4-star Robinson gives Virginia’s recruiting class a boost late on National Signing Day

By Jerry Ratcliffe

Photo: UVA Athletics

Virginia’s 2023 football recruiting class got a boost hours after Tony Elliott announced it to the Cavaliers fan base Wednesday, when linebacker Kam Robinson signed with UVA.

Earlier in the day, Elliott officially unveiled an 18-man high school class and was hoping Robinson would join the group in the evening. Robinson, a 4-star ‘backer from Essex High School in Tappahannock, did just that Wednesday night.

Robinson had committed to the Cavaliers but was still exploring his options leading up to National Signing Day, with at least one national recruiting service making a 100-percent prediction that Robinson would sign with Florida State. However, Robinson chose UVA over the Seminoles, South Carolina and Virginia Tech.

“I believe [Robinson] is the most dynamic football player in the state of Virginia, regardless of what the rankings say,” Elliott said Wednesday night. “He is a guy, I told the staff, that could be the cornerstone of this class. It was a battle down the stretch with some big programs.”

UVA assistant coach Clint Sintim was the main recruiter for Robinson and landed the linebacker, ranked the No. 8 overall prospect in the state and one of the top 25 linebackers in the Commonwealth.

“These guys stuck with us and we were able to add some transfers (four) amidst obviously the adversity that we’re going through as a program, so these guys chose us … and that was my message to the staff,” Elliott said. “They could have decided to go anywhere in the country, but they chose to hitch their saddle up to this staff, this program, so I’m excited about the future.”

Robinson was the sixth player from the state to sign with Virginia, the most since the Coach Mike London days, which could signal some positive movement for UVA recruiting within the state borders, although rival Virginia Tech signed 13 of the top 40 to UVA’s six.

By contrast, Penn State signed six of the state of Virginia’s top 40 (all from the state’s top 10 prospects), North Carolina six (five of the top 20), Duke four, Notre Dame two, Tennessee, Georgia, Southern Cal, Michigan State, Miami, Pitt, Syracuse, West Virginia, Liberty, ODU, Georgia State, Kent State, Wake Forest all one each.

One of UVA’s three decommits, Woodberry Forest defensive lineman Rodney Lora (No. 20 prospect) signed with UNC.

“I’m really excited about the [state] guys that we were able to sign,” Elliott said. “I think the staff did a really good job of finding guys that we believe fit what we’re trying to do as a program, who we are, and what we represent as an institution.”

Elliott said that Virginia’s staff did a good job of building relationships in the state, but lost players to out-of-state schools because those relationships had been built over a longer period of time.

“By the time we got into the conversation, they’re like, ‘Appreciate it, no offense, but we’re so far down the road …’” Elliott said. “We’ve got to do a great job of identifying early the guys that we believe fit what we’re looking for and build relationships, not just with them, but with their families and their coaches.

“We’ve got to do a great job of being present in the state, and then we’ve got to stay committed to our word of recruiting guys and giving guys that truly desire to come to Virginia and fit [the program] an opportunity to come.”

Virginia’s class included 13 offensive players and 10 defensive, including the four transfers. One of the needs that Elliott will have to address will be the cornerback spot after All-ACC corner Fentrell Cypress entered the transfer portal, something Elliott said surprised him (see a complete list of high school signees below).

UVA’s recruiting class did not fare well nationally, nor in the ACC rankings. The Cavaliers finished ahead of only Syracuse in the three national recruiting service rankings among ACC teams (247Sports, Rivals, On3.com), although Virginia was ahead of Boston College on one list.

In terms of national recruiting rankings, UVA was No. 54 overall by Rivals, No. 61 by 247Sports and No. 63 by On3. The late addition of Robinson could possibly move the Cavaliers marginally.

According to 247Sports, UVA’s six in-state players were ranked this way (state only): Robinson No. 8; Miles Greene and Cole Suber tied at No. 31, Donte’ Hawthorne No. 36, TyLyric Coleman No. 41 and Anthony Britton No. 43.

