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Cavaliers lock up highly ranked class for 2021

Virginia signs 24 after a 5-5 season

The Virginia football program signed 24 student-athletes to National Letters of Intent (NLI) for the 2021-22 academic school year, head coach Bronco Mendenhall announced. The 24 student-athletes were part of the early signing period for football adopted by the NCAA in 2017.

Student-athletes from eight states and Canada highlight the class signed by the Cavaliers. UVA’s recruits come from Alabama, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Nova Scotia.

The following is a list of individuals who have signed National Letters of Intent to attend the University of Virginia on football grant-in-aid.

The next period for signing football student-athletes begins on Feb. 3, 2021.

Attached is the full recruiting class and player bios:

2021 Football Recruiting Class

Name                                               Pos.              Ht.          Wt.         Hometown                       High School/Previous School

Javin Burke**                                 DB                 6-0          195         Cleveland, Tenn.              Bradley Central HS

Bryce Carter                                    DL                 6-3          250         South Chesterfield, Va.   Life Christian Academy

Jesiah Davis                                     WR                6-3          180         Huntersville, N.C.             Hough HS

Michael Diatta                                DL                 6-5          265         Antioch, Tenn.                  Cane Ridge HS

Malachi Fields                                WR                6-4          205         Keswick, Va.                      Monticello HS

Amaad Foston**                            RB                 6-0          210         Milledgeville, Ga.             John Milledge Academy

Ty Furnish                                       OL                 6-4          250         Woodstock, Ga.               Blessed Trinity Catholic

Micah Gaffney                                DB                 6-0          170         Spanish Fort, Ala.             Spanish Fort HS

Mike Green                                     OLB               6-4          215         Williamsburg, Va.            Lafayette HS

James Jackson**                            OLB               6-3          200         Pulaski, Va.                        North Cross HS

Noah Josey                                      OL                 6-5          280         Brentwood, Tenn.           Brentwood Academy

Hugh Laughlin                                DL                 6-5          280         Athens, Ga.                       Athens Academy

Langston Long**                            ILB                 6-2          215         Woodbridge, Va.              Christ School (N.C.)

Joshua McCarron                           OLB               6-4          215         Mukilteo, Wash.              Archbishop Murphy HS

Charlie Patterson                           OL                 6-7          285         Roswell, Ga.                      Fellowship Christian

Jacob Rodriguez **                       QB                 6-1          200         Wichita Falls, Texas         Rider HS

Aidan Ryan                                      DB                 6-1          185         Fredericksburg, Va.         James Monroe HS

Jonas Sanker                                   DB                 6-0          185         Charlottesville, Va.          The Covenant School

William Simpkins III                       DB                 6-1          170         Gaithersburg, Md.           Quince Orchard HS

Logan Taylor**                               OL                 6-7          295         Bridgewater, N.S.            Episcopal HS

Lorenz Terry                                   DL                 6-5          260         Sandston, Va.                   Varina HS/Fork Union Military Academy

West Weeks                                   ILB                 6-2          205         Watkinsville, Ga.              Oconee County HS

Jack Witmer                                    TE                  6-6          225         Cypress, Texas                  Cy-Fair HS

Jay Woolfolk                                   QB                 5-11        190         Chesterfield, Va.              Benedictine

** January enrollee

Javin Burke

6-0 • 195 • DB

Cleveland, Tenn. • Bradley Central HS

Will enroll at UVA for the spring semester … played cornerback and quarterback at Bradley Central High School for head coach Damon Floyd … passed for 2,152 yards, rushed for 738 yards and accounted for 32 touchdowns as a junior, earning all-region honors … spent first two years of high school at McCallie High School … also participated in track & field at Bradley in the 60-meter dash and 200 meters … a three-star recruit by ESPN.com, Rivals.com and 247sports.com.

Bryce Carter

6-3 • 250 • DL

South Chesterfield, Va. • Life Christian Academy

Played defensive line at Life Christian Academy for head coach Charles Scott …  reclassified to the Class of 2021 from the Class of 2022 … transferred  to LCA from Thomas Dale High School in 2020 … earned all-state honors at Thomas Dale HS in 2019 season in which he compiled 101 tackles, 23 tackles for losses and nine sacks for the Knights … in 2020 he notched 28 tackles, five tackles for loss and six sacks in the five game the Life Christian Academy Eagles played … high school coach Charles Scott coached Carter in youth ball … National Combine All-American Defensive MVP … in 2018 at Thomas Dale he notched 100 tackles (60 solo), 13 TFLs, four sacks and three passes defended as Thomas Dale went 9-3 and reached the regional semifinals … earned first-team all-region honors … a four-star recruit by ESPN.com, Rivals.com and 247sports.com … rated 247sports.com’s No. 92 overall recruit in the nation.

