenn.) Times had him rated the No. 2 prospect in the state. There is a suspicion that teams use the Cavaliers' 3-4 defense against them on the recruiting trail, although a growing number of teams, Maryland among them, are using the 3-4. It may hurt the Cavs with self-styled defensive ends such as Chris Ellis, who signed with Virginia Tech, but rangy defensive ends such as Redd like the idea of playing outside linebacker

Who Got Away?

Of all the prospects who were offered scholarships by Virginia but didn't sign with the Cavaliers, the two who stated publicly that they were leaning to the Cavaliers were Jesse Holley and Chase Anastasio. Either player would have fulfilled the Cavs' need for a big-time receiver, but the coaches' decision to hold firm on Anastasio, an in-state player from Fairfax (VA) Robinson, ultimately may have cost them Holley. By the time Anastasio announced Feb. 4 that he would sign the next day with Notre Dame, Holley already had committed to North Carolina. He was considered a Virginia lean after visiting Charlottesville on Nov. 23. If the Cavaliers had pressed for a commitment before Christmas, they might have gotten one. Of the players who visited UVa, Anastasio and Chris Ellis, an in-state defensive end who signed with Virginia Tech, were the major misses. Others who had offers but signed elsewhere included Norcross (GA) Atlanta Christian RB Micah Andrews (Wake), Alpharetta (GA) Milton WR Sean Bailey (Georgia), Danvers (MA) St. John's LB Nick Borseti (Notre Dame), Orange (NJ) High DB Cory Boyd (USC), Richmond (VA) Hermitage TE Duane Brown (VT), Washington (DC) Dunbar WR Vernon Davis (Maryland), Cherry Hill (NJ) Camden Catholic LB Joe Kedra (UNC), Fairfax (VA) Robinson TE John Kinzer (VT), Cincinnati (OH) St. Xavier LB Nick Larkin (Boston College), Shelby (NC) Crest WR Travis Lee (USC), Rocky Mount (NC) High WR Mike Mason (UNC), Camden (NJ) Wilson DE Turk McBride (Tennessee), Pittsburgh (PA) Woodland Hills DB Ryan Mundy (Michigan), Chesapeake (VA) Great Bridge DT Carlton Powell (VT), Irvington (NJ) High DE Nate Robinson (Miami), East Cleveland (OH) Shaw LB Reggie Smith (Ohio State) and Clifton (VA) Centreville OL Matt Welsh (VT). Finally, by denying Fork Union (VA) Military DT Robert Armstrong the opportunity to enroll in January, as he requested, the Cavaliers lost him (a 2002 signee) to Maryland. Compiled by Dave Glenn

2003 Virginia Football Signees

Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Stars High School/Junior College Comment
Marshal Ausberry OL 6-6 318 2/3 Springfield (VA) W. Springfield SP-22 VA; 2nd-team DC all-metro; early over Marshall
Allen Billyk DE 6-4 255 3/3 New Castle (PA) High SP-16 PA; 4-year starter; over BC, Mich., OSU, Stan. (!)
Ahmad Brooks^* LB 6-1 230 5/5 Chatham (VA) Hargrave Military Re-sign from Woodbridge (VA) Hylton; consensus A-A
Philip Brown* DB 5-11 190 4/4 Hampton (VA) Phoebus RV-8 CB; TL-13 CB; over Clem., Md., NCSU, VT (?)
Emmanuel Byers WR/DB 5-9 175 2/3 Jamestown (NC) Ragsdale SP-14 NC; 4-year starter; over Clem., NCSU, WF (?)
Keenan Carter DT 6-3 325 3/3 Fork Union (VA) Military Re-sign from Dumfries (VA) Potomac; MX-12 DT
Robbie Catterton DB 6-2 185 3/3 Virginia Beach (VA) Kellam MX-8 FS; SP-16 VA; all-area; very early over ECU, WF
Ian-Yates Cunningham* OL 6-6 309 4/4 Lewisville (TX) Hebron SP-12 OL; MX-10 OG; 1st-team all-TX; over GT, Neb.(!)
Jermaine Dias* LB 6-3 223 3/4 Hackensack (NJ) High SP-8 LB; TL-9 OLB; 1st-team all-NJ; over Md., UNC (?)
Chris Johnson DT 6-6 265 2/2 Charlottesville (VA) High SP-23 VA; 2-time all-region; father attended UVa (!)
Shannon Lane WR 6-1 185 3/3 Virginia Beach (VA) Salem SP-20 WR; HM all-district; over BC, Md., ND, Tenn., VT
Jordy Lipsey* OL 6-3 272 5/4 Altamonte Springs (FL) Lake Brantley MX-1 OC; RV-1 OC; over Fla., Miami, 30+ offers (!)
Kevin McCabe* QB 6-3 192 3/4 Gibsonia (PA) Pine-Richland RV-5 pro QB; TL-15 QB; all-state; over GT, Mich., ND
Fontel Mines WR 6-5 205 3/3 Richmond (VA) Hermitage RV-13 VA; SP-18 VA; 1st-team 3A; over VT, WF (?)
Eddie Pinigis OL 6-7 282 3/3 Forest (VA) Jefferson Forest SP-24 VA; uncle played at VT; over Md., WF (!)
Danny Prentice FB 6-0 228 2/2 Oakton (VA) High RV-40 VA; 1st-team 3A; 4-year starter; UNLV switch
Vince Redd* LB 6-6 243 3/4 Elizabethton (TN) High TL-12 DE; 1st-team 4A; also BB; over Ark., USC, Tenn.
Marvin Richardson LB 6-4 219 2/3 East Orange (NJ) Essex Catholic SP-40 NJ; out most of 2002 (shoulder); early over Rut.
Gordie Sammis OL 6-4 292 3/3 Somerville (NJ) Immaculata SP-22 NJ; all-area; early over Pitt, Rut., Vandy, WF (!)
Jonathan Stupar* TE 6-5 246 4/4 State College (PA) High SP-2 TE; TL-6 TE; 1st-team all-PA; over FSU, NCSU (!)
James Terry RB/LB 6-2 215 2/3 Woodbridge (VA) High SP-20 VA; 2nd-team 3A; early commitment over Pitt (?)
Deyon Williams WR 6-3 185 2/2 Forestville (MD) Suitland SP-9 MD; 1st-team DC metro; track star; over Pitt (?)

*-All-American (top 250 by two/more services)
(!)-strong academics
(?)-unconfirmed academics
MX-Max Emfinger
TL-Tom Lemming
STARS: By Insiders/Rivals