UVA Team Notes

  • For the second-straight year, Virginia will essentially have to rebuild its starting offensive line. Elliott announced Wednesday that both starting right tackle Jonathan Leech (senior) and starting right guard Derek Devine (senior) have ended their careers. Last week, both starting left tackle Logan Taylor (sophomore) and starting left guard John Paul Flores (graduate) announced they had entered the transfer portal. “Devine and Leech said that their time was up and that they’re going to transition to life after football,” Elliott said. “Now that JP (Flores) and Logan have gone in [the portal], we have to try and find two tackles and possibly another interior guard/center guy.” Elliott said he and his staff have been in conversations with a couple of offensive linemen that are in the portal.
  • Elliott provided an update on other players leaving the program and those returning. The only two players taking advantage of an extra year of eligibility (whose eligibility otherwise would have expired) due to the shooting tragedy in November are senior defensive tackle Aaron Faumui and graduate defensive end Kam Butler. Fifth-year running back Ronnie Walker Jr. is also accepting the extra year of eligibility, but will use it somewhere else after entering the transfer portal. Devontae Davis (fifth-year nose tackle) is not returning. Other Cavaliers who did not qualify for that additional year of eligibility, but have eligibility remaining and plan to return are: tight ends Grant Misch and Sackett Wood; defensive end Paul Akere, safety Coen King, safety Antonio Clary, linebacker Josh Ahern, linebacker Hunter Stewart and “bandit position” Chico Bennett.
  • Elliott said that quarterback recruit Anthony Colandrea of St. Petersburg, Fla., and all four of the incoming transfers — quarterback Tony Muskett (Monmouth), running back Kobe Pace (Clemson), wide receiver Malik Washington (Northwestern) and offensive lineman Daijon Parker (Saginaw Valley State) — will all enroll early and participate in spring football practice.
  • With veteran offensive line coach Garrett Tujague (he was also recruiting coordinator) leaving for NC State, Elliott is in the market for Tujague’s replacement, at least for the coaching position. “I don’t have a timetable,” Elliott said about the hire. “I don’t want to rush. I want to take my time and make sure I get it right. I want to give (the returning linemen) a voice and an opportunity to express their desires and what they would like to see happen  at that position.”

Player Bios

Courtesy UVA Media Relations

CB Trent Baker-Booker – Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence Central
6-2, 175
Earned All-Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference and All-Marion County honors as a senior … played in eight games, recording 24 tackles, eight passes defended, three interceptions and a fumble recovery in 2022 …  helped team to second round of state playoffs in 2022 … had 26 tackles as a junior and 19 as a sophomore … had four interceptions during prep career … three-star safety according to 247Sports, ESPN and On3 … No. 19 safety in the state of Indiana according to 247Sports and no. 87 cornerback in the country according to ESPN … played for head coach William Patterson at Lawrence Central.   

DT Anthony Britton – Norfolk, Va./Lake Taylor
6-5, 275
Helped lead Lake Taylor to an 11-2 mark, a regional final appearance and the No. 21 Virginia state ranking according to MaxPreps in 2022 …  Played offensive line and defensive line at Lake Taylor … 2022 Eastern District Defensive Player of the Year … led Hampton Roads area with 22 regular season sacks and finished the year with 28 sacks, a Lake Taylor school record… invited to play in the 2022 U.S. Army Bowl in Frisco, Texas … three-star recruit according to 247Sports, On3, ESPN and Rivals … played for head coach Hank Sawyer at Lake Taylor.  

BANDIT Mekhi Buchanan – Acworth, Ga./Allatoona
6-5, 220
Played defensive end at Allatoona High School in Acworth, Ga. … named first-team all-region 6-6A as a senior … helped Buccaneers rally from a 1-5 start to the state playoffs as a senior … that marked the 13th straight season Allatoona advanced to the 6A state playoffs from Region 6 … team reached second round of state playoffs and finished with a 6-6 mark … had 54-yard pick-6 vs. River Ridge in 31-0 win to clinch a home playoff game …  also had five tackles and a sack in that game … earlier in the season blocked a punt and returned it 15 yards for a score vs. Cartersville … a 3-star prospect by Rivals … credited with 90 tackles as a senior including 54 solo stops … finished the 2022 campaign with 12.5 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks … credited with 11 QB hurries … junior season posted 19 tackles in six games of action … had two sacks in 2021 … finished his prep career with 113 tackles that included 64 solo stops … had 8.5 sacks during prep career.  

QB Anthony Colandrea – St. Petersburg, Fla./ Lakewood
6-0, 182
Set to enroll at UVA in January of 2023 … Dual threat quarterback from Lakewood High School in St. Petersburg, Fla. … committed to Virginia in July … completed 224 of 349 (.642) passes for 3,137 yards as a senior … passing total ranked No. 7 for the state of Florida … led his team to a 9-5 record and the semifinals finals of the FHSAA 2M championship … Pinellas County player of the year … threw for 28 touchdowns … averaged 14.0 yards per completion … tossed a season-high 437 yards in a 63-42 victory vs. Calvary Christian (11/25) … had five TD passes in that contest and the previous week vs. Tampa Catholic … rushed 82 times for 657 yards (8.0 avg.) and six touchdowns … finished the 2022 season with 3862 yards of total offense (297.1 per game) … as a junior in 2021 he threw for 3,252 yards and 27 scores … completed 216 of 345 (.626) during that campaign … had season high 448 passing yards and six TD tosses vs. Hardee as a junior … he led Lakewood to the 4A semifinals that season … and a 10-3 overall record … during a four-year high school career he threw for 7,311 yards and completed 508 of 812 passes (.625) … threw for 60 TD passes during prep career … team was 35-4 during his high school career … averaged 14.4 yards per catch during high school career … rated 3-stars by Rivals, ESPN, On3 and 247Sports … played for head coach Cory Moore at Lakewood.  