Jesiah Davis

6-3 • 180 • WR

Huntersville, N.C. • Hough HS

Played wide receiver and cornerback at William Amos Hough High School for head coach Matthew Jenkins … high school did not participate in football this fall … caught 33 passes for 644 yards and seven touchdowns in 2019 at Providence Day School … transferred to Hough during spring 2020 … helped Providence Day to the 2019 NCISAA Division II state championship … also ran track & field at Hough … a three-star recruit by ESPN.com, Rivals.com and 247sports.com.

Michael Diatta

6-5 • 265 • DL

Antioch, Tenn. • Cane Ridge HS

Played defensive end and offensive line at Cane Ridge High School for head coach Eddie Woods … named the Region 5-6A Defensive Lineman of the Year in 2020 after he made four sacks and 10 tackles for loss in a shortened season of six games … committed to Virginia in October 2020 without visiting Grounds … a three-star recruit by ESPN.com, Rivals.com and 247sports.com.

Malachi Fields

6-4 • 205 • WR

Keswick, Va. • Monticello HS

Played quarterback and cornerback at Monticello High School for head coach Jeff Lloyd … high school did not participate in football this fall … 2019 All-Jefferson District first-team honors at quarterback and kick returner …  earned 2019 All-Region 3C honors at kick returner … in the return game he averaged 30 yards per touch and scored two touchdowns … named Falcon Club Player of the Week twice during his junior season … rushed for 700 yards and 12 rushing touchdowns in 2019 , while passing for 1,027 yards and four more scores … also participated in track & field … a three-star recruit by ESPN.com and 247sports.com … a two-star recruit by Rivals.com.

Amaad Foston

6-0 • 210 • RB

Milledgeville, Ga. • John Milledge Academy

Will enroll at UVA for the spring semester …  played running back at John Milledge Academy for head coach J.T. Wall … high school did not participate in football this fall … led the state of Georgia in 2019 with 2,772 rushing yards and 46 touchdowns on his way to all-state honors … helped lead John Milledge Academy to a perfect 13-0 season and a AAA state championship in 2019 … rushed 42 times for 423 yards and eight touchdowns in the state championship game, which is the top performance by a running back in a Georgia High School state championship game … his 2019 rushing yards ranked ninth all time in Georgia state history, 52 yards ahead of Nick Chubb’s best season … his 46 touchdowns were good for third all-time, one better than the Herschel Walker’s best season … the Union-Recorder named him all-county offensive player of the year … as a sophomore in 2018 he rushed 2,199 yards and 27 touchdowns … a three-star recruit by ESPN.com, Rivals.com and 247sports.com.

Ty Furnish

6-4 • 250 • OL

Woodstock, Ga. • Blessed Trinity Catholic

Played offensive guard and defensive line at Blessed Trinity Catholic for head coach Tim McFarlin … started 15 games on a dominant Blessed Trinity squad that enjoyed a perfect season and won 13 of the 15 games by double-digits as a sophomore in 2018 … started all 15 games on the offensive line as a junior in 2019, helping the Titans to a 14-1 record and a third-straight state title … 2019 all-region honoree … a three-star recruit by ESPN.com, Rivals.com and 247sports.com.

Micah Gaffney

6-0 • 170 • DB

Spanish Fort, Ala. • Spanish Fort HS

Played defensive back at Spanish Fort High School for head coach Ben Blackmon … helped lead Spanish Ford to a state runner-up finish in 6A in 2020 and earned all-state honors and was one of the top shutdown cornerbacks in Alabama … selected to play for Team Alabama in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game … made five interceptions in 2019 after helping Spanish Fort to the 6A state final … a three-star recruit by ESPN.com, Rivals.com and 247sports.com.

Mike Green

6-4 • 215 • OLB

Williamsburg, Va. • Lafayette HS

Played linebacker and tight end at Lafayette High School for head coach Andy Linn … did not play football this fall … Lafayette is set to play a spring 2021 schedule … a Daily Press Fab 15 top recruit … in 2019 made 70 tackles, including nine sacks and eight additional tackles for loss, from the outside position … also participated in wrestling at Lafayette … finished second in the state wrestling tournament as a sophomore at 185 and third in state as a junior at 220 … a three-star recruit by ESPN.com, Rivals.com and 247sports.com.

