Thursday, February 07, 2013

UVa signees add bulk up front

Five of UVa's 22 signees are listed as offensive lineman.

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Aaron McFarling's blog

CHARLOTTESVILLE - Virginia football coach Mike London was pleased with his recruiting class even before his phone rang shortly after midnight Wednesday.

And that was just the first commitment London took on national signing day.

The first call was from Eric Tetlow, a 6-foot-6, 300-pound offensive lineman from Richmond who previously had committed to Wake Forest.

At midmorning, London took a second commitment, this one from George Adeosun, a 6-6, 295-pound offensive lineman from Alpharetta, Ga.

At the time of his official visit to Virginia over the weekend of Jan. 18, Adeosun had one scholarship, that from William and Mary of the Football Championship Subdivision.

By the time he advised London of his decision to play for the Cavaliers, Adeosun had taken official recruiting visits to Oklahoma and Arizona State, and he had received offers from Georgia, Tennessee and Georgia Tech among others.

"It's like he blew up overnight," London said. "It's like he left our visit, then [heard] from Purdue and Oklahoma. He said he was getting ready to go to Arizona State and, before he got on the plane, Georgia had offered him."

Adeosun's father is a University of Georgia graduate but the Bulldogs couldn't work in a campus visit.

"We're proud to have him," London said. "We're proud to have his 700 on the verbal SAT. I don't know what the math is, but that's pretty good."

Adeosun visited Virginia on the same weekend as all of UVa's committed players took their official visits.

More than a few had been recruited by assistants no longer on the staff. Four assistants were dismissed one week after a 4-8 season.

However, a full staff was on hand by the time the recruits visited.

"I know there were some [recruits] that expressed concern with the staff change," London said. "Recruiting is all about relationships. When there's that void, there's also doubt and uncertainty.

"When we had our recruiting weekend, [the prospects] were all there together and it was kind of like a convention. I asked everyone to stand up who was solidly committed.

"That was a calculated risk right there. It was a good feeling to have all the committed guys stand up. Now, George [Adeosun] was in the group and he almost stood up, but he sat down real quick. It was great that last night, or this morning, George stood up."

Brad Henson, an offensive lineman from New Jersey, broke an early commitment to Virginia and ended up signing with North Carolina, but that was prior to the Jan. 18 recruiting weekend.

In short order, the Cavaliers replaced Henson with Eric Smith, a 6-foot-5, 280-pound offensive lineman from Decatur, Ga.

Five of UVa's 22 signees are listed as offensive linemen, not counting 6-6, 291-pound Phillip Berry, a walk-on from Woodberry Forest who also was being recruited by North Carolina.

Former North Carolina State head coach Tom O'Brien, now the Cavaliers' associate head coach for offense, said he could tell from his first look at Virginia's roster that UVa needed offensive linemen, "but that was already being addressed before I got here," he said.

O'Brien has been assigned the Richmond area, which produced six UVa signees, four of whom committed to former assistant Jim Reid. The Cavaliers subsequently added linebacker Connor Wingo-Reeves, who first had committed to Temple, and Tetlow.

"From the time coach O'Brien has been here, I've learned a lot and I'm always watching and asking him questions," newly named recruiting coordinator Chip West said. "Hopefully, I'm not getting on his nerves."

West had recruited the Tidewater area for three years before he was elevated to the coordinator position. He already had acted in that role following the departure of defensive line coach Jeff Hanson, the previous recruiting coordinator.

West immediately took to the road, often with fellow secondary coach Anthony Poindexter beside him.

"I visited some places I hadn't been before," West said of his salvage effort. "In the beginning, it was tough, but I wouldn't say I was worried. The biggest thing was preparing a plan to keep everything together.

"Everybody thought we were going to lose guys and, to come out and only lose one, I thought we were in great shape."

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