WR TyLyric Coleman – Danville, Va./ Dan River
6-3, 175
Helped Dan River rattle off five-straight regulars wins to close out the 2022 regular season and qualify for the Region 2C playoffs … 2022 River City Sports Offensive Player of the Year … in 2022 was recognized as a First Team All-District performer at three positions – WR, DB, PR … went on to earn All-2C Region honors as a wide receiver and defensive back as a senior … led his region in receiving yards (1,026) and receiving touchdowns (8) in 2022 … amassed 1,687 all-purpose yards, scored 13 total touchdowns, 50 tackles and 3 interceptions in his final prep season … during his breakout junior season at Dan River, had 36 receptions for 699 yards and seven touchdowns … on the defensive side of the ball had seven interceptions, tied for the most in Virginia according to MaxPreps … named to the Region 2C Second Team at defensive back … member of the Dan River 2021 state champion basketball team … 2022 state runner-up 4×400 relay team … three-star athlete according to 247Sports, On3, and Rivals.com … ranked 43rd-best athlete in the Commonwealth of Virginia according to 247Sports … played for head coach Brian Womack at Dan River.  

ATH Landon Danley – Irmo, S.C./Dutch Fork
6-3, 190
Played safety for Dutch Fork High School in Irmo, S.C. … helped team to 14-1 record and the SCHSL 5A state championship … that was Silver Foxes sixth state title in last seven years … Silver Foxes were the No. 17 ranked prep program in the nation according to High School Football America … named to 5A all-state team by South Carolina Football Coaches Association … also played wide receiver and filled in at quarterback during 2022 campaign … named to the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas roster … helped South Carolina defeat North Carolina 17-13 … had 59 tackles and team-high four interceptions and also two fumble recoveries in 2022 … credited with 77 tackles, four interceptions and three tackles for loss during his junior season … had 39 tackles and two interceptions in 2020 as a sophomore … finished his career with 175 tackles and 10 interceptions in 38 prep games … team was 12-1 as a junior and 10-0 as a sophomore … 3-star prospect by 247Sports, On3 and ESPN … rated the No. 31 player in South Carolina by 247Sports, Rivals and No. 29 by On3 … played for coach Tom Knotts at Dutch Fork … also plays basketball at Dutch Fork where he averaged 5.8 ppg. as a junior … competes in long jump and triple jump for high school track squad.  

WR Jaden Gibson – Rabun County, Ga./Rabun County
6-1, 185
Set to enroll at UVA in January … helped Rabun County to a 23-3 record in two seasons including a state quarterfinal appearance in 2021 …set the Georgia state records for career receiving yards (5,124), career touchdown receptions (59) and single-season touchdown receptions (29 in 2022) … his 1,950 receiving yards as a senior in 2022 and his 1,878 yards as a junior in 2021 are the second and third-most, respectively, in a single-season in state history… had seven 200-yard receiving games in his prep career including a 13-catch, 285-yard receiving effort, the eighth-most in a game in state history, against Elbert County on Oct. 22, 2022. He broke the state’s 49-year-old career receiving record and the state’s career touchdown record with his fourth TD catch of the contest … 2022 Region 8A-D1 Player of the Year … named the 2022 Born 2 Compete Wide Receiver of the Year and the 2022 BLITZ Player of the Year … one of nine finalists for the 2022 Mr. Georgia Award presented to the top senior football player in the state of Georgia by the Peach Bowl … 2021 Max Preps First Team Small Town All-American … 2021 Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC), Georgia High School Association (GHSA) & Georgia Athletic Coaches Association (GACA) First Team All-State selection … played his first two seasons at Dawson County where he earned all-region honors as a sophomore before transferring to Rabun County … originally committed to Georgia Southern but reopened his recruitment in November of his senior year … three-star recruit by 247Sports and Rivals.com … ranked in the top-100 wide receivers in the state of Georgia according to Rivals.com … played for Jaybo Shaw (2021) and Mike Davis (2022) at Rabun County.  

DE Miles Greene – Richmond, Va./Highland Springs
6-3, 240
Helped Highland Springs to VHSL Class 5 state title and a perfect 15-0 season in 2022 … Springers were the No. 75 ranked prep program in the nation according to High School Football America … named all-Metro, all-region and VHSL 5A all-state as a junior … as a junior finished with 56 tackles (30 solo, 26 assists) that included nine tackles for loss, five sacks … helped Springers to VHSL Class 5 semifinals and a 10-4 record … 3-star prospect by ESPN, 247Sports, On3 … named to Lemming Report’s top prospects for Virginia for Class of 2023 … rated the No. 33 player in the state by On3 … older brothers Mike and Malcolm were also standout players at Highland Springs … Mike was an All-American defensive lineman at James Madison and signed as a free agent with Tampa Bay Buccaneer last May … Malcolm is junior cornerback at Clemson … played for coach Loren Johnson at Highland Springs.  

DT Jason Hammond – Miami Gardens, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas
6-3, 285
Played defensive tackle for coach Roger Harriott St. Thomas Aquinas in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., … helped Raiders to their fourth straight Florida Class 3M state title, the 14th in the school’s history … Raiders were the No. 3 ranked prep program in the nation according to High School Football America … ranked No. 6 prep program in the nation by MaxPreps … St. Thomas Aquinas defeated Homestead 38-21 for the title, marking the first time in Florida High School Association history that schools from Broward and Miami-Dade met for the state title … the Raiders finished the season 14-0 … defense only allowed more than 14 points twice during the season … as a senior he had 58 total tackles, including 28 solo stops … had seven sacks and nine tackles for loss … as a junior totaled 30 tackles, five tackles for loss and one sack …  Raiders finished 14-1 during the 2021 campaign … completed his prep career with 91 tackles including 45 solo stops … had eight sacks, caused one fumble and recovered one fumble … played his sophomore season at Chaminade-Madonna High School in Hollywood, Fla. … 3-star prospect by 247Sports, On3, Rivals … cousin, Jaleel Johnson, was a fourth-round selection by the Minnesota Vikings in the 2017 NFL Draft and currently plays for New Orleans Saints.  

SAF Caleb Hardy – McDonough, Ga./Eagles Landing
6-3, 181
Was an honorable mention on the 2022 7-5A All-Region team … two-year team captain of the football team and captain of the track team … state finalist in the 4×200 relay … 24 tackles with two pass breakups and recovered a fumble in his junior season … invited to play in the 2022 Georgia Elite Classic all-star game … comes from athletic background, cousin Leonard Little played 12 years with the St. Louis Rams, uncle Devin Aromashadu played football at Auburn and in the NFL with the Bears, Colts and Vikings, aunt Britte Hardy/Aromashadu played softball at Ole Miss, the first African American softball player at the school … three-star safety according to 247Sports, ESPN, On3 and Rivals … played for head coach Markus Brown at Eagles Landing.  

WR Suderian Harrison – McCormick, S.C./Woodland
5-11, 165
Helped lead Woodland High School (Dorchester, S.C.) to an 11-2 record in 2022 … team reached the quarterfinals of the Class 2-A state championships … Region 6AA offensive player of the year … named to 2A all-state team by South Carolina Football Coaches Association … completed 84 of 128 passes for 2018 yards and 26 touchdowns … rushed the ball 133 times for 1,185 yards and 21 scores … had 23 tackles on defense and two interceptions including one pick-six … also returned a kickoff for a touchdown … accounted for 49 scores during his senior campaign … had six touchdown passes in 55-14 victory vs. Edisto … as a freshman passed for more than 1,200 yards and let McCormick to the second round of the state playoffs … named to the South Carolina roster for the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas … helped South Carolina defeat North Carolina 17-13 … 3-star prospect by 247Sports and Rivals … ranked the No. 114 “athlete” for Class of 2023 by 247Sports … attended same high school as former UVA wide receiver Lavel Davis Jr. … also plays basketball and baseball … competed for track team at McCormick High School where he clocked an 11.93 in the 100 meters and 25.03 in the 200 meters during a meet in 2021 … that same season he helped set the school record (43.44) in the 4×100 relay … participated in the Under Armour Baseball Factory showcase following his freshman year of high school … plays shortstop for baseball team … played football for coach Eddie Ford at Woodland.  

RB Donté Hawthorne – Spotsylvania, Va./Colonial Forge HS/Massaponax HS  
6-0, 215
Began his prep career at Massaponax High School (Fredericksburg, Va.) before transferring to Colonial Forge for his senior year … at Massaponax became the starting quarterback his junior year … totaled 1,123 yards rushing and tallied 23 touchdowns in three seasons, playing in a run-heavy, triple-option offense … as a junior earned first-team all-area for all-purpose and second-team All-Commonwealth District at quarterback … his senior season at Colonial Forge ran 159 times for 846 yards and 10 touchdowns … earned second team all-region honors in both his junior and senior seasons … Virginia was first to offer scholarship … played for head coach Eric Ludden at Massaponax High School and head coach Bill Brown at Colonial Forge.

WR Titus Ivy – Concord, N.C./Cox Mill
6-4, 190
Helped Cox Mill to a 9-3 record and second round of the North Carolina 4A state playoffs in 2022 … appeared in six games and caught nine passes for 120 yards … had two receptions for scores for the Chargers who compete in the Greater Metro 4 Conference … outstanding prep basketball player as a small forward… rated the No. 185 players in the state of North Carolina by Prep Hoops … averaged 8.0 ppg. as a junior at Cox Mill, earning all-league honors … rated 3-stars by Rivals and 247Sports … played for coach Shawn Baker at Cox Mill … son of Tamika and Tyrone Ivy … born in Starkville, Miss.  

DE DJ Jones – Tampa, Fla./Hillsborough
6-5, 245
Played defensive end for Hillsborough High School in Tampa, Fla. … team went 4-6 his senior season finished the 2022 season with 32 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss and four sacks … second team all Federal Division … transferred to Hillsborough for his senior season after attending Sumner High School in Riverview, Fla. … had 25 tackles as a junior, eight sacks and six tackles for loss … helped the Stingrays to a 9-3 mark in 2021 and the second round of the 6A state playoffs … named second-team all-conference at Sumner … played tight end on offense 3-star prospect by 247Sports, On3, Rivals … was also listed as a 3-star prospect as a tight end prior to his senior season … also plays basketball for the Terriers … also enjoys chess … played football for coach Earl Garcia, Jr., at Hillsborough … first name id Daryl.  

TE TeKai Kirby – Fort Lauderdale, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas
6-3, 210
Played for national high school powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas which won its fourth-straight state championship in 2022 … Raiders were the No. 3 ranked prep program in the nation according to High School Football America … ranked No. 6 prep program in the nation by MaxPreps … STA posted a 51-2 record during the school’s four-peat including a 28-1 mark in Kirby’s final two seasons … as a senior hauled in six receptions for 108 yards and two touchdowns … played with current Cavalier offensive lineman Blake Steen and Dawson Alters at STA … son of Virginia legend Terry Kirby, who is third all-time on UVA’s career rushing list with 3,348 yards … his father played high school football and college football with current UVA defensive end coach Chris Slade … three-star tight end according to 247Sports, ESPN and On3 … played for head coach Roger Harriott at St. Thomas Aquinas.  

QB Tony Muskett – Springfield, Va. / West Springfield / Monmouth University
6-2, 210
Career Highlights: 2020-21 Big South Offensive Freshman of the Year … 2021 HERO Sports Sophomore All-America … fifth in voting for 2020-21 Jerry Rice Award … two-time First Team All-Big South Conference … Monmouth’s all-time leader in pass efficiency at 150.14 … fourth in team history with 51 passing touchdowns … second in team history with 64.2 completion percentage … fifth in team history in passing yards with 5,687. 2022 (Junior): Started the first eight games at quarterback and missed final three contests due to knee injury … went 143-for-223 for 1,997 yards with 17 touchdowns and eight interceptions … ran for 203 yards and one touchdown … threw for a season-high 323 yards with two touchdowns against Fordham (9/10) … went 11-for-17 for 161 yards and three touchdowns and 78 rushing yards in the win at #10/9 Villanova (9/24) … had 261 yards passing with three touchdowns on 20-for-27 at Lehigh (10/1) … also ran for a touchdown and had 56 yards on the ground against the Mountain Hawks … threw three touchdowns with 292 yards passing at Maine (10/15) … totaled 249 yards through the air and 69 on the ground with three passing touchdowns against Rhode Island (10/22) … CAA Preseason All-Conference selection. 2021 (Sophomore): Started all 11 games at quarterback for Monmouth … first-team All-Big South selection at QB … sophomore All-American selection by HERO Sports … threw for 2,651 yards while completing 65.1 percent of his passes … finished with 25 touchdown passes and six interceptions … his 25 touchdown passes was the second most in school history … threw four touchdown passes in three different games … led the top scoring offense in the conference at 30.8 points per game … threw for a career-high 337 yards on 28-of-42 passing with a touchdown against KSU (11/20) … had four touchdowns and 289 yards passing against Gardner-Webb … threw for four touchdowns and 294 yards against North Alabama (11/6) … had four touchdowns on 17-of-25 passing in a win over Robert Morris (11/13) … his 65.1 completion percentage was 13th in the NCAA … averaged 21.73 completions per game which was 15th nationally … ranked 14th in passing touchdowns and points responsible for  … led the Big South in four passing categories. Spring 2021 (Freshman): Started all four games as a true freshman … 2020-21 Big South Offensive Freshman of the Year … finished fifth in the voting for the Jerry Rice Award (Nation’s Top FCS Freshman) … first-team All-Big South selection … HERO Sports Freshman All-America honoree … two-time Big South Freshman of the Week … threw for 1,039 yards and nine touchdowns with just two interceptions … didn’t throw an interception until the FCS Playoffs … his 150,9 pass efficiency ranked 10th in the NCAA … ranked 19th and 20th in completions and completion percentage nationally … ranked first in the Big South in six different passing categories … averaged 259.8 passing yards per game which is 12th in the NCAA  … completed 18-of-26 passes for 297 yards and two touchdowns in first career start against Charleston Southern (3/27) … tied his career-high with 297 yards in NCAA Playoff game against Sam Houston (4/24) … was 19-of-23 with four touchdowns and 290 yards in win over Kennesaw State (4/10). High School: Played quarterback under Coach Anthony Parker at West Springfield … first-team All-Conference and All-Region selection … threw for over 7,000 career yards and 69 touchdowns. Personal: Son of Tania and Michael Muskett … majored is business administration Monmouth … played high school football with current UVA wide receiver Ethan Davies … hometown is Springfield, Va.  

