Cavalier Corner

April 2018

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Page 17 of 95

18 CAVALIER CORNER BY BRAD FRANKLIN C OLLEGE FOOTBALL RECRUITS in the class of 2018 were the first to ever be able to sign early with their school of choice, and the change was a boon for Virginia, which was able to get the lion's share of its class sealed up in mid-December well before the conventional National Signing Day played out Feb. 7. Still, after signing 18 high school recruits in December, the Cavaliers were able to add two more on National Signing Day to finish off a class that ranked 13th in the ACC and 67th nationally. In addition to the 20 high school recruits that UVA signed, the Wahoos also had two transfers officially join the program — former Arizona State/Arizona Western Community College quarterback Bryce Per- kins, who enrolled in January, and former Rutgers offensive lineman Marcus Applefield. Class of 2016 signee Wayne Taulapapa, a three-star running back from Hawai'i, is also expected to join the 2018 class. He plans to enroll this summer after completing a two-year mission in South America. Javar Garrett, a 6-2, 205-pound line- backer from Newark, Del., who starred at The Peddie School in New Jersey, is the headliner of the class. A high three-star recruit according to Ri- vals, Garrett committed to the Cavaliers last April after picking up early offers from Indiana, North Carolina State, Rutgers and Vanderbilt. Rivals rated him as the No. 14 prospect in New Jersey and the No. 22 in- side linebacker in the nation. Joining him in the linebacking corps of the future at UVA is Noah Taylor, who com- mitted to the Hoos in August 2016. A 6-5, 200 pounder from Silver Spring, Md., who played his high school ball at the Avalon School, Taylor was rated by Rivals as the No. 17 player in his state, and picked Vir- ginia over early offers from Indiana, Pitts- burgh and Rutgers, with interest from Mary- land, Michigan, North Carolina State, Ohio State and Syracuse, among others. Taylor joined Perkins and two others — quarterback Brennan Armstrong and offen- sive lineman Bobby Haskins — in arriving on Grounds early. Perkins, who is likely to be UVA's starting quarterback this fall, came to UVA after spending last season at Arizona Western following his brief time at ASU. After injuring his neck and looking for a change of scenery, he starred in the junior college ranks last season while leading his team to the national title game. For the season, Perkins threw for 1,311 yards on 114-of-180 passing (63.3 percent) with seven touchdowns. A dual-threat quar- terback, he also rushed 69 times for 353 yards and four scores. Armstrong is also a dual-threat quarter- back and came to Virginia from Shelby, Ohio, where he was a four-year starter and finished his senior year with a 13-1 record and an ap- pearance in the Division IV state semifinals. The 6-2, 210-pound Armstrong threw for 1,933 yards and 30 scores this past season, going 100-of-165 passing while also rush- ing for 1,105 yards and 22 touchdowns. He was named first-team All-Ohio Division IV as a senior, and was a second-team pick as a junior and sophomore. After having originally committed to Minnesota, he opened up his recruitment and picked the Cavaliers in November over offers from Cincinnati, North Carolina and Rutgers, among others. Rivals ranked Arm- strong as the No. 29 player in Ohio and the No. 26 dual-threat quarterback in the nation. Lastly, Haskins was the lone lineman to enroll early. A 6-7, 260-pound tight end at the Hun School in New Jersey, the Fairfield, Conn., native impressed the coaching staff during a summer camp and committed as an offensive tackle shortly thereafter. He then played both left tackle and defen- sive end for the Hun School and earned the 2017 U.S. Army Reserve National Student- Athlete Award. Linebacker was a big point of emphasis for UVA in this class, with two other pros- pects joining Garrett and Taylor in the fold. The first was T.C. Harrison, a 6-3, 205-pounder from Collins Hill High in Law- renceville, Ga. A three-star recruit, he picked the Cavaliers last summer in the midst of one of the most impressive runs of commit- ments in school history. Over a roughly 72- hour period in late June, the Wahoos added double digit commits, including Harrison. The other linebacker to sign with UVA dur- ing the early period was one of three in-state additions for UVA — 6-4, 230-pound Grant Misch out of Potomac Falls in Sterling. Also a three-star, Misch was rated as the No. 23 player in Virginia by Rivals, and committed to UVA in August over offers from Army, Air Force, Maryland and Navy, among others. One of the more intriguing storylines of the 2018 class for UVA was the success the program had in Hawai'i. Along with the eventual enrollment of Taulapapa, the Wahoos added three more signees from the Aloha State in 2018, including both of their additions on National Signing Day. The first came from Samson Reed, a 6-2, 265-pound three-star defensive lineman who was his state's No. 5 prospect after a solid career at Kahuku High. Reed, who had 52 tackles (23 for loss) and nine sacks as a senior, chose UVA last June over offers from BYU, Hawai'i and Washington State. Joining his high school teammate as a fu- ture Cavalier, offensive lineman Micah Marit- eragi signed with UVA on National Signing Day after committing to the Hoos earlier in the winter. A 6-2, 265-pounder also from Kahuku High (which is the alma mater of UVA assis- tant coaches Robert Anae, Mark Atuaia and UVA's 2018 class is headlined by Hightstown (N.J.) The Peddie School standout Javar Garrett, who is rated as the No. 14 player in the Garden State and the No. 22 inside linebacker nation- ally by Rivals. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM MEETING NEEDS The Wahoos Addressed Critical Areas In Their 22-Man Recruiting Class

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