While you wouldn’t normally think to compare All-ACC offensive lineman and likely NFL pick Oday Aboushi to his one-time UVa teammate, walk-on center Jackson Matteo, they do have one thing in common.
Both ended up at Virginia after decommitting to another school, Aboushi to Boston College and Matteo to Temple.
What are you thinking if you’re Temple? Matteo turned down a scholarship offer to Temple in exchange for a preferred walk-on spot at UVa. Then, two years later, linebacker-fullback Connor Wingo-Reaves pulled out of a commitment to Temple and signed with UVa this winter.
If you’re the Owls, maybe you’re a little more careful in recruiting Virginians, although they did get a find a couple years back in quarterback Chris Coyer from Oakton.
The Matteo situation just doesn’t make sense because he was the object of a small-scale recruiting battle between UVa and Virginia Tech in the days leading up to signing day in 2012.
If he was good enough to have UVa and Tech pursuing him and he’s now good enough to go into summer ball as the Cavaliers’ No. 1 center for 2013, why was Temple the only school to offer him a grant.
Plus, it’s not like he’s a squatty, 6-foot-1, 250-pounder. He’s 6-5 and a winter in the weight room has got him up to 295 pounds, but that could have happened a lot of places.
FOR YEARS, I have kept a list of players who have decommitted to UVa, of which the most prominent was Ronald Curry (North Carolina) in 1998. Since then, the biggest has been Mark Herzlich (Boston College) in 2006.
Other than that, it’s a list of mostly forgettable players. How about wide receiver Tyree Watkins, who backed out of a UVa commitment in 2009 and signed with Duke? He lasted for a while in Durham, N.C., but with little distinction and now he’s gone.
Some of the other recent names: Caleb Porzell (Maryland), Vince Hill (Temple), Corey Lewis (Illinois), Ugochukwu Uzodinna (Illinois). Where are they now?
I HAVEN’T KEPT a list of players who have committed or signed with Virginia after committing somewhere else and would welcome the readers’ contributions to that cause.
I do know that there were three members of Mike London’s first recruiting class in 2010 who first had committed to other schools: quarterback Michael Rocco (Louisville), tight end Jake McGee (Richmond) and cornerback Drequan Hoskey (Richmond).
McGee and Hoskey both are listed as prospective 2013 starters and Rocco started 21 of 26 games the past two seasons before seeking a release and transferring to Richmond.
Other decommits on the Cavs’ roster include Wingo-Reeves, tight end Mario Nixon (Virginia Tech) and offensive lineman Eric Tetlow (Wake).
I don’t think the object should be how many committed players can you swipe from other schools, but as long as the practice continues, you don’t want to lose more than you get.