RB Kobe Pace – Cedartown / Cedartown (Ga.) / Clemson University
5-10, 205
At Clemson: Recorded 793 yards and nine touchdowns on 152 carries and caught 23 passes for 192 yards and a touchdown over 426 career snaps in 28 games (six starts) for Clemson from 2020-22 … also recorded 91 yards on four kickoff returns. 2022 (Junior): Recorded 77 yards and three touchdowns on 30 carries and caught six passes for 35 yards in 103 offensive snaps over eight games … rushed five times for 13 yards and caught four passes for 22 yards at Georgia Tech … added 25 rushing yards and a touchdown on six carries vs. Furman … rushed four times for 10 yards with a touchdown vs. Louisiana Tech … gained seven yards on three carries at No. 21 Wake Forest … rushed twice vs. No. 10 NC State … returned from injury vs. Miami (Fla.), rushing five times for seven yards with a touchdown and adding a 10-yard reception … rushed twice for eight yards vs. South Carolina. 2021 (Sophomore): Enjoyed a breakout season with 641 yards and six touchdowns on 104 carries and 131 yards on 12 receptions over only 273 snaps in 11 games (six starts) … also averaged 22.8 yards on four kickoff returns … carried four times for seven yards and caught a six-yard pass vs. No. 5 Georgia … recorded 68 yards and his first career rushing touchdown on seven carries vs. SC State … registered a 17-yard reception on third-and-16 and rushed seven times for 13 yards vs. Georgia Tech … rushed twice for five yards at NC State … rushed 18 times for a career-high 125 yards with a touchdown vs. Boston College, earning ACC Running Back of the Week and sharing offensive player of the game honors … also added 41 receiving yards on two receptions and 44 return yards on two kickoff returns vs. BC, earning a Hornung Award Honor Roll selection after his 210 all-purpose yards represented Clemson’s first 200-yard all-purpose performance since Travis Etienne against Boston College a year earlier … recorded 76 yards and a rushing touchdown on 14 carries at Syracuse … rushed seven times for 33 yards and had a 12-yard reception at No. 23 Pitt … carried twice for 14 yards and caught a five-yard pass at Louisville prior to exiting with an injury … earned ACC Running Back of the Week and shared team offensive player of the game honors after rushing for a career-high 191 yards on 24 carries with two touchdowns vs. No. 13 Wake Forest, the most rushing yards by a Clemson player since Travis Etienne’s 212 rushing yards against Wofford in 2019 … rushed seven times for 58 yards including a 34-yard touchdown run at South Carolina … gained 51 yards on 12 carries vs. Iowa State. 2020 (Freshman): Rushed 18 times for 75 yards and caught five passes for 26 yards with a receiving touchdown in 50 snaps over nine games … did not get stopped for negative yardage on any of his 18 carries … carried six times for 22 yards in collegiate debut at Wake Forest … caught two passes and added a two-yard rush vs. The Citadel … rushed twice for nine yards vs. No. 7 Miami … gained 21 yards on four carries and another 21 yards on two catches including a receiving touchdown at Georgia Tech … rushed three times for 15 yards vs. Syracuse … gained six yards on two carries and caught a five-yard pass vs. Pitt … ACC Honor Roll selection. High School: Played running back and linebacker for Doyle Kelley at Cedartown High School in Cedartown, Ga. … recorded 1,471 yards rushing in 211 carries for a 7.0-yard average and added 25 receptions for 358 yards for 1,829 total yards from scrimmage as a senior, finishing the year with 12 rushing touchdowns, two receiving touchdowns and two on kickoff returns … also completed 3-of-4 passes for 100 yards and two scores … also added 33 tackles, including 6.5 tackles for loss with 4.5 sacks on defense … named Region 5A Player of the Year … as a junior, had 721 yards rushing on 93 attempts for a 7.3-yard average … was also an outstanding linebacker who was voted Two-Way Player of the Year (Ironman Award) in Region 5A … all-state selection by Georgia Coaches Association … named to all-area team as well … all-around athlete who played football, basketball and baseball over his career at Cedartown. Personal: Born May 18, 2001 … enrolled at Clemson in June 2020 … was a communication major … legally changed his last name from Pryor to Pace in April 2020. 

OL Daijon Parker – Detroit, Mich. / John Glenn (Mich.) / Saginaw Valley State University
6-5, 300
Graduate transfer who played offensive tackle at Saginaw Valley State University in University Center, Mich. … will have one year of eligibility at UVA. 2022 (Senior): Appeared in 11 games for head coach Ryan Brady’s team … helped SVSU to an 8-3 record in 2022 … helped the Cardinals running game rank second in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference with 2,289 yards, place third in total offense (4,111 yards) and finish third in scoring (33.8 points per game). 2021 (Junior): Appeared in 10 games on the offensive line for the Cardinals. 2019 (Sophomore): Did not see any game action. 2018 (Freshman): Redshirted the season. High School: Prepped at John Glenn High School in Westland, Mich., where he played defensive end and offensive tackle for coach Steve Waller … participated in football and basketball … earned all-conference honors in both football and basketball … was a center for the John Glenn squad. Personal: Son of Angela Reynolds and Donnell Parker … born in Detroit 

LB Kam Robinson – Tappahannock, Va./Essex 
6-2, 215
Helped Essex to a 13-1 overall record and an appearance in the VHSL Class 1 state semifinals his senior season … 2022 Northern Neck Region Defensive Player of the Year … first-team all-VHSL as both a wide receiver and linebacker … earned First Team All-District honors as a wide receiver, linebacker and punter as well as Second Team All-District accolades as a punt returner … 2021 Region A and Northern Neck District Offensive Player of the Year … first team all-state as a wide receiver and Second Team All-State as a linebacker his junior season … in eight games played caught 39 passes for 1,014 yards and 11 touchdowns and on defense recorded 89 tackles including 10 tackles for loss and four sacks in 2021 … three-sport athlete at Essex, playing football, basketball and baseball … garnered VHSL Class 1 First Team All-State honors as a first baseman for the Essex baseball team in as a junior … averaged over 17 ppg as a junior on the Essex basketball team … four-star recruit according to 247Sports and a three-star according to ESPN, On3 and Rivals … ranked the No. 25 overall linebacker and the No. 8 linebacker in the Commonwealth of Virginia according to 247Sports … received 17 D-1 offers and chose Virginia over Florida State, Pitt, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, West Virginia … played for head coach Todd Jones at Essex High School.  

OL Cole Surber – Bristow, Va./Patriot
6-6, 285
Will enroll at UVA in January … team captain at Patriot High School in Nokesville, Va. that went 11-2 and reached he VHSL regional finals in 2022 … had over 40 pancake blocks as a senior … allowed just one sack and just over 10 pressures in 13 games … first-team VHSL all state and all-region 6B selection that marked his second all-region selection … 2022 second-team All-Met as offensive lineman… started on offensive line beginning his sophomore season … earned first-team all-Class 6 honors as a junior when Patriot went 7-4 and reached state playoffs … team was 10-2 as a sophomore and reached second round of the state playoffs … two-time team captain … three-time all-district pick … 3-star prospect by 247Sports, ESPN, On3 and Rivals rated the No. 32 player in the state by On3 … named to Lemming Report’s top prospects for Virginia for Class of 2023 … grandfather, Kenneth, was an offensive lineman at Concord College and coached the position at Woodbridge High School … first player to commit to UVA’s Class of 2023 … No. 22 rated player in state of Virginia when he committed … played for coach Sean Finnerty at Patriot.  

RB Noah Vaughn – Maryville, Tenn./Maryville
5-9, 185
Led team to a 10-4 record in 2022 and a semifinal appearance in the Tennessee Class 6A championship … named the Five Star Preps Region 2-6A player of the year … named a finalist for the Tennessee Titans’ Mr. Football award … a semifinalist for the Class 6A Mr. Football award … rushed for 1,279 yards and 16 touchdowns as a senior before missing his final regular-season game and the playoffs due to injury … he averaged 7.9 yards per carry … caught 15 passes for 248 yards and two scores as a senior … had a 99-yard TD rush in win vs. Bearden … named to Knox News’ Elite 8 team prior to start of his senior season … as a junior he piled up 2,378 all-purpose yards and rushed for 1,611 yards … he totaled 22 rushing touchdowns as a junior, averaging 8.9 yards per carry … in 2021 he had 15 receptions for 320 yards and 1 score … he returned 11 kickoffs that season for 447 yards, an average of 40.6 yards per return … team went 13-1 in 2021 and reached semifinals of state playoffs … helped Maryville to state title and perfect 15-0 record in 2019 … rated 3-stars by Rivals, ESPN, On3 and 247Sports … ranked the No. 29 player in Tennessee by Rivals and No. 34 by On3 … runs sprints and relays for Maryville track squad … played for coach Derek Hunt at Maryville. 

CB Keandre Walker – Denver, N.C./East Lincoln
6-3, 180
Played cornerback and wide receiver at East Lincoln High School in Denver, N.C. … helped Mustangs to 16-0 record and the 3A state championship … named the team’s most outstanding offensive player of the game in state championship final … caught a 30-yard touchdown pass and also picked off a pass during the game … program’s first state title since 2014 … team allowed more than 10 points just three times in 16 games … finished his senior season with 47 receptions for 859 yards and nine touchdowns … had 39 tackles and four interceptions in 2022 … as a junior in 2021, caught 20 passes for 326 yards (16.3 avg.) … had four touchdown catches in 2021 … on defense that season, had five interceptions and eight pass defenses … team was 8-4 as a junior and advanced to the second round of the state playoffs … named to the North Carolina roster for the 2022 Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas … received 3 starts from 247Sports, Rivals, ESPN and On3 … rated the No. 42 player in North Carolina by 247Sports, No. 36 by Rivals and No. 32 by On3 … named Western Hills all-conference in basketball as a junior … averaged 9.3 ppg. as a junior … runs 200 and 400 meters for Mustangs’ track team … played football for head coach David Lubowicz at East Lincoln.  

WR Malik Washington – Northwestern University / Parkview (Ga.)
5-9, 190
2022 (Senior): Three-time Academic All-Big Ten … 2021-22 Big Ten Distinguished Scholar … third-team All-Big-10 selection by Pro Football Focus … set career-highs with eight receptions and 97 yards in a win over Nebraska … hauled in seven receptions for 51 yards against Duke … posted four catches for 76 yards and a touchdown against Southern Illinois … made eight catches for 81 yards against Miami (OH) … finished the season with 65 catches for 694 yards and 1 score. 2021 (Junior): Finished second on the team in receiving yards (587) and receptions (45) … appeared in all 12 games and made seven starts … matched a career-high with three receptions in the season-opener against Michigan St.  … caught his first-career touchdown against Indiana State  … tied his career-high with three receptions for 34 yards against Duke … brought in three passes for a career-high 64 yards against Nebraska … set new career-highs with five receptions and 84 yards, including a career-long 64-yard touchdown, to help beat Rutgers … brought in a career-high six passes for 63 yards against Michigan … caught six passes for 75 yards against Iowa … registered his longest catch of his season with a 46-yard reception against Purdue … capped off the season with six receptions for 74 yards in the finale against Illinois. 2020 (Sophomore):  Posted a career-high 30 receiving yards, including a 23-yarder, against Maryland … registered first career rushing attempt that went for eight yards at Purdue … tied for career-high in receptions vs. Wisconsin (11/21). 2019 (Freshman): Appeared in 11 games, hauling in six passes for 25 yards … caught two passes in his first collegiate game, a win over UNLV. High School: Three-star recruit No. 54 athlete nationally (247Sports) … registered 792 receiving yards and five touchdowns with 287 rushing yards and nine scores as a senior … finished prep career with 29 total touchdowns … named Team MVP and Regional Player of the Year as a senior … three-time first-team All-Region … two-time All-County  … named the 2018 Gwinnett Athlete of the Year  … three-time Scholar-Athlete … 2016 Athlete of the Year … 2015 Gwinnett Newcomer of the Year … led Parkview to a 10-0 record in the regular season and a 2018 Regional Championship … also lettered four times in track … claimed a state and national championship in 2017 in the 4×100 meter relay  … honor roll student.