James Jackson

6-3 • 200 • OLB

Pulaski, Va. • North Cross HS

Will enroll at UVA for the spring semester … played linebacker and wide receiver at North Cross High School for head coach Stephen Alexander … earned all-state honors as a receiver and as a linebacker after helping the Raiders to an 11-1 record and a VISAA Division II state championship in 2019 … caught 29 passes for 575 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2019, while also notching 77 tackles, 8.0 TFLs and 9.0 sacks … in a shortened 2020 season due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, he made 29 tackles, 4.0 TFLs and 2.0 sacks … also caught 11 passes for 202 yards and two scores … played freshman year at Pulaski County High School … a three-star recruit by ESPN.com, Rivals.com and 247sports.com.

Noah Josey

6-5 • 280 • OL

Brentwood, Tenn. • Brentwood Academy

Played offensive guard at Brentwood Academy for head coach Cody White … selected to play in the Under Armour All-America Game … helped Brentwood Academy to the Division II AAA state titles in 2017 and 2018 … earned all-region honors in 2020 as Brentwood went 11-1 … also throws discus and shotput on the track & field team … father, Bryan, played offensive tackle at Vanderbilt … a four-star recruit by Rivals.com … a three-star recruit by ESPN.com and 247sports.com.

Hugh Laughlin

6-5 • 280 • DL

Athens, Ga. • Athens Academy

Played defensive line, tight end and offensive tackle at Athens Academy for head coach Josh Alexander … Athens Academy went 45-5 during his high school career … made move to offensive line in 2020 … first-team All-Region 8-A Private defensive lineman in 2020 … all-state defensive end in 2019 … also and honorable mention all-region honoree in basketball … … a three-star recruit by ESPN.com and 247sports.com.

Langston Long

6-2 • 215 • ILB

Woodbridge, Va. • Christ School (N.C.)

Will enroll at UVA for the spring semester … played linebacker at Christ School in Arden, N.C., for head coach Nick Luhm … made his commitment in early March following UVA’s Junior Day, before the pandemic restricted recruiting activities … helped Christ Church (6-2) to its first-ever state title (NCISAA Division II) after opening the season 0-2 … named to the North Carolina Independent Schools High School Athletic Association’s pre-season all-state team … played his junior season at Hylton High School in Woodbridge, Va.  … played wide receiver and strong safety at Hylton … led the team with 74 tackles, two interceptions and four pass break ups … originally a Class of ’20 prospect, he reclassified for the Class of ’21 in the summer of 2019 … played in the Junior Academic All-America game … invited to the Under Armour All-America camp series … ranked as one of the 50 players in the state of North Carolina … sang in church choir … father, Rendell, played football at Florida State where he was a running back in 1994 … sister, Lauren, played volleyball at Troy … a three-star recruit by ESPN.com, Rivals.com and 247sports.com.

Josh McCarron

6-4 • 215 • OLB

Mukilteo, Wash. • Archbishop Murphy

Played defensive end, outside linebacker, wide receiver and tight end at Archbishop Murphy in Everett, Wash., for head coach Mark Leone … high school did not participate in football this fall … as a junior had 89 tackles, 30 tackles for loss and 21 sacks and forced three fumbles … as a junior caught 26 passes for 391 yards and three touchdowns … led Archbishop Murphy to state quarterfinals and an 8-3 record as a junior … helped his team to three shut-out wins … named to the Associated Press 2A all-state team and first team all-2A Northwest Conference … named the Everett Herald’s Defensive Player of the Year following the 2019 campaign … committed to Virginia in April 2020 without visiting Grounds … a four-star recruit by ESPN.com and Rivals.com … a three-star recruit by 247sports.com.

Charlie Patterson

6-7 • 285 • OL

Roswell, Ga. • Fellowship Christian

Played offensive line at Fellowship Christian for Al Morrell … helped the Paladins (11-1) to quarterfinals of Class A-Private classification in Georgia this season … team posted a 12-1 record his junior season, winning the Region 6-A championship and reaching the semifinals of the Class A-Private tournament … first-team All-Class A-Private selection as a junior and senior … also played defensive tackle at Fellowship Christian … invited to play in the 2019 GACA Army National Guard All-Star Classic … a three-star recruit by ESPN.com, Rivals.com and 247sports.com.

