Coastal Title Already Paying Dividends For UVA Recruiting

By Jerry Ratcliffe


Having clinched its first ACC Coastal Division championship and ending a 15-year losing streak to state rival Virginia Tech, the recent success of UVA football is already making an impact on the Cavaliers’ recruiting.

“[With] interest, certainly,” Bronco Mendenhall said Tuesday morning when recruiting was brought up. “Perception, certainly. Acknowledgment of what’s happening, certainly.”

It is raising the profile of the Virginia program with prospects.

“[What] all of that is producing is that we are competing against a different tier of competitors for the talent,” Mendenhall said. “It’s not as if the instant choice is Virginia. Now it might be Virginia or three or four other schools that we haven’t competed against recently. And that’s happening more frequently.”

That’s good news for Wahoo football fans because the program is going after more higher-caliber players that will raise the bar in terms of quality-of-athlete coming in.

Virginia gained its first commitment to its 2021 recruiting class Tuesday when 6-foot-3, 290-pound defensive tackle Terion “Tank” Sugick of Fort Washington (Md.) National Christian announced he will become a Cavalier.

Sugick had made several unofficial visits to Charlottesville, but was impressed by what he saw last Friday when Virginia defeated Virginia Tech, 39-30, and captured its first Coastal  title, in addition to clinching a spot in this Saturday’s ACC Championship game against No. 3 ranked Clemson.

Sugick pointed out UVA’s progress from going 2-10 in Mendenhall’s first year on the job four years ago to currently 9-3 with two games to be played in the postseason.

The strong defensive tackle, a 17-year-old, three-star who is projected to rise in the rankings, chose the Cavaliers out of his top eight schools that he narrowed in November: Kentucky, Louisville, North Carolina, West Virginia, Duke, Maryland, and Vanderbilt.

Strong academics and a high comfort level with the coaching staff were key factors in Sugick’s decision, in addition to the program being on the rise.


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