Virginia dips into SEC territory to grab commitment from 3-star corner Gaffney

By Jerry Ratcliffe

Photo: twitter.com

Within the last 10 days, Virginia football recruiting has been landing an impressive group of prospects from coast to coast. The action continued Tuesday when Alabama 3-star cornerback Micah Gaffney added his name to the Wahoos’ list.

Gaffney, a 6-foot-1, 175-pound corner from Spanish Fort, Ala., became the ninth UVA commit, and the second corner in the Class of 2021. He joins William Simpkins III from Gaithersburg, Md., at the cornerback spot on the Cavaliers’ commitment list.

Talented 4-star pass-rusher Josh McCarron of Everett, Wash., chose Virginia over a host of western schools and also Virginia Tech, Simpkins picked UVA over several eastern programs, and Texas quarterback Jacob Rodriguez selected the Cavaliers over several Big 12 offensive powerhouses. Gaffney’s list included a handful of SEC schools.

Ranked the No. 32 or No. 29 junior prospect in the state of Alabama by Rivals and 247Sports, respectively, Gaffney chose Virginia over a previously announced list of finalists that also included Missouri, Ole Miss and Mississippi State along with Georgia Tech, Indiana and Kansas. He also held offers from Cincinnati, Arkansas, Texas A&M, Louisiana Tech, UAB, South Alabama, Tulane and Troy.

“I think it’s a good decison,” Spanish Fort coach Ben Blackmon told Ben Thomas of AL.com. “I talked to [Gaffney] today. He said his mind is made up and he feels good about it. Virginia is an exceptional academic school (Gaffney has a 3.8 GPA), and grades are important to him.

“Coach (Bronco) Mendenhall and those guys have done a great job turning that program around. It’s definitely a program on the rise.”

Gaffney had five interceptions as a junior last season for Spanish Fort, which advanced to the state playoffs.

“Micah has got great length,” Blackmon said. “He makes plays on the ball real well. He’s really disciplined and very coachable. He’ll do whatever you tell him to do.”

The coach said that because Gaffney is so versatile, he could play either corner or safety at Virginia, but cornerback is his natural position.

Gaffney, who was recruited by UVA defensive coordinator Nick Howell, announced his decision on his Twitter account.

“First off, I want to thank God for giving me the ability to work hard and push myself for the game I love. I want to thank my coaches throughout the years for giving me countless opportunities, and mentoring me on and off the field.

“Also my teammates, you guys helped make me into the player I am, and I cannot thank you guys enough for it. To all the schools who have shown interest, it was a true blessing to build relationships with you guys along this process. Finally, I want to thank my parents for always believing in me and showing me that with God all things are possible. Thank you for being by my side through this decision.

“Having said that, I am extremely blessed and excited to announce that I am committed to the University of Virginia!!”

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