Jacob Rodriguez

6-1 • 200 • QB

Wichita Falls, Texas • Rider HS

Will enroll at UVA for the spring semester … played quarterback and safety at Rider High School for head coach Marc Bindel … made his commitment to Virginia in April 2020 without making a trip to Grounds … led Raiders to Class 5A Division II state semifinals as a sophomore and quarterfinals as a junior … team was 8-2 during his senior season and are currently playing in the 5A D2 division playoffs … completed 199-of-344 pass attempts in 2019 for 3,003 yards and 33 touchdowns  … as a junior, rushed 149 times for 1,247 yards … in 2018, completed 99 of 185 passes for 1,602 yards and 12 scores … had 183 rushes for 1,301 yards as a sophomore … three-sport athlete in football, basketball, and track and field (long jump, triple jump, relays) … earned District 3-5A-II Co-MVP honors as a junior in 2019 … named the District 3-5A-II Offensive Newcomer of the Year as a sophomore in 2018 … played free safety for the Rider defense … three-star prospect by Rivals  … three-star prospect according to 247sports.com  … invited to the Under Armour All-America Camp Series … played on Rider basketball team … his high school has recently produced three top Division I quarterbacks – Blake Szymanski (Baylor), Shavodrick Beaver (Tulsa) and JT Barrett (Ohio State) … a four-star recruit by ESPN.com … No. 209 in ESPN’s Top 300 recruit rankings … a three-star recruit by Rivals.com and 247sports.com.

Aidan Ryan

6-0 • 185 • DB

Fredericksburg, Va. • James Monroe HS

Played defensive back and quarterback at James Monroe High School for head coach Rich Serbay … high school did not participate in football this fall … earned second-team all-state honors in 2019 at defensive back … the Yellow Jackets went 9–4, earned a share of the Battlefield District title and reached the Region 3B championship game in 2019 … all-region and first team all-NOVA as a utility player following his junior season … outstanding long jumper, set a PR at 22-9 to qualify for high school indoor national championships … received inaugural Dennis K. Dodson Captain’s Award and was Monroe’s MVP following the 2019 season … three-star prospect according to 247sports.com  … three-star prospect by Rivals  … top-20 overall prospect for the state of Virginia … invited to the Under Armour All-America Camp Series … invited to Adidas Rival 3 Stripe Camp … a three-star recruit by ESPN.com, Rivals.com and 247sports.com.

Jonas Sanker

6-0 • 185 • DB

Charlottesville, Va. • The Covenant School

Played running back, quarterback and safety at The Covenant School for head coach Seth Wilson … high school team did not compete in fall of 2020 … threw for 1,590 yards and 33 touchdowns and rushed for 1,116 yards and scored 24 touchdowns as a junior … only player in Central Virginia to both run and pass for 1,000 yards during 2019 season … accounted for three touchdowns as a defensive player … had four interceptions and 46 tackles in 2019 … helped Covenant to back-to-back 8-man state titles in the Virginia Independent Schools Football League as a sophomore and junior … accounted for eight scores in 2019 state title game … passed for 295 yards and ran for 217 yards in that game … all-conference and all-state on both sides of the ball in 2019 … led team to 10-0 records as a sophomore and junior … outstanding guard for Covenant basketball team … helped Covenant basketball team to its first semifinal appearance during 2020 VISAA Division III tournament … a three-star recruit by ESPN.com, Rivals.com and 247sports.com.

William Simpkins III

6-1 • 170 • DB

Gaithersburg, Md. • Quince Orchard HS

Played both safety and cornerback at Quince Orchard High School for head coach Andrew Smith … high school did not participate in football this fall … helped Cougars to a 12-1 record in 2019, reaching the semifinals of the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association (MPSSAA) 4A playoffs … played in 10 games as a junior and had 22 tackles and broke up four passes … Cougars won the 2018 4A state title after finishing as runners up in 2016 and 2017 … 2018 squad was one of 50 teams honored as part of MaxPreps Tour of Champions … high school team did not compete in fall of 2020 … three-star prospect according to 247sports.com  … ranked by 247sports.com as the No. 75 CB for class of 2021 … listed as one of the top 40 overall players for the state of Maryland following his junior season … invited to the Under Armour All-America Camp Series … a three-star recruit by ESPN.com and 247sports.com … a two-star recruit by Rivals.com.

Logan Taylor

6-7 • 295 • OL

Bridgewater, N.S. • Episcopal High School (Va.)

Will enroll at UVA for the spring semester … played offensive tackle at Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Va., for head coach and fellow Canadian, Mark Moroz … high school team did not compete in fall of 2020 … a top-25 offensive tackle prospect according to MaxPreps … first-team Division 1 all-state honors in the Virginia Independent Schools Football League … honorable mention pick by Washington Post for its All-Met team … named to Interstate Athletic Conference all-star team … a native of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, he enrolled at Episcopal for his junior season … named one of the top five Canadian players for the Class of ’21 by CanadaFootballChat.com … played for Sir John A. McDonald High School in Nova Scotia … a four-star recruit by ESPN.com and 247sports.com … No. 282 in ESPN’s Top 300 recruit rankings … a three-star recruit by Rivals.com … ranked as the No. 8 player in the state by 247sports.com.

Lorenz Terry

6-5 • 260 • DL

Sandston, Va. • Varina HS/Fork Union Military Academy

Prepped the 2020 season at Fork Union Military Academy where he played defensive end and tight end for head coach Frank Arritt … prior to Fork Union played defensive end at Varina High School for head coach Stu Brown … helped lead Varina to a region title in 2019 and semifinal appearance in the state championship … earned second-team all-region honors in 2019 … a three-star recruit by ESPN.com, Rivals.com and 247sports.com.

West Weeks

6-2 • 205 • ILB

Watkinsville, Ga. • Oconee County HS

Played linebacker at Oconee County High School for head coach Travis Noland … piled up 250 career tackles as a linebacker at Oconee County … a preseason second-team all-state pick for Georgia by MaxPreps … has helped Oconee County (11-0) to the semifinals of Georgia’s Class AAA playoffs … also played quarterback for the Warriors this season … has 91 total tackles, including 36 solo stops this season … has caused one fumble and intercepted one pass as a senior … has season-high 15 tackles this year vs. Thomasville and Monroe Area … averages 32 yards per return on five kickoff run backs this season … Oconee County (13-2) reached state championship game in 2019 … achieved Class AAAA all-state honors as a junior … amassed 112 tackles as a junior, including 45 solo stops … caught 16 passes and rushed the ball 11 times in 2019 … has played six different positions for Oconee County during his prep career … father, David, was offensive line coach at Oconee County … father was a three-year starter at offensive line at Georgia where he played from 1991-95 … a three-star recruit by ESPN.com, Rivals.com and 247sports.com … rated the No. 29 junior in Georgia prior to the 2020 season.

Jack Witmer

6-6 • 225 • TE

Cypress, Texas • Cy-Fair HS

Played tight end at Cy-Fair High School for head coach Jeff Miller … also played for former head coach Ed Pustejovsky … first-team all-17-6A District as a junior and sophomore … Cy-Fair (10-1) won first round of Texas 6A Division I playoffs last weekend … has played in nine games this season and registered 19 receptions for 290 yards and five touchdowns … has 27 career catches for 362 yards and seven scores … named to the Texas High School Coaches Association’s Academic All-State team in 2020 … also plays basketball at Cypress Fair … a three-star recruit by ESPN.com, Rivals.com and 247sports.com.

Jay Woolfolk

5-11 • 190 • QB

Chesterfield, Va. • Benedictine College Prep

Played quarterback at Benedictine College Prep for head coach Greg Lilly … high school team did not compete in fall of 2020 … earned Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association (VISAA) all-state in 2019 … averaged 184 passing yards and 54 rushing yards per game as a junior … passed for 155 yards and rushed for two touchdowns in 14-6 win in the state championship game … missed part of his junior season due to a knee injury but returned for team’s playoff run … preseason all-state pick by MaxPreps heading into his senior season … tabbed by MaxPreps as the state of Virginia’s top overall athlete for all sports … rated as one of the state’s top 25 players by MaxPreps … played quarterback running back, wide receiver and defensive back in high school … outstanding two-sport athlete was named state Gatorade Player of the Year in baseball … is a right-handed pitcher, catcher and shortstop for baseball team whose fastball has been clocked at 93 MPH … named as one of the top 50 prep baseball players in the nation for the class of 2021 by MaxPreps … ranked as the No. 35 prospect by Baseball America for the class of 2021 … was 6-0 on the mound with 50 strikeouts and batted .388 with five home runs as a sophomore (last season completed) … helped Cadets to a 28-2 record and 2019 VISAA Division I state championship … he earned the save in the state title game … named to All-Metro teams for both football and baseball … also played on basketball at Benedictine … father, Pete, played basketball at Richmond, helping the Spiders to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament in 1988 … a three-star recruit by ESPN.com, Rivals.com and 247